SoCal Fall Notebook: Corona Vs. La Mirada

Steve Doherty
SoCal Area Scout

LA MIRADA, CA -  Had a chance to squeeze in one last look before the majority of the Southern California high school baseball programs shut it down for the Christmas break.  This one featured two quality programs looking to have banner 2020 seasons as the Corona Panthers traveled to La Mirada to take on the Matadores. Head coaches Andy Wise (Corona) and Jimmy Zurn (La Mirada) flaunt talented, balanced lineups that each have MLB Draft hopefuls; OF Isaiah Greene (Corona HS) and RHP/OF Jared Jones (La Mirada HS). Both clubs display numerous Division I recruits and uncommitted players that deserve attention and are more than capable to play at the college level.  

The whole scouting community is waiting for Jared Jones, a University of Texas signee, to take the mound after a hiatus from pitching. Turns out we will have to wait just a little longer. Per sources, Jones has just begun to throw off the mound and completed a light bullpen session a couple weeks ago. He will work towards facing live hitters after the break. Until then, we got a good look of the 5-star talent taking some live at-bats, roaming the outfield, and looking healthy.

Let’s take a look at some of the standout players from both teams in the 5-5 tie.

+ 2020 OF Isaiah Greene (Corona HS) Is the #19th ranked player in PBR California and making a strong case to thrust forward in the rankings and up draft boards.  Every look I get, he appears a little more refined from the prior viewing. Making adjustments at-bat to at-bat will be a key for Greene moving forward in his senior campaign. The physical tools are present, obvious and on display for all to admire and we will be paying close attention. Here’s a peek into Greene’s highlight reel from the days action. Made a tough play at the end of this clip look easy. 

+ 2020 RHP/OF Jared Jones (La Mirada HS) The #4th ranked player in PBR California took the field as a position player only on this day. La Mirada is being cautious on the return of Jared Jones 2020 pitching debut, making sure he is healthy and in pitching shape before he faces live hitters. Until then, we get to see him making an impact everywhere else. There’s no question Jones can swing the bat with the best in his class and we’re looking forward to see what kind of numbers he can put up. The Matadores are dangerous from top to bottom, and Jones is right in the middle of it. Check out this athletic play in the gap by Jones. He can cover a ton of ground in the outfield and you don’t want to challenge his arm.

+ 2022 INF Andrew Walters (Corona HS) The #10th ranked player in PBR California 2022 class. As a sophomore, Walters has a unique opportunity to play in front of droves of pro scouts, like an audition. With Greene leading off and Walters, a San Diego State commit, hitting second, I might consider this as the best one-two punch around. Walters' power tool is above his years at the moment, and will certainly impress the scouts. It’s likely that we will be hearing Walters name in 2024 MLB Draft discussion. Here is Walters squaring this one up for a loud double in the gap.

+ 2020 C/RHP Emilio Morales (La Mirada HS) The #36th ranked player in PBR California is looking more physical than in years past.  Morales is a major cog in the wheel for La Mirada. He is extremely flexible being able to catch, pitch, and play first base. As with Jones, Morales has not faced live hitters in the fall, and will work towards that after the break. Morales’ primary position will be behind home plate, where he will be counted on to handle a strong pitching staff and be a producer in the middle of the deep lineup. Here he is squaring up a couple balls for two singles.

+ 2020 OF Daniel Cruz (Corona HS) Has continued to impress with every viewing and proving that colleges have missed this uncommitted recruit. Long, and athletic, Cruz possesses two above average tools. He can hit for average and the run tool is impressive. He went foul line to foul line on this day using an all fields approach. Cruz has tremendous range in the outfield with an accurate arm. He threw a runner out at home plate on this day putting it right on the money.  Here is an example of his speed as he legs out a triple. College programs should monitor Cruz in the spring, who is highly projectable and would no doubt be a great addition to many college programs. 

+ 2020 3B Eugene Jeon (La Mirada HS) Is the #44th ranked player in PBR California. Jeon’s physicality really stands out and is obvious that he made a serious commitment to building his body in the off-season since the PBR ProCase he attended in June.  I am excited to see the UC Santa Barbara recruits' power shows up in games. Jeon has third base locked up and will be a cornerstone in the infield for the Matadores. Here is a good look at one of his two base hits on the day.


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