Prep Baseball Report

SoCal Underclass Games: Team 2 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 2 through the eyes of our team of evaluators.

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NOTE: The reports on players from Team 2 are listed in no particular order. Click on player name for full statistical performance numbers and video. 


Dustin Allen OF / LHP / Arcadia, CA / 2020

Six-foot-1, 160-pounds, long, lean, wiry strong frame with squared shoulders, large feet and ample room to add strength/mass. Allen oozes athleticism in his overall game where he projects incredibly well in the outfield and at the plate while showing the ability to pitch presently. On the mound he uses a ¾ arm slot with average arm speed that is loose and easy. Shows good mechanics and balance on the mound where it appears he has way more in the tank. Allen really projects in the outfield where his arm is strong and accurate and he covers a lot of ground with excellent instincts and reads off the bat. Understands angles and tracks balls well. Glides to balls gracefully. At the plate he shows loose hands and a controlled, smooth stroke that is short to the ball with extension through it. Consistently squares balls up with some present line drive power and a middle approach that projects to over-the-fence power in the future.

Dustin Wood SS / RHP / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2021

Five-foot-6, 138-pounds, small frame with wiry strength. Very instinctive player who is fundamentally sound and shows a high baseball IQ. On the mound he shows good mechanics and feel for pitching. Mixes pitches and locations well with command. Arm shows average present speed with loose actions from a high ¾ slot and easy effort. Defensively Wood shows average footwork which he makes up for with his instincts and reads off the bat. At the plate he sets his hands low at launch using a flat barrel path through the zone. Shows understanding of his strike zone and the ability to cover the plate. Athletic player who knows the game.

Matthew DeCrona SS / RHP / Corona del Mar, CA / 2021

Six-foot-1, 163-pounds, medium/large frame with proportional strength throughout the body with noticeable strength through the lower half. Squared shoulders with wiry strength down to waist. Did not have his best day on the mound from a command standpoint, he did continue to show solid mechanics and arm actions there. His curveball showed late, sharp breaking action. Showed very well as left side of the infield player given his lively accurate arm and his footwork. At the plate he shows some strength in a short-to-the-ball stroke that shows extension post contact. Has an open setup with hands and maintains barrel path through swing through to a balanced finished. When his timing was on he shows line-drive to the gaps type present power.

Jared Casebier RHP / Trabuco Hills, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 170-pound, large frame with present proportional strength throughout body. High waist with long limbs. Casebier impressed in his outing leaving hitters baffled and scouts impressed. With a quick-to-fast arm, clean and repeatable mechanics and athleticism, Casebier projects for future velocity gains. Shows excellent rhythm and hip coil; uses a high ¾ arm slot through to a balanced, online, and athletic finish. Fastball shows late running action. Sharp, 11/5 curveball from the same arm speed projects to be an above average pitch. Casebier also shows very good feel for a fading changeup that he threw for strikes. Casebier faced six hitters on the day: K, F7, K, F4, F7, 6-3. Very projectable righty who is young for his class not turning 17 until next spring.

Nolan Troxel LHP / OF / Servite, CA / 2021

Six-foot-3, 175-pounds, large frame with long levers and large feet. Present strength in lower half with squared shoulders. Frame could easily add strength/mass and may not be done growing. Deliberate, tall/fall delivery with a high leg kick and full circle in the back through to a high ¾ release. Lands online and square to the target with an abbreviated finish. When he finds correct arm angle he generates very good downhill plane and cut action on his fastball. Curveball comes from same slot and arm speed while showing 2/8 shape with gradual, tumbling action. Troxel faced five hitters on the day: K, 1B, F8, 1B, 1B.

Blake Griffin RHP / 3B / Citrus Valley, CA / 2021

Five-foot-9, 155-pounds, medium frame with a high waist and long arms. The rising sophomore showed very well on the mound for a second time at a PBR event this summer. Shows a quick arm with compact actions. Hides the ball well making it jump on hitters. Griffin works in a high tempo and throws strikes with two pitches while showing feel for pitching. Lands square to the target with excellent balance through to finish. Fastball shows armside actions from a ¾ slot. Generates some plane on the pitch. Curveball has gradual action early with sharp break late with 10/4 - 11/5 shape which resulted in swing-and-miss strikes during his outing. Griffin is a strike thrower. Griffin faced five hitters in his outing: K, K, 3U, F8, 1B.

