Central Valley Preseason ID Quick Hits

PBR Northern CA Scouting Staff


At The Yard Podcast

Fresno, CA - The Road to the California State Games continued its early season trek into the Central Valley with a stop at Fresno Pacific University where players came to show their fall/winter development as their high school seasons are just a few weeks away. The open event roster saw 52 players kicking off our second Central Valley Preseason ID. 

Players were put through a customary pro-style workout that included a laser-time 60-yard sprint, a round of batting practice, a defensive workout, and concluded with bullpen sessions for pitchers. We purposely did not include games because we didn’t want to put pitchers who aren’t ready to face live hitters in that situation.

Many players were attending their first ever PBR California event giving us a first look at these players in a showcase setting after having seen most with their high school or club teams. In some cases we saw players for the first time with several leaving a lasting impression and quickly getting added to the spring follow list. 

With so many players at the event we will roll out positional breakdowns in the coming days. Until then, in this edition of Quick Hits we’ll take a look at some early standouts from the event. 

(Note: Players are listed in no particular order. All showcase videos have been added to player profiles. Click players names to take you to their profile for previous coverage and videos)

+ 2021 SS/2B Felix Bravo (Hanford) - Medium framed middle infielder has started to fill in with more strength and that added strength has translated into more juice on balls hit (85 EV) since last seeing him during the 2019 Central Valley Preseason ID. Hitting from a coiled, low hands set up and utilizing his balance to keep a high-front knee hang, Bravo was able to get his quick hands through the zone lifting balls on contact and making consistent hard contact through the pullside. On defense he shows quick actions that allow him to allow his glove to play independently and having a quick release to get rid of the baseball. The arm strength plays up because of that quick release and hit ability to keep the ball on the bag (79 MPH). The defensive intelligence is present and with some added burst could see him make a big jump.

+ 2020 OF/RHP Nolan Inouye (Clovis North) - Inouye is a medium, full-wide frame, but plays with athleticism and showed the ability to work the barrel. The wide stance keeps the hands deep allowing the shoulders to work upwards through the ball with the barrel following creating easy lift as he peppered hard line drives deep gap-to-gap. The bat is quick into the zone and stays on plane through contact allowing him to use the physicality in the frame (88 EV) as he continually punished baseballs. In the OF, Inouye stayed inline very well with his bases allowing throws to continue firmly and showing good hand speed out front from a higher-3/4 release point (84 MPH). He finished the day on the hill where he pounded the down and away location consistently and showed two breaking balls used to keep hitters off the FB. All pitches came from a similar H-3/4 release showing his back hip through an average front knee (FB 79-80, CB 66-68, CUT 70-72). His ability to understand who he is and utilize his skills to their fullest was impressive as he showed consistent energy all afternoon. 

+ 2023 1B/LHP Larry Ayala (Clovis North) - A first look, Ayala was one of the more impressive left-handed bats on the day and shows a swing that you can project more power from as he continues to mature. The long and young body still can be shaped and cleaned up as he ages and stays in the weight room, and if done could add to the power-hitting 1B profile. From a low hand and high lift front foot set up, Ayala repeatedly drove balls into the pullside gap showing a quick barrel that works upwards through the zone consistently. He really stung some balls putting them deep into that pull gap and the way the swing works projects better carry at full maturity (86 EV). At 1st, he utilized his glove and feet well around the bag being soft and picking out multiple balls from the dirt as he kept his eyes behind the glove. Improved athleticism will help him on defense and will increase the arm strength, but the building blocks for success are present and very developable. 

+ 2021 2B/SS Lee Trevino (Redwood) - Trevino is a high-waisted and long, young bodied middle infielder that showed the ability to stick in the middle of the field and produce hard contact at the plate. The hands start at the shoulder but get the barrel on plane early and deep in the turn as he kept the hands tight through the zone driving line drives through the pullside of the field (86 EV); when he got contact out front, balls jumped into the gap. Trevino showed fair range at SS with a good prep step and ability to move laterally (7.20 60) utilizing a soft glove to work through the baseball. His slingy-mid slot release probably has him as a 2nd baseman at the next level, but there were times where the ball came out with better carry (79 MPH) flashing the ability to stick at SS when needed. 

