SoCal Underclass Games: Team 1 Analysis


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

The inaugural SoCal Underclass Games took place on Saturday, August 18th at Dedeaux Field home of the USC Trojans. The Underclass Games were a culmination of our Underclass Trials Series which attracted over 200 players all vying for an invitation to the Underclass Games.

The day featured a workout in the morning for position players where they went through our hitting wheel, took on-field BP, before finishing up with a defensive workout. Players were split into four team with two sim games following the morning workout. Teams consisted of players in the 2020-2022 classes.

Of the 80 players that participated in the games, close to 40 can be found in our state rankings for their respective classes. With the majority of the players uncommitted, there was plenty of talent for the over one dozen college coaches in attendance to scout and evaluate as players head into their fall/winter conditioning workouts and games.

In this edition we take a look at the players on Team 1 through the eyes of our team of evaluators.

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NOTE: The reports on players from Team 1 are listed in no particular order. Be sure to click on player profile for individual statistics and video. 

Pitchers

Chris Aldrich OF / RHP / Notre Dame, CA / 2020

Six-foot-1, 185-pounds, physical frame with broad shoulders, barreled chest, and athleticism throughout. Aldrich shows true two-way potential at the high school level with projection on the mound at the collegiate level. Aldrich pounds the zone with a slider that he burry's down-and-in on lefties. It's a power-slider, if you will. Throws a heavy fastball that shows life in the zone. There's feel for the change-up from the rising junior as well. The arm is quick and has life. Delivery is clean and repeatable. For good measure, Aldrich also hit in the event. Well, he was plunked twice in his first two AB's, but he showed enough in his other AB's and his BP round with a gap approach and combination of present strength and bat speed. Bat is whippy. It looks hitterish. Aldrich shows barrel awareness and maintains his hands and swing path in good launch position. Aldrich also played the outfield where he shows range and arm strength along with good instincts and a quick first step.

Aaron Cazares RHP / 1B / Roosevelt, CA / 2022

Five-foot-9, 170-pound, medium frame with a thick lower half. Long arms, short, stocky torso. The rising freshman shows a high ¾ slot with present average arm speed. Cazares has a tendency to fly open before dragging the arm through the delivery and into extension. Fastball is straight while Cazares is able to spot it fairly well. Curveball has a 10/4 shape with gradual tumbling action. The effort is regular and the arm speed is fairly consistent on most pitches.

Matt Souza C / RHP / Christian, CA / 2020

Five-foot-10, 175-pounds, medium frame with proportional strength throughout. Souza pitched and caught in the Underclass Games. On the mound Souza shows the ability to throw strikes with a combination of fastball, curveball, and changeup. Shows run on his hard fastball. Rhythm can get rushed with a quick, loose arm. The arm works and when his timing in his delivery. Struck out two and gave up two doubles on curveballs over the plate. At the plate his rhythm is quick but he shows smoothness from a balanced setup. Shows a middle approach and stays behind the ball well. Gets extension through the zone from a noticeably crouched stance.

Hayden Cody RHP / Mission Viejo, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 180-pounds, physical frame with developing strength throughout. Squared shoulders with strength through the chest and down through the limbs. Lower half has present noticeable strength. Cody continues to develop into a frontline ace with this three-pitch mix in which all pitches are present average to better. The arm is quick and loose with regular effort which he keeps late through a full path in the back. Hides the ball well; keeps hitters off balance. Lands inline in an athletic position; keeps shoulders level through entire process. Fastball shows life to the arm side which is heavy when he keeps it down in the zone which occured consistently in this outing. Commands it to all quadrants of the strike zone. Curveball shows plus pitch potential showing late break with 11/5 shape. Cody faced six hitters, struck out one looking, F7, 1B (RF off FB), F8, 1B (CF off FB), F8.

Cristian Enriquez LHP / 1B / Summit , CA / 2020

Six-foot, 205-pounds, large frame with some strength in the lower half while upper half is still developing. Enriquez shows a quick arm that is loose with repeatable mechanics. He's compact in the back before delivering from a low ¾ slot. He shows excellent tempo with a smooth rhythm, some athleticism and easy effort. His fastball shows some run and late life entering the zone. Curveball is sharp with 2/8 shape. Enriquez throws both pitches for strikes although his command was inconsistent at times with the fastball. At the plate Enriquez shows big power projection after a loud round of BP that saw him drive balls with ease into the gaps from a balanced setup and very quick hands. Shows the ability to get and keep the barrel on path into the hitting zone for a long time while hitting balls to all fields with strength. Working out at 1B he showed a fluid arm with soft hands and fluid footwork.

