Prep Baseball Report

Spring Tourney Notebook

Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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LOS ANGELES, CALIF.Tournament season is always one of the best parts of the high school baseball season in my opinion. Tournaments provide a few weeks, usually in the middle of the season, an opportunity to see a lot of teams and players in one place over the course of three to four days. That type of viewing of a player gives you a really good opportunity to formulate an opinion on what type of player he is, and what type of player he can become. 

This tournament season was a little bit chaotic in that we had three significant tournaments take place over three consecutive weeks. From Orange County to Fresno and back, for me the end result was 37 games in 18 days. And if you account for weekends and non game days, there were seven days in which I didn't attend a game.

The National Classic kicked things off followed by the annual Fresno Easter Classic followed by the Boras South Classic. All-in-all, a great opportunity to see not only future collegiate players, but future MLB draft picks as well. I had the opportunity to see draft prospects not only in this class but in the next two classes as well. While it may be early to anoint a freshman a slam dunk draft prospect, I saw glimpses from several freshmen of the potential to become a draft prospect in their time. 

If you missed it, you can check out my look at early standouts from the National Classic and the Fresno Easter Classic. In this article I’m going to take a look at some of the top players I saw from these tournaments. I broke the article down by grad year along with some guys who are being discussed by scouts as it pertains to the MLB Draft. 

Be sure to follow PBR California on Twitter and Instagram for videos/notes throughout the high school and summer tournament season.





Mikey Romero SS / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2022

Romero continues to maintain his spot among the top SoCal MLB draft prospects in the prep ranks. The left-handed hitting shortstop continues to impress with the bat going 6-for-12 with 7 runs scored and 5 RBI in the four game tournament. Romero appears to have done enough to convince scouts that he’s going to start at shortstop in pro ball, with many believing he’ll stay there too. Some question the power numbers from Romero, but while those may not be as high as some expect, you cannot discount what he’s done at the plate from a hit and run production standpoint.

Jaden Noot RHP / OF / Sierra Canyon, CA / 2022

In front of close to 80 scouts, the LSU commit put on a memorable show for those that traveled in to see him pitch. Throwing a complete game with nine strikeouts with just two hits. Working 92-94 mph at the outset, Noot settled in at 93-95 mph with the fastball. Never dipped below 92 the entire outing. The slider flashed well at 78-80 showing more tilting action than the sweeping slider we’ve grown accustomed to from him. Mixed in an above average changeup at 83-85 mph later in the outing that had hitters baffled given the velocity but also his ability to tunnel it off the fastball. 


Oliver Santos LHP / 1B / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2022

Santos has shown what he is and that’s a very capable pitcher with an advanced three-pitch mix that can land any pitch for strikes in any count. Working 87-89 mph with the fastball, it’s his changeup that plays way up at 79-82 mph that baffled hitters all night. Tunneling off the fastball, the CH shows late fading and sinking action away to righties while running in on lefties. The pitch has some projection still, while the slider was unhittable early in the outing. Misses bats with the fastball and changeup while the slider induced weak contact.



Sam Tookoian RHP / 1B / Buchanan, CA / 2022

Big durable framed right handed pitchers are in vogue these days and Tookoian fits that mold. At 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, the frame has plenty of projection still as Tookoian has that “baby faced” look still. Working 88-90 mph and touching 92 mph on a cool, chilly night, Tookoian was FB/CB only in this outing where the curveball sat 71-73 mph for the duration of the outing. It’s a two-shape pitch - 11/5 with sharp, biting action, and more of a slurvy action on others - that he’s able to land for strikes. Cruised through three innings before his team put up 11 runs after which he came out and was straight fastballs - 87-88 mph - for the rest of his outing. The frame is durable and projectable while the arm is loose, a good combination for a righty headed to the SEC.

Tyler Gough RHP / 3B / JSerra, CA / 2022

The best way to describe Gough might be with the word mystery. That seems to be what scouts think about a guy who hasn’t thrown much this spring, but when he does he certainly commands the attention of scouts and onlookers. At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Gough has a durable, athletic frame that has some projection to it still. With a strong lower half that he uses well in his delivery - think dip and drive - it’s the whippiness in the arm that really adds to the package. Working 89-91 mph and touching 92 mph, Gough faced four hitters striking all of them out. The fastball is a high spin pitch (into the 2500’s) that he pairs with an 11-5 shaped curveball at 70-73 mph that he consistently lands for strikes or initiates weak contact. When on, the changeup at 78-80 mph flashes above average with late fading action that tunnels well off the fastball.



