Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC Scout Blog: Independence at Oakton

John Nolan
VA/DC Managing Editor, NOVA Scouting Coordinator

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Friday night saw another Opening Day as Independence traveled to Vienna to take on Oakton in both teams' openers. The teams trade runs in the first inning before Independence scored three in the second and six in the third to open a 10-1 lead before cruising to a victory by that final score. Independence junior lefty Chad Yates was dominant, allowing just one walk and one hit in five innings with nine strikeouts.

Indy's offense was fueled by a power explosion from junior David Mendez (Dayton), who went 3-4 in the game and launched two home runs. Also homering was senior Owen Donahue (Salisbury), who ended up 2-3 in the game. Ethan Jones (Shepherd) had Oakton's lone hit and juniors Alex Crudder and Ryan Sleight combined to throw 4.2 innings of scoreless relief for the Cougars.

Take a look at video and notes on a few players from Friday night's game. 





Owen Donohue 1B / RHP / Independence , VA / 2022




Aidan McDonald SS / 3B / Independence, VA / 2022

McDonald is a James Madison commit. He has an athletic frame and smooth actions on the infield with good feet. At the plate, hits from the right side from a slightly open athletic stance. Short quick swing and a fast bat, slightly uphill path and a line drive hitter who shows some power in the gaps and ability to use the whole field. 




David Mendez SS / 2B / Independence, VA / 2023

Mendez is a Dayton commit and has a lankier athletic frame with a ton of projection left. Hits from the right side from an open athletic stance. Showed an all-field approach with power to all fields. Homered twice in the game, the video is his home run to center, hit another one to left later that was absolutely smashed. Fast bat with a ton of strength through contact, twitchy athlete and it shows on the field, power is present already with more to come. Showed some barrel feel and raw strength as well, making a mid-swing adjustment for his third hit, keeping his hands back and muscling a line drive into centerfield when he was a bit off balance against a breaking ball. Standout player in this game and has made big jump since 2021.




Chad Yates OF / LHP / Independence , VA / 2023

Yates is uncommitted and is taller with an athletic frame that has strength present in the lower half. Heavy crossfire delivery, hides ball well and creates a lot of deception and tough angle for hitters with that delivery, falls off and recoils as he finishes. Very short arm action that is loose and quick, throws with some effort, throws from a higher three-quarters arm slot. Fastball was 86-88, touching 89 early, settled into 84-87 in the third inning and held that for the rest of his outing. Pitch has angle and a bit of late life to it. Showed ability to attack both sides of the plate and was not afraid to go in on righthanders. Threw two distinct breaking balls, a slider with later tight 1/7 break in the 73-75 range and a curveball that was a bit slower with bigger sharp 1/7 break to it in the 69-72 range. Also threw a couple change-ups that had good armspeed and were mostly straight at 80-82. Battled through a tough first inning and then settled in showing control, only walking one hitter and hitting one. Threw 49 strikes in 75 pitches. Frame suggests he can hold up to a starter's workload and the pitch mix is there as well. Yates has made a big jump since we saw him last May and still has some more in the tank, don't expect him to remain uncommitted for long.














Robbie Lavey C / 3B / Oakton, VA / 2023

Lavey has an athletic frame with some strength present. He hits from the left side and hit in the leadoff spot, showed some speed and quickness on the bases and has the athleticism to move to other positions if needed to. Was fine behind the plate blocking and receiving, didn't really get a chance to throw. At the plate, he has a very short quick swing, slightly uphill path, uses whole field and is a line drive hitter with some power present. Swing in the video is against Yates, left-on-left with a tough angle, he put a good swing on it and hit a bullet right at the third baseman, two feet one way or the other and its probably extra bases. Whole field approach will help him hit for higher average and there is some more power for him to access as he continues to develop.




Ethan Jones OF / OF / Oakton , VA / 2022




Ryan Sleight RHP / 3B / Oakton, VA / 2023




Tanner Vislay LHP / OF / Oakton , VA / 2023