Prep Baseball Report

Spring Swing: SoCal-Alabama-Starkville

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

When this trip first came to fruition, it was thought to be both adventurous and wishful thinking: Fly to Orange County for the evening on Thursday for the SoCal Preseason Invitational, shoot out to Birmingham Friday morning for the Alabama Kickoff Classic, and finish things up with a pair of games in Starkville, Mississippi. A lot to bite off in a three day span…but it was worth it. Across the nearly 6,000 mile round trip, the talent level of the players on the field was enough to keep the adrenaline pumping and the intrigue level high. With a full collection of 2022 MLB Draft prospects to see, plus stellar underclassmen including the top players in the country in both the ‘24 and ‘25 classes, the action never slowed down, and baseball is clearly back in full swing.

Below, a look at some of my notes on 2022 MLB Draft prospects, a slew of impact underclassmen, and several uncommitted players to mark down as follows moving forward.

+ RHP Tyler Gough, JSerra Catholic, CA (2022)
Gough, an Oregon State recruit, looked poised to have a big year for JSerra. Built with proportional strength throughout an athletic, 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame, the right-hander is supremely composed on the mound, and demonstrated impressive fastball command to four quadrants. With upwards of 2480 RPM on a fastball that worked 89-93, Gough was able to blow it by a talented high school lineup thanks to the hop that it produced through the zone. Easy and efficient with a repeatable delivery, the arm works somewhat shorter through the stroke, nearly replicating that of a catcher as the ball appears to jump from his ear. In what was only his second outing of the spring, Gough seldomly went to his secondary offerings, although he did flash a few breaking balls at 69-73. There was some manipulation to the pitch with a more gradual break in 11/5 shape shown, for strikes, and the looks only got better the more that he threw it. Given the early look, there is a stronger chance that it continues to trend up in future viewings. However, the hop of the fastball, and especially the whiffs that it procured, is what truly stood out, along with his ability to move it around while especially exploding through the bottom of the zone. Look for the velocity to continue climbing, and should a mid-season breaking ball make a jump, Gough’s profile lends well to moving steadily up boards.


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