2020 Preseason: Dons Roll Fall Classic

Steve Doherty
SoCal Area Scout




CORONA, CA. - With the 2020 Southern California High School baseball season right around the corner, our California staff continues its boots on the ground scouting efforts to bring you the best coverage of the the top programs and players Southern California has to offer.

Head Coaches Andy Wise (Corona HS) Jon Webber (Cypress HS) and Michael Gonzales (El Toro HS) are advocates of legendary Hall of Fame skipper Don Sneddon and the Santa Ana College Dons Baseball Program. The bond these leaders of young men share is strong and what better way to keep those connections current than to bring their respected high school programs together and create a three-way double header coined the “Dons Roll Fall Classic”. All three programs descended upon Lyle Wilkerson Field “The Wilk” for a competitive afternoon of baseball.

2020 OF Isaiah Greene (Corona HS), a University of Missouri signee has established his name in the 2020 MLB Draft discussion since the Area Code Games last summer. 2020 C/RHP Paul Skenes (El Toro HS), a US Air Force Academy signee is in the Draft discussion as well as a backstop; and now; to the delight of his coaches, teammates, and scouts alike, has taken to the mound; which in my opinion, raises his stock.  

The here-and-now is definitely Greene and Skenes regarding the 2020 MLB Draft. However, there is much to look forward to diving deeper into this one. I will take a closer look at two 5-star recruits that will most likely be in the MLB Draft discussion two years from now. Catcher Luke Davis (Cypress HS) a USC recruit, and PBR’s #2 ranked player in the state in the 2022 class, and INF Andrew Walters (Corona HS) a San Diego St. recruit; PBR’s #10 ranked player in the same class.          PBR California 2022 Rankings  

Here are some of the standout players on the day.

el toro vs. corona

2020 C/RHP Paul Skenes (El Toro HS) The six-foot-five, 225lbs senior and USAF Academy signee toed the rubber and showed evaluators he’s got the right stuff to make a big statement and raise his overall stock. There is no question Skenes has thunder in his bat which projects at the pro level. Defensive tools play up as well for a big, long framed catcher. But on this day, it was all about Skenes on the mound. This is his first year pitching at the high school level, and my first viewing. Facts: Fastball sat 90-92 through four innings. Showed intent with clean, short, quick arm action. Exhibited athleticism in his delivery and the ability to throw strikes consistently seen here. We're excited to watch his overall development and see what he does on the mound moving forward, coupled with his catching responsibilities. To be continued….

2020 OF Isaiah Greene (Corona HS) The Missouri signee continues to make progress with his overall game. As long as growth occurs, a single game performance should not be the focal point here. Greene hit the ball hard on this day without the desired results. I came away impressed with his ability to stick to a plan at the plate no matter the previous result. Stock remains on the rise.

2022 INF Andrew Walters (Corona HS) has had a monster fall, and overall development is occurring at a rapid pace. The San Diego St. recruit continues to punish baseballs no matter who is on the mound. The swing is under control and violent, and he will make you pay for missed pitches down in the zone as seen here. Physically mature beyond his age, Walters also has an advanced approach to the game.  Seems to have found a home at 3B this year, but no doubt will be called upon to play everywhere in the infield. 

2020 1B Shayne Simpson (El Toro HS) Standing six-foot-four, 205lbs the athletic CBU signee will be a key factor in the Chargers success as a whole this season. Not only will he be asked to be a producer in the middle of the lineup, he will be asked to log important innings on the mound. This recruit has over the fence power potential and plays the game the right way. Admire the hustle out of the box stretching a single into a double. 

2020 OF Daniel Cruz (Corona HS) The uncommitted senior has been on an offensive tear for the last two months. Hard to believe at this point what would be keeping college programs from not taking a serious look at Cruz. Cruz has two plus tools to admire and one of them can’t be taught, speed.  The other tools are right on pace and coming along quite nicely. As soon as he adds muscle, the power tool will develop. Cruz is an elite student as well with a 4.4 GPA. 

cypress vs. el toro

2022 C Luke Davis (Cypress HS) It feels like Davis has been around for years even though he’s a sophomore. The USC recruit has three plus tools currently. Hit, power, and arm. Swing is torque heavy and the approach puts him in poor hitting counts at times. Davis has to work extra hard to get back into at-bats when this occurs. Bat speed is plus-plus and is able to handle high velocity. Receiving skills and presentation continues to improve and the glove hand is soft and stable. Blocks the ball well because of his athleticism, and proper footwork techniques allows him to keep the ball in front of him on balls in the dirt. This clip here gives you an idea of his arm tool. Clocked a 1.97 from knees.

+ 2020 RHP Jason Blood (Cypress HS) Uncommitted. This is my first look at Blood and came away impressed. This is Blood’s second year pitching at the high school level and what stood out was how fresh his arm looks. Displays a quick arm, with clean arm-action, and athleticism in his delivery; a solid foundation to start off with.  Fastball sat 85-88, topping 89 and broke off a few really nice curveballs that backed up on him at times. There is still ample room for physical projection as he stands on a lean, wiry frame. College coaches need to pay close attention and run to get a look of this uncommitted senior, and late bloomer. 

2021 MIF Davis Hildebrandt (Cypress HS) Uncommitted. Medium, compact, athletic frame with room to add strength. Makes loud contact when he stays through the ball, but has a tendency to pull off of it at times. Primarily gap-to-gap doubles type power currently. When he is going well he sends line-drives around the field. Shows his creativity and imagination here with a cheeky behind the back feed. Has high baseball IQ and instincts are off the charts. Is a premium defender that handles the bat at the top of the lineup. College coaches need to scoop this recruit up sooner than later. 

2020 INF/OF Noah Carter (Cypress HS) Recently shifted back into an uncommitted status from a Cal State Fullerton commitment. Large frame, athletic build, with long arms and legs; projection remains for additional upper and lower body growth. Sets up with a slightly open stance, quiet pre-swing with a leg kick timing mechanism. Swing can get a little stiff, lacking fluidity at times, but has length in the swing with above average bat speed and very quick hands. Shows doubles power generated from his strong frame, gets loft in the swing, and ball jumps off the bat. Displays solid actions at third base, and has the ability to play the outfield. A three year starter at the varsity level and has proven he can hit good pitching consistently. A more than capable uncommitted recruit that college coaches need to pay attention to. 



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