Prep Baseball Report

Area Code Games Thursday Notebook

Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

LONG BEACH, CA—Thursday at 2019 Area Code Games featured another slate of five games. Here are the highlights…

+ C Tyler Soderstrom (Turlock HS, CA) is making his case as the top catching prospect in the country. He has a quiet set-up and approach from the left side, and consistently finds the barrel with an easy swing. He has been making loud contact all week and continued to do so Thursday with a flyout that was 91 mph off the bat and a single to left-center field that was 95.

+ RHP Jason Savacool (Baldwinsville HS, NY) got the start for the New York Yankees and went four innings, allowing a run on three hits while striking out nine. After allowing a single to start the game, he settled in and dominated with his fastball to strike out the next three batters. On previous looks this summer, I didn’t see Savacool land his slider, but the arm and fastball were always electric. On Thursday, he was able to spin his slider at times. It was still inconsistent, but he flashed some that were average to above average in the low 80s with late bite. His fastball was 90-93 with arm-side life and he even mixed in a changeup with sink and fade.

+ The Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers had the first game of the day and SS Ed Howard (Mount Carmel HS, IL) was batting leadoff. He woke everybody up with a rocket—a single back up the middle at 103 mph—and then stole second base. However, he fell victim to the defense of C Drew Romo (The Wooldands HS, TX), who back picked him at second with a 1.93-second pop time.

+ Romo’s defense is among the best in the country, but he’s quietly having a solid week at the plate too. He singled in his first at-bat Wednesday and then launched a two-run home run to left field in his second. It was 97 off the bat and traveled 368 feet. He caught another base stealer later with a 2.0 pop time.

+ C Calvin Harris (Western Dubuque HS, IA) has a very short swing with a direct path that allows him to impact the baseball to all fields. In his only at-bat Thursday, he had a hard single to left field.

+ C Kevin Parada (Loyola HS, CA) has seen his strong summer continue in Long Beach with the Georgia Tech recruit consistently squaring balls up to all fields while also providing strong defense. He was 2-for-4 Wednesday with two doubles. One was poked down the opposite field line and the other was launched to the left field corner at 102 off the bat. He also threw a base stealer out at second with a strong, accurate throw. He also had a loud flyout to center field.

+ 1B Jonathan Vaughns (St. John Bosco HS, CA) is a physical left-handed hitter, standing at 6-foot-1, 214 pounds. He was 1-for-3, squaring up a flyout to right field and a single through the right side, which were 97 and 95 off the bat respectively.

+ IF Jacob Gonzalez (Glendora HS, CA) has a rangy frame and moves athletically in the field. At the plate, he has loose, quick hands from the left side. In his final at-bat Thursday, he laced an RBI double to left-center field.

+ OF Carson Wells (Bishop Gorman HS, NV) has a sweet left-handed swing and has consistently made strong contact this week. He added two more hits Wednesday.

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