SoCal Underclass Games: Team 4 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.

After a morning workout, teams played a simulated game with teams consisting of players in the 2020-2022 classes.

Not to be outdone from a talent standpoint Team 4 rolled into the game with five players currently ranked in the 2020 & 2021 classes. There were also some players on this team that will be in the next version of our rankings after what they've shown this summer. Team 4 showed good depth from both a positional and pitching standpoint with only a couple pitchers also playing a position.

In this edition of Team Analysis, we take a look at the players from Team 4 through the eyes of our team of evaluators.

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NOTE: The reports on players from Team 4 are listed in no particular order. Click on player name for full statistical performance numbers and video from the event. 

Landon Wallace C / SS / Roseville, CA / 2020

Six-foot-1, 175-pounds, large frame that is wiry strong throughout and proportionally distributed. Long, loose limbs. High waist and large feet. Big hands. Despite recovering from a wrist injury earlier in the year - he's still wearing a wrap on it - Wallace shows some violence through the zone with fast hands and excellent feel for the barrel. Shows good balance at the plate from a wide base and a left leg lift trigger. When his barrel is on time he routinely squared balls up with a middle approach. Puts very good swings on the ball. Defensively, he settles into a quiet crouch with weight put on the thighs down through his heels. Shows agility and flexibility behind the plate. Quick to-and-on his feet. Hands are soft and exchanges are fast although he rushed a couple during the defensive workout. Wallace shows above average arm speed generating carry with his over-the-top slot. Misses were to first base side of bag.

Owen Cain C / 3B / Rancho Cucamonga, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 165-pounds, large, lean frame with wiry strength proportionally distributed throughout. Could easily see the addition of mass and strength to this frame. Broad shoulders with strength down through wrists. Cain, the 99th ranked player in the Class of 2020 state rankings, generates above average pop from a medium-wide base and toe-tap trigger. Shows fast hands through the zone where he generates power from a full hip rotation. Shows a consistent middle approach with the occasional pull-side power. Finishes balanced and extended. Defensively he shows some agility in and out of his crouch. Arm is loose but can get long in the back causing some accuracy issues. Arm strength is presently average from a high ¾ slot. Accuracy was inconsistent during the defensive workout portion of the day before showing much better in-game.

Troy Smith C / 3B / Mater Dei, CA / 2020

Six-foot-2, 190-pounds, extra large frame with proportional strength throughout the frame. Thick lower half. Smith is a big boy with big boy strength. Showed some bat speed both during BP and in-game. Shows a quiet, relaxed, and simple middle approach where he keeps his weight evenly balanced. Had a loud round of BP taking several balls to the wall. Can get out in front on occasion. Defensively he has good arm action with smooth and clean transfers. Arm strength is average presently but projects for added strength with continued maturation. Footwork is average. Hands are soft - frames well with and without use of the body. Catch-and-throw skills are present. Shows agility in recovery after the block.

Jack Holman C / 1B / Etiwanda, CA / 2021

Six-foot-3, 180-pounds, extra large frame with present strength throughout. Broad shoulders with strength down through to the wrists. Thick thighs down to large feet. Lots of physicality to Holman's game both defensively and at the plate. Defensively he shows athleticism behind the plate where settles into an athletic squat with weight down through his heels. Showed good attack - quick out of crouch and to identify and gather the ball - on the bunt. Hands are soft and showed feel for calling the game. Creates a good target with an upright back. At the plate Holman's power stood out immediately during his round of BP which carried into the game. Starts with an open stance with an early leg lift load. Gets his barrel on the desired plane and through the hitting zone with quickness. Shows fast hands from contact through to extension. Present pull side power with middle power developing. Looks ready to hit when he enters the box. Laced a base hit into right-center field before taking second base on a bobble showing his baserunning instincts.

Kieran Sidebotham SS / 2B / Corona del Mar , CA / 2020

Five-foot-11, 170-pounds, medium/large frame with thick, strong lower half and developing strength in upper half. Squared shoulders with room for strength/mass. Sidebotham, the 97th ranked player in the Class of 202 state rankings, shows a high ceiling with the hit tool where he has a balanced middle approach. Has fast hands to get the barrel through the zone with the feel to maintain it on plane. Shows strong leverage through the zone. Has present bat speed and gets good extension post contact. Gets the barrel to the ball on a direct path. Shows excellent plate coverage and pitch recognition. Pulled a hanging curveball down the left field line for a double in-game. Defensively Sidebotham shows average range with quick, clean transfers. Hands are soft. Shows ability to throw from multiple angles with accuracy. Backhand is true. Shows excellent body control when moving laterally or charging the ball. Footwork is average in speed but above average in fundamentals.

