Scout Days: Orange Lutheran


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

ORANGE, CA - Last night I headed over to Hart Park in Orange for the third annual Orange Lutheran Baseball Scout Day. There were about a dozen schools and more than a handful of MLB clubs represented at the event. And while the dinner for scouts was a nice touch, there was plenty to see on the field to keep everyone's attention.

One of the most impressive things I've found to be the case in my 10 years around the Trinity League is not the obvious talent, but the talent level of the backups. Watching last night, that certainly is the case at Orange Lutheran where each class has a handful of guys that those in baseball circles will soon know lots about.

I was lucky enough to be given all-access to the field for the entirety of the event getting a close-up look at the participants on the rosters. There's something about being on the field as it allows you to see players interact with one another as well as the coaching staff. It also allows for insight into individual players and who the team leaders are, both verbal and non-verbal.

Like many teams in the Trinity League, Orange Lutheran is chalk-full with talent. And with the guantlet that is that league, it will be interesting to see where many of the players we saw last night fit into the winning equation. Let's take a closer look at some standouts from the Orange Lutheran Scout Day event. 

2020 OF/RHP Elijah Buries continues to impress with the way he plays and carries himself on the field. Came out of the gates hot by running 7.02 and 6.94 in the 60 yard dash and rolled that momentum into BP and the game. Buries looks like he's added some strength to his frame since our spring viewings. Buries continues to flash present bat speed and barrel control and as his timing at the plate continues to improve he has a chance to be a dangerous hitter for the Lancers. His in-game baserunning instincts are off the chart as he showed on a base hit to left center. He rounded first base wide and took second on the throw where he took a sharp turn and when the ball skirted away from the catcher he hustled into third never losing sight of the ball and beating the throw. It was pretty fun to watch.

2021 1B/RHP Ethan Collins had an impressive round of batting practice where he sprayed balls to the right side and drove them on a line from center-to-left. There's power in the frame at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds and projection in his overall game. Once the body catches up there's potentially over-the-fence power - maybe not at night at Hart Park, but elsewhere. Showed good patience at the plate in drawing an in-game walk. Next at-bat he smoked a ball in left-center-field for a base hit.

2022 LHP/1B Gabriel Miranda is a name many college recruiters and pro scouts alike will be familiar with in due time. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman took batting practice like a seasoned veteran before putting together some very, very good at-bats in-game. With strength throughout the body, Miranda flashed easy present pull side power while also going the other way on a line as well. On the mound Miranda showed a loose arm that is quick through the zone to a balanced out-front finish. Nothing straight out of his hand makes for uncomfortable at-bats for hitters. Throws a heavy ball.

 

2019 OF Luke Tillit is an uncommitted outfielder that should have an opportunity to play beyond high school on some level. Posted a 6.83 and 6.87 in the 60 yard dash to open the event before putting together a solid BP round showing his ability to go the other way on a line. Not a total slap hitter, but seemed to favor the left side in-game as well allowing him to maximize his speed around the bag at first. Does a nice job of driving the back hip through the ball and using his strong hands to keep the barrel on the ball through to extension.

2019 RHP/INF Josiah Castillo was intriguing on the mound where he worked 84-86 with a fastball that shows late running action along with a 72-75 changeup that flashed fading action. The arm action is full, clean and repeatable from a high-¾ slot. The setup and delivery are athletic and rhythmic. Castillo also ran a 6.94 60 yard dash and put together a couple good in-game at-bats.

2022 LHP Jaxton Andeel showed a loose, easy arm from a consistent slot and compact path. There's little-to-no effort in the arm with movement on movement on his pitches. His fastball shows late, hard downer action to the glove side while his curveball shows late with sinking action and more sweeping movement. Andeel shows feel for a change up that flashed fading action away from righties, a pitch that when on shows lots of promise.

2022 C/RHP Karson Bowen has a chance to be the next special one for the Lancers. The freshman catcher ran a respectable 7.26 60 yard dash before a very loud round of batting practice. Bowen has present pull side power with the ability to go gap-to-gap with line drives. He's short to the ball and long through it and shows advanced feel for the barrel with explosive hands through the hitting zone with a middle-middle approach. Behind the plate he was equally impressive with the way he controlled the run game with sub 2.00 pops all night. Registered a 1.98 on a caught stealing where the runner had an excellent jump and clocked 3.23 to second. The throw was money. Bowen, who was up to 86 mph at SoCal Underclass Trials, did not pitch on the night but shows feel four pitches including a potentially devastating knuckleball.

2019 1B/OF Garrett Frechette was unquestionably the reason why pro scouts were in attendance. The recent transfer was swinging a bat live for the first time in a month. The San Diego State commit didn't disappoint showing off his easy power particularly to the pull side where he peppered the wall in right-center-field a couple times, no easy feat on a cool evening at Hart Park. The lefty shows a smooth load back and through the ball from a balanced and athletic setup. Maintains his barrel on plane in the hitting zone for a long time. His hands are fast and strong through the ball into extension. Frechette did not play in the showcase game that followed the workout.

 

OTHER NOTABLES:

2020 RHP Christian Rodriguez started things off and showed his usual live arm this time touching 90 with his first pitch before settling down to his customary 86-88 mph range. Wasn't his sharpest outing with the fastball but his curveball was on point his entire outing. It's sharp with very good depth and late breaking action induced one weak groundout and one foul ball, it was otherwise unhittable...I continue to really like what I see from 2020 SS Tank Espalin who is coming off a hot summer/fall season and has sky-high confidence on the diamond right now. He was more vocal than I'd seen him before and took charge of his dugout. The Southern California commit clocked a 7.03 60 yard dash and put together a couple of nice in-game at-bats....2022 RHP/C Matthew Little shows a live arm on the mound with fairly good command of a fastball that bores in on righties and changeup that fades away from them. Throws both for strikes presently. Showed a very strong understanding of hitting at the plate when put together a very good at-bat after being aggressive and falling behind early. Eventually grounded out, but it was a QAB...2019 OF Caden Connor is a really, really good ballplayer who doesn't do anything perfect, but does a heck of a lot of things very well. Take the defense. He shows great ability to track balls in Hart Park's spacious outfield. Once he gets to the balls he has an in-game arm that is as good as anyone's. And he hits lasers to every part of the park and knows how to run the bases. It's only a matter of time for this young man...2021 RHP Lucas Pantel oozes projection with his long limbed, wiry 6-foot-2, 145-pound frame. His large feet would indicate more growth. Pantel shows a very loose arm that is clean and compact. Generates excellent downhill plane on both fastball and his tight breaking ball...2022 1B Dylan Alvarez is one of the sharpest defensive first basemen I've seen in a long time. He's nimble around the bag and his footwork is incredibly efficient. Shows good feel for the barrel in-game and at no point looked overmatched....2019 RHP/1B Blake Janowicz showed well on the mound in-game after a solid round of BP during the workout where he showed some pull side pop. On the mound he was 85-86 with his fastball that flashed late life at time. His curveball is a high spin, late breaker that he shows feel for. There's a lot to like projection-wise from the 6-foot-5, 205-pound uncommitted senior.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Senior Games (Invite Only) CA 11/10 JSerra High School
Central Valley Preseason I.D. CA 01/13 Fresno City College - John Euless Ballpark

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