Zachary Brown RHP / 3B / Villa Park, CA / 2023

Brown’s performance in the semifinals was, in a word, dominant. The uncommitted junior righty was as good as I’ve seen him both with velocity and command of his stuff. Even when he lost feel for the slider, his changeup and fastball command carried his outing. Threw an 80 pitch complete game striking out five and retiring four in a row and five in a row in two different stints. He was unhittable at times, at least not with barrels. His second pitch was an 89 mph fastball, and his 80th and final pitch was an 88 mph fastball. Held velo throughout his start. The fastball flashed a steep downhill angle with some arm side run, while the changeup was vastly improved from a start I saw earlier this season. The pitch at 79-89 mph flashes late fade with some diving action. The feel and confidence with the pitch was evident early in the start. Feel for the slider was good in the first two innings, not so good 3rd thru 5th, and brilliant in the 6th and 7th innings. The pitch lived 75-77 mph and flashed late sinking action at times with the more traditional sweep in others.


Gavin Grahovac SS / C / Villa Park, CA / 2023

Some people I spoke with during the week think Grahovac would be a first round pick in the MLB Draft this year…if only he had reclassified. What is pro ball’s loss, is prep baseball’s win. Not much more can be said about Grahovac as a hitter; it’s advanced, it’s powerful, and it’s elite as seen below. What’s impressed me in watching Grahovac several times this spring is just how much better he is at shortstop. While there’s the occasional error, there’s the more frequent “WOW” play that goes with it. While many believe he’ll eventually move to catcher in pro ball, it’s hard to deny the work that’s gone in to improve at shortstop, speaks volumes.

Tyler Vargas RHP / Jesuit, CA / 2023

Vargas was lights out in his outing I took in. Shows a clean, athletic delivery with repeatable mechanics from a high 3/4 slot. There’s some added deception with a high knee tuck and slight back turn making his 84-86 mph fastball play up. He located the pitch black-to-black while changing eye levels with it as well. Wasn’t afraid to come in hitters with the pitch often inducing weak contact and whiffs when doing so. His curveball is a multi-shape offspeed pitch that he tunneled off the fastball very well. He threw a sharp, biting breaking ball along with a more sweeping, slurvy type breaking ball inducing plenty of whiffs and called strikes with the pitch.

MJ Sweeney 1B / RHP / St. Augustine, CA / 2023

The former Future Games standout continues to show a high aptitude for hitting with the ability to square balls up while generating plenty of power. The Kansas commit has present bat speed and power that projects very well to the next level. He’s refined his body with room still for more at 6-foot-8, 240-pounds. Has loose, strong hands at the plate that allow for whippiness to the barrell. Squares up baseballs with consistency showing a keen understanding of his strike zone. Hunts fastballs while being able to read spin.

Andrew Parker 2B / RHP / Foothill, CA / 2023

Parker simply continues to be one of the best uncommitted arms in SoCal. Velocity has ticked up this spring with the fastball sitting 86-87 mph, but it’s the advanced changeup at 79-81 that separates Parker from his peers. Attacks hitters with the fastball to set up the changeup but shows the ability to work backwards as well. Fastball shows some life as it enters the zone which plays off the changeup incredibly well. Tunnels both pitches well with a loose, clean arm action. Break on the changeup is late with deep fading action. Parker also shows a curveball that flashes sharp, biting action late.

Trent Caraway SS / RHP / JSerra, CA / 2023

My first time seeing Caraway since the sit out period and man does he look the part. Big, physical, athletic shortstops are always highly coveted and when they hit like Caraway even more so. Aggressive but relaxed approach where he kind of sits into his crouch while waggling the bat. Rocks back with a slight to tap before driving back hip into the ball. Shows present bat speed along with the ability to manipulate the barrel through the zone. Hit everything hard and off the barrel, even his outs were loud. Defensively he shows enough at short to convince you he can stay there. Also played 3B in the championship game. Arm strength plays now. Premier draft prospect in the 2023 class.

Ryan Limerick OF / 1B / Notre Dame, CA / 2023

One of the best outfielders in SoCal that nobody talks about in his class. Showed the clutch gene a few times last week for Notre Dame both at the plate and defensively. He hits, hits for power, can play a corner OF spot with plenty of arm. Has improved so much over the past year in his all around game, even looks better physically. What I think we’re seeing is a guy go from under appreciated by some to working his way into a potential MLB Draft pick next year.

