CA D1 NCAA Fall Coverage: Fresno State Bulldogs

Ryan Ozella
NorCal Area Scout

Stephen Schott Stadium, Santa Clara, CA - The D1 2020 season is just around the corner and Fall Games are a great way to get a look at the talent for the season and upcoming MLB Draft. On 10/27/19 I checked out the fall college game between Fresno State and Santa Clara, two teams coming off very different 2019 seasons. 

Fresno State had a fantastic 2019 season falling one game short of a trip to the Super Regionals in a very tough Regional bracket at Stanford. The Bulldogs also saw multiple players become MLB draft picks including 1st Round RHP Ryan Jensen, so they are looking to reload with a group of younger players to make 2020 just as successful as 2019. Some of the talent stood out in a rough outing on Sunday and the Bulldogs will look to stay atop the Mountain West Conference this season. 

I broke down the players who stood out to me from Santa Clara yesterday and today break down the players who stood out for the Fresno State Bulldogs.


2020 Draft Players:

RHP Jamison Hill - Junior
Came in late in the game but showed stuff to be a big time starter for the Bulldogs in 2020. Four pitch mix with a high waisted and wide shouldered frame; long legs projecting more strength as he moves into the MLB levels. Delivery is easy and rhythmic keeping the hands at the waist through an average front knee; builds momentum getting out over a short stride with the firm front leg absorbing the body well. Loose and easy arm working out of the glove by the elbow and unwinding in sequence to its 3/4 release. FB 90-93 T94 with arm side life and the ability to spot with angle down and away. CHG 79-80 arm-side bottom with heaviness; pitch had times where it would flatten the run. CB 74-79 late and sharp depth in 12/6 shape; above-average pitch flashing feel and ability to locate it. SLD 79-83 short and sharp with through the zone tilting actions; above-average pitch when at it’s best, though did have a few backup and spin up in the zone. 3K’s and got a lot of ground balls for his defense. When he works ahead, very tough for hitters to hunt pitches especially with the CB/SLD that are big time swing and miss pitches. 

OF Nate Thimjon - Junior
Thimjon has the frame that passes the eye test being long, strong and wide shouldered fitting well in RF looking like a key offensive weapon for Fresno State. Stands slightly opened with high hands pulling the knob down on load with rhythm; swing creates late upward barrel speed showing off raw power during BP working through the middle of the field and deep over fences in the gaps. Hit out in front a bit during his AB’s for a couple weak ground ball, but showed his bat speed during batting practice. Athleticism present getting out of the box quickly (4.26 H-1st); and being able to move side-to-side in RF. Type of arm showing looseness and a high-release allowing him to create life on throws; arm flashed above-average. Big year could see him rise up draft boards. 

RHP Oscar Caravhal - RS Junior
A 32nd round draft pick in 2019, Caravhal started for Fresno State having mixed results in his two innings of work. Medium, athletic frame with lean firm muscles. Delivery keeps hands tight through the swing with an average front knee in a tall and fall styled motion; flashed some back side drive down the hill and ability to control the front side with open footed landing. The arm is very compact and short in swing with a H-3/4 release; missed early in his first inning leading to some hard contact including a 2R HR to RCF. Adjusted and was better in repeating his release during the 2nd inning inducing easy ground balls and picking up a K. FB 88-90 firm to the glove side off the plate; able to flash run/cut as well and locate pitch. CHG 76-77 with arm side bottom and dive; firm actions able to control the pitch and throw multiple times in different locations. CB 75-77 slurvy 11/5 bend that was able to bend later at the plate; best ones were able to be located inside and outside the zone. Times where he can change the sequence and pitch backwards against hitters. Figures to be a weekend starter after a strong 2019 season

Future Players to Watch: 

3B Ryan Higgins - 2021
Started at the hot corner and hit in the three-hole showing the physical frame and bat speed to be a key offensive piece going into Spring. Large, wide and full frame moving with agile feet and showing current strength throughout the frame. Even hands at the plate with high back elbow and stands slightly opened; aggressive swings showing present bat speed and ability to lift to the pullside from the rhythm in his hands. Showed his strength in second AB with pitch on inner half shooting it into RCF for easy 1B; some more raw strength in the frame flashing some pop during batting practice. Played tight during the game which allowed his quick feet to make some plays on angles, but also had some balls become hits because of the limited time to react and grab them. Arm shows the strength at 3rd with some effort and accurate throws to both bags; should stick at position possibly being able to fit in a corner OF spot as well. 

OF EJ Andrews - 2021
Started in CF and was the leadoff guy showing the defense to stick in CF. Strong, rolled shoulders frame having twitchy attributes and some burst out of the box (4.44 H-1st). Hands are low in slightly opened stance with hands staying as he sinks into the body during the load; hands worked directly to the baseball with some upwards barrel path. Showed gap-to-gap strength in his round of BP with the ability to execute and shoot line drives through the gaps; patience was there later in the game picking up two walks. Defense was consistent and shows strong range covering both gaps and working hips to get behind baseballs; compact arm fits best in CF/LF showing run when throwing to bases. 

LHP Jake Harrell - 2022
Really projectable frame and arm action looking like the type of prospect to follow for jumps in stuff over the next couple seasons. XL frame with length in the limbs and frame able to add continued strength. Deliberate delivery with high front knee tucking while he tilts over the back hip gathering before coming down the hill with some crossfire finish; loose and long 3/4 arm that moves easily and effortlessly through the slot. FB 87-89 staying to the arm side with some angle that way; worked 85-86 during stretch and see more velocity as he continues to strengthen the frame. CHG 81-82 straight change with the ability to turn over for run when needing it; showed ability to repeat the pitch and sells it well with similar arm speed. SLD 75-78 short and lateral flashing tilt; could call it a cutter as the movement is slight, but flashed a couple with better tilt in it. Quick inning of work getting soft ground balls.