Prep Baseball Report

San Diego Swing: Lions Tournament

Jack Shannon
San Diego Area Scout


San Diego Lions Tournament Recap Podcast

SAN DIEGO, CA. - San Diego Padres legend and city icon Tony Gwynn once said, “remember these two things: play hard and have fun.” That sentiment was as clear as day while covering the 69th Annual San Diego Lions Tournament. Regarded as the biggest and best high-school baseball competition of its kind in the United States, featuring 140 teams from all over the great state of California as well as Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon. The tournament was broken up into nine divisions comprised of teams will similar talent base in order to create competitive divisions from top to bottom. The Lions tournament featured MLB draft prospects, Division 1 college commits, upsets and exciting championship games.

Covering eight games across the county in four days exposed me to all sorts of exciting players with different skill sets and ability. I spent time digesting as much as I could through note taking, video, talking with scouts, coaches, parents and fans all while enjoying the scene and the San Diego sunshine. In this special edition of the San Diego Swing I break down seven players in depth, featuring three PAC-12 powerhouse commits along with four uncommitted players that will find themselves on the college radar sooner rather than later. Along with reporting on these players I created a notes section where you will find details on players throughout the tournament.

2019 Lions Tournament Champions

Open Division: Desert Oasis (Las Vegas, NV)

Classic Division: St. Augustine (San Diego, CA)

Premier Division: Thousand Oaks (Thousand Oaks, CA)

6A: Point Loma (San Diego, CA)

5A: Escondido (Escondido, CA)

4A: Classical Academy (Escondido, CA)

3A: Southwest San Diego (San Diego, CA)

2A: Heritage Christian (San Diego, CA)

1A: Caruthers (Caruthers, CA)


Best Talent: Desert Oasis (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Best Game: Coronado (NV) vs Point Loma (6A Championship)

Best Pitching Performance: DJ Jefferson vs Newbury Park

Best Defense Performance: Ethan Gourson (Point Loma) vs Newbury Park

Best Offensive Performance: Thomas Saggese (Carlsbad) 2 HR vs El Camino Real

Freshman Names to Watch: Finn McIlroy (Carlsbad), Binyam Gebhardt (Classical Academy)

2019 MLB DRAFT Prospects: Keoni Cavaco 3B (Eastlake), Mac Bingham OF (Torrey Pines), Anthony Hall 1B (Point Loma), Aaron Roberts RHP/1B (Desert Oasis), DJ Jefferson RHP (Desert Oasis), Stephen Klenske RHP (Sage Creek), Octavio Corona RHP (Otay Ranch), 2019 OF Campbell Holt - Desert Oasis (NV)


  • 2019 3B Riley O’Sullivan - Valhalla HS - 6-foot-4 250-pounds, R/R, leader, patient hitter, high baseball IQ and strong family lineage.

  • 2020 OF/P Cody Turner - Knight HS - 6-foot 185-pounds, L/L, two-way standout, strong arm, good feel for the game, passes the eye test, bad grades.

  • 2020 P Henry Miller - Carlsbad - 6-foot-2 210-pounds, R/R, big strong pitchers build, off-speed arsenal with movement down in the zone.

  • 2022 P Finn McIlroy - Carlsbad - R/R, long and lanky, fastball 83-85, lots of projection on the mound, also plays SS, freshman name to watch.

  • 2020 OF Nick Naccarato - Sage Creek - L/R,  solid build with some projection, division 1 swing, Ivy League grades, getting better.

  • 2020 C Owen Mortenson - Bingham (UT) - 6-foot 180-pounds, R/R, strong build, current and projectable power, 2.05 pop time, some athleticism.

  • 2020 INF/P Ivran Romero - Poway - 5-foot-11 185-pounds, R/R, statistical two-way star, good feel for the game, uncommitted.

  • 2019 C Taylor Johnson - Poway - 5-foot-8 180-pounds, R/R, catcher’s build, solid behind the dish, blocks and receives well, field general.

  • 2019 OF/P Cole Kitchen - El Camino Real - 5-foot-11 175-pounds, L/L, three hits, runs well, good college skill set.

  • 2019 OF Kenny Williams - Elk Grove - 6-foot-2 200-pounds, R/R, big strong build, toolsy, current and projectable power, uncommitted.

  • 2020 C/1B Austin Machado - La Costa Canyon - 6-foot 180-pounds, L/R, solid catchers build, improving, good receiver and pitch framer, uncommitted.

  • 2019 OF Mac Bingham - Torrey Pines - 5-foot-10 190-pounds, R/R, continues to hit and hit some more, covered a lot of ground, player of the year candidate.

  • 2019 OF Jake Connelly - Torrey Pines - 6-foot-3 190-pounds, L/R, fresh off sitting out transfer period, Utah commit, toolsy, name to watch down the line.

  • 2019 3B Keoni Cavaco - Eastlake - 6-foot-1 190-pounds, R/R, made first error in five games seen, struggled with off-speed, homered previous day.

  • 2019 1B Anthony Hall - Point Loma - 6-foot-2 195-pounds, L/L, emerging as potential pop-up candidate, homered to deep right in first at-bat, can stay at 1B.

  • 2020 3B Jeff Barber - Point Loma - 6-foot-3 195-pounds, L/R, starting to show strong skill set, strong defensively, bat is getting better.

  • 2020 OF/P Hunter Otjen - Point Loma - 5-foot-11 185-pounds, R/R, statistical two-way star, leader, bulldog on the mound, needs to add velocity.

  • 2020 SS Josh Johnson - Coronado NV - 6-foot-2 180-pounds, R/R, athletic infielder, significant arm strength, looks the part.

  • 2021 INF Jett Kenyon - Coronado NV - 6-foot 160-pounds, R/R, athletic infielder, projectable, created an impressive duo with Johnson, big hit late in game.

  • 2019 OF Campbell Holt - Desert Oasis (NV) - 6-foot-2 180-pounds, L/L, lanky outfielder that can hit, USC commit.


Thomas Saggese

4/15/19- 2020 Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA) INF Thomas Saggese is currently uncommitted. Throws right and hits right. Started at shortstop and hit leadoff. Average infielders build with some room for added strength. Throwback style, no batting gloves, leader. 


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