Prep Baseball Report

Riverside Co. Preseason All-State Quick Hits

Les Lukach
State Scouting Director



WILDOMAR, CA. - The Road to the California State Games made its first deep trek into Riverside County with a stop at Elsinore HS where players came to show their fall/winter development as their high school seasons are just a few weeks away. The invitation only event roster was finalized at 53 players who kicked off the inaugural Riverside County Preseason All-State Showcase. 

Players were put through a customary pro-style workout that included a laser-time 60-yard sprint, a round of batting practice, a defensive workout that includes double-play turns for infielders, and concluded with bullpen sessions for pitchers. We purposely did not include games because we didn’t want to put pitchers who aren’t ready to face live hitters in that situation.

Many players were attending their first ever PBR California event giving us a first look at these players in a showcase setting after having seen most with their high school or club teams. In some cases we saw players for the first time with several validating their invitations by leaving a lasting impression and quickly getting added to the spring follow list. 

With so many players at the event we will roll out positional breakdowns in the coming days. Our content will culminate with The Five where we’ll highlight the top five players by position. 

Until then, in this edition of Quick Hits we’ll take a look at some early standouts from the event. 

(Note: Players are listed in no particular order. All showcase videos have been added to player profiles.)

+ 2023 C Eric Aguayo (King HS) - First viewing of Aguayo in a showcase setting after having seen him behind the dish for King in the Palm Desert tourney in December. Aguayo, the 25th ranked player in the Class of 2023 State Rankings, shows poise and technique beyond his years. Sticks the ball well, often beating it to the spot and buying pitchers strikes. Receives with soft hands while getting around the ball easily. Very solid fundamentally with quickness in movements. Blocks with chest consistently pointed at the target. His normally accurate arm was a tick off in this viewing despite registering pop-times in the 1.99-203 range consistently. Registered a 79 mph exit velocity which was a slight uptick from a showcase in September. Shows feel for hitting with hands inside the ball and looking to stay the other way. Bat should continue to improve with added strength. 

+ 2023 SS/RHP Garren Rizzo (Palos Verdes HS) - First thing you notice with Rizzo is the wiry strong frame at 5-foot-11, 155-pounds, that has ample room for continued mass gains. That strength showed itself at the plate where he uses as simple leg lift trigger from an upright stance that has a little bat waggle before driving down into the ball. Favored the right-center field gap while showing his ability to square the ball up consistently. Defensively he Rizzo showed excellent footwork with more quickness than speed in getting to balls. Backhand was true while the hands were quick/clean in exchanges, including the double play turns. Arm strength is fair at 76 mph, but it’s accurate and shows ability to make throws from various angles. 

+ SS/RHP Edward Alfaro (Canyon Springs HS) - Five-foot-8, 155-pounds, wiry strength throughout the frame with squared shoulders and a high waist. Alfaro worked out at shortstop and on the mound. At shortstop Alfaro was one of the smoothest with the glove with fast hands and the natural footwork of a shortstop. Arm plays with an 82 mph velo and accuracy. At the plate he really drives backside into the ball while flashing some present bat speed to generate line drives. Has the look of a guy who’ll hit for high average. On the mound is where Alfaro really jumped out downhill fastball at 84 mph and a hard, tight curveball at 72-73 mph. He starts each at the knees and works down from there with the fastball showing some late action. Alfaro also showed feel for a changeup that is presently more of a slower fastball given the low velo differential despite having some late movement.

+ OF/RHP Jesse Alfaro (Canyon Springs HS) - Five-foot-11, 160-pounds of long, lean, twitchy strength. Very athletic, quicker than fast outfielder that arrives at the ball under control and ready to unleash his big outfield arm. Registered an 88 mph OF velocity with throws that were ropes on the bag/plate. It was one of the two or three best outfield arms in terms of velocity and accuracy. At the plate he showed to favor the middle of the field with the occasional pull side eye opener. Hopped on the mound where he’s a bit raw despite having what would be an effective arsenal on the high school level. Works quick and when thrown with conviction the curveball flashes big potential as it’s tight with late, sharp break. 

+ 2022 OF/RHP Kyle Calzadiaz (Walnut HS) - Six-foot-2, 160-pounds, long limbs, high waist, large hands and feet. There’s guys that project and there are guys that ooze projection. Put Calzadiaz in the latter category. With a frame that should easily add strength as he matures, Calzadiaz put together one of the most impressive overall performances at the showcase. Posted a modest 7.13 laser-timed 60 before jumping into the hitting wheel where he registered an 89 mph exit velo before peppering gaps with line drives. From a simple, upright setup, Calzadiaz uses a slight leg lift trigger before using explosive hands that he times well with a lower half drive to create sneaky power. Drove two balls to the wall during BP. In the outfield he showed athletic actions when attacking balls and funnelling out front. Registered a 90 mph OF velocity which was second best at the event. However, it was on the mound where Calzadiaz really opened eyes. Touching 85 mph with the fastball he worked comfortably at 83-84 pmh with a loose, easy arm that’s short in the back with an out front release point. Fastball showed some late running action while the curveball was sharp with late depth. Feel for the changeup. There are some mechanical things to clean up, but the clay is there. It just needs to be molded. 