Joseph Wiersma RHP / Orange Lutheran , CA / 2020

Six-foot-4, 207-pounds, large frame with strength from top-to-bottom. Wiersma shows a quick-to-fast arm with a short, compact action through to a ¾ slot. Effort is easy/regular. Landing can be stiff, but it's square to the target and online. Fastball shows late running action. When pitch has downhill plane it's an above average pitch. Curveball projects well with it's late, sharp biting action from the same slot and arm speed. Pitch generated swing-and-miss along with weak contact throughout his outing. There's feel for a changeup that flashes late fading action. Wiersma faced four hitters: F4, K, 6-3, K.

Dylan Alanis RHP / 2B / Ontario Christian , CA / 2021

Five-foot-10, 140-pounds, medium/small frame with long limbs. Frame has room for physical maturity. Alanis shows good balance and rhythm throughout his delivery into an athletic landing. Compact arm action in the back with present above average arm speed that is loose with regular effort. Fastball shows late running action. Change has some fading action and kept hitters off balance resulting in swing-and-miss. Curveball has early break and 10/4 shape. Alanis has some projection with continued physical maturation.


Connor Valenzuela C / OF / Ruben S. Ayala, CA / 2020

Five-foot-11, 160-pound, large, long, lean frame with wiry strength from squared shoulders down through legs. Has room for added mass/strength. Is quiet behind the plate with soft hands. Responds to pitches well. Creates a big target for pitchers. Frames well without giving away pitches. Arm strength is average with accuracy around the bag. Most misses were to the first base side. At the plate he shows an opposite field approach with a high elbow at load. Attacks the inner half of the ball. Shows some bat speed now that projects with added strength. Balanced setup with a smooth load and short stride to the ball.

Anthony aleman
C / RHP/ jserra catholic, CA / 2021

Five-foot-8, 176-pound, medium frame with strength. Big lower half that he uses very well in his swing that projects for big power. Shows an early leg kick and whips the barrel through the zone on a consistent plane throughout a balanced and powerful swing. Good rhythm in his swing. Present pull side power. Gets extension post-contact. Behind the plate Aleman is a solid backstop in the way he receives with soft hands with clean/fast exchanges. Quiet setup with late movement to get in position. Reacts to pitches in the dirt and out of zone quickly and well. Has some present arm strength and accuracy.

Nicolo DiFerdinando  

C / Corona del Mar, CA / 2021

Five-foot-8, 155-pound, medium, physical frame with strength in lower half; squared shoulders with strength through the arms. DiFerdinando shows strength and power through his swing from a balanced setup with a smooth load. Stride is short and powerful. Gets barrel on a slight downhill plane resulting in good backspin line drives to the gaps. Shows present bat speed and the ability to drop the head on pitches. Defensively he shows fluid footwork behind the plate where he gets himself inline with the target. Good catch-and-throw skills; stays behind the ball well. Throws are straight and show some accuracy. Misses are around bag.


Cooper Munro1B / C / Beckman, CA / 2020

Six-foot-4, 190-pound, large frame with wiry strength. Long limbs. Has some present power that he creates with good use of the lower half. Shows present bat speed which projects with continued physical maturation. Hands are quick-to-fast through the hitting zone with a controlled barrel that remains on path. Gets extension post contact. Shows good plate coverage. Had a home run to LCF in batting practice. Hammered a ball to left field on FB in during the game. At first base his arm shows some strength and accuracy. Footwork is fluid. Reads hops well.

Diego Baqueiro 3B / RHP / Notre Dame, CA / 2020

Six-foot-2, 185-pounds, medium/large physical frame with proportional strength throughout the body. Baquiero is a physical, athletic, and projectable third baseman. Has present arm strength that shows life and is accurate. Load and throw release. Hands are soft and backhand is pure. Exchanges are quick/clean. Shows present bat speed with a direct path to the ball. Generates good backspin on the ball. He's quick-in and quick-out of the hitting zone keep his barrell on path the entire time. Power really projects from a gap-to-gap approach. Present line drive hitter.

