The Rode Show: Boras Classic Day 1



By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

Prep Baseball Report’s Shooter Hunt and Nathan Rode are in Southern California to cover the 2017 Boras Classic. Rode will primarily focus on draft prospects while Hunt will mostly highlight underclassmen with On The Hunt.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA—The Southern California chapter of the 2017 Boras Classic opened Tuesday with 16 teams from the region vying for a spot in the state championship game against Bellarmine Prep, CA, winner of the Northern California tournament last week. There are two sites being used this week—JSerra HS and Mater Dei HS. My day started at Mater Dei and ended at JSerra. Here are some highlights…

+ RHP/SS Hunter Greene (Notre Dame HS, CA) may not be pitching this week, but that doesn’t mean he’s being ignored. He’s worth watching as a position player and he showed why against Damien HS, CA. Greene was 1-for-3 with a two-run single and sacrifice fly, providing half the runs in a 6-0 win. Greene stood out the most defensively, where he showed athletic actions, soft hands and the ability to throw on the run. Though he’s a below-average runner, Greene moves with fluidity in the field.

+ While eyes were on Greene, it was really 2020 LHP Lucas Gordon (Notre Dame HS, CA) who stole the show. The Southern California recruit pitched a one-hit shutout while striking out two. He pitched in the mid 80s with his fastball from a 3/4 slot and flashed feel for a changeup with fade at 73-76 mph. His curveball had 2/8 shape at 69-72.

+ 2018 OF Noah Taylor (Notre Dame HS, CA) struck out twice in his first three trips to the plate, but smoked a triple in his final plate appearance, showing off an easy, sweet swing. He scored on Greene’s sac fly.

+ The second game at Mater Dei had an interesting pitching matchup between RHP Isaiah Paige (Damien HS, CA) and 1B/LHP Nick Pratto (Huntington Beach HS, CA). Paige struggled with his control walking the first batter in each of the first four innings and allowing a leadoff single in the fifth, but he managed to limit the damage. Though he walked six and allowed two hits, he surrendered just three runs, all of which were unearned. He also struck out seven. His fastball sat in the high 80s mostly, touching 90 early on. His slider had short break at 74-76.

+ Pratto wasn’t as sharp as his appearance at the National High School Invitational, but he still showed a competitive edge. After giving up two doubles in the fourth inning that put his team down, the Southern California got locked in. After that, he allowed just a walk and a hit while striking out eight in his final 3.2 innings. He struck out 12 total. He pitched at 87-89 mostly, but still hit 90 in the seventh inning. He finished with one run allowed on five hits and two walks.

+ The third game featured SS Jayson Gonzales (Bishop Amat HS, CA) and 2018 SS Brice Turang (Corona Santiago HS, CA). Gonzales doubled off the wall in right field in his first at-bat and finished 1-for-3. He has a big frame and will have to shift off of shortstop at the next level, but he does move well for his size. Turang is arguably one of the best players in the country regardless of class. He went 2-for-4 with two singles and made several good defensive plays, showing off easy, quick actions and athleticism as he made a few strong throws on the move.

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