Big 8 Bash Notebook (CA - JUCO)

Blaine Clemmens & Staff
Northern California Scouting Staff


Sacramento, CA - The Big 8 Conference has continued to show as one of the most competitive and successful Junior College conference in the State having won 5 CCCAA State Championships in the past 14 year history. These programs are also known for regularly promoting talent onto the next level with scouts and coaches (D1, D2, D3, NAIA) from around the country in attendance for the full day of Fall Coverage. Pitchers mainly went one inning facing five batters and saw players moving on and off the field and through the lineup. Even with the partial look, talent stood out. Here’s a look at the players who caught our attention.

Diablo Valley College

FR SS Sam Liang (Miramonte/San Jose State) - 5-11, 175, R/R
Medium frame, athletically built moving with agility and fluid actions at the SS position. Flashed the footwork and hands to play the position with confidence; made a nice play on a run down between 1st and 2nd cutting a throw off and going home to get the runner. Arm is loose, fuller action but playing with a clean release that keeps ball firm across. Showed his athletic ability on the bases beating out a single to the 6-hole (4.40 H-1st); best swings allow him to work with strength to the pullside. 

FR LHP Ole Iversen (Berkeley) - 6-3, 225, L/L
Wide, large frame and full frame. Iversen was a guy we saw during the Spring and continues to show some pitchability from the left side. The tucked knee and glove side creates some deception before a 3/4 release; can control the stride leg landing in open position. FB 86-88 showing ability to use on both sides and sequence pitch. SLV 75-78 blending between 11/5 and 10/4 shape; threw it on both sides of the plate including at the LHH breaking into the zone for called strikes. Pitched effectively wild in outing getting lots of swings and misses on both the SLV and FF. 

FR OF Keith Whitaker (De Anza) - 5-8, 150, L/L
Small, athletically built high waisted frame; instant speed and acceleration on the field. Looks the part of a leadoff OF who can play multiple OF spots. At the plate shows a compact swing; oppo focus, but squared up some balls that way allowing him to get out of the box easily and playing up his already plus speed; puts pressure on the defenses who take a bad step (4.15 H-1st). Used the closing speed in CF on a pop up past 2nd base covering a lot of distance quickly and making a nice play; arm can play in CF. 

Folsom Lake College

FR OF Austin Caviness (Pleasant Valley) - 5-10, 165, L/R
Long, lean frame with high waist showing quick feet and CF skills. Balanced swing showing quick, flat bat; quality AB’s picking up a hit on a liner to CF that he hustled into 2nd straight from the box (4.72T). Energy was constant and contagious playing like leadoff-type and bringing range in CF with enough arm for the position; strong footwork in the OF getting to balls quickly. 

FR RHP Hunter Hayes (Casa Robles) - 6-1, 185, R/R
Athletic, large frame, lanky with some current strength. Flashed some of the better stuff on the mound during the weekend. Delivery has some athleticism with high front knee and big hand swing getting the glove side high and using a long arm swing to get to H-3/4 release; lots of moving parts but when it was in time had the ability to have the ball jump from hand. Uses the length in his frame to get down the hill and created tough AB’s for hitters. FB 87-89 T90 flashing jump through the zone and cut, mainly pitching to the top half of the zone; did drop to 84-86 when runners were on. SLV 75-76 having tight 3/4 bend with late depth; consistent hard break getting the swing and miss and being his best offspeed. CHG 78 straight with flashes of bottom in the zone.  

College of Marin

FR RHP Zach Tonnerre (Redwood) - 6-9, 220, R/R
XL Frame, very long legs and lean build; space to keep adding weight/strength. Stays tall on the rubber with average front knee and shorter stride. Compact 3/4 release works quickly using effort to pull through the slot. FB 89-91 T93 working up/down with life through the zone. CB 68-70 long and slow in 12/6 break breaking high and dropping through the zone. CHG 77-81 hard with some armside actions on each side of the plate. Feel for the offspeed can improve and looks like a strong bullpen piece. 

Modesto Junior College

SO 3B/SS Kyle Rachels (Manteca) - 6-3, 200, R/R
Large frame, full build with strength present; some length in build projecting a bit more growth. Flashed some defensive skills looking like he can stick on the left side showing a fringe arm using a quick release, multiple angles and having accurate throws; glove made plays at both spots. Frame suggests 3rd base profile and looked more comfortable there. Low hand, slightly opened stance with compact bat; picked up two hits to LF focused on putting the bat to the ball. Moves well out of the box and looked for the extra bases on turns (4.79T). 

