Scout Ball Notes: 9/9/18

Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

The scout ball season is underway meaning there are about a half dozen locations to choose on a Sunday for games. Some organizations carry one large roster while others split their teams into two squads. On Sunday I headed out to Azusa Pacific University as the Rangers and Red Sox squared off in a week 2 doubleheader at the Cougar Baseball Complex on a warm, sunny late morning that quickly turned into afternoon.

I'm a huge fan of scout ball season in SoCal because it allows us to get eyes on guys from a rather large area in one place for a Sunday doubleheader. Pitchers generally throw two innings of five-hitters or 3 outs. Hitters will usually get a few at-bats and play several innings of defense at a couple positions if applicable.

Let's get into it...


2019 MIF Emilio Luna of Castle Park HS shows natural instincts on the bases where his base running was the highlight of one inning after he stole 2nd and 3rd base on back-to-back pitches off a lefty. Showed an average to above average arm from centerfield during pregame. Strong, durable frame. Shows above average range in the infield where his arm is strong and able to make throws from multiple angles.....2019 INF Nick Mistone of Bonita HS shows present bat-to-ball skills with present power and excellent barrel control. Squared up a fastball on the outer half and drove it to right center field for an easy knock in game where he was 5.07 with a turn. Instinctive defender who likely profiles at second base with above average hands and fair range. Arm works well there.....2021 OF Tyler White of Bishop Amat HS shows a very high ceiling at the plate where his pitch recognition and ability to pick up spin is advanced for a rising sophomore. Took mature at-bats and didn't go fishing when the pitcher was nibbling. Has quick hands through the zone while bat speed is presently average which should improve with continued physical maturation. In the outfield he showed fair range with an average, accurate arm during pregame.....2019 C Sammy Lopez of San Ysidro HS definitely looks the part of a next level catcher. Has some physicality to his build with room to add more. Quiet receiver with soft hands. Frames well without giving away pitches. Sets up low in a deep crouch and shows athleticism in his actions. Arm is quick-to-fast and popped consistently 1.99-2.04 on between inning throw downs. Bat speed is average. Shows good feel for hitting - presently for average hitter who may run into one. Power could develop with maturation.....2020 SS Tank Espalin continues to show the comfort at the plate that made him a PAC 12 commit his freshman season. While he may not have a ton of hits to show for it, there's a noticeable difference to his demeanor in the batters box now compared to last spring. Had a nine-pitch at-bat showing his patience and ability to spoil pitches. Defense continues to be steady......2019 MIF Max Power of Torrey Pines HS shows an intriguing mix of tools. Defensively he's not flashy yet steady and consistent and with the bat he shows fast hands through the zone with feel for the barrel. Maintains barrel plane throughout swing. Shows a knack for hitting. Squared up a fastball into center field for stand-up double....2019 INF/RHP Trevor Hinkel of Chaparral HS showed well both at the plate and on the mound (more on that below). Shows feel for the barrel and the ability to drive balls. Quick hands through the zone and keeps the barrel on plane with a direct-to-ball hack. Average runner with instincts there.


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