Noah Elorriaga 3B / 1B / Troy , CA / 2021

Six-foot-2, 190-pounds, large frame that is still developing. Noticeable strength in lower half and through the arm. Elorriaga was one of the top prospects at our SoCal Underclass Trials and he showed the same again at the SoCal Underclass Games. Elorriaga shows pull power with present bat speed. Knows how to get the barrel to-and-through the ball with a short path before getting extension. Incorporates the lower half very well. Ended with a double and single on two hard-hit balls during the game action. Defensively Elorriaga shows average footwork for shortstop that play up at third. Very good feel for the backhand. Arm is strong and accurate. Shows excellent body control on defense.

Tank Espalin SS / 2B / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2020

USC commit. Six-foot, 165-pounds, medium/large frame with proportional strength throughout the body. Strong through the upper body. The shortstop shows soft hands with smooth, fluid footwork. Range to both sides. Stays low to the ground bending at the hips. Backhand is simple. Exchanges are smooth/clean. Picked several bad throws in game. At the plate Espalin has shown significant improvement from the spring season. Appears far more confident allowing his always-present tools to show. Espalin shows plus bat speed with easy pop. Drives balls to all fields from a balanced setup with a smooth load and a short stride. Gets and keeps barrel on consistent plane through hitting zone. Power projects with continued physical maturation and added strength.

Miles Jenkins 2B / SS / Junipero Serra, CA / 2020

Five-foot-9, 155-pounds, medium frame with pronounced strength throughout. Present strength in lower half. Defensively Jenkins shows excellent footwork with soft hands and enough present arm strength for either middle infield position. Arm is accurate and shows some carry. Backhand is true. Gathers ball out front and has clean/quick exchanges. At the plate he shows an opposite field approach where he flashes some present pop. Stays inside the ball well and flashes plus bat speed while routinely squaring balls up. Stayed back and inside before barrelling a curveball to right-center field in-game. Projectable power.

Jake Naso 2B / OF / Trabucco Hills , CA / 2020

Five-foot-10, 157-pounds, medium frame with strength throughout. Athletic player. Plays light on feet and shows above average range to both sides with fluid footwork. Shows glove early. Hands are average-to-soft. Exchanges are clean and arm strength is average with accuracy. At the plate Naso shows fast hands and excellent barrel control with some present line drive power. Keeps barrel on plane through swing. Finish is balanced. Gets hands in good position at launch. Consistently squared balls up while showing the ability to hit the ball where its pitched. Two sport athlete.


Chad Born OF / SS / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2020

Five-foot-10, 165-pounds, long, lean, strong frame with long limbs. One of the top players in his class, Born showed incredibly well at the SoCal Underclass Games. An athletic outfielder, Born glides around in the outfield showing excellent range to both sides. Charges balls well and under control. Arm is plus with accuracy. Made a diving catch in-game on a ball that was squared up right at him with tailing action. Born caught it and rolled up to his feet ready to throw. At the plate Born continues to show that power may be an element of his game in the future. Shows excellent feel for the barrel while maintaining his path throughout his swing. Quiet to launch position. Stays behind the curveball well.

J. Grady Birmingham OF / Mater Dei, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 190-pounds, large, strong, athletic frame with pronounced strength throughout. Birmingham is a physically strong outfielder who attacks balls well and shows a presently powerful, accurate arm. Throws show carry. Shows range to both sides while under control of his body. Shows accuracy with long hops. At the plate Birmingham shows a direct path to the ball with a downhill barrel angle creating backspin on line drives to the gaps. Strength is evident at the plate, particularly in the forearms and wrists. Gap-to-gap approach. Is short and quick to the ball with good rhythm.

Skye Selinsky OF / RHP / Mater Dei , CA / 2021

Six-foot-1, 175-pounds, long, lean, strong frame with room for added mass/strength. Plays light on his feet and moves around the outfield gracefully. Attacks balls with head up showing a knack and understanding of angles and fluid footwork. Hands are soft. Arm strength is average-to-above-average which at times flashes carry. Throws are accurate to the bag. At the plate he shows present bat speed and a knack for squaring balls up. Shows present gap power with a middle approach. Does an excellent job of incorporating his lower half to generate power. Gets extension through the ball. Finish is balanced and athletic. Selinsky also pitched at the event where he battled command issues throughout his outing.