San Joaquin Delta College

FR SS Kemet Brown (Elk Grove) - 5-9, 160, S/R
Athletic, high-waist, medium frame with easy athleticism and actions to play SS. First step range at SS with easy movements and ability to bounce to the baseball; really liked the ability to get to the ball and get rid of it showing an above-average arm. The feet and glove work well independently and together allowing him to operate while on the move. Offensively showing lower hands keeping them tight to the body through turns and staying balanced; one AB (3U) and HBP not giving a full look at the offensive profile. Defense should carry the profile and if the bat plays would be a very interesting prospect. 

FR C Carson Stevens (Franklin Elk Grove) - 5-10, 170, R/R
Medium frame, proportional build with flexibility and athleticism especially when blocking. Impressed with his defensive skills behind the plate, especially with the catch and throw skills. Regularly on the bat using his arm side run and getting rid of the ball with strength in throws (1.99-2.06; 2.00 in game just missing a runner who went first move on LHP). Low, controlled target with strong receiving and blocking techniques matched well with footwork and quickness. Bend in the knees with an open stance having front foot lift using slight load and landing soft; compact bat fouled off some good pitches and showed strong zone awareness drawing two walks. 

FR RHP Cameron Weatherford (Arroyo) - 6-1, 180, R/R
Medium frame with high waist and strength in the thicker lower half. Showed an athletic delivery and loose arm that should keep making jumps into the Spring season. Delivery starts with hands at the face working down before back up on high front knee controlling the front side through the delivery; landed inline consistently and allowed length out of the glove before 3/4 release. The delivery is controlled and showing easy effort allowing the ball to come out firm showing life in the zone. 86-88 T89 jumping through the zone with run and lift. SLD 74-75 11/4 bend that was late and hard; sharp bend with late lateral action away from RHH’s for swing and miss. CHG 79-82 flashing feel with arm side run and sink. Build to be a starter and good feel of three pitches projecting more come Spring season. 

FR OF Kenny Williams (Elk Grove) - 6-0, 200, R/R
Muscular and full build in large frame; looks like a RB with strength in legs and upper half. Showed his athletic ability moving easily and gliding down the line (4.40 H-1st) and when stealing bases; first step burst to steal both 2nd and 3rd. Picked up multiple hits showing a quick, flat bat working gap-to-gap staying behind the baseball; projects to be a high extra-base hitter. Tracks the ball well in LF being able to adjust and find the ball even with the wind swirling. Arm was good keeping throws low to targets. 

Sierra College

FR SS Josh Rolling (Bishop Monague) - 6-3, 185, R/R
A 39th round pick out of HS last year, Rolling looks the part of a SS for the MLB Draft this year with easy athletic ability in his long, muscular and twitchy frame. The first step is very good allowing him to push the range into each hole and working with good hands; very projectable defensive skills. The arm is loose, easy and keeping the ball online across the diamond. At the plate the flared elbow, high hand stance allows for an early hand load rotating the barrel and working upwards through the zone; can push the barrel a bit creating some length. The swing and miss will be one to watch, but there’s no doubting the athletic skills and defensive tools. 

FR 3B Nate Guidara (Damonte Ranch) - 6-3, 185, L/R
Long frame, square shoulders and length in lower half in the projectable body. The frame passed the eye test and there are definitely tools there that can continue to make jumps. Defensively he showed easy actions at 3rd base, moving with agile hips and strong angles to grab the ball; matches the agility with an easy above-average arm throwing ropes to 2nd and 1st in pre-game jumping out of his hand. At the dish showed an open, high hand set up, hanging the foot and gaining ground on a smooth hand load; the hands tend to drop and push rather than rotate and if that can be cleaned up there's strength in the frame and wrists to do some damage to the baseball.

American River College

RS FR SS DeMarco Hawthorne (Sacramento) - 5-7, 140, S/R
Lean lithe body type, built like a twitchy runner, not big but has wiry strength and lots of bounce to his game. Light feet, plus agility, with excellent first step lateral quickness provides him with plus range in both directions. Soft sure hands with quick exchange, his hands and feet allow his fair/near average arm to play up. Runs with burst type speed and was flying while underway on a triple down the left field line. Swing works inside the ball on a flat plane, contact was up the middle and to the pull side. Listed as switch-hitter but only saw on right side. Displayed good baserunning acumen w/outstanding BID read and advance, and successful steal attempt.

