Prep Baseball Report

OC Preseason ID: Quick Hits

Steven Hardesty
Central Coast/North LA Area Scout



Orange County, Calif. - We were able to put eyes on some talented players at the Orange County Preseason ID on Thursday, January 4. Players ranged from the '24 class to '27 class with several names to be on the lookout for in the Spring '24 HS season. 

Players were put through the traditional showcase workout that included athletic testing, on field Batting Practice, defensive workouts at their positions with pitchers throwing on field bullpen session. Metrics were captured using Trackman, Blast Motion, and Swift Technologies to help measure their movements for athletic proficiencies and projectability. 

Preseason events are aimed at identifying local/regional talent by allowing our PBR California staff to put faces to names, see their tools in person and load data into player profiles. Players who stand out at these events have the chance to earn a Future Games Tryout invitation that could ultimately culminate into a trip to LakePoint, Georgia for the 2024 Future Games. In addition, players can be selected for State Games, West Coast Games, Uncommitted Games and other PBR game play events.

For all the data and information on all of the players outside of the Quick Hits click here.

Here is a first look at some of the standouts from the Orange County Preseason ID in this edition of Quick Hits.

Dylan Kemp OF / 2B / SERVITE HIGH SCHOOL, CA / 2027

Kemp may have been my personal favorite on the day because of his combination of athleticism, actions, tools and feel to hit at the plate. Take a compact but strong 5’9 165 lbs. frame add 6.77 60 speed with an explosive running stride and good body control then mix in good actions moving around the OF with an accurate 78 MPH OF arm velocity Kemp is a potential impact CF prospect. I’m intrigued to see him workout on the INF one day because he shows the actions, arm slot and rhythm to potentially play 2B. While Kemp showed premium athleticism and strong defensive actions, I really enjoyed watching him take batting practice. Showing a balanced quiet load with a natural feel for rhythm/timing and an accurate barrel Kemp sprayed line drive after line drive around the field. He trusts his hands which are quick with 22 MPH hand speed, but taps into his lower half well with 27 MPH rot. acceleration to allow him to track the baseball longer to make his swing decision. With the strength in his frame, ability to take a very good swing and feel for what he is doing as a hitter Kemp has a chance to be a very high level hitter who will be able to add power as he learns to tap into it through his approach. Kemp is still about 20 months away from being able to talk to a college program on Aug. 1, 2025, but coaches should be following him over that time period as he has a chance to be a pretty good talent.

Damian Cordero SS / 2B / Yucaipa , CA / 2027

Cordero is a smaller framed MIF who is a smooth mover on the INF with athleticism in his actions. Feet show good rhythm with a soft glove flashing the ability to move laterally, downhill, play with 2 hands and 1 hand while already showing 82 MPH INF arm velo (which will go up as he continues to add strength to his frame). Projects to stick at SS with impact defensive potential. For as good as Cordero was defensively he was equally, if not more impressive at the plate. Showing quick loose hands with 22 MPH hand speed and 71.3 MPH bat speed with power to the pull side (89.9 max exit velocity) including a HR during BP clearing the fence down the LF line easily. Showed a consistent approach to the middle of the field with bat to ball skills. Big time ‘27 to follow at a very good Yucaipa HS program.

Ronnie Martinez OF / OF / La Mirada High, CA / 2026

Martinez was a noticeable stand out for many reasons with his combination of athleticism, tools and feel for the game. A compact frame, flashed 6.86 speed in the 60 with easy smooth running actions which translates to his movements in the OF where his routes are good and shows tempo into and through the ball with an accuracy to all his throws and current 77 MPH OF arm velo he has all the makings of a dynamic CF as he continues through HS. Another one who for as good as he shows defensively is as good if not better at the plate. It’s a pretty swing for Martinez with a natural feel for the barrel and good rhythm/timing to work the middle of the field. Peaked at 90.7 MPH with his exit velocity and 351 foot max distance he sprayed the LCF to RCF gaps with line drive after line drive. College coaches should be paying plenty of attention to Martinez as a ‘26 headed towards the Aug. 1, 2024 contact date for his potential to play a premium defensive position with an impact offensive profile.