Brian Uribe RHP / 3B / Adolfo Camarillo , CA / 2021

Six-foot, 175-pounds, medium/large frame that has present strength throughout with room to add more. Uribe's arm is fast, loose and compact in the back with regular effort while staying relatively tall with the back leg. Lands square before falling off to the first bag side after release. Arm is explosive. Uribe was one of the statistical standouts on the mound touching 88 mph with the fastball. The pitch flashes cut action which he commands to both sides of the plate. Ball jumps out of his hands and gets on hitters in a hurry. Curveball is sharp with late break and 11/5 shape from a high ¾ arm slot. Uribe maintains arm speed with both pitches along with command and ability to throw strikes with both. Very projectable RHP who also plays third base but did not do so in this event.

Brandon Clark LHP / 1B / Troy , CA / 2021

Six-foot-2, large, long frame with a high waist, long limbs and large feet. Present strength in squared shoulders down into chest and through forearms. Clark has a quick, loose and easy arm. Shows good balance with easy effort. Lands cross-body at time affecting his timing. Fastball shows late sink with occasional armside run with late action. Curveball shows 1/7 shape with late, sharp breaking action when thrown with conviction. Clark works quick and generates downhill plane with good balance and easy effort. Clark faced five batters: K, F6,4-3, 1B, 5-4 (FC).

Owen Hackman RHP / OF / Notre Dame , CA / 2020

Six-foot, 160-pound, long, lean frame with wiry strength. High waist with long legs and arms. Arm is loose and whippy with quick, easy effort from a ¾ delivery. Hackman opened eyes with his running fastball and ability to spot it to all quadrants of the strike zone. Pitch has life coming out of his hand and continues through the hitting zone making his 85 mph fastball play way up. Curveball shows late diving action away from righties at 72-74 mph. Hackman shows the ability to throw both pitches with same arm speed and from same ¾ arm slot. He's also able to throw both pitches for strikes will dotting his spots with consistency.

CATCHERS

Blake Penso C / 3B / Huntington Beach, CA / 2021

Six-foot-2, 190-pounds, large frame with broad shoulders and strength from top down. Frame has ability to add more strength/size without affecting current skill set. At the plate Penso shows an upright, balanced setup with strength through the hitting zone. Gets and keeps his barrel on plane consistently and for a long time. Hands are quick and he shows control for the barrel on a slightly uphill path. Uses lower half very well and leverages his present strength well. At catcher his throws show in-game accuracy with some carry. Shows soft hands when receiving, footwork is average. Blocks and recovers well showing some nimbleness behind the plate.


Carter Kay C / OF / Villa Park, CA / 2020

Five-foot-11, 170-pounds. Long, lean frame with long limbs and a high waist and large feet. Big hands and strength through forearms. Present strength in thighs. Behind the plate he shows a quiet setup with soft hands playing on the balls of his feet. Exchanges are clean and quick. Arm is compact in the back with accuracy on throws. Kay stays in line with his feet with athletic actions behind the plate. The rising junior has shown marked improvement with the bat where he has a short, simple load and good balance throughout his swing with a middle approach. Path is short with extension through it. Took three great at-bats in-game barrelling all of them up resulting in an F8, line drive single to left-center field, and a line drive single to center field before taking second on the throw.

INFIELDERS

Braham Duncan 1B / RHP / Newport Harbor, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 172-pound, medium frame with wiry strength, squared shoulders and proportional body structure. At first base Duncan has fluid footwork with average hands. Understands angles and shows good reads on hops. Arm shows life across the diamond. At the plate, Duncan stays through the ball well with a gap-to-gap/middle approach. Stays back on his load with a balanced setup. Flashes some power potential. Recognizes spin well and puts strong in-game swings on fastballs.


Devin Martinez 3B / 2B / Citrus Valley, CA / 2021

Five-foot-8, 155-pounds, medium frame with present strength, narrow yet squared shoulders with a barrel chest and strength through the midsection and into the lower half. At the plate Martinez has a compact, short stroke with a middle approach. Shows control of the barrel and the ability to keep on path throughout the swing. Has some bat speed that really projects to be above average with added strength. Defensively Martinez shows fluid footwork and range with soft hands and an excellent backhand. Exchanges are clean and arm shows ability to make throws from all angle from a low ¾ slot.


