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Brewers Underclass Area Code Tryout Notebook


Les Lukach & Steve Doherty
PBR California Staff

 

 

SANTA BARBARA, CA. - Over 80 players in the 2021 - 2023 classes from around SoCal converged on Westmont College for the annual Brewers Underclass Area Code Team tryout for a shot at making the team that will compete in the Underclass Area Code Games August 10-12 at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton. 

It’s no secret the shortstop position is deep in California in the ‘21 class and today there were three guys, all at the top of the class rankings, battling to make the team. The same can be said for the catching position and that held true again today. Pitching proved to be a pleasant surprise in terms of the continued development of arms and their subsequent improvements. Meanwhile, the outfield position in the 2021 class is beginning to take shape as it pertains to a pecking order with one player continuing his scorching summer today and making yet another statement. 

Let’s dive into some standouts from the day. 

+ 2021 SS Marcelo Mayer (Eastlake HS) has the look of a future professional shortstop at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds. The USC commit opened up running a hand-timed 6.92 60-yard dash. It’s a graceful, athletic gait that eats up ground with long strides. Mayer showed off his easy power from the left side during BP routinely peppering balls off the fence and showing a new wrinkle with his opposite field power in his second round. Last year at the Underclass Area Code Game, Mayer had a noticeably significant coil that caused the barrel to lag, that is now gone thanks to the added strength. Defensively the arm is big, strong, and accurate to go with plus defensive actions across the board.

 + 2021 SS Max Muncy (Thousand Oaks HS) passes the eye-test at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds then you watch him play and it’s easy to look ahead a few years at what may be. After running a hand-timed 6.94 60-yard dash, the uncommitted Muncy proceeded to spray balls to all fields with present twitch strength and the occasional over-the-fence power stroke. It’s a simple setup and swing, but it’s Muncy’s ability to manipulate the barrel through the zone that separates him. He’s beginning to show all-field power in his arsenal as well. Defensively he’s a twitchy shortstop that can make plays to both sides to go with an arm that can make throws from all angles. Smoked a line drive into left field for an in-game single. 

+ 2021 SS Cody Schrier (JSerra HS) is another guy that has the look of a future professional shortstop at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds. The USC commit busted out a hand-timed 6.78 60-yard dash to start his day. Schrier struggled a bit in his first round of BP but made up for it in his second with line drive after line drive. Showed some power in that second round two with a couple balls to the fence. Got rang up on a questionable call (catcher’s called strikes) in the game. Schrier has enough credit in the bank based off past performances to overlook a shaky BP round. Defensively the actions are smooth with range to both sides and excellent footwork. Hands are smooth and fast and the arm can make all the throws. 

+ 2022 SS Andrew Walters (Corona HS) is going to be a household name in recruiting circles in short order. The uncommitted rising sophomore may have had the best overall day of any player. After running a hand-timed 7.25 60-yard dash, Walters showed off his power during BP where he routinely hit balls off the fence and sprayed balls on a line to all fields from a compact and efficient crouched setup. The power continued in-game when he launched a no-doubt home run off an 87 mph fastball on the outer half. Defensively his actions are smooth with developing arm strength. He shows the characteristics of a shortstop and will likely have the chance to play there in the future. The arm strength is fair. 

+ 2021 OF Nick McLain (Beckman HS) is having one of the best summers of any uncommitted player in the class. He’s been on an offensive and pitching tear, and while he didn’t pitch today, he sure did show up with the bat. After running a hand-time 6.86 60-yard dash, McLain showed off his big present pull side power during his BP rounds banging balls off the fence. He also showed his ability to use the gaps with some power too. Defensively he had one of, if not the, best arms during the session. It was strong, accurate with carry on his throws. His footwork and athleticism have improved significantly and it really showed itself during the defensive workout portion. The needle is pointing straight up for McLain who should have a legitimate shot at making this team. 

+ 2021 OF Gabe D’Arcy (JSerra HS) is one of the hottest uncommitted players in the class alongside McLain. D’Arcy is an athletic 6-foot-3, 215-pounds of proportional strength that busted out a 6.65 hand-timed 60-yard dash. His power in the bat is indisputable as he showed during BP where he mashed balls to all fields with authority. That carried over into the game where he smoked a standup double (see below) into left-field. Defensively he’s made strides with the accuracy of his arm from right field. It’s always been big, but now the accuracy is coming along with it providing another weapon while his athleticism allows him to play any position in the outfield as he’s shown he can do this summer. 

+ 2021 OF/INF Roc Riggio (Thousand Oaks HS) is a known name in recruiting circles and rightfully so, the athletic rising junior shows all-fields power with the ability to go over-the-fence. The power in the bat is real and he showed that today in his second round of batting practice. Riggio covers the plate very well while showing great pitch selectivity/recognition as demonstrated in-game where he saw 13 pitches in an at-bat. Riggio played second base in-game and showed he can handle the position with ease. His hands work there and the arm is plus from there as well. Got handcuffed on a ball in-game, but gathered himself and made a clean throw to nail the runner by a step. 

+ 2022 OF Trevor Schmidt (Servite HS) simply continues to impress with his ability to slow the game down and be present in the moment. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound, two-sport athlete shows developing pull side power in the bat to go with the ability to hit balls the other way from the left side. There’s no wasted movements in his compact swing and his ability to handle the barrel is impressive for a rising sophomore. Defensively he has athletic actions with nimble footwork as he circles the ball. Funnels out front and the arm shows some accuracy and strength that will undoubtedly improve as he continues to mature physically. 

