Prep Baseball Report

Oakland A's Area Code Upperclass Tryout

Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director

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LATHROP, CALIF. - By my count there were roughly 121 participants at the Upperclass Area Code tryout on June 27th at Islanders Field in Lathrop (CA). The team has been selected, you can view that at the ACG website. For purposes of this article I'll focus on players who are still uncommitted (as of this being published) and did not get selected for the team.

As it was with the underclass tryout, the pitchers all threw a pen session on the main mound. Position players then ran 60s, followed by two BP rounds for each player, then the defensive workout, finally with field coach/scout throwing from about 45' behind L screen for the scrimmage. The 'scrimmage' consistented of each player having two at-bats. In some ways it was like the old-school 2-pitch drill, where scouts/coaches are looking to see players on the defensive side, as well as their baserunning prowess, and also which players could take their BP approach into the scrimmage. There is also a fitness and condititioning component to a drill like this. 

Relative to the 60 yard dash... each player I'd seen recently, some of them a couple of times VERY recently, were .20-.30 slower for whatever reason. I confirmed that with the pair of MLB scouts who were recording the 60s, both of whom had also seen many of the same players recently, at ProCase and BAWS. For any players they wrote up for their clubs, they also adjusted .20-.25 off the recorded times they got. The times listed in the table and below reflect the adjusted times.

For what it's worth, because a pen session is just a pen session and BP is just BP,  these players were particularly (IMO) impressive (the environment does matter so that does change slightly a pen session and a BP session). Please note, these listed players are certainly not the only talented players who were in attendance.

Stats (60, position MPH, pops) from A's Area Code Upperclas Tryout


2024 LHP Jorden Espinoza, Aptos - Hadn't previously come across Espinoza, but will look forward to seeing him again in the future, lean wiry body w/a quick arm, FB 87-89, displayed both CB (70 mph) and CHG (78-79 mph), given the glimpse of that top end velocity, there would seem to be some exciting development for him in the near future

2024 RHP Adrian Garcia, Central Catholic - Last time I saw Garcia on the mound was at the ACG underclass tryout in 2022 (he was selected for team) and was impressed. He's still one I like, compact repeatable delivery, FB 86-88, wide slurvy breaking ball 73 mph, and lots of run on the CHG (75-76 mph), competes as a contributing position player (can hit) for his HS team

2024 RHP Jack Ghufran, Granite Bay - Each of the last three times I've seen Ghufran he's shown incremental development and the arrow is still pointed up. Broad build with fluid actions/movements, FB steady 86-88 mph, feel for CB (73-74 mph) and best pitch very well could be the 75-77 mph CHG he throws with good finish

2024 LHP JJ Sanchez, Carmel - Sturdy body type, clean easy arm action, feel for three pitches, have seen him a couple of times and always enjoy watching him and his feel for the craft of pitching. FB low-near mid-80s, can go to either side of plate, smooth but continuous CB (74 mph) and CHG with deception and feel off the FB

2024 RHP Rex Solle, Redwood (Larkspur) - Have seen many times before, stuff comes out consistently each look which is obviously a good sign. Smaller in stature but very athletic and strong, FB flashes 'ride' ability 88-89 T90, big time sizzle spin on the CB 72-75 mph (check his profile for eye-popping spin numbers) and a CHG that can explode to the arm side and with some depth (79 mph) - UPDATE 7/17/23; Committed to UCLA



2024 Houston McCray, Davis - L/L, 86 mph, 6.93 60; Having seen him in game action, he's a better baseball player vs toolsy player who shows out in a showcase. Handsy stroke, sprays line drives to all fields, calm in the box, contact skills, have seen good in left on left situations

2024 Barclay Ovalle, Sacred Heart Cathedral - R/R, 89 mph, 6.74 60; Another player I've seen and recall him being a very tough out. Athletic body, has twitch in his game, the arm is strong, the wheels are good, and the twitch translates to fast hands at the plate with a short stroke and spray approach - UPDATE 7/25/23; Committed to Fresno State

2024 Caden Pinnick, Del Oro - R/R, 85 mph, 6.80 60; One of best athletes in '24 class in region, outstanding 3 sport athlete being recruited in two of the three if not all three, strong and athletic, hands stand out at the plate, generates juice with ease, the more he plays the better he's going to get