Blake Butcher 3B / RHP / Corona Del Mar , CA / 2021

Five-foot-10, 165-pounds, medium frame with proportional strength throughout, particularly in the lower half and through his shoulders. Butcher shows soft hands while funneling the ball into his glove. Footwork is average but has range to both sides. Backhand is clean and consistent. Butcher looks like a prototypical third baseman which is what he played in the spring at Corona del Mar and at the event. A left-handed hitter, Butcher shows present pull side power from a gap-to-gap approach. Hacks are healthy from a simple load with a leg kick trigger. Stays through the ball well. Is compact to it and gets extended through it. Power really shows at the plate. Uses lower half very well in swing while staying balanced throughout. Butcher was one of the more intriguing hitters at the event.


Devan Ornelas SS / 2B / Notre Dame, CA / 2020

TCU Commit. Five-foot-11, 165-pounds, medium frame that is strong top-to-bottom. Chest is barrelled and lower half has visible strength. Defensively Ornelas shows an excellent first step with plus range to either side. His hands are soft while his exchanges are quick and clean. Backhand is soft and true. Rangy athlete that stays low on balls while bending at the hips. Arm strength is evident from his high ¾ slot. Charges balls well with excellent body control. At the plate Ornelas shows a short, compact stroke that he extends through the swing after contact. Catches the ball deep and will go the other way, usually on a rope. Hands are fast and his power projects well. Squares everything up from a balanced setup with an easy/simple load. Ornelas finished with the only home run of the game over the right-center field wall as well as an RBI single to center field. Ornelas also played in the outfield.


Christian Yogi SS / C / Millikan, CA / 2020

Five-foot-9, 160-pound, small frame with present strength throughout his frame. Lower half is very strong and defined. Shoulders are slightly sloped with strength down through arms. Yogi shows excellent fast-to-slow footwork and range in the infield with plenty of present arm strength to make throws from all angles with accuracy. Hands are soft with fast, clean exchanges. Yogi also caught in the workout portion of the showcase showing good footwork and athleticism with a loose arm behind the plate. At the plate Yogi shows a consistent gap-to-gap approach from a balanced setup and a smooth leg kick. Gets his lower half into his swing very well. Good feel for hitting; goes with pitches and stays within himself at the plate. Ready to hit when he steps in the box.


Nick Rocha SS / C / Eastlake , CA / 2021

Five-foot-9, 140-pounds, long, lean frame with strength in the lower half. Long limbs and squared shoulders. Appears thicker compared to when we saw him at the Underclass Trials a couple months ago. Rocha is short/quick to the ball and long through it getting full extension post contact. Consistent middle-right approach could be due to lack of physical strength at present time. Shows flashes of future potential with the bat. Hands are fast and shows feel for the barrel. Defensively Rocha shows excellent footwork with soft hands and the ability to make accurate throws from many angles. Shows good range to both sides. Plays with good body control while staying low on balls. Backhand is clean and effortless. Charges ball well and is able to bare hand and throw. Take lead type of middle-infielder; consistent on communication on field.


Davis Hildebrandt SS / 2B / Esperanza, CA / 2021

Five-foot-7, 155-pounds, medium frame with some present strength and twitchy instincts. Present strength in the lower half and in shoulders down through the arms. There's a lot to like in Hildebrandt both at the plate and defensively where his instincts and baseball IQ make him play much bigger than he is. He shows excellent range to both sides as demonstrated by his stop up the middle (he was playing 2B) where he slid, backhanded the ball before coming up firing a laser to first base to get a speedy runner. Makes excellent adjustments to get hops. Arm is whippy and strong and able to make throws from all angles. At the plate he has good leverage that results in sneaky power from a gap-to-gap approach. Maintains his barrel path through the hitting zone for a long time. Shows the ability to adjust to speeds and picks up spin easily.

OUTFIELDERS

Nick McLain OF / 1B / Beckman , CA / 2021

Five-foot-9, 165-pounds, small/medium frame with present strength throughout with noticeable strength in the lower half. McLain shows present strength at the plate from a late hitch but easy bat speed resulting from strong/fast/big hands. Setup is balanced with a smooth load. Lower half explodes through the ball. Shows the ability to catch the ball deep and drive it the other way. Also shows pull side power. Batting practice round was loud with consistent barreling and driving of balls to all fields. In-game the late hitch may cause timing issues, but McLain managed to get a few good swings on the ball. Quality at-bat type hitter. Spoils pitches in pitchers counts. Defensively really projects in right field where he shows excellent instincts, a quick first step and an understanding of angles along with a huge arm. Made one catch in deep right field before unleashing a rope to third forcing a tagging runner back to second base.


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