Alex Forman RHP / 2B / Palos Verdes, CA / 2023

Currently uncommitted, Forman showed the type of stuff that should change that in short order. Working 84-86 mph with the fastball, Forman aggressively attacks hitters with the pitch, particularly on the inner half regardless of the hitter's handedness. His changeup may have been his best pitch on his day at 73-77 mph as it tunneled off the fastball making it difficult on hitters to read spin with misses down in the zone and a high whiff rate early in his outing. Forman’s slider was electric all afternoon with sharp, late action down in the zone. He missed up with it on a couple of occasions that were hit hard. Finished with five strikeouts in six innings pitched.

Ralphy Velazquez 1B / C / Huntington Beach, CA / 2023

The bat continues to show high level ability both in average and power. Hit a walkoff home run in the tournament game for HB last week against a very good Saint Augustine team. Looks to be in peak physical condition which has boosted power numbers and improved his athleticism. He can play third base, he can play first base, but the bat will play at either spot. Shows enough range/ability at third to convince you he can stay at the position; don’t forget he came into high school as a very talented catcher. Premier draft prospect in the 2023 class.

Dallan Alles C / Central, CA / 2023

Alles impressed as much with his defense as he did with the bat. Frames and blocks very well behind the plate while moving well laterally to smother balls. Larger, durable frame with strength throughout, Alles showed soft receiving hands with clean exchanges and accurate throws between innings. Pops ranged in the 2.02-2.19 range consistently. Moves well on the bases with baseball instincts. Had a perfect jump on a stolen base attempt wiped out by a foul ball the hitter should’ve probably taken. Went first-to-third on a base hit in 6.89 seconds. Reads spin well adjusting mid swing and staying back to use his quick hands through the zone.

Nathan Huy LHP / 1B / El Dorado, CA / 2023

The uncommitted junior looked as good as ever working the fastball up to 88 mph and living in the 85-86 zone throughout his outing. The fastball showed some late life in-and-through the zone commanding black-to-black with some arm side run. While it can come out flat, the fastball shows characteristics of a cutter at times with the late movement through the zone. He pairs the FB with a sharp, late biting slider that served as an out pitch in this outing. Tunneling off the fastball, Huy’s slider was difficult to pick up out of the hand for hitters resulting in a high amount of whiffs throughout the outing. The pitch has a chance to be an above average pitch. Later in his outing Huy showed his feel for the changeup that flashed late fading action that he threw to hitters on both sides. Big upside pitcher who has more in the tank.

Evan Rolbiecki SS / 2B / El Dorado , CA / 2023

Playing first base, Rolbiecki showed excellent defense where his footwork really stands out. At the plate he’s aggressive and hunts fastballs. There’s present bat speed and strength in a compact frame. Had the biggest hit of the tournament for El Dorado in a quarterfinal game where he launched an opposite field home run to give the Hawks the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning and propelling the Hawks to the semifinals. We have seen Rolbiecki at shortstop as well where his footwork is an asset while also showing quick, soft hands with clean exchanges.

Noah Andrunas RHP / 1B / Gahr , CA / 2023

Andrunas is one of the better uncommitted pitching prospects in SoCal. While the velocity isn’t eye popping, he works 84-87 mph with the fastball that he commands to all quadrants of the strike zone with late life as it enters the zone. He pairs it with what is now an above average changeup that not only induces a high whiff rate, but also weak contact when not being taken for strikes. Andrunas also features a tight spinning slider that he works down in the zone - every miss was below the knees. Begins his delivery with a high leg kick and hands at the chest before using a short circle path in the back through to a high 3/4 arm slot that he repeats. There’s some deception with a significant back turn that allows him to hide the ball while the slot makes it appear as though the ball is coming out of his ear. 

Jorden Johnson OF / 2B / Central, CA / 2023

Uncommitted junior outfielders that can run, defend, and put the ball in play more times than not are usually attention getting recruits which I think Johnson will be soon. In one half inning he made a fully parallel diving catch to rob a base hit, then in the next he had an RBI single back through the middle for a lead his team wouldn’t give up. He tacked on another hit later for good measure. He’s aggressive in the box while sticking to a plan and not trying to do too much when behind in the count. Read spin well from an arm with multiple above average secondary offerings. Showed some arm strength on a couple of throws to third from the opposite gap hinting that he may stay in CF with enough athleticism to move to one of the corner spots. 

