Prep Baseball Report

Northern California Underclass Games: Quick Hits

Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director of Scouting

The inaugural Northern California Underclass Games took place on Saturday, August 25th at  John Smith Field, home of the Sacramento State Hornets. The Underclass Games were a culmination of our Underclass Trials Series which attracted players from all over the region, all vying for an invitation to the Underclass Games.

The day featured a workout in the morning for position players, including warm-up hitting, exit speed testing, on-field BP, before finishing up with a defensive workout. Players were split into four teams with two simulated games following the morning workout.

Of the nearly 70 players that participated in the games, many can be found in our state rankings for their respective classes. With the majority of the players uncommitted, there was plenty of talent for the college coaches in attendance to scout and evaluate.

As part of our continuing coverage of the event, we will break down all the data, roll out stats, content, and videos from the event in the coming days. In this edition we take a look at some quick hits on players that stood out to our team of evalutors.

NOTE: This is not the top players list, merely some observations after a brief review of the notes.

+ 2020 MIF/P Andrew Neil (L/R) showed off the swing that has him in the conversation for best pure hitter in Northern California in his grad class. The left-handed hitting Neil is a St. Mary's commit and not only showed off his hitting ability in BP, but he tripled to deep right-center in game action and showed deft control of the strike zone. He may or may not pitch in college, but Neil will be a factor in high school, with command of a mid-80s fastball to go along with feel of two quality secondary pitches.

+ 2020 RHP/SS Treven Crowley (L/R) was perhaps the top all-around talent at the event and he is one of the region's top prospects. On the mound he got up to 89 mph and also displayed a sharp, snapping breaking ball that is certainly an out-caliber pitch. His delivery is simple yet athletic and his arm is loose and fast. The fastball was quite lively, with occasional sink and late action. Offensively he has a smooth left-handed stroke and his arm strength translated to shortstop where his 88 mph reading was the top among the infielders.

+ 2020 RHP/OF Ethan Garcia (R/R) was noticeable during all the testing, with an 88 mph reading from the outfield, good exit speed readings in the cage and noticeable bat speed during BP. Then in the game he squared up two balls in the middle of the field, reaching base twice. On the mound he showed off a clean and efficient delivery and carved up the four batters he faced, sitting 85-87 mph with a lively and angled fastball and appropriately mixing in his curveball. His ability to command the opposite arm side was very good.

+ 2020 C Landon Wallace (R/R) had a really good day. His aggressive and intense style of play shows up and that really works for him as a catcher. In the defensive workouts he put up some really low pop-times, in the 1.91-1.95 range, with 75 mph arm strength. In game action he showed athleticism as he blocked well and pounced on the ball as he recovered from the block. He also threw a 1.98 on the bag in game action. Offensively he showed plenty of bat speed and a gap to gap line drive approach.

+ 2021 C/P Luke Jewett (R/R) is a former high school teammate of Garcia's (he has transferred to JSerra HS) and what a pair of teammates they'd have been this spring. Jewett has a simple and easy delivery and the ball JUMPED out of his hand, with a fastball up to 88 mph. He looks like a sure bet to get into the 90s in the not too distant future. Jewett is also an athletic position player. He runs well, has a lively swing with good balance at the plate and posted a 91 mph exit velo. His pop times were in the 1.93-2.01 range and his 83 mph arm strength was the top among all catchers.

+ 2021 3B/OF Jason Booker (R/R) was a standout at the underclass trials back in June and he showed up again in the underclass games. Booker is a havoc creator as an offensive player, with a slashing swing and ability to drive the ball in the middle of the field with an outstanding gap to gap approach. He peppered two hard hit singles in the game, one to left-center and one to right-center. Booker has plus speed and the ability to steal bases, seemingly at will against high school competition. He worked out as an outfielder and reached 85 mph in the defensive workout.

+ 2020 RHP/3B Isaac Ayon (R/R) is another St. Mary's commit and another good one. He has a strong pitcher type build and his arm works quite well. The fastball was up to 89 mph and has a lot of life and action deep into the hitting zone. As impressive as his fastball was, he also showed feel of a good change-up and has a big, hard curveball. High school catchers may struggle to catch him, as the stuff is heavy and lively. Offensively he also has talent, banging a double to centerfield and posting the highest exit speed of 92 mph.

+ 2022 LHP/1B Jaron Nevarez (L/L) was one of the top 2022 grads at the event and has a bright future, with both his pitching and hitting ability standing out. On the mound, the left-hander topped at 80 mph and showed good feel on his arm side, with the ability to use and control his curveball as well. The delivery is athletic and repeatable. Offensively he put up an 89 mph exit speed in the cage and banged a hard single in game action. His swing is short and he already displays some pullside power.

+ 2022 RHP Evan Adams is another young player who made a name for himself at the event. He's an athletic right-handed pitcher with good present day stuff and plenty more in the tank. Adams has a fluid and athletic delivery and attacked hitters like a predator. His fastball was on and by hitters easily, indicating good late life that comes from good extension and use of his lower body in the delivery. The fastball was 80-82 and he mixed in a slider and feel of the change-up that he kept down in the zone.

+ 2020 3B/1B/P Joey Bell (R/R) was one of the top game performers with the bat. He showed well in the BP round by displaying power potential, which combined with his 87 mph exit speed might have predicted good things in the game. He didn't disappoint as he showed an ability to hit the fastball, going 2-2 in the game with two hard hit singles. Defensively he is a corner position player with an arm (84 mph) that certainly plays across the diamond. Given his 6-foot-3 180-pound frame, there is a lot to like.

+ 2020 OF Kenny DeCelle (R/R) has now shown well in three events we've seen him in this summer. He is an athletically built outfielder and performs well in both the testing/metrics and in game action. DeCelle is a two-sport player in high school (basketball) and his athleticism shows up pretty clearly, with twitchy and lively actions. His 92 mph exit speed was tied for the top at the event and in the game he barreled two balls to left field. He's got projectable power that he will grow into as his approach evolves. Defensively he covers a lot of ground and has an arm that plays.

+ 2021 C Joey Adge (R/R) is a good looking young catching prospect, as he showed well both offensively and defensively at the games and then backed up his strong evaluation showing with good performance in game action. Adge is a strong and compactly built young backstop and posted an impressive 85 mph exit speed and pop times in the 1.95-2.05 range, with a 75 mph arm and clean transfer. In the game he smashed a ball to left field and made hard contact in his other at-bat. His hands are particularly strong and work explosively in his swing.