CA D1 NCAA Fall Coverage: Santa Clara Broncos

Ryan Ozella
N. California 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. 

Santa Clara turned to their youth in 2019 fighting through a tough season, but that youth was on display against Fresno State knocking out 12 runs against a Bulldogs team coming off a Regional Playoff appearance. The future looks bright for the Broncos as their youth looks ready to match with key veterans and take a leap forward pushing the Broncos up the rankings in the deep and competitive West Coast Conference.

Over the next couple of days I’ll break down the players who stood out from each team starting today with the Santa Clara Broncos.


2020 Draft Players:

RHP Julian Tristan - DE Sophomore
The live-armed righty started the day off on the right foot, pounding the zone with his loose M-¾ arm drawing weak contact while striking out the middle of the order in a strong Fall 2 IP outing. Tristan has a large and lanky frames and uses it well in the quick and momentum building delivery. The long and loose arm gets out back behind him, but has the quickness to get out front unimpeded spotting the FB on both sides of the plate. FB 91-94 T95 staying mainly 93-94 with life staying off the middle of the plate; swing and miss pitch up through top of the zone. Working from the stretch did see the velocity fall to 89-90. CHG 79-81 two-seam actions with small bottom used against both RHH/LHH. SLD 79-82 short, rolling over late toward the plate; had a couple just spin but was able to fool hitters with its action picking up two of the Ks. The frame still has space to take on strength and the life on the fastball is impressive showing he should be a name to follow come Spring.

OF Jake MacNichols - Senior
MacNichols looks to be counted on and do some damage for the Broncos this coming season hitting in the four-spot during the game. The large and strong frame played behind the plate early in his career, but now has MacNichols looking like a power hitting corner OF. MacNichols showed the potential going 4-for-5 with a HR, 2B and two singles. Working from a high hands, slightly opened setup MacNichols creates strong bat speed and a heavy barrel that produces lots of loud contact. During BP his raw power was on display driving balls off the scoreboard in LCF. The power carried over quickly when he took an 89 MPH FB over the LCF fence for a 3 RBI HR. MacNichols moves around fairly well in LF and shows the arm strength is present during OF throws. 

1B Ryan McCarthy - 5Y Senior
McCarthy will be another center of the lineup hitter for the Broncos providing some protection for MacNichols and driving in runs. Very large, full physical frame showed the strength throughout with easy plus raw power during BP and in game with a 2R HR that kept going over the RCF fence. From a very high hands opened stance, McCarthy creates lots of whip getting the barrel upwards through the zone. McCarthy also tripled off the fence in CF during his second AB. At first base he shows a good target and the footwork to help teammates with throws. The power is there and if he can regularly tap into it the Broncos offense will be tough to pitch to.  

Future Players to Watch:

SS Dawson Brigman - 2021
The athletic shortstop was all over the field making plays on the move and vacuuming up everything hit his way. The range and hands were on display especially around second base for turns, matching the arm to fit the position; showed it off on a quick double play finish. At the plate he was on base three times with a hit and two errors, and showed the quick feet translates to the basepaths taking 2nd on a first move against the LHP. In a balanced stance, the hands lift from the shoulder on load flashing a direct path to the ball; some bat-to-ball skills during BP with linedrives around the field. Defense will be one to watch during the Spring. 

3B Matt Jew - 2021
Jew started at the hot corner and showed the skills to stay at the position while carrying over his strong offensive approach hitting in the three-spot. The quick compact bat works with lift to the pullside from a high hands, slightly opened stance with high front foot lift and showed the bat-to-ball skills during BP and in game as he went 3-for-5 with a HR and two singles. Jew moves well showing lateral agility at 3rd playing with a soft glove and quick feet able to cut off balls or cover to the line; the arm has a quick release showing the ability to throw strikes to both bases. Look for Jew to be a big factor in the Broncos lineup during the season. 

OF Coleman Brigman - 2022
Starting in CF and leading off as a Freshman Brigman helps solidify the middle of the field on defense with easy speed (4.36-4.44 H-1st) and great first step reactions in CF. The crouched and relaxed stance gets the short compact swing through the zone and has the patience to be a strong leadoff hitter over the next couple of seasons. Brigman set the offense on the right path starting the game with a double down the LF line before hitting a hard single through the middle leading off the third. Brigman’s range in CF is solid and the left-handed arm is accurate finding his infielders with chest-high throws. Being on base and setting the tone for this offense will allow those other hitters behind him to do damage.