Darius Price SS / 2B / Rancho Cucamonga, CA / 2020

Five-foot-8, 170-pounds, medium/large frame with strength in a thick lower half, squared shoulders with strength in the arms and developing in chest. At the plate Price shows a whippy and strong top hand that allows him to stay through the ball well. Has a balanced setup with a simple load and short stride. Shows good feel for the barrel with some present strength. Drove a ball to deep left field in-game, it was caught but showed a flash of the power. Incorporates the lower half very well to generate power and leverage throughout his swing. Has some present bat speed with his slight uphill barrel path. Defensively Price is athletic in his movements showing good range to both sides and first step quickness. Feet work very well; smooth movements. Excellent pre-pitch routine; sets up well. Has soft hands with clean transitions and present arm strength to make most throws. Arm is loose. Shows good feel for the game.

Ty Borgogno SS / SS / Ayala, CA / 2022

Five-foot-10, 145-pounds, medium frame with length and wiry strength throughout. Narrow and square shoulders with strength down into the wrists. Defensively, Borgogno shows above average athleticism and tools. Moves very well on the run with plus range to the right side. Fields on the run very well. Hands are soft with clean/fast transfers. Present arm strength with a quick release and accuracy. The hands play at the plate too where they're fast and strong. Gets the barrel in the zone and keeps it on plane. Keeps hands close to body and pulls knob to the ball before snapping the barrel on it. Shows excellent leverage when out in front where there are flashes of power. Drove a ball to deep left field in-game. Then came back and hit a laser to the first base side for a single. Uses a wide, slightly open, base with a slight toe lift trigger and not much of a present load.

Dylan Power 3B / OF / Ayala, CA / 2022

Five-foot-10, 150-pounds, large frame with lean, wiry strength throughout the body. High waist with thicker lower half. Plays light on his feet with improving range to both sides. Shows flashes of shortstop instincts and skill which play up at third base. Shows fluid footwork with soft hands and clean exchanges. Arm is accurate and shows the ability to throw from multiple angles with average strength that projects with growth. Primary release point is near the ear. At the plate he shows good leverage with the lower half along with fast hands and feel for the barrel. Can get barrel to the inside pitch. Had a solid round of BP where he sprayed balls off the barrel to all fields. Put the ball in play two times in game. Frame will continue to fill out which bodes well for the expected power gain.

Jack Johnston 2B / SS / Torrey Pines, CA / 2021

Five-foot-11, 168-pounds, large frame that is lean with defined strength in the lower half and wiry strength through the shoulders down into the arms. Johnston, the 7th ranked player in the Class of 2021 state rankings, has tools across the board that stand out and scream projection. Shows above average, fluid footwork with athletic movements as he positions himself to gather the ball and release. Shows range to both sides and aggressively attacks balls in front. Plays with rhythm and has enough arm strength to make accurate throws from all angles. At the plate Johnston shows a crouched setup that is slightly open with a low leg lift trigger to initiate his swing. Has present bat speed thanks to his fast hands and excellent spine rotation he gets from his crouched stance. Everything works in unison with rhythm. Drops hands into launch position before driving the barrel through the zone one plane. Shows the ability to drive the ball the other way along with some pull side power.

Kyle Rasmussen SS / OF / El Modena, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 175-pounds, large frame with defined strength in the lower half and shoulders down through the arms into the hands. Solidly built throughout the frame. Rasmussen shows a narrow/closed stance with a wide base with a modest leg lift trigger and high hands. Swing upper half rotationally driven, gets a full shoulder rotation down through the midsection. Lower half rotation is abbreviated through an extended finish. Gets good swings on the ball. When timing is right he flashes some gap power with present average bat speed. Shows fluid footwork and range defensively. Quick first step with some lateral explosion. Arm is above average in strength with accuracy from a consistent slot and shows ability to make throws from different angles. Hands are soft with clean transitions.