+ SS Christian Miranda (Notre Dame HS) - The 47th ranked player in the Class of 2022 State Rankings, Miranda continues to show high end defensive skills that will make him a highly sought after prospect in due time. The footwork and glove/hands combination are on point with any shortstop in his class and his left-handed bat is beginning to show more consistency. There’s sneaky power that comes from a high leg kick trigger shifting all his weight back before driving off backside and thrusting barrel through the zone. Favors the opposite field while being able to drive the ball into the pull side gap. 

+ 2022 OF/RHP Bryan Martinez (Paloma Valley HS) - In my first viewing of Marinez since the summer the first thing that stood out was just how physical he looks in uniform. After posting a 7.22 laser-timed 60, Martinez showed why he is locked in on a big time sophomore season. Showed more consistent power at the plate where he drove several balls to the wall of three different parts of the field. Uses a simple setup with a slight leg lift. Hands rock back before driving the barrel through the zone. Barrel stays in zone and on plane for a long time. Gets extended through to a balanced finish. In the outfield his athleticism really plays up and is paired with his big arm (84 mph) that showed pinpoint accuracy. 

+ 2022 RHP/OF Cole Clark (Notre Dame HS) - Five-foot-11, 170-pounds, lean, wiry strong frame with plenty of room for development. Clark showed well in the outfield where his footwork and exchanges were clean and his arm (86 mph) was accurate to the bag/plate. Funnels balls out front while arriving under control and ready to throw. Showed feel for hitting during BP where he sprayed to all fields showing to favor the opposite field gap. It’s on the mound where Clark stood out showing at least average command of two pitches with feel for a third. Shows a loose, compact and repeatable arm through to a high 3/4 slot and an out front release point. Fastball shows late action at the plate that he keeps down in the zone. The fastball (T 85 mph) plays way up thanks to his changeup (77-79 mph) that flashes hard, downward sinking run to the arm side. Clark’s curveball at 69-71 mph can be loose and out of the zone at times, but should be a nice compliment for the other two pitches this spring.

+ 2023 OF Christian Grino (Damien HS) - Six-foot-1, 178-pounds. Long, lean, strong frame with length in limbs and a higher waist. The freshman outfielder started his day off with a 7.27 laser-timed 60 before showing off the hit tool during the hitting wheel. Starts from a simple, upright setup before rocking weight onto back leg and driving into the ball. Showed present bat speed while consistently squaring balls up. Showed the ability to go the other way with some power. Hands are fast through the zone and barrel on plane. In the outfield he showed athletic movements with a strong (78 mph), accurate arm. Fundamentals were consistent in the outfield and at first base where he’s a very athletic position player. Arm strength plays up there. 

+ 2023 OF/RHP Owen Egan (Yucaipa HS) - The #3 player in the Class of 2023 State Rankings, Egan is no stranger to us after having participated in the 2019 California State Games last summer and our other viewings of him throughout the fall. The top ranked outfielder in his class continues to show that he has that ranking locked down with his huge arm (91 mph) and his athleticism at the position. He’s also beginning to separate himself as one of the top hitters in the class with his combination of raw power, in-game power, and commitment to his plan. On the mound he showed improvement with his changeup command while seeing a velo uptick to 72-73 mph with the pitch. He was able to start the pitch middle and paint-the-black on the inner half with it, something we hadn’t seen consistently in the past. Fastball is heavy and bores in on hitters. Egan’s curveball command was a tick off, which we’ll chalk up to the time of year since we’ve seen it very good. 

+ 2021 SS Will Potter (Great Oak HS) - Six-foot-1, 180-pounds, long, lean, wiry frame with proportional strength and room to grow. Immediately got our attention after running a 7.02 laser-timed 60 to open the event. The #143 player in the Class of 2021 State Rankings, Potter registered an 88 mph exit velocity before taking to live BP where he showed the development of power that we hadn’t seen from him before. Drove several balls to the left-center and center field wall. Uses an open setup with a toe-tap trigger. Gets hips through easily allowing for the barrel to get and stay on plane through the zone. His defense has also seen an uptick in overall athleticism as he appears quicker with better body control. Arm is able to make throws from various angles with accuracy. A consistent spring that should see him get plenty of work at shortstop will vault Potter up recruiting boards. 