Robby Morgan OF / 2B / Chaminade College Preparatory, CA / 2026

Morgan comes with a lean frame with athleticism to it and room to add strength as he matures. Showed fringe average run speed at 7.2 in the 60 should develop in an average or better runner as he matures. Worked out both in the OF/MIF with the actions to profile at either spot. With 81 MPH OF arm velo, a quick release and accuracy to his throws there is CF/RF potential, but I liked the actions on the INF slightly better with good rhythm through the baseball and solid hands, the arm is fringy currently for SS (77 MPH INF arm velo), but could handle 2B. Another impressive offensive performance with a loose/whippy RH swing Morgan has good hands 20.1 MPH hand speed and the bat explodes through the zone with 76.1 MPH bat speed. The approach is a gap to gap line drive oriented one with max exit velocity at 89.1 MPH he flashes the pull side HR potential narrowly missing 2 HR’s in BP off the LF/LCF fence. Morgan is a good bat to follow in the ‘26 and if he can handle SS or CF the profile increases.

Jack Zerkel OF / RHP / Foothill High, CA / 2024

Zerkel is an above average athlete across the board who flashes plus potential as an uncommitted ‘24 CF. At 5’10 165 lbs. with broad shoulders and strength in his upper body and room to add to his lower half. Ran a 6.8 60 with an event high 87 MPH OF arm velocity with his throws showing online carry and accuracy to be an impact CF/RF defender at the next level. He moves easily around the OF with an innate feel for routes to the ball. At the plate Zerkel stays to a gap to gap line drive based approach the ball carries well to the gaps. He gets to contact from a quiet load with quick hands (20.9 MPH hand speed) and an aggressive turn of his hips (27.6 MPH rot. acceleration). The approach shows rhythm and timing which will play in-game. For college programs still looking for a dynamic defender at a premium position to go with potential top of the order offensive profile Zerkel should be a must watch this spring as an uncommitted ‘24.

Max Reimers RHP / OF / JSerra Catholic, CA / 2025

Reimers is a 2-way player who has solid tools as an OF with 86 MPH OF arm velocity with accuracy and good actions moving around in the OF workout. Plus a quick compact RH swing with good hands and a direct path (23.8 MPH hand speed) and impact with exit velocities up to 91.8 MPH. But, Reimers really jumps out once he toes the rubber. It’s an athletic RH delivery with a quick arm and feel for the strike zone. Showed a 5 pitch mix (4 seam FB, 2 seam FB, CB, CHG, SPLT) the FB works 86-88 MPH with arm side run and life through the contact zone including spin rates up to 2418 RPMs. The CHG and SPLT both flash above average with plus potential especially the SPLT which showed late action diving down out of the strike zone as a swing/miss potential pitch. He maintains his arm speed well on the CHG with velocity at 78-81 MPH with sink; he should get plenty of soft contact on the ground with this offering. The CB has sharp break to it at 67-69 MPH and tunnels pretty well of the FB without a noticeable hump out the hand. The athletic ability, arm action, pitch mix, feel for the strike zone and ability to add strength to his frame should make Reimers a very interesting ‘25 follow for college programs.

Ezekiel Lara OF / Mater Dei, CA / 2026

Lara was a ‘23 California Futures Game roster member and his advanced ability as a LHH OF with athleticism was on display. At 6’ 180 lbs. there is some present strength across his frame, but will continue to develop as he matures with good athleticism including a 6.88 60 time to go with smooth actions moving around the OF in defensive work to go with an accurate 81 MPH OF arm velocity there is CF potential for Lara, but also could play either Corner OF position. He has a simple smooth LH swing which starts from a low handset and a small coil of the hands in his quiet load. Once he pulls the trigger to swing his 22 MPH hand speed allows him to consistently square the baseball up (86.2 MPH avg exit velocity)) with a gap to gap approach, but flashes the ability to turn on a pitch and elevate to the pull side with 93.1 MPH max exit velocity. Lara shows a natural feel for rhythm and timing in BP looking like a potential plus hitter who could play a premium defensive position. Undoubtedly there should be plenty of college programs excited to talk with Lara on the Aug. 1, 2024 contact date.

