Prep Baseball Report

THE FIVE: Norcal 'Gut Feel' 2020 Draft Risers

Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director of Scouting


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - The region is FLUSH with high round high school draft talent for the 2020 MLB draft, frankly, with a strong handful of players who rate with the best in the nation. These players in particular, Kyle Harrison, Chase Davis, Tyler Soderstrom, Daniel Susac, and Nick Yorke, will be drawing heat all spring. As those players draw cross-checkers to the region, the area scout will then be taking their superiors to see the next tier of high school players while they have them in town. Players like Michael Brown, TJ Nichols, and Cole Carrigg (teammate of Soderstrom) will get some extra looks, and sometimes that's all it takes to push a player up the list of a team.

Here is a group of five other 'gut feel' players I think will be in the mix this spring and have a very good chance to rise among the top draft prospects in the region.

Click on the player's name for their full profile and access to videos we have gathered of each. There are PLENTY of longer videos for each of these players within their profiles. All you need is a subscription.

Rio Britton LHP / Capital Christian, CA / 2020

Long lanky, with a frame that has present size (6-2, 200) but ample room to fill out and become an imposing figure on the mound. Britton's arm action and the life on his pitches are the draw, everything happens easy and the stuff gets into the 90-91 range but it's not going to stop there. The potential for a 60 (at least) breaking ball is a true separator for him among 2020 LHPs. Well, frankly, it's the body, the arm action, the present stuff and the ceiling, when all said and done, he's got a very real chance to be the first CA HS LHP off the board after Kyle Harrison.

Garret Forrester 3B / C / Bella Vista, CA / 2020

The player affectionately known as 'Donkey' since he was a very young player, Forrester has that raw power tool that stands out FREQUENTLY. He also has a plus arm that can translate to a corner OF spot and athleticism that belies his stout physical stature. Grading him out simply with the tools, there aren't many corner guys in the state who possess future plus power and a plus arm, with the ability to hit good pitching and hidden athleticism that will POP even more as he shapes his body beyond the teenage years. Country strong and a real presence at the plate.

Noah Beal RHP / Clovis, CA / 2020

Of the RHPs in N CA, Beal (6-4, 190) just might be the most enjoyable to scout. He has a lanky and long body and the athleticism that has him playing SS when not pitching. That coordination/athleticism show up on the mound as you see him mixing and carving with a full repertoire (FB/CB/CHG) and feel of all three. When we last saw him in the Fresno Easter Classic, he was carving as per usual, with a FB that was 85-86 T88. The CB usage was outstanding that night. At Area Code tryouts, the stuff got up to 89 and the feel remained. He's going to pop.

Carson Yates OF / Leland, CA / 2020

A dual sport athlete (football), Yates had a tremendous spring and was squarely on the radar of our scout Ryan Ozella. He showed up at the Area Code tryout and his raw tools, combined with the body (6-3, 200), make him hard to miss. He is a plus runner (6.76 60) and though he has a bit of a contact-oriented approach, when the ball gets off his bat, the dreaming starts of the power potential he could have. Without too much hyperbole, consider Yates a Hunter Pence-light type of talent, with the body that stands out in a crowd and athleticism that can't be ignored.

Juaron Watts-Brown RHP / Hanford, CA / 2020

In lock step with Beal as talented AND enjoyable to scout is Watts-Brown. He's long, he's lanky, he's talented, and he's not even really close to being a finished product. His delivery and arm action are buttery smooth and with how easy he throws, he's easy to dream on. If his signability is in line with what his talent suggests, the scouts will be making the trek to the Central Valley often to see him. The fastball was 88-90 last we saw him and the CB was reminiscent of another Valley talent... Matt Garza. The double up trip of he and Beal will be frequent.