Prep Baseball Report

Rising Stars ID: San Diego First Ten

Les Lukach
State Director

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EASTLAKE, CALIF. - After the constant weather that has hit southern California in the last month pushed off an event, the Rising Stars ID tour kicked off in earnest at Eastlake High School. The event drew over 40 players from the 2027 and 2028 classes who came to show they’re deserving to be considered to represent Team California at the Prep Baseball Report Jr. Future Games in LakePoint, GA. 

This July, PBR California will be taking a team to the Jr. Future Games for the first time. This unique event is run in conjunction with, and at the same facility as, the Future Games which last year hosted over 360 college coaches. Adding to the spectacle is the uniqueness of the event being open to uncommitted players only. 

The Rising Stars ID series will serve as the springboard for players looking to be a part of the best event in the country for uncommitted players, and this first event certainly did not disappoint with as many as 20 players having really solid performances in what was the first showcase setting for many of them. 

Players were put through the traditional pro-style workout that included the 60-yard dash, BP, and a defensive workout using Trackman, Swift Technologies, and more to measure every movement. 

In the coming days and weeks we will continue to roll out content, but in this post we’ll break down some early standouts from the Rising Stars ID: San Diego.  

Be sure to follow PBR California on Twitter and Instagram for videos/notes throughout the weeks of the high school season.

(Note: All showcase videos will be added to player profiles in the near future)



Matt Rodriguez SS / OF / Cypress, CA / 2027

Solidly built in a smaller frame, Rodriguez plays much bigger than it would appear. There’s quickness to his game if not speed. Gets to balls easily with a quick first step and makes up for any deficiencies with an accurate arm that flashed 79 mph in the outfield and 74 mph on the infield. On the dirt he funnels balls out front showing proper footwork and under control. Shows fair actions moving to the glove side while the backhand was sound. At the plate it’s a simple and rhythmic swing that plays to a gap-to-gap look with some sneaky pop to the pull side with a max EV of 83.2 mph. Spray chart is consistent with a high average, extra base hit type hitter.  

Ethan Dang SS / 2B / Eastlake, CA / 2027

Quickness is the name to Dang’s game particularly at the plate where the quickness of his hands was on full display. He starts with a wide base, then gets a tick wider after a leg lift trigger, but the hands speed, the hand speed through the zone is next level allowing him to get the barrel from a high hand set up on-plane through its duration in the zone. It was barrel after barrel each of them louder than the previous. In the infield he showed the same type of twichiness that he did at the plate showing fair range with accurate throws at 77 mph. Shows a good first step and attacks the ball gathering out front and wasting little time during the exchange.

Lukas Waite OF / RHP / Patrick Henry, CA / 2027

The top performer from a statistical perspective, Waite allowed the eyes to see what the data showed. Starting with the 7.04 sixty, it continued at the plate where he drove balls to all fields with a quick barrel and simple actions through the swing, then in the outfield where he had an event-high 82 mph arm and every throw reached third and home on the fly. And finally on the mound where he had an event-high 84 mph fastball on his final pitch that was knee high just off center in on a righty. It was as complete a performance as we’ve seen in the Rising Stars ID series. At 5-foot-11 155-pounds with a long lower half it’s easy to dream on the frame and Waite appears to have a strong foundation and limitless potential to go with it.

Kyle Montgomery C / SS / Mt. Carmel, CA / 2027

Left-handed hitting catchers that can do both well at a young age always catch your attention and that’s exactly what Montgomery did for me. It’s a simple process at the plate with slightly above neutral hands that he syncs up well with the lower half in driving through the ball. The result was loud barrels. He showed some favor to the pull side but a middle-middle approach. Defensively he was as impressive, regularly beating the ball to the spot from a quiet setup. Not a lot of wasted movement while working low-to-high. Anticipates location well and reacts quickly and in position when forced to move laterally. Arrives at the ball squared up and in position to block. 

Maximus Villalva SS / 2B / Undetermined, CA / 2028

Only a ‘28, Villalva quite possibly had the best, smoothest, and advanced infield workout session we saw at the event. Stays low to the ground while moving laterally showing more range than a player at 5-foot-2 should be allowed to have. But it’s when he arrives at the ball where he funnels and transitions to the throwing motion in a flash. The hands are as fast as we saw when it comes to getting rid of the ball. Defensively, one could argue Villalva showed the best stuff. At the plate he showed an advanced ability to slow things down in each of his BP rounds entering the box with a plan. Villalva showed the ability to work all fields while making it easy to see his projection both physically and as a player.