+ 2021 OF/SS Ryan Vance (Clovis North) - Vance was another first-look player who stood out with his athleticism from a medium, wiry frame (7.02 60). At the dish the hands started mid chest before pulling back and slightly down on his knee tuck; the quickness in the turns while maintaining posture through the swing allowed the barrel to work upwards through the zone while staying compact. Vance was able to unload on some balls as he regularly drove it into the pull gap and field showing the type of swing to produce extra-base hits consistently (91 EV). On defense he’s just started playing the OF and the athleticism stands out with his ability to get to the baseball and move through it; he still throws likes he’s in the middle of the infield and there are times where he’s got some run on the ball, but when he stayed on top the ball had good carry out of the hand with more life in the throws (85 MPH). Raw and toolsy, Vance could be molded into a strong player in the near future. 

+ 2023 RHP/SS Jayden Mandal (Clovis North) - Mandal is a two-sport athlete having shown his athleticism on the football field as an up and coming QB in the area, and on the baseball field shows a bright future as well. Physical and long, the frame projects well with length through the torso and rolled shoulders. At the plate he shifts the weight over the back hip on the front foot lift having the hands slow load back before having the full body come through and driving the ball; can really get the hips through contact. The barrel works upwards with leverage and showed the strength in his frame as he hit balls deep to the pullside before finishing with the last ball out over the LF fence (86 EV). On defense he showed good timing and rhythm getting the ball out of the glove quickly and online to the bag. There’s athleticism available moving laterally and with the current physicality and shape looks like a power hitting 3B in the very near future (74 MPH). A 2023 that will be a high follow. 

+ 2020 OF/RHP Brandon Burgos (Hanford) - We’ve seen Burgos perform well last year at the State Games and Preseason All-State and he looks like one of the best uncommitted 2020’s in the area. The frame is long, strong and twitchy (7.00 60yd) with a wide chest and high waist and some of the loudest tools on the day. In the OF it’s easy athleticism moving freely and loosely through the baseball; it’s a very strong arm and his ability to keep it firm with life to bags was impressive (90 MPH). At the plate the high hand set up allows him to load forward showing hip/shoulder separation and allowing him to hit behind the baseball with authority (88 EV); balls jumped off the bat all over the field as he stayed balanced through contact. Schools looking for a high-upside OF should take note. 

+ 2020 RHP/OF Ryan O’Hara (Clovis North) - O’Hara caught our attention during the Fresno Easter Classic in 2019 and he showed a versatile profile with two-way skills during the afternoon. The fastest player at the event (6.54 60), the 5-11, 180 lb frame shows firm strength and athleticism that translated to multiple areas on the field. At the dish its a balanced set up with even hands and the ability to stay in the lower half during the swing; able to work the ball gap-to-gap on an upward path and flashed the ability to fire the hips for more drive in the swing. In the OF O’Hara moved well and showed a compact, high back elbow arm that had balls jumping out of his hand with minimal effort (88 MPH); throws were firm and accurate to both bases and shows the strength that works on the mound also. Pitching may be his future as O’Hara showed a strong three pitch mix with a strong, inline lower half and coil before letting the compact H-3/4 release get out front. FB 85-87 T88 showing run, CHG 72-75 selling the pitch well with at the plate bottom, and a SLD 70-73 flashing occasional tilt. 

+ 2022 SS/OF Cole Fellows (Clovis North) - We first saw Fellows last season at the Central Valley Preseason ID and a year of growth and development has served him well as he’s made vast improvements to his athleticism (7.18 60) and arm strength and that showed during the event. At the plate his slightly opened stance with hands on the back shoulder and high back elbow allows him to showcase an easy trigger with a quick bat that stay level through the zone sticking to the middle and pull gap with hard line drives; keeps his head still and behind the baseball showing a swing that has strength and with continued maturity can see those liners carrying deeper into gaps (83 EV). On defense he keeps his back flat utilizing his legs to sink and drop showing good range and the ability to get to that athleticism more consistently on the field. The arm has some length to a high release and can continue to improve the overall strength (77 MPH).

