Prep Baseball Report

Central Coast/North LA December Notebook: Week 1

Steven Hardesty
Central Coast/North LA Area Scout



Ventura, Calif. - 

With the winter baseball schedule wrapping up for ‘23 season the month of December provided me with good looks at a few strong Central Coast/North Los Angeles high school programs. My in person looks included some of the best committed prospects in the region, but additionally plenty of uncommitted players across the '24, '25, '26 and '27 classes.

I started off the month with a trip out to see the defending CIF-SS D2 and Marmonte League champions Calabasas Coyotes against a good Saugus Centurions program out of the Foothill League. Both teams featured some talented uncommitted players with the Coyotes being headlined by a pair of D1 commits as they look to follow up their championship season.

Below you can check out my notes on the Committed and Uncommitted talent from the day. Be sure to click on the players name to get access to their PBR profile/video.



The Coyotes are led by a pair of D1 commits on the infield dirt with 2024 SS Nate Castellon (Cal Poly SLO) and 2025 INF Matthew Witkow (Harvard University). Both players had strong showings in my winter ball look at them. Wiktow slugged a pair of doubles while adding a single with 3 total RBI's and barreled a line drive out to 3b. Castellon picked up 4 barrels with 2 hits (both singles) an an RBI plus 2 runs scored. Witkow showed noticeable improvement in his athleticism moving around well at 3b including an impressive play on a slow chopper and saw time at 2B where he looked very comfortable. Castellon as always showed his smooth Gold Glove level SS play with 5 assists and a pair of putouts.




'24 LHP Lee Atkinson the 6'1 185 lbs. southpaw showed a low to mid 80's FB velocity and he could locate to both sides of the plate. Working CB/CHG combination for his offspeed arsenal with both showing consistent swing/miss or soft contact results in game. The delivery is low effort and smooth with a clean quick arm action. The combination of his athletic ability and body control in the delivery allowed him to consistently attack the strike zone. There is present feel for pitching with Atkinson that allow him to perform at a high level in game. I see future projection though for him to continue to add velocity to his FB while continuing to polish his offspeed offerings that make an intriguing uncommitted arm in Atkinson.

'24 1B/RHP Brandon Hoffman strikes an imposing presence on the field at 6'5 and around 235 lbs.. He started at 1B  in the first game and moves around well with feel for the position and at the plate his swing has strength and profiles to have power. It was when the big right-hander toed the rubber that he really caught my eye. Working with a consistent mid 80's FB that touched 87 showing life out of the hand seemed to get on hitters quicker than they anticipated. Mixing in an intriguing CH/SLD combination which when he executed have above average potential. The delivery is a little raw and relies mostly on his raw arm strength than incorporating his lower 1/2 fully. With some polish to the delivery and stuff the potential on the mound for Hoffman provide an interesting uncommitted arm for the Coyotes.



'26 OF Matthew Carta started LF moving around well and looking comfortable as a potential corner OF profile who can hit in the middle of the order. Presenting a projectable frame at 6'3 175 lbs. with room to add strength across his upper body and lower body. His swing gets the barrel in the zone quickly with the ability to maintain its plane through the hitting zone.  Carta shows present bat speed with a good feel to hit through his combination of balanced and approach. His power will play to the pull side of the field but as he continues to add strength I can see his power start to play through the middle of the field. Will be a good follow name for coaches in the '26 class.

'24 RF Ethan Harris with an athletic 6'1 185 lbs. frame Harris flashed easy athletic actions that make him an interesting watch. Defensively he looks like a potential impact CF/RF profile who made two impressive plays that both showed his range and athletic ability while flashing his arm strength on balls in the gap and down the line it projects to handle CF/RF at the next level. At the plate it's a quiet load with no stride and there is balance to the swing with looseness to his hands. The swing showed bat speed in game, although his timing/approach appeared a little out of sorts. Found one hard barrel up the middle and showed his above average speed down the line. The frame, athletic ability, impact defense and intriguing potential at the plate make Harris a good late grab for a college program with an interesting ceiling to his game.

'24 C Jason Zepeda really caught my eye on the day. He is a physically well built backstop who shows mobility in his set up and good feel for how to present pitches when receiving. The arm showed well on the day with a quick transfer and fringe above average strength. Consistent low to sub 2.0 pop times with accuracy between innings and in-game. At the plate his LH swing is quick and compact with a good approach although it is tailored more for contact than power.  Used the whole field to collect 2 hard barrels and a walk on the day. An intriguing uncommitted premium defensive position, good LH bat is one that college coaches should take a look at for any catching needs.



Showcase State  Date  Location
Orange County Preseason ID CA 01/04 JSerra High School - San Juan Capistrano
SoCal Preseason All-State: Underclass (Invite-Only) CA 01/06 Temescal Canyon HS - Lake Elsinore, CA
SoCal Preseason All-State: Upperclass (Invite-Only) CA 01/07 Temescal Canyon HS- Lake Elsinore, CA
Fresno Preseason ID CA 01/14 Fresno Pacific University - Fresno, CA
Bay Area Preseason ID CA 01/21 College of San Mateo - San Mateo, CA
Inland Empire Preseason ID CA 01/21 Santiago High School - Corona, CA
NorCal Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) CA 01/27 Mission College - Santa Clara, CA
Sacramento Preseason ID CA 01/28 William Jessup University - Rocklin, CA
East Bay Preseason ID CA 02/04 Chabot College - Hayward, CA