Cosumnes River College

SO RHP Griffin Selby (Foothill) - 6-3, 230
Big strong body type, looks ‘built for innings’ cliche applies, over hand slot with disciplined arm stroke. There is some effort in the arm action but he showed the ability to effectively mix three pitches. Fastball 85-87 (T88) with some run and at times down angle, works well in combination with his what appeared to be a split-finger fastball, which was his best offering. Consistent downward life with that pitch (79-80 mph) and throws it with fastball arm speed. Has 72-74 mph curveball with 11/6 type shape. Given the arm speed and his ability to muscle the ball, there could be more in the tank.

FR SS Jack Painter (Davis) - 6-0, 187, R/R
An intriguing player with easily visible tools. Strong steamlined build with wide shoulders and upper body narrowing towards the waist. Clearly stronger and bigger than when last saw him in high school. Standout tool is a plus arm, with throws tracking/carrying across the diamond. Can let it go on backhand plays and lose little on the throw. Accuracy can wane when on the move, as was displayed on a high wide throw home when simply playing catch would have cut down a run. Soft glove and good hands but has to maintain level of concentration better on routine plays. Offensively works inside the ball well, stays in the middle of the field and will develop gap to gap extra base pop as he develops. Ran 4.61 with the footspeed indicating that moving to 3rd base may be in his future, where his defense will rate as a plus. Aggressive baserunner with hard turns.

SO C Taylor Maldonado (Bear Creek/Los Medanos College) - 5-9, 165, R/R
Plays the catcher position with a mix of athleticism and learned catcher skills. Quick/agile breakdown to block balls in dirt, though can steer ball toward the plate better. Warm-up throw of 2.07 was best throw I got. In a 1st/2nd double steal situation didn’t have a realistic chance to get lead runner but got trail runner and then on a play at the plate he nabbed a high wide throw, taking him into the runner, and while leaping caught the ball and deftly tagged the runner on the helmet as he started to slide and evade the tag. Sits well as a receiver, though did have a lapse of concentration w/runner at 3rd base, allowing a passed ball and a run to score. Offensively displayed bat speed but will have to clean up the approach and become more contact oriented.

Sacramento City College

SO RHP Marshall Hunt (Chico/NW Florida St.) - 6-3, 190
Lean and athletically put together with prototypical pitcher type build. Over hand slot, loose arm action with deep arm on backside. High knee lift and good fluidity and rhythm to the delivery. Lands on-line with soft/stable foot strike. Fastball with plenty of velocity to be successful, say 87-89 with multiple touches of 90 mph. Occasional sink and did effectively go inside vs right-handed hitters. Control was fair in this look as the outing could have had him overthrowing a bit for all the college coaches/pro scouts in attendance. Showed two breaking balls, best was 2-plane wide sweeping slider 75-77 mph, and a 73 mph curveball.

SO CF Dan Sayre (Seaside) - 5-7, 150, R/R
Small compact body with wiry strength and twitchiness. Displayed plus arm in pre-game, with throws home up to 88 mph. Arm played in game action with low trajectory one-hop strike to avoid the mound and get runner at home. Well-above average runner with turn time of 4.56 on a triple to the LF gap. There is some length in the swing and barrel was not on time to upper-80s stuff, but it’s not for lack of bat speed. Punished below average stuff. Run tool suggests that all-field line drive approach and small ball game would serve him well, but with his strength, bat speed and aggressive nature it appears as though he wants to drive the ball as a middle of the line-up type offensive player.

SO 1B Nick Cirelli (De La Salle) - 6-3, 260, L/R
Big burly body is proportioned well, with thick powerful lower body. Looks the part of a masher and run-producing type hitter and though that is certainly in his wheelhouse, he displayed a flat stroke and hit-getting ability. The swing happens easily and his timing to contact was consistent, with barrel contact being a strength of his. Ability to cover the whole plate and punish pitches left in spots where he is hunting, while also having the bat control to make two-strike adjustments. Already has a good hit tool and in time will learn to access his significant power potential. Defensively does what his needed around the bag and possesses a plus arm for the position.

