Prep Baseball Report

On the Hunt: Boras Classic Day 3

Prep Baseball Report’s Shooter Hunt and Nathan Rode are in Southern California to cover the 2017 Boras Classic. Rode will primarily focus on draft prospects while Hunt will mostly highlight underclassmen. Video highlights and comments from both are provided in The Rode Show.

By Shooter Hunt
National Crosschecker

Day 3 of the Boras Classic continued the high level of play that has become the norm this week in Orange County. I got my first look at potential (probable) high 2017 draft pick while watching Notre Dame High School’s SS/RHP Hunter Greene (UCLA) collect two hits, and show of smooth actions with a quick release and cannon for an arm at shortstop during a game against Mater Dei which features a slew of underclass talent, but is led by 2017 C Blake Hunt (Pepperdine) who is 6-foot-3, 195-pounds with an impressively strong lower half, and is a quiet receiver with a strong arm as well as having a powerful bat. Although 2017 RHP/C Hagen Danner did not pitch (or catch) for Huntington Beach, he did mash a deep, no doubt, home run to left field, and collected two hits on the day. However, it was the underclassmen that I was locked in on throughout the day. Here are a few that stood out in the games that I was at:

JSerra Catholic 3 Gahr 2

+ 2018 SS Michael Perez (UCLA) showed off some power when he drove a ball deep to left centerfield that bounced off the wall and ended with him standing on second base with a double. Perez hits from a compact, balanced stance and shows off quick hands with little movement to produce high exit velocities. He reminds me, somewhat, of former Anaheim Angel, Johnny Giavotella, with his short path to the ball, and strength through the zone. In the field he is sure-handed, and shows off a strong, accurate arm. The son of two coaches, Perez is a smart ballplayer with a high baseball IQ, and plays hard at all times.

+ 2019 OF/RHP Andrew Householder is an exciting, athletic player with a smooth left-handed stroke. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder still shows signs of future growth, and should add more muscle in the next couple of years. At the plate, Householder begins with his hands held high in an open stance. From there he rhythmically loads them down and back with a toe tap before striding out, and ripping the barrel through the zone. Householder runs well, and shows off a solid throwing arm in the outfield. As he continues to add strength, he has a chance to be a very nice player for some program at the next level.

+ 2019 1B David Le Bioda is 6-foot-4, 235-pound physical left-handed hitter who appears to be getting better each game that I see him play. Le Bioda starts squared in a slight crouch with his hands held at shoulder level. He strides early, getting his foot down to rock his weight back and lower his hands into a launch point. He showed the ability to go the opposite way by shooting a line drive to left field for a single. As he continues to mature into his thick frame, Le Bioda has a chance to hit for power.

+ 2019 OF/1B Blake Klassen continued to showcase a strong bat. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder already has a strong frame, especially on his lower-half. Klassen sets up balanced and square with his hands held right at his back shoulder. His load works impressively smooth as his hands rock down and back before quickly coming through the zone. Klassen showed off his strength by flicking a ball that bounced off the right field wall for a double that scored the winning run. Klassen has been one of, if not the, most impressive freshman/sophomore that I have seen hit this week.

Aliso Niguel 9 La Mirada 0

+ 2020 C Emilio Morales is a name that college coaches are going to want to make note of. On a tough day for La Mirada, Morales continued to perform like the rising star that he is by going 2-for-2. Morales has a simple approach but shows off wiry whippiness to his swing courtesy of his 6-foot-2, 170-pound frame. Just a freshman, Morales appears to still be growing, and should add much more muscle before finishing up his time at La Mirada. Behind the plate, Morales receives with soft hands and loose hips, and shows off a strong arm with carry.

+ 2018 RHP/INF Ethan Reed had a very nice day both on the mound, and at the plate. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder has an athletic frame and strong right arm. He ran his fastball up to 90 mph, and settled into the 87-88 range while working both sides of the plate with a smooth, medium-sized arm stroke. He also featured a developing slider at 71-72, and a changeup that showed big arm side run, at times as he manipulated it. He throws from a near over the top slot, and remains linear down the mound. At the plate, the left-handed hitter is a large presence in the box with a spread out stance. He shows strength in his swing and was 2-for-3 on the day. Overall, Reed shows off a polished delivery, and should continue to see a rise in velocity as he gets older and adds strength.

Mater Dei 10 Notre Dame 1

+ 2018 OF Noah Taylor is a 6-foot 195-pound muscular athlete with a strong uphill path and quick hands. Taylor lifted a home run over the wall in right field, and added another hit to go 2-for-4 on the day. Taylor is a threat every time he steps to the plate, and his barrel appears to stay in the zone forever after his hands quickly get it there. In the outfield, Taylor moves around with ease and shows off an accurate throwing arm. Also a quarterback, Taylor’s athleticism should allow him to continue progressing, and he has a chance to blossom

+ 2020 LHP/1B Lucas Gordon (USC) pinch-hit late in the game, and showcased a simple swing with quick hands. The 6-foot, 170-pounder stroked a line drive to the opposite field that the left fielder caught.

+ 2020 INF Devan Ornelas took an impressive round of infield while playing behind 2017 SS/RHP Hunter Greene. Ornelas looks every bit the part of a player that will have a chance to slide into the shortstop position next year. He has soft hands and twitchy movements with the ability to make accurate throws from all angles. The left-handed hitter sets up from a crouched position, and had a bunt single on the day.

+ 2018 SS Emilio Rosas continued to look the part of a top-tier shortstop at the next level. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder shows off a strong throwing arm with soft hands. He rarely gets cheated at the plate and was 1-for-3 on the day.

Huntington Beach 11 Santiago 9

+ 2019 LHP/OF Josh Hahn sat 85-88 on the mound for Huntington Beach. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-hander has a quick arm, and the ball jumps out of his hand from a ¾ slot. His motion was clean and athletic, and while he struggled, at times, to find his release point, he was able to battle out of some difficult situations brought on by errors. Hahn also tossed in a 67-69, 2/8, multi-plane curveball that he slowed his arm on slightly as well as a changeup at 74 mph. Hahn also had two singles at the plate, and has a simple approach with a strong lower hand that allows him to keep his barrel in the zone for a long time. He has a chance to be a two-way player at the next level, and will likely be coveted by many recruiting coordinators.


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