Brady Ashworth RHP / OF / Foothill, CA / 2021

Six-foot-1, 165-pounds, extra-large frame that is lean, strong, loose, and twitchy. High waist with long limbs and large feet; Ashworth projects for added growth all-around with continued physical maturation. Ashworth's bat immediately catches your attention because of the rising sophomores' feel for the barrel and present bat speed. Ashworth loads on the back leg before a medium stride sets in motion an aggressive swing in which he keeps his hands close to the chest driving the knob as the leader for the barrel. Consistently squared balls up during BP and that carried over into the game where he roped a standup double into right-center-field in which he beat the throw by 3-4 steps. Looks hitterish and appears prepared the second he steps into the box. The athleticism carries over to his defense where he gains lots of ground with his long strides. Attacks balls aggressively and under control of his body. Arm has present average strength; displayed some of the best accuracy we saw at the games. Ashworth also pitched where he shows some run on his fastball that he commands to both sides of the plate. Curveball is sluvy and works down in the zone with it. Also shows some feel for a changeup.

Isaiah Marquez OF / RHP / San Dimas , CA / 2020

Five-foot-11, 175-pounds, large frame with defined strength throughout particularly in thick, strong lower half. Broad shoulders with strength down into the wrists. Marquez uses his strength at the plate where he controls the barrel while showing above average bat speed through the zone. Had a very loud round of BP where he consistently squared balls up into the gaps and showed some pull side power. Shows in-game two-strike adjustments along with excellent pitch recognition. Defensively Marquez shows a good understanding of angles in the outfield and the closing speed to get to balls. Plays long hops well. Bends at hips showing excellent body control when gathering balls out front. Arm has average to above-average present strength with accuracy. Is rhythmic in his outfield movements.

Daniel Cruz OF / LHP / Corona, CA / 2020

Six-foot-2, 165-pound, large, lean, loose, athletic, wiry strong frame. Long limbs and a high waist. Cruz shows a balanced setup with a simple load and almost no stride. Does a fair job of incorporating lower half in swing. Stroke is easy and smooth. Ball jumps off the barrel when he gets extended; squared one up to left field for a base hit in-game. Shows good feel for hitting to opposite field. Defensively Cruz shows athleticism and body control when approaching balls; understands angles and has the speed/athleticism to get to balls quickly. Arm is strong; had some accuracy issues during workout portion that corrected themselves in-game. Cruz oozes projection with his raw, but loud, tools. Clocked a 4.27 home-to-first in-game.

David Shackelford OF / RHP / La Habra, CA / 2021

Five-foot-8, 145-pounds, medium frame that is physically put together with defined strength in lower half with developing strength through the shoulders down into the arms. Using a neutral setup that is balanced with a slight back load and a medium stride, Shackelford creates above average bat speed with his fast hands and control of the barrel. Swing has a little whip to it and has some wiry strength; registered an 82 mph exit velo off a tee. Drove the ball hard during both BP and in-game. Had a stand-up double on a shot that beat the centerfielder. Busted out of the box and strode into second. Promptly stole third a couple pitches later. Can really cause havoc on the basepaths. Showed excellent plate coverage and pitch recognition in-game. Defensively his tools may be as eye-opening as they are at the plate. Plays under great control when charging or positioning himself to gather the ball. Meets the ball in glove with bare hand getting a jump start on the throwing process. Arm is accurate, strong, and projectable with its present carry. Very little-to-no wasted motion between fielding and throwing. Understands angles and long hops.

Lucas Welch RHP / 1B / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2021

Six-foot-1, 170-pounds, extra-large frame that has defined strength throughout the lower half. Squared shoulders with developing strength down through the core. High waist with long limbs. Welch flashes a lot of tools at the plate and defensively, but on the mound he really projects with his easy arm and sound, repeatable delivery. Shows a compact arm action through a high ¾ slot release point. Lands balanced and in an athletic position, occasionally with an open toe. Has a pronounced shoulder/back turn with a high leg lift that allows him to hide the ball causing it to jump on hitters. Fastball shows some life as it enters the zone while his curveball shows late sharp break with an 11/5 shape. Arm is quick and has life in it. At the plate Welch showed quick hands allowing him to get his barrel into the hitting zone early. Follow through is tall, yet balanced. Stroke is short. Defensively he shows athleticism in his footwork and an accurate arm.