+ 2020 C/3B Tyler Davis (San Joaquin Memorial) - Recently committed to Fresno State, we’ve seen Davis showcase strong skills multiple times last season and he came out showing he was ready for a big senior season. Davis shows the versatility to play behind the plate or in the infield at the next level with athleticism in the hips and strength in the shoulders. At the plate he stays tall with the hands away from the back shoulder showing a controlled gather as the hands pull back and down towards the catcher putting him in a strong fire position. The barrel is quick into the zone producing easy carry and lift with strength to the middle of the field; he doesn’t force anything in the swing and this allows him to hit the ball hard consistently (90 EV) with some more pullside pop available when he wants to get to it. In the infield he showed good feet with lateral agility, especially to the glove side, keeping balls firm and accurate across the diamond. Behind the plate his blocking and receiving are both strong as was his consistent ability to keep throws on the bag during his pop times (2.07-2.12, 76 MPH). 

+ 2021 OF/LHP Joshua Algarin (The King’s Academy) - Algarin was a guy I saw during some late Spring and early Fall coverage where the lanky, strongly built medium frame showed two-way skills. During this event, Algarin stuck to the OF and showed athleticism and tools that should carry him to the next level. Quick feet allow him to beat the baseball in the OF and his arm strength was very evident keeping throws firm with life to bases (87 OF); the loose arm would be above-average if he sticks in the middle of the OF like he should (6.95 60) and also could be useful on the hill. At the plate Algarin shows balance with hands lower and tight to the body through a slight foot lift load. The hands load upwards a bit as the head stays still allowing the hands to work underneath the shoulders with the barrel finishing high on contact; hands are direct to the baseball and swing created lots of hard lindrives back through the middle while showing the ability to spray the ball to both gaps (85 EV). 

+ 2023 OF/3B Silas Beltran (Redwood) - A first look player during the event, Beltran made his presence known and showed a physically advanced frame for an incoming freshman. At 6-0 and 190, the frame is strong with width in the shoulder and projects to keep improving as he matures. At the plate Beltran produced some of the best bat speed on the day from a wide, high hand, flared elbows stance. The load is controlled allowing him to find rhythm and getting the hands to explode through the baseball with very good sequencing in the swing; the barrel worked upwards creating easy lift to the pullside especially when he stayed postured (90 EV). Times where the top hand took over, but with his strength and maturity this will be an asset for him. In the OF Beltran showed good angles to the baseball working in time through it and keeping throws accurate to bases from a full, compact swing; having recently come off shoulder surgery there’s going to be more available in the arm (77 OF). Another 2023 in the class that will be a high follow. 

+ 2022 RHP/1B Derek McNary (Hanford) - At 6-2, 225 McNary stood out from the get go as the wide shouldered and physical frame isn’t done growing and shaping. McNary showed during the event he’s got future upside on the hill while flashing power in his bat. From the plate, he stands slightly open with hands away from the back shoulder and a high back elbow using a quick load. The load created some bat wrap and steeper hand path, but when he was on time the ball jumped off the bat on a line through the middle of the field (88 EV); some sequencing tweaks should allow the bat to work with more strength. At first he worked the backhand out of the dirt well picking some balls and showing flashes of bounce off the bag. On the hill, McNary has projection where his full arm swing to 3/4 release showed untapped arm strength as he stayed to the lower half of the zone. The hands stay high and have a harder break on the high front knee with McNary staying inline and having big extension with his large frame. FB 78-81 T82 working the velo up as the session went along and using pitch to both sides of the plate; more velocity available. SLD 67-74 lateral with loose actions and flashes of more running tilt in the pitch. CHG 72-74 straight with flashes of armside run. McNary’s tools are raw, but with the work he could make big leaps quickly. 

+ 2021 OF/3B Tanner Sagouspe (San Joaquin Memorial) - Sagouspe was one of my standouts during the Fresno Easter Classic in 2019 and he showed as one of the guys who should not be uncommitted very long in 2020. Having added good strength since last viewing, Sagouspe now looks like a future power hitting/power armed RF with the range to play all three positions in the OF. Standing narrow and opened as he keeps his hands away from the back shoulder, Sagouspe controls his forward momentum as the hands work back creating stretch through the core and producing above-average bat speed as he laced hard line drives through the left-center side of the field and flashed his power later in the round. There are times where the hands can get away from the body and around the baseball, but when he stays connected to his fast turns, the ball rockets off the bat (91 EV). In the OF, the very compact and strong arm shows limited wasted movement as he was able to get to it and get it out of his hand showing accuracy and flashing future plus life on throws (89 OF). Exciting one to follow for the next couple seasons. 