Sean Suriyaniel RHP / OF / Bishop Amat, CA / 2023

The uncommitted pitcher put together a huge outing for the Lancers that propelled them to semifinals going six innings scattering six hits with a pair of strikeouts. Pitches to contact with a fastball/changeup combination that he commands low in the zone. Working 84-86 mph with the fastball, Suriyaniel has clean mechanics with a full circle path in the back through to a high 3/4 slot that he’s able to repeat consistently. His changeup at 73-75 mph shows the signs of being at-worst an average pitch with late fading action and a hint of bite through the zone. He tunnels it off the fastball very well, inducing plenty of whiffs with it. At 6’2” 175-pounds, Suriyaniel has the makings of a desirable pitching prospect as he finishes off this season and moves into what will be a big summer for him.


Keynen Gomez SS / 2B / Bullard, CA / 2024

A San Diego State commit, Gomez passes the eye test at first glimpse with his long, lean athletic 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame. He moves with ease on the dirt where his instincts play up at second base. He’s seemingly always in the right spot at the right time giving him an opportunity to make each and every play on a ball hit in his direction. Shows enough arm strength to make all the throws necessary from that position. Offensively he’s a selective hitter with the hand speed that allows him to catch up and react to pitches and get the barrel on the ball more often than not. A good mistake pitch hitter, Gomez can manipulate his barrel’s plane after initiating his swing allowing him to put the ball in play. Not much swing and miss, he projects as a high contact hitter with some developing power on a frame that will withstand the added mass he’s assuredly to put on the frame.

Landon White 3B / San Dimas, CA / 2024

White has proven that his bat is as good as it comes in his class. White shows a violent/aggressive swing that he manages to keep under control through the zone. Consistent barrels with loud contact are the result of said swing. There’s quickness in the hands and enough strength to muscle jam shots to the outfield. There’s projectable power on his strong frame while his footwork/arm strength play way up at third base as he demonstrated on a backhand play that saw him throw a missile across the diamond.

Beckett Zavorek SS / 2B / Bullard, CA / 2024

The Arizona State commit made five spectacular plays at shortstop in the three Bullard games I took in. They were the types of plays I hadn’t seen from a shortstop since Royce Lewis manned the position for JSerra a few years back. The movements, body control, and baseball instincts are off the charts for Zavorek who 5-foot-11, 175-pounds has plenty of room to add size to his projectable frame. The instincts and body control allow Zavorek to make plays that would otherwise be deemed unmakeable, like the one he made in game one that showed off all his defensive tools. Offensively he starts with an upright, neutral stance with hands slightly above his shoulders. Uses a short leg lift trigger before driving the back hip into the ball with aggression. Hands are fast through the zone while maintaining barrel plane resulting in plenty of barreled balls. There’s power in the bat presently and it projects for more in the future.

Andrew Witt SS / OF / Garces Memorial, CA / 2024

The sophomore INF/OF had quite the game against Reedley where he showed off his entire tool set particularly his speed. After a single to center field, Witt stole second on the third pitch of the next at-bat clocking a 3.69 time on the swiped bag. He would later score on a dribbler through the right side. In his next at-bat, Witt laid down a perfect bunt for a single getting down the line in 3.95 from the right side. Playing in left field, Witt again showed his speed getting to a ball down the line, backhanding the ball while planting before coming up firing a ball to second base to keep the hitter to a long single. It was an impressive feat in the spacious outfield of John Euless Park. Witt also plays on the infield where he shows the same athleticism. A sub 7 runner in the sixty, Witt has a package of tools that will make him a highly sought after prospect in short order.

Jayden Hertel SS / 2B / Clovis North , CA / 2024

Hertel is a hot name in recruiting circles and for good reason. He shows very good instincts and understanding of how to play the shortstop position with enough arm strength presently to make accurate throws that flash carry. Long, lean physical frame with some projection add to the package. Shows loose, strong hands at the plate that allow him to manipulate the barrel plane through the zone with some quickness. Showed a penchant for the barrel by squaring up several balls despite not having too much to show for it. Did connect on a triple down the line showing his athleticism on the bases. Pitched in a later game and despite a ton of velo shows an aptitude for the position and feel for multiple pitches. At 6-foot, 165-pounds, the frame has plenty of protection to it.

Justin Heffler OF / SS / St. Augustine , CA / 2024

Physicality is the name of the game here. Heffler is well put together, particularly in the lower half that he uses very well in his swing to generate power. He stays grounded well before exploding into his swing. Got jammed on a ball but still beat it out for a hit. Drove a lot of baseballs during the three games of theirs I saw showing a good sense of hitting. Sticks to approach and doesn’t chase, instead looks to do damage with an aggressive, attacking swing. Pretty athletic in the outfield with an average high school arm right now. Moves well to either side taking good routes to the ball with proper footwork. Good communicator in outfield. Bright future here not only for him but his team.