+ 2021 1B/LHP Kaden Moeller (King HS) is coming off a spring that saw him miss the first seven weeks of the season due to a broken hand and boy is he making up for lost time. Moeller is proving to be one of the better bats in the class from the left side with his present power to the pull side and he has the ability to wear out the right-center-field gap too. Moeller has one of those classic, pure swings you see from lefties and his ability to read spin is improving dramatically. The recent Long Beach State commit did not pitch in the tryout, but we have seen him up to 86 with the fastball. 

+ 2021 C Max Shor (Palm Desert HS) is a rugged, durable, physical catcher at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds. The San Diego commit has the prototypical catchers build with continually developing flexibility in the hips and into the ankles. Sets up deep before lifting a tick when receiving. Hands are soft and his transitions clean. Arm is strong and accurate (1.93-2.0, 77 mph) with throws on the bag. Shows his power more consistently with improving bat/hand speed. Is able to maintain barrel on plane through the hitting zone while adjusting its path according to the pitch. 

+ 2021 C Charlie Saum (Thousand Oaks HS) has an athletic, durable build at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds. The Stanford commit showed why he’s so highly regarded as a prospect nationally with his easy all-fields power from the right side. Saum hammered balls to the gaps during BP while putting some off the fence to the pull side. Reads spin out of the hand very well and is selective at the plate. Shows excellent plate coverage too. He’s an athletic catcher with excellent flexibility and lateral movements behind the plate. Arm strength is above average (1.94-2.01, 79 mph) with throws on the bag. Proved to be a smart pitch caller by mixing speeds and locations in his calls. 

+ 2022 C Luke Davis (Cypress HS) showed why he’s at the top of the Class of 2022 rankings with his easy left-handed power, his ability to drive balls in the gap, and his plus arm behind the plate. The switch-hitting Davis scuffled a tick from the right side during BP, but when he switched sides it was game on as he hammered balls off the fence and into the gaps that just sounded different off the bat. There’s some controlled aggression in the swing that produces loud contact. Defensively Davis showed arguably the best arm of any catcher in attendance. It’s big and accurate. Caught a would-be base stealer in-game with a 2.01 pop time. While working in the 1.94-1.97 range and registering an 81 mph throw during the workout portion. 

+ 2022 LHP Mikiah Negrete (Orange Lutheran HS) shows significant improvement from my last viewing. The uncommitted southpaw was efficient in his outing pounding the corners at 84-85 mph with the fastball before unleashing a late biting slider at 78 mph that kept hitters off balance just enough. Fastball showed some late run to the arm side. It’s a loose, easy arm with clean, repeatable mechanics. Negrete, who also plays water polo, has plenty of room for physical maturation of his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame. There’s way more in there for Negrete who should have a chance at meaningful innings for OLu next year. 

+ 2022 LHP Chris Grothues (Servite HS) is coming off a spring that saw him elevate himself near the top of the Servite rotation. The uncommitted rising sophomore has some funk in his delivery and does a great job of changing the hitters eye level with his fastball and curveball. Fastball touched 85 a few times and lived 82-84 mph with some run back to the arm side. It was his ability to command it black-to-black that impressed. After an initial loose one, the curveball was sharp and flashed some bite and depth at 66-68 mph. Intriguing pitcher who has valuable innings in the Trinity League under his belt already. 

+ 2022 RHP Matthew Porchas (Santa Margarita HS) is a recent University of Texas commit who at 6-foot-3, 205-pounds fits the profile of a prototypical Longhorn power arm.There’s strength to the frame, particularly in the lower half, with room to grow through the shoulders. Porchas shows a clean, loose arm that has some whippyness to it. While his command was spotty today, his stuff was its usual flashy self. Working 86-87 and touching 88 mph with the fastball while flashing downhill angle and some late life. The curveball was hit-and-miss today in terms of command, but it flashes sharp break and depth when on.

+ 2021 RHP Max Miller (Cathedral Catholic HS) showed very well at the PBR Tournaments in June and continued that today. Miller flashed arguably the best repertoire of any pitcher on the day with his fastball, curveball, changeup, slider mix. He worked his fastball on a downhill plane at 87-88 mph keeping the pitch below the knees and black-to-black throughout the outing. Miller’s changeup shows fading, downer action away from lefties that induced swing-and-miss results twice at 81 mph. Miller flashed a slider at 78-79 mph with sweeping movement, but it was his potential power curve that was a treat. Working 72-73 mph with the pitch, it flashes true 12-6 breaking with sharp biting action. There’s depth to the pitch, that along with the rest of the repertoire, comes from the same 3/4 slot. 

+ 2022 RHP Luke Jewett (JSerra HS) has the look of a future power-armed ace. The UCLA commit worked his fastball from black-to-black at 90-91 mph while his sharp curveball flashed depth at 75-76 mph. Jewett threw one chageup at 75 mph. Jewett shows a loose, clean arm and a delivery that he’s able to repeat. He hides the ball well in the back of his compact delivery motion making it difficult for hitters to pick up the spin. He gains ground down the mound while landing inline consistently. He looks more physical than his 6-foot-3, 180-pound listing as he appears thicker in the neck/shoulders area. 


UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Inland Empire Top Prospect ID CA 07/23 Santiago High School
Northern California Top Prospect ID CA 07/24 St. Mary's College
Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/30 LakePoint
2019 PBR Future Games (California Invite) CA 07/31 LakePoint - Cartersville, GA
California State Games CA 08/17 Vanguard University
Kern County Prospect I.D. CA 09/07 Cal State Bakersfield
SoCal Prospect Games CA 09/14 JSerra High School
Rising Stars Showcase CA 09/21 Santiago High School

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