+ 2022 C/RHP Max Aude (Notre Dame HS) At 6-foot-3, 185-pounds Aude looks like a different player from the one that attended the IE Future Games Trials last summer. He appears slimmer yet stronger and that physical refinement is showing in his swing at the plate where he appears looser and freer in the lower half allowing him to get the barrel through the zone quicker and more consistently from the left side. Showed hints of his potential raw power to the pull side with a consistent middle approach. Catch and throw has also improved as he appears quicker in his lateral movements and recoveries. Presents a quiet glove out front without a lot of body movement. Hopped on the mound where his stuff is raw but projectable with a loose, compact arm. Fastball is clean and tight without much movement. Flashed command of the pitch while working in-and-out with it. Maintains the same high 3/4 slot on all pitches which makes his changeup play up as it comes from the same tunnel and out front release point as the other pitches. Curveball was sharp with late depth when thrown with conviction. 

+ 2021 OF/RHP Lucas Marrujo (Bonita Vista HS) - We are not unfamiliar with Marrujo who attended the 2019 California State Games, but his recent physical conditioning made us take a second look. The junior OF/RHP has added strength to his 6-foot, 175-pound frame that would indicate there’s even more gains coming in the future while the present gains have had a positive impact in his game. On the mound he appeared looser and more rhythmic with more consistent fastball velocity (83-84 mph) than in the past. The arm is clean and loose from his full circle through to the high 3/4 release point. While the strength gains are great, it’s the increased command and confidence he showed on the mound that really stood out. Curveball was as good as we’ve seen in both shape and command. Same goes for the changeup. Athleticism plays up in the outfield where his footwork and body control are above average. Arm is strong (87 mph) with renewed accuracy. Continues to show he can hit now with added juice to his line drives. 

+ 2022 C Jake Bold (La Jolla Country Day School) - At 5-foot-11, 195-pounds Bold has the prototypical catchers build with a very strong, sturdy lower half and strong chest and shoulders. After running a 7.27 laser-timed 60, Bold showed his abundance of raw power at the plate where he’s short to the ball and extended through it. Went off the wall twice from his simple setup/approach. Behind the plate he showed quick feet with clean exchanges. During bullpen sessions his athleticism was evident when sliding to his right or dropping to block. The effort was evident from first pitch to his last. Final note I have written: Baseball Player. 

+ 2020 OF/RHP Corbin Ellis (El Dorado HS) - At first sight of Ellis you can’t help but project what the 6-foot-4, 205-pound frame is going to look like when he’s done growing. The #98 ranked player in the Class of 2020 State Rankings, Ellis has the look of a future power pitcher who is athletic enough to play in the outfield where the arm (86 mph) and athleticism play. The power plays at the plate, albeit in flashes. Ellis played football in high school giving his arm a rest through the fall seasons the last few years meaning there’s potential for more velo (T 88 mph) in the spring after more focus on the craft. A 4.30 GPA (1370 SAT) student, Ellis should be a highly desirable arm come the spring given his overall athleticism and just how fresh his arm is. The arm is loose and compact in the back through to a high 3/4 slot through release on a  downhill plane. Fastball shows some cut action to it while the slider flashes sharp sweeping action. Curveball has the makings of a power pitch in the future with its sharp late depth. 

+ 2020 OF Nate Mills (Carlsbad HS) - Six-foot-1, 188-pounds, physically strong frame with room for more gains. Athletic outfielder that opened with a 6.98 laser-timed 60 showing an athletic running stride. Registered a 95 mph exit velo before showing his huge raw power during live BP where he hit three balls out and drove a couple more to the wall. The swing is simple and powerful through to extension and into a balanced finish. Maintains barrel on plane through the entirety of the zone and uses upper and lower body in sync throughout. Mills showed athletic actions in the outfield where his arm (87 mph) was strong and accurate on throws with several flashing carry. Showed excellent body control while charging balls arriving in proper position while funnelling balls out front. Playing on what should be a very good Carlsbad HS team should give Mills ample opportunity to show his wares in front of college recruiters looking for a powerful and athletic outfielder. 

+ 2023 SS Noah Rodriguez (Orange Lutheran HS) - We last had Rodriguez at a PBR event last summer when he played in the California State Games. Man, what a difference 5 months and football season spent in the weight room can make. Rodriguez plays like a player much larger than his listed 5-foot-6, 135-pounds, particularly at the plate where he showed off another wrinkle - switch hitting. He’s always been athletic - ran a 6.92 laser-timed 60 - and is now demonstrating greater capacity at the plate making him an exciting player to follow. If you were there, or if you watch his video, you might say he was better from the left side than the right which is saying something given he’s a natural righty and has been switch hitting privately for less than year. The setup is simple with a short leg stride trigger. Starts more closed from the left side allowing his fast hands to whip the barrel through the zone more freely with his newly developed strength. Louder from the left side. Showcased well in the outfield where the arm strength (78 mph) is improved and his actions are coordinated. However, shortstop is a position where he profiles very well, particularly if the left-handed bat continues to develop. Very instinctive defender with soft hands, quick/clean exchanges and accurate throws from various angles. 


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