+ 2020 C/RHP Nathaniel Bray (Central Catholic) - Bray was at last season’s NorCal Preseason All-State and has made strong growth over the last year with a more stout build utilizing the added strength to improve his measurables. Slightly opened and tall with a high back elbow and hands away from the body, Bray’s hands work deep into the back shoulder with a toe-to-heel timing mechanism on the front leg as the barrel works like a windmill up through the zone. The backside drives through contact and there’s time the swing looks like a golf swing with a very high finish. The strength in the frame regularly came out as balls were easily lifted deep into the gaps with carry and life coming off the bat (90 EV). Behind the dish, the transfer on pop times was consistently quick pulling the glove to his strong throwing arm (76 C, 2.0-2.05) and keeping throws on the arm side of the bag. I liked his flexibility and low stance while receiving presenting a strong target for his pitchers with limited wasted movement on the glove hand and the explosiveness to get to blocks laterally. A name to watch during the Spring. 

+ 2021 3B/SS Rees Kent (Clovis North) - Another first-look player, Kent made sure he wasn’t overlooked producing some of the best exit-velocities and showing that bat speed was real during batting practice. The long and lanky frame has some twitch and bounce in it (7.07 60) and space to keep future strength on the frame. At the plate starts tall and narrow with flared elbows and lower hands before controlling the body on forward movement; coils into the back hip well allowing that energy to be released through the baseball. The hands work backwards on load before attacking the baseball on a level path showing quickness in them as he sprayed line drives through the middle (92 EV); can continue to make sure he doesn’t keep the hands moving backwards on the load and throwing off his timing to the baseball. On defense his footwork was solid with good timing and a flat back using wide hips to funnel the ball up showing a quick and compact arm (79 INF); throws were firm and accurate and quick release plays up.

+ 2022 OF/RHP Kaden Petersen (Turlock) - Petersen showed the athleticism off the bat running one of the faster 60’s and doing so with a strong and stout frame that’s built more like a Linebacker than a twitchy OF (6.97 60). The athleticism transferred over to the OF where he read the hops well working to stay behind the baseball and inline to his bases using a compact arm to produce firm throws and flashing some life (82 OF). At the plate there’s a slight crouch with high hands away from the body and a high back elbow; hands pull down and back a bit with soft landing on the front foot. The barrel turn is quick and when he kept posture over the back hip was able to utilize his lower half to get into the swing and drive the ball deep into the pullside gap (87 EV) with a barrel that worked upwards through the zone. On the hill Petersen stayed tall over the rubber with a simple down/up rhythm in the hands allowing a compact arm to swing to it’s H-3/4 release. There were times where he pushed his body off the rubber early and staying connected saw the velocity jump to it’s higher ranges during the outing. FB 77-79 T82 sticking to the armside. CHG 69-71 with gloveside bottom. CB 65-69 blending between 10/4 and 12/6 break with later bend toward home. 

+ 2020 C/OF Chase Pinheiro (Clovis North) - Pinheiro showed the skills needed to stick behind the plate and the advanced baseball knowledge to be able to help a team at the next level. At the plate it’s a quiet stance with hands low and a balanced lower half. There’s no wasted movement with a slight sway and foot lift before having the hands work directly to the baseball keeping the hands tight through his turn and being able to lift the ball into both gaps. There was some lag of the barrel through the zone allowing him to control the barrel and having time where he really exploded through contact (88 EV). Behind the plate his actions were smooth and his ability to get rid of the baseball stood out along with his athleticism. Pinheiro worked with a wider base and consistent footwork to produce low pop times on the day (1.97-2.08, 76 MPH), that matched with his arm strength to keep throws accurate to the bag. When receiving he showed the ability to manipulate the baseball especially on his glove side where he could stick it; that wide base allowed for him to throw the hips back and keep balls in front of him.


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