SoCal ProCase: Quick Hits


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIF. - The Third Annual SoCal ProCase took place last weekend at beautiful St. Pierre Field on the campus of JSerra High School. The event annually draws many of the region's top players for an exclusive and intimate event in which they workout and play a scout ball style game where pitchers face five live hitters. This iteration featured players in the class of 2022

Position players are put through the traditional pro-style workout while getting extended reps and at multiple positions. Starting with laser-timed sixties then into a batting practice session that consisted of two-rounds, players are provided an extended opportunity to showcase their baseball tools to the professional scouts and PBR California staff alike. 

With that opportunity came some standout performances at the event. This edition of Quick Hits will take a look at eight - four hitters and four pitchers - of them as we kick off our coverage of the SoCal ProCase. In the coming days and weeks we will break down the performances via Blast Motion, Trackman, and of course the ProCase Player Spotlights where we’ll do deep dives into the players.

Until then we will take a look at some early standouts from the SoCal ProCase in this Quick Hits

THE HITTERS

Austin Overn OF / Foothill, CA / 2022

No player had a bigger coming out party at the SoCal ProCase than outfielder Austin Overn of Foothill HS. While his athleticism and talents have long been known to us at PBR California, for many of the pro scouts in attendance this was their first opportunity to see Overn’s tools upfront. Started the day running a blistering laser-time 6.17 60-yard dash. He decided to run it a second time and was 6.27 proving the first time was no fluke. It’s elite speed that comes effortlessly to the USC commit. At the plate the setup is not traditional and has some quirkiness to it, but it allows Overn to be in perfect hitting position when the barrel is over the plate at contact. With peak hand speed of 22.0 mph and plenty of strength, Overn is able to turn on pitches on the inner half like he did in game when he pulled a 91 mph fastball in and shot it right field for a base hit. Made a play on a ball in the outfield that saw him sprint a good 30 yards and make a potentially difficult play look easy.

Christopher Paciolla SS / OF / Temecula Valley, CA / 2022

Shortstop/outfielder Chris Paciolla of Temecula Valley HS was a player I was very excited about having at the ProCase and one who delivered on the burden of expectation. It was a day of barrels for Paciolla as he squared everything up during BP and the game portion of the event. Showed an uncanny ability to change barrel planes during his swing to adjust to pitches. Shows quick hands - 21.2 mph peak hand speed per Blast Motion - with easy, firm contact to all fields that favors gap-to-gap with easy present power. Future over-the-fence power is likely as the 6-foot-2 185-pound frame continues to develop. Peak exit velocity of 98 mph. Balance and athleticism stand out in the box and defensively where he moves smoothly on the infield and showed the ability to play in the outfield.

Andrew Pyle C / OF / La Mirada , CA / 2022

Catcher Andrew Pyle of La Mirada HS continues to impress in the early goings this summer. After seeing him a few weeks ago at a workout where he was one of the best catchers at the event, we hoped we’d get the same and we did. His 6-foot-1 205-pound frame has leaned out with more pronounced musculature. While his defense has long been his calling card it was the bat that impressed at the ProCase. His BP was among the best with consistent line drives that averaged 91 mph off the bat favoring left-center-field. In game he smoked a base hit into the same gap before flashing some instincts on the bases and stealing second base. Also drew a walk in a later at-bat. All-in-all it was a very strong showing for the Long Beach State commit.

Mikey Romero SS / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2022

Shortstop Mikey Romero of Orange Lutheran HS had a very good second half of the season this spring after the sit out period and carried that into the SoCal ProCase where his performance - particularly his much improved footspeed - stood out every time he was watched. He showed a relaxed, controlled aggression approach that was balanced from start to finish. He’s short-to-long with present gap-to-gap strength with a heavy barrel. At 6-foot, 175-pounds the frame will easily add strength making the glimpses of pull side power that much more intriguing. Defensively his workout was clean and almost flawless. That same style carried over into the game and while there weren’t many opportunities for plays, his positioning was on point throughout the game. 

THE PITCHERS

Ben Jacobs LHP / OF / Huntington Beach, CA / 2022

We’ll start with the end, LHP Ben Jacobs of Huntington Beach HS was the last pitcher to throw and he was worth the wait. The southpaw was dominant in his outing striking out all five batters he faced in impressive fashion. He got swing-and-miss from a fastball at 88-90 that plays way up thanks to his command and his curveball. He pitched with excellent rhythm/timing and showed. He commanded the fastball to all quadrants and used it very well to set hitters up for his breaking ball which varies in shape. At times it’s a true 12-6 curveball while he can spin it up there with more slurvey movement as well. With clean mechanics and a repeatable delivery that comes from a high 3/4 slot, combined with stuff and his command of that stuff, Jacobs will be well positioned as one of the premier lefties in SoCal next year. 


Chase Hoover LHP / San Marcos, CA / 2022

Left-handed pitcher Chase Hoover of San Marcos HS made the long drive from Santa Barbara and made the drive well worth it. First thing that stands out on the mound is the confidence with which he attacks hitters trusting his ability to execute all of his pitches. Worked 88-90 mph with the fastball that flashed arm side run with late life. Flashed a changeup at 79 mph that profiles well as a future out pitch with it’s late diving action. Showed feel for near lateral slider and a true top-to-bottom curveball. For Hoover the name of the game is movement as most of his pitches flash average-to-above movement metrics with average spin rates.


Tyler Bremner RHP / Scripps Ranch, CA / 2022

Right-handed pitcher Tyler Bremner of Scripps Ranch HS came in as one of the least known pitchers and left as a name everyone will remember moving forward. With a three-pitch mix that oozes upside and flashes present brilliance at times, the 6-foot-3 160-pound Bremner has as much physical upside as he does as a pitcher. Working 89-91 mph with the fastball throughout his outing, Bremner attacked hitters to all quadrants of the zone while keeping them off balance with a sharp, tilting slider and fee for a fading changeup. The fastball had an average spin of 2288 RPM with 16.5” of induced vertical movement. There’s confidence in his approach and the mechanics are clean/repeatable. 


Xavier Cardenas III RHP / Servite, CA / 2022

Right-hander Xavier Cardenas of Servite HS is a guy we saw several times this spring and one who continues to light up the radar guy while developing his command on the mound. Touching 94 with the fastball, the San Diego State commit sat comfortably at 91-93 with some cut on the fastball and premium spin (2700+ RPM) metrics. At 6-foot-6 there’s plenty of downhill momentum and extension created making 94 look a lot faster as it gets on hitters in a hurry. Cardenas shows some aptitude for his secondary pitches and while the command was spotty, the foundation is there for what could be two above average pitches in the curveball (74-75 mph) and changeup (75-77 mph) both of which show average spin with slightly above average movement metrics.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
State Games ID - Northern CA CA 06/22 Islanders Field
Top Prospects ID CA 07/07 Hart Park
Rising Stars Games ID CA 07/13 Hart Park
Rising Stars Games ID - NorCal CA 07/14 Islanders Field
California State Games (INVITE ONLY) CA 07/16 Islanders Field
2021 PBR Future Games (California Invite) CA 07/28 LakePoint Sports
PBR Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/28 LakePoint Sports
PBR West Coast Games (California Invite) CA 08/13 UNLV & College of Southern Nevada
Northern California Academic Games CA 10/09 Islanders Field


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