Caleb Bennett RHP / Corona Centennial, CA / 2020

Six-foot-3, 190-pounds, large, strong, durable frame with broad, strong shoulders, strength through forearms, and a thick, strong lower half. Looks like what a power pitcher looks like. Bennett, the 34th ranked player in the Class of 2020 state rankings, continued to show why his stock has soared this summer. Touching 91 with the fastball and living 87-89 will always open eyes, do it with some cut to it and that's next level stuff. Bennett shows a full arm in the back through to a ¾ slot where he generates downhill plane with his long, loose, fast arm and explosive use of lower half before landing inline in an athletic position. Showed best command of the fastball in the 87-88 range. Bennett features arguably one of the best sliders in his class. At 80-83 mph it flashes tilt with a hard, sharp biting action. It's filthy. Bennett showed better command of the slider here than at the Underclass Trials in July. The righty also flashes feel for a changeup at 79-81 mph. Throws all three pitches from the same slot and all relatively same arm speed - there's no visibly significant slowing of the arm. There's room for much more growth and development with Bennett who also carries a 4.4 GPA in the classroom.

Brady Childs RHP / 1B / Servite, CA / 2021

Six-foot-1, 157-pounds, large frame that is long and lean with long limbs and a high waist. Childs some wiry strength in an otherwise lean, proportional body. On the mound he showed a short arm through to a ¾ slot. Arm has present average strength. Gains some ground despite an abbreviated stride down the mound. Lands inline on the ball of his foot in an athletic position. Generates some run on his fastball that he commanded very well to both sides of the plate. Generally worked down at-or-below the knees with the fastball. Curveball shows early with a 10/4 shape. Arm seems to slow a tick on the pitch which he felt comfortable throwing in most counts. Pitch induced weak contact and swing-and-miss results. Childs also showed feel for a changeup during his warmup tosses. Showed late diving action in on righties. With continued physical maturity and the addition of mass and strength should, and will be, a different pitcher given his current skill set.

Vencel Yousif RHP / 1B / Valhalla, CA / 2021

Six-foot, 160-pounds, large frame with long, lean, defined strength in the lower half and developing upper half strength. Yousif flashes a quick arm from a full path through to a ¾ slot. Lands inline with the occasional close-toed landing. Ball jumps out of his hand and is on hitters in a hurry. Arm shows easy effort and has some recoil after follow through. Looks like he's going to throw much harder in the future with continued physical development. Fastball shows late sinking action that he threw for strikes and induced weak contact with. The pitch seems to dive at the feet of righties when he commanded it or below the knees. Yousif's curveball showed more consistently that at the Underclass Trials in July. He commanded it better and shows late, darting action with an 11/5 shape from a near fastball arm velocity. Works down with the pitch. Yousif also continues to show feel for a fading changeup that he's able to throw to both sides of the plate.

Eric Barajas RHP / OF / Eleanor Roosevelt, CA / 2020

Six-foot, 155-pounds, large frame, with proportional strength throughout. Much more physical development to be supported by that frame. Barajas has a deliberate delivery with a high left leg lift, a compact arm action through to ¾ arm slot release. Landing is inline and balanced and on the ball of his foot with the occasional flat foot landing. Arm is quick and effort is minimal. Really projects to throw much harder in the future. Easy and clean mechanics; repeats his smooth delivery consistently. Fastball flashes a hint of run to the arm side that gets on hitters in a hurry. Shows excellent command of the pitch along with feel for pitching and using the entire strike zone. Induced three swing-and-miss with an elevated fastball. Curveball shows late and he appears to throw two varieties of it, one an 11/5 shaped and another more of a slurve. Nevertheless, he was able to throw varieties for strikes while only one ball was put in play off it, a weak dribble past the mound that the shortstop field.

Cole Seward RHP / 3B / Valencia , CA / 2021

Six-foot-2, 215-pounds, extra-large frame with noticeable strength in the lower half. Shoulders, chest and midsection have room to add strength and mass. Shows some rhythm to his delivery that starts with a high left leg lift and a modest shoulder turn. Seward appears to cup the ball a bit making it even more difficult to pick up out of his hand. Arm is fast from a full circle in the back through to his ¾ slot. Lands inline with the occasional cross-body landing causing him to fall off to first base. Fastball shows heavy 2-seam cut action on a downhill plane that he worked at or below the knees consistently. Four seam fastball shows run to the arm side which he's able to command at 85-86 mph. Curveball has plus pitch potential presently. It flashes late, hard break in a 12/6 shape that he drops in on hitters from the same arm speed as his fastball and commands for strikes. Threw the pitch seven times against five hitters getting swing-and-miss on five of them.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Rising Stars Showcase CA 09/23 Corona Santiago HS
Central Coast Open CA 10/07 Cabrillo College
Senior Games (Invite Only) CA 10/13 JSerra High School
Los Angeles Open CA 10/20 Maverick Field

 


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