Jack West 3B / C / Clovis North, CA / 2025

West has the chance to be a special player for the Broncos in the near future. West DH’d in two games I took in allowing an opportunity to bear down on his hit tool which shows flashes of its full potential. Using an upright, balanced setup, West uses a slight leg lift trigger to initiate his swing where he shows the ability to get the barrel on plane through the swing with average bat speed presently. Given his 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame along with his present ability to hit, it’s easy to envision the projection path West d will take with the bat. Drifts into contact while showing a strong lower half. Showed a slight lift to the ball with two handed finish with occasional late one hand release. Powerful young hitter, long levers though controls barrel well and showed barrel awareness.

Maverek Russell 1B / OF / La Mirada, CA / 2025

You hate to say the next one to come through any school because that’s a lot of pressure on any kid, especially when he’s a freshman, but it’s hard not to see that with Russell. Shows an advanced approach at the plate with present bat speed and pop to go with a keen understanding of his strike zone. Doesn’t chase, stays to plan. Has the makings of an elite hitter. New to OF but he’s athletic enough to handle it. Has enough arm and understanding out there now and that will only improve. One of 5-6 very talented freshman and sophomores on the team.

Paul Dominguez SS / La Mirada, CA / 2025

Another standout freshman for La Mirada, Dominguez shone on the mound and at the plate for the Matadores. In relief he was 85-86 with the fastball and 71-72 with a sharp, late life slider while showing command for both pitches. Worked quick with an efficient arm and athletic actions down the mound. Spotted fastball to all quadrants of the zone using the slider as a put away pitch to righties to both the inner half and away. Arm is easy and loose and his stuff can be nasty as he showed against the No. 1 team in the state in a start later in the tournament. Physical presence in the box with some present power; will become a good high school hitter.

Gavin Greer RHP / 3B / Garces Memorial, CA / 2025

Greer impressed me with his present skill set that features a strong arm from third, instincts and awareness defensively, and a very good approach at the plate. There’s still rawness at the dish, the hands are very active along with general body movement, but the bat and hand speed impressed on multiple hits in the game. Went with a fastball away and drove it to RCF for a base hit. His next at bat he pulled a fastball in down the line for an infield single. It was an uppercut swing that got enough flashing some bat speed and strength to get it down the line. At third he showed an aptitude for the position along with arm strength to make multiple throws. Moves well laterally showing a quick first step on a couple slow hoppers, one at him and one to his left.

Nathan Etchegoinberry SS / 2B / Clovis North, CA / 2025

Etchigonberry stood out in two games for a variety of reasons. Let’s start with the bat, the freshman sets up with his hands - near his ear - using a noticeable bat waggle to set the hands from an upright stance before using a moderate leg kick trigger to initiate his swing. The hands are quick-to-fast through the zone allowing him to catch up to pitches getting more barrels on balls than not. Shows the ability to recognize spin and spoil pitches near the zone. Squared up plenty of balls during a two-game viewing, and defensively he showed the ability to handle third base with enough arm strength to make throws from all angles.

Donald Murray C / RHP / La Mirada , CA / 2025

Another standout freshman for the Matadores that shows the type of upside we’ve become accustomed to from freshman players at La Mirada. At 6-foot, 170-pounds, Murray flashed some present stuff on the mound that will have recruiters following him closely this summer. Touching 88 and living 84-85 mph with the fastball, Murray also shows a slider (73-76 mph) and a curveball (67-69 mph) that both project to be at worst average pitches in the future. The fastball flashes life as it enters the zone while the slider shows late, darting life in the zone while the curveball is a loopier pitch with some late bite.

Trent Grindlinger OF / RHP / Huntington Beach, CA / 2025

Only a freshman, Grindlinger has already come up clutch for the Oilers this season with a walk off hit in an earlier tournament and repeatedly squaring up the ball in this event. While he’s athletic behind the plate with enough arm for the position, it’s the bat that has people buzzing about this potential his freshman season. Handles velocity well with a simple approach that is rhythmic and flashes quick hands through the zone. Looks hitterish in the box.


NorCal Rising Stars: Bay Area CA 05/08 Canada College
SoCal Rising Stars Games CA 06/04 O'Malley Field
Orange County State Games ID CA 06/11 Hart Park
Orange County Top Prospects ID CA 06/21 Hart Park
Inland Empire Top Prospects ID CA 07/06 Corona High School
LA Top Prospects ID CA 07/12 O'Malley Field
California State Games CA 07/30 Hart Park