Elijah Kwon OF / LHP / Sierra Canyon, CA / 2027

The young LH hitting OF from Sierra Canyon has good present strength to his 5’11 175 lbs. frame while showing good athletic ability with a 7.06 60 time and relatively smooth running actions. Good feet and routes/rhythm on balls in the OF with present 84 MPH OF arm velocity and accuracy to his throws there is a potential RF profile maintaining impact defensive potential. Starts with a high handset and double tap in his load (loads front foot back into ground before striding into his swing) but showed balance at land to allow his quick hands to work (22.5 MPH hand speed) to show present power potential at 89.1 MP max exit velocity from a line drive oriented swing which stays through the middle of the field. He showed a good feel for his barrel with consistent hard contact and as he learns to elevate the ball to pull side consistently there is HR potential for him. A very impressive ‘27 at a good Mission League program Kwon will be a name college coaches should keep an eye on.

Riley Moran RHP / OF / Norco High, CA / 2026

Moran is a very intriguing RHP out of Norco who has a lot of projection to his profile currently, but the ceiling for him looks pretty high. With a long loose 6’2 180 lbs. frame showing high hips and longer arms he looks the part of a future high level pitching prospect. The delivery is athletic with a quick arm and he shows good body control to stay online through release. The stuff for Moran currently shows well, but there is room for development as he matures to make it even better. He threw a 3 pitch mix of FB, SLD, CHG from a lower ¾ arm slot. Presently the FB shows 80-82 MPH velocity with arm side run and sink to it with an avg. spin rate of 2153 rpm. He controls it well to the arm side. When paired with his CHG in the 72-74 MPH range both pitches show similar movement patterns allowing him to mix and match them to mess with a hitter's timing. Mixing a 67-69 MPH CB with a sharper breaking action moving towards the glove side he has a 3 pitch mix that all play well off each other. 

Vincent Milo OF / RHP / Santa Margarita Catholic, CA / 2026

Milo passes the eye test quickly when you first see him with an athletic and strong 6’2 185 lbs. frame. Once he started to workout the athleticism jumps out again with a 6.84 60 time from an explosive running stride. Moving around well in the OF he flashes an arm that can profile to handle all 3 OF spots (81 MPH OF arm velocity) with the actions to play all 3 spots, as well. Feet work well through the ball with a quick release and accuracy to his throws. The strength in his frame shows up once he steps in the box where he shows explosive hands (25 MPH hand speed) and a quick bat with 73.9 MPH bat speed all contributing to him flashing 94.3 MPH max exit velocity. His swing path shows the ability to lift the baseball from the middle of the field to the pull side and his overall offensive profile looks to be a potential true power hitter if he can match an in-game approach with his toolset. Milo will be tested in the ultra-competitive Trinity League during his HS season, but there is big upside with this ‘26 OF that should make him one college coaches are paying close attention to in advance of the Aug. 1, 2024 contact date.

Gavin Hottle SS / 3B / Orange Lutheran, CA / 2026

Hottle is a TCU commit who strikes an impressive young frame at 6’3 205 lbs. with good athletic ability including a 7.2 60 time on the day with a good running stride and body control. Worked out defensively at SS looking very comfortable there with soft hands and good feet which show natural rhythm into the baseball. His arm is strong and accurate with 87 MPH INF arm velocity flashing online carry to his throw. Likely will be a 3B long term.  He is a powerful presence at the plate who takes an aggressive RH swing while looking to elevate the baseball through the middle to pull side of the field. He was up to 94.9 MPH with his max exit velocity with a consistent 87 MPH avg. exit velocity Hottle showed the feel to generate consistent hard contact. The combination of feel for his barrel and the ability to leverage the baseball give Hottle the potential to be a high level offensive talent. The perennial CWS contender Horned Frogs have a very good one coming in the ‘26 class after he completes his career competing in the Trinity League.


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
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