Prep Baseball Report

SoCal MLK Tournament Notes

Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

Each time that I travel down to SoCal to check out high school baseball, I am blown away by how well the teams are run. Even though this was the first week of the season, and many of the teams were coming off several days of being unable to get out on the field, the play was crisp, and the attention to detail was apparent. There is no “showcase setting” when it comes to baseball in Southern California. Winning is paramount, and each player not matter if they are on the bench or in the lineup, plays a part. These games were essentially scrimmages, but each was played as if it were late in the season: holding runner, getting guys over, and bringing plenty of energy. Kudos to all the teams in attendance because while the play could have suffered because of a more relaxed atmosphere, it most certainly did not.

Draft Talk:

Tyson Heaton RHP / 1B / Yucaipa, CA / 2019

Heaton’s first outing of the spring came with a collection of professional scouts in attendance, and he delivered a strong outing. The big right-hander has a stronger, workhorse-type frame at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, and delivered fastballs at 85-89 on a downhill plane that procured multiple swings and misses throughout the outing. Flashing the ability to flip over a low 70s curveball with more gradual break with 11/5 shape that shows promise, and a straight changeup in the upper 70s that is still developing some, Heaton gave a glimpse of projecting as a starter with a three-pitch mix. Landing slightly open with a controlled, medium-sized arm stroke, Heaton was able to repeat a controlled delivery, and high ¾ release point with relative ease. He elevated the fastball when needed and showed control of the pitch in the zone. Given the power and strength of his arm, I would expect to see more velocity as the spring unfolds, and should his secondary pitches become more consistent, Heaton could elevate his draft stock before June.

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