SoCal Underclass Trials II: Standout Pitchers


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

The SoCal Underclass Trials came to Eastlake High School in San Diego on July 17th. With over 60 players in attendance, there was a bevy of talent on display for the over dozen college coaches in attendance to view.

As part of our coverage we will be rolling out top position players from the event before rolling out our Top Prospects.

In this edition we will take a look at standout pitchers from the showcase.

*Click on a players profile for complete individual stats from the event. Players are listed in no particular order.

Caleb Bennett RHP / Corona Centennial, CA / 2020

Bennett's physicality immediately stands out at 6-foot-3 and 190-pounds, he has strength throughout his frame especially in the upper half where he has squared shoulders and is barrel chested. Also has a thick, strong lower half. The righty shows a loose arm from a high ¾ slot that generates downhill plane on his pitches. He commands the fastball to all quadrants of the strike zone with late life and action. Can get a little long in back and has a tendency to fall off to the first base side which seems partly his momentum carrying him there. Has a slider that he's short with and flashes cut action which he kept down in the zone. Does a good job of getting on the side of the ball with the pitch. Shows feel for his curveball which flashes plus pitch potential when thrown with conviction.

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

Welch was one of the guys that immediately caught the attention of scouts when he took the mound. At 6-foot-1 170-pounds the rising sophomore is highly projectable with a fast, easy arm action from his high ¾ slot that produces three pitches that he shows command of. Body is long and wiry strong with large feet projecting future growth with continued maturity. Welch has a slight shoulder turn that allows him to keep the ball hidden from hitters before exploding down the mound with a long stride. Lands online consistently and balanced. Fastball flashes heavy run to the arm side on a downhill plane. Shows feel for the curveball which was a good pitch when he threw it with conviction. Changeup has plus pitch potential as he throws it to both sides of the plate and keeps it down in the zone.

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Dante Schmid RHP / OF / Eastlake, CA / 2020

At 6-foot-3 172-pounds Schmid is a tall, wiry strong, high waisted, long limbed pitcher with big upside. A high leg kick and a big shoulder turn makes it very difficult to pick up pitches out of his hand. Keeps the ball in the back with a long arm reminiscent of Jared Weaver. Effort is minimal and lands cross body. Shows command of three pitches with his changeup being one of the best we saw on the day. The pitch works on a downhill plane while attacking both side showing late life as it enters the hitting zone. Schmid's fastball shows some late glove side run almost slider-like movement. When he gets on top he's able to dot it just about everywhere he wants. Has a tendency to slow his arm on the curveball, but when he maintains fastball velocity it's a tight, 12/6 shaped pitch with bite.

A.J. Hurtado RHP / 1B / San Juan Hills, CA / 2022

A rising freshman, Hurtado is a 6-foot 200-pounder who caught our attention with this impressive arm speed from an over-the-top delivery. Starts from a crouched stance in the stretch before exploding out with his strong lower half. Shows the ability to get on top of the curveball consistently and flashes 12/6 break to it. Pitch can be loose at times. Fastball works on a downhill plane and he keeps at or below the knees - didn't miss up with it - and shows a bit of life as it enters the zone. Changeup has late life as it enters the zone. Worked middle-in with the pitch during this bullpen session.

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

Yousif participated in the event at both first base and on the mound and looked good doing both. His BP was one of the top rounds on the day. At 6-foot, 160-pounds, Yousif oozes projection given his athletic actions. He flashes a quick, whippy arm from a high ¾ slot. Lands inline consistently from a rhythmic delivery and while he snaps his head to the left his maintains his slot and balance. Flashed his potential when he used his lower half well which was inconsistent at times. Fastball has a hint of 2-seam sling and shows arm side run late as it enters the zone. Curveball was inconsistent but when on point shows good break with an 11/5 break and darting action. Changeup shows fading action away from right handed hitters. Threw the pitch to both sides of the plate and shows command of it.

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