2024 Kenyon Sanders, Antioch - R/R, 80 mph, 6.75 60; Not yet seen in game action but the times I've seen him in this environment my eyes stay on him. Big and powerful, the footspeed at his size is impressive. Easy fast hands at the plate w/flashes of legit plus raw power (HR power), LOUD contact

- 3B & 1B

2024 Dawson Downs, Ripon - 3B, L/R, 78 mph, 7.56 60; Have seen back to back years at ACG tryout and am drawn to the hit talent, lively swing, definitely has juice to the pull side, body projects positively, defensive tools project favorably to 1B where LHH with real power potential is attractive

2024 Maximiliano Garcia, El Cerrito - 3B, R/R, 78 mph, 7.14 60; Saw previously at club scout day so I knew the bat potential (100 mph EV), swing trigger is explosive, lively hack, smashed a couple of line drive HRs over the CF fence, fringy defense tools for 3B but corner (maybe 2B) bat tools for sure

2024 Pedro Ibarra, St. Francis SCP - 3B, L/R, 81 mph, 6.93 60; Since the ACG tryout last year have looked forward to seeing him again, smooth stroke, comfortable in box, flat swing with consistent timing to contact point, smooth defender though raw arm could profile better at 2B


2024 Dylan Hillman, Monte Vista - R/R, 83 mph, 7.02 60; Having seen quite a bit & confident in saying he's among best '24 SS defenders in region, hitting ability was improved in spring, BP approach didn't suit him but scrimmage ABs showed adjustments he's made, flashed gap LD ability

2024 Houston Hirschkorn, Kingsburg - R/R, 81 mph, 7.01 60; Felt hitterish in BP rounds, has strength, showed gap to gap approach with timing and swing to put the approach into play, compact stroke and puts his nose on it, enough footspeed to play on the dirt, likely 2B or 3B profile, going to hit

2024 Sutter Moss, Colusa - L/R, 85 mph, 7.06 60; Another player I've seen a lot, showed best across the diamond arm strength of all the SS participants, smooth stroke at the plate, sprayed line drives during the rounds, runs well enough, athletic with more favorable physical projection

2024 Sammy Rivas, Serra - R/R, 84 mph, 6.74 60; Among the fastest rising players in the region in '24 class, toolsy and athletic, multi-position versatility (INF/OF), footspeed and arm profile on grass or dirt, outstanding bat speed, compact w/ability to impact the baseball with extra base hit production

2024 Kenny Winters, Lincoln - R/R, 78 mph, 6.95 60; Have seen him perform consistently for two years, games, workouts, doesn't matter. Velo, offspeed, he can hit, showed pop in BP rounds (2 HR to CF) and barrels in scrimmage, expect no less than average on defense, likely 2B or 3B - UPDATE 7/24/23; Committed to Cal Baptist


(Low pop listed)

2024 Gilbert Acosta, Kerman - L/R, 75 mph, 2.00, 7.31 60; Hand speed translates to bat speed, has some all field extra base hit ability, likely a bat before D catcher but catch/throw ability looked good in workout, recorded three pops at 2.01, 2.00, 2.00, given the raw arm those times are going to be a bit slower when receiving in game competition but the consistency is a good thing

2024 John Handy, Woodcreek - R/R, 80 mph, 1.93, 7.11 60; Among ALL 2024 catchers there isn't one I feel stronger about relative to all-around baseball ability, athleticism, skill, ability to perform both at plate and behind plate. Shows real raw power in BP, able to get off similar swings in games, has consistent timing, with consistent hit approach the power he has will show up more often

2024 Jake Redding, Lincoln - R/R, 79 mph, 2.01, 7.51 60; Most Outstanding Player at BAWS 2023, didn't quite have his best day at tryout but tools consistently show up. Raw arm strength & catch/throw ability are real though exchange/footwork can be more consistent, looked to be 'trying' to get to power in BP, which he has and comes out when he's staying true to a sound hitting approach


California State Games  CA 08/11 Fullerton College
NorCal Uncommitted Games  CA 10/08 Chabot College