SO MIF Nik McClaughry (Rocklin) - 5-9, 160, R/R
Lean wiry strong body type, tapered dimensions, played both SS and 2B with good agility and feel. Able to play athletically under control, with range and soft hands standing out. Ability to play on the move toward the bag while at 2B. Arm strength rates as near average and plays up as average with his feel for the game. Offensively displayed a quick trigger with aggressive nature, particularly to fastballs of his liking. Ball comes off his bat well and he hit where he was pitched, with good bat control. His overall athleticism played in all phases of the game.

SO MIF Joey Daini (Benicia) - 5-9, 165, R/R
Compact body type with proportional build, has put on some size and strength since high school. Known to be a talented hitter as a prep player, that trait is still present. The swing works easily and he’s got a hitter-ish feel to him at the plate, with an aggressive nature. Hunts in his spots and knows what to do with pitches to his liking. Sees the ball well out of pitchers hand while displaying ability to not chase out of zone. Defensive tools grade out best at 2B, with a fair arm, though did make his best play of the game while at SS, playing through a ball hit to his right and making easy throw on the run to nab a runner. Also made a careless play at 2B, looking up before securing the ball while charging a ground ball. Defense should rate at least as near average with the bat being his carry tool.

RS FR C/OF Chase Patton (St. Xavier-KY) - 5-9, 170, R/R
One of the players I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Displayed above average OF arm in pregame, with throws of 85-87 mph and the arm then transferred with him when moving behind the plate. Strong compact body, powerfully built. Ran 4.58 which for the catcher position indicates good athleticism. The swing is powerful, though could cut it down a touch for better bat control, with an easy trigger and disciplined path. Showed ability to lay off pitchers’ pitches and did not chase, while making hard contact to the pull-side. Strong presence behind the plate, profiles best as a catcher, with ability to play outfield if needed.

Santa Rosa Junior College

SO RHP Nik Kamages (Casa Grande) - 6-0, 175
One of top talents of the day, he also utilized his talents about as good as any player. Lean body, with wide shoulders and tapered proportions, has gained good size and strength since last seeing him in high school. High-3/4 slot, loose easy quick arm stroke, good body control with a clean delivery all the way through the finish. Buttery-smooth is an apt description. Displayed consistent control the fastball at 87-88 mph with ability to keep 90-91 in the tank when he wanted it. Went inside to right-handed hitters well, pitches with fearless and conviction. Best secondary pitch was an above average change-up 80-82 mph that came out of his hand looking like a fastball. Not the biggest body but there is still more in the tank.

Grad SO RHP Devin Kirby (Ukiah) - 5-11, 210
Full body type, broad/thick upper body with strong legs. Closer type stuff to match closer type energy/presence. Simple delivery with efficient actions, high-3/4 slot, quick arm, with quick leg movement out of separation that creates some deception to the eye of a hitter. Worked consistently 87-88 mph with a couple of dips to 86 mph. Runs the fastball inside well and attacks hitters while working quickly. Slider is his finish pitch, with late hard bite at 78-79 mph. Has enough feel of that pitch to also use it in fastball counts. Also has a 72-73 mph curveball that can be utilized as a show type pitch for an additional thought in a hitter’s mind.

FR C Jason Moran (Cardinal Newman) - 6-0, 195, R/R
Wide shoulders with remaining room to fill out and develop a powerful upper body. Well-proportioned build with tapered and lean lower body. As a high school player was one of top hitting catchers in his class and the hit tool is still present, with a particularly impressive ability to drive the ball to the middle of the field. Quiet approach, barrel consistently on time and stays behind the ball well. Dangerous all-field approach and a difficult out. Runs well for the position and can play the catcher position with athleticism. With grooming at the college level he’s got a shot to be a significant prospect at the catcher position, due in large part to his bat.

SO SS Peter Raines (IMG Academy) - 5-10, 170, R/R
Liked what I saw of Raines a year ago and he still drew my eyes in this look. Average athletic build, put together well to play up the middle. Plays the SS position with confidence and some flair that seems to come to him naturally. Soft hands and trusts his glove skills. Can make throws from multiple angles and on the move. Raw arm won’t rate with the top shortstops so the release and angles will have to be skills he consistently relies on, which he can do. Offensively he’s more of a timing hitter as opposed to having standout raw bat speed. Works consistently inside the ball (as do just about all of the SRJC hitters) and works the middle of the field well. Lower body works well to keep his barrel on time and he showed no issues with velocity up to 90 mph. Hard contact in each of his four plate appearances, with consistently approach. Highly competitive player.


NorCal Top Prospect Games CA 10/13 College of Marin