Jackson Foster RHP / OF / Mater Dei, CA / 2027

An impressive 6-foot-2 160-pounds, Foster oozes projection in all facets with twitchiness to everything he does. A switch-hitting outfielder, Foster looked more comfortable from the right side where he pounded balls to the left-center-field gap with quick hands and barrel through the zone. Showed signs from the left-side, but work remains to get on the level of the right side where he hit one to the fence in LCF. Uses a bat waggle and slight leg lift trigger to initiate swing, pulls the knob to the ball before releasing the barrel through the zone using his present upper body strength.  Defensively he was quick to-and-through the ball coming up throwing accurately both on the fly and long hoppers. Good first step arriving at the ball under control and ready to quickly release the ball.

Paxton Czubek 3B / RHP / South hills , CA / 2027

Top-to-bottom no player had a louder two rounds of BP than Czubek with a middle-middle spray chart and a max mid-80’s exit velo, it’s easy to dream on Czubek as a future power hitter with an already strong 5-foot-10 175-pound frame. He keeps the hands tight to the frame before exploding the barrel into the ball staying behind the ball consistently finishing with a 70% line-drive percentage. Showed well defensively at third base with sound footwork and quick exchanges and enough arm strength to make all throws. Athleticism really showed when he started very deep on the slow roller timing it perfectly and throwing a dart to first. Showed all the tools defensively in one play.

Ethan Shi 3B / RHP / Torrey Pines, CA / 2027

Shi impressed with his athleticism from the second he stepped in the box showing plus hand speed and a juicy barrel. Shi lets the ball get deep before snapping the barrel through the zone showing some pop to center field. Line drive after line drive over the six hole was the theme of both rounds of BP for Shi. Showed a strong outfield arm at 80 mph with accuracy to both third and home using the long hop when necessary. The arm really works on the mound from a drop-and-drive delivery and a 3/4 arm slot that favors the inner half of the arm side. Lands three pitches for strikes while the slider had the lowest strike percentage. Athletic frame at 5-foot-11 168-pounds.

Braeden Casey OF / RHP / Foothills Christian, CA / 2027

Casey impressed at the dish during his two rounds of BP showing the ability to pull the ball with some present strength. Stays behind the ball from a high hand setup using a slight leg bend trigger and stride showing the ability to get and keep the barrel on plane. Easy swing with loud results. Big arm in the outfield with fair accuracy. Moves well on the grass arriving under control while funneling out front while showing quick exchanges. Hopped on the mound showing the framework to project him on the mound as well. Easy mover on the mound with a quick arm.

Jacob Musicant OF / LHP / Francis Parker, CA / 2027

A left-left outfielder-pitcher, Musicant packs a big punch in his 5-foot-6 122-pound frame. Two pull side line drive filled rounds of BP were convincing enough about his ability to hit moving forward. It’s a simple approach with an upright setup with hands above chest before creating separation and driving into the backside of the ball. The hand speed immediately catches your attention. In the outfield he’s quick to the ball showing athletic actions in his footwork and body control. Gets rid of the ball quickly. On the mound he landed three pitches for strikes. Velocity may or may not come but landing three pitches for strikes will fair him very well in the future.


Rising Stars ID: Inland Empire CA 04/16 Santiago High School
Rising Stars ID: Bay Area CA 04/23 College of San Mateo
SoCal Rising Stars Game CA 05/21 Cerritos College 
CA FUTURE GAMES TRYOUT CA 06/03 Fullerton College
NorCal ProCase CA 06/04 Chabot College - Hayward
SoCal-NV-AZ-ProCase CA 06/04 University of Southern California - Dedeaux Field
NorCal Rising Stars Game CA 06/06 Islanders Field (morning)
Team CA Future Games ID CA 06/06 Islanders Field (afternoon/early evening)
Bay Area State Gamess Open ID CA 06/14 College of San Mateo
OC State Games Open ID CA 07/11 Hart Park