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Fresno Easter Classic: Day 3 Notebook


PBR California Staff

FRESNO, CA. - Day Three of the Fresno Easter Classic meant getting final looks at players who'd stood out and checking on arms that hadn't thrown this week. Our scouts bounced around from field-to-field looking to finalize a great week in Fresno.

Below are notes on some of the players that stood out to our scouts during Day Three of the Fresno Easter Classic. 

2020 RHP Cameron Walty (St. Mary’s) from Consumnes Oaks showed very well in his 3IP. Wide shoulders with lean lower half and tight waist projecting more space in the near future. Loose, quick arm showing length behind his back before 3/4 release using his hips and lower half smoothly moving down the hill. FB 85-87 T88 MPH with life through the zone flashing small cut to the glove-side. Commanded FB well to all quadrants; attacked inner half on hitters. SLD 77-80 MPH showing late bite; times where pitch would sweep through the zone. Showed best one going to the back-foot against LHH with action late at the plate. CHG 80-82 MPH with hard sink; flashed feel going back-to-back. One ball hit hard in 3 innings creating lots of weak contact getting 5 ground-balls and 2Ks; changed speeds and sequences keeping hitters uncomfortable. Arm will show more as he was at 3rd base over previous 3 games. Showed strength in wrists during AB’s keeping hands tight on ball to LF before deep sac fly to RF to help score a run.

2021 SS/P Elvin Delic (Uncommitted) from Consumnes Oaks showed well again defensively making plays with strong control of the glove hand and range to both sides of him; arm definitely above average and consistently on the bag. Came in to pitch final 2 innings with FB 83-85 T86 MPH, CB 73-76 MPH; more of a thrower showing his arm strength. Approach at the plate was better in this game keeping shoulder locked driving a FB to RCF for a triple getting in standing. Speed is a big part of his game; got jammed on a pitch in 1st AB but beat it out (4.28 H-1st) before stealing 2nd base without a throw.

2022 SS Austin Charles of Stockdale HS is a long, lean, athletic shortstop that flashed big range to both sides in game. Made one play right behind the second base bag after starting in the 5.5 hole where he gathered the ball, stepped on the bag and threw a strike to first for the double play. Shows average arm strength. At the plate how shows quickness with the hands while he’s still developing feel for hitting. Got the barrel on the ball in his first two at-bats reaching both times. Average runner who is a long strider but has smarts on the basepaths. Overall game should continue to develop with added physical maturity.

2021 C Owen Nagel of Stockdale HS showed well with his overall game. Does an excellent job blocking balls and keeping them in front giving him a chance at the play. Medium/large frame that is lean, athletic, and shows room for added growth. Arm is average - popped 2.01 - 2.12 between innings - with accuracy. At the plate the swing can get a little long at times but he shows feel for the barrel and the ability to keep it on plane through the zone.

2020 C/INF Zach Johansen of Stockdale HS was one of the more impressive players in this game. Has a medium/large frame with strength throughout, particularly in the shoulders and lower half. Beginning with his patient and disciplined approach - he walked the first two times up, scoring both times - where he shows good understanding of the strike zone and refuses to chase out of it. Smart baserunner who stole three bases his first two times on the bags. Reads balls in dirt well and is aggressive on the bases. Defensively he did not have an opportunity this viewing.

2019 LHP T.J. Fondtain (San Diego State) got the start for Buchanan and went 6 strong, striking out 9 (unofficially) and had the Oakmont team off balance all day with his three-pitch. Fastball was 86-88, steady at 87, good movement on the arm side, shoved it inside to right-handed hitters on a few occasions. Curveball used enough to keep hitters honest, 72-74 mph with sweeping 1/7 shape. Not a biting CB quite yet, but it's a pitch he's worked to develop. Change-up 73-75 and at times flashes as above average. Fantastic build, clean arm, delivery is solid though looks like there is more in the tank with more incorporation of his backside. In any case, he's got a bright future at the D1 level.

2019 LF Miguel Ortiz (Cal State Fullerton) is the impact run-producing hitter in the Buchanan line-up and is always one mistake pitch away from changing a game... which he did in this one when he got a 1-0 curveball in the 6th inning and rode it out over the left field wall for a 2-R homer to tie the game at 2-2. He's got a quick trigger, plenty of bat speed and raw strength and in multiple viewings he's shown the ability to hunt a pitch in a situation and do damage. Very dangerous hitter, both physically and mentally.

2019 SS Brady Hormel (Nevada-Reno) routinely sets the table for Buchanan and the left-handed hitter did so in this one, flipping a single to left on a tough pitch and getting on base ahead of the Ortiz homer. His bat control and grind it out style of hitting is reminiscent of big leaguer Daniel Murphy. Has pullside home run power and oppo gap power, all with good bat control and high hitting IQ. Can hit multiple pitches and seems to always be on balance. Defensively he's about as steady as they come, playing below the ball and putting to work outstanding fundamentals. Accurate arm is good enough at SS given his angles and release and move to and through the ball. Very good baseball player.

2019 RHP Jacob King (UC Irvine) came on to close the game for Buchanan and the big, long and strong right-hander came out with a 89-91 mph fastball and was aggressive in using it. It's straight but had some length through the zone and he showed the ability to elevate it just enough. Curveball is slow 71 mph and really just a show pitch at this point, but he did show it and it helps the FB play up. Loose arm, strong arm, deep backside arm action with some inverted elbow. He also had a two out hit in the top of the 7th on a 78 mph slider that kep the inning going and eventually that led to the winning run for Buchanan. Has PLENTY of raw power but the raw hit tool doesn't allow for much usable power.

Oakmont HS 2020 SS/RHP T.J. Nichols (Sacramento State) came on in the top of the 7th to preserve a 2-2 tie and his stuff was electric. The fastball was 88-93, with multiple 91s-93s. The 88-90 velocity was out of the stretch. Overhand slot, loose arm, quick and clean. Athletic delivery, stuff comes out easily. Looked to have two breaking balls, hard 77-78 mph slider with tilt and 74-76 curveball with a little less bite and more traditional curveball shape. The best sliders were biting and late swing and miss type pitches. Change-up 82 mph. At shortstop he displayed very soft hands, excellent (and calm) feet, that strong arm that has his throws tracking on-line and plays with good calm and pace. Offensively has a good approach and some projectable pop though occasionally loses the barrel at contact and that hurts the ability to drive the ball. Good timing and with better barrel control he should be able to drive the ball.

Oakmont HS 2020 C Carson Blatnick (Washington State) didn't have a great game at the plate in a tough match-up vs Fondatain but was competitive in each at-bat and made Fondtain execute. He clearly had the attention of the Buchanan staff in the way he was pitched. Swing stays inside ball well but timing to get to the inside pitch was a struggle and he did go out of the zone a couple of times on riding fastballs. Maintains good balance and keeps his feet under him well. Occasionally guesses and that cost him in a couple of at-bats. There is plenty of offensive talent though... but it's his defense that stood out. Excellent receiver, agile, loose hips, can receive pitches in multiple locations and stuck them all, got below tough pitches on the glove side and all in all looked like his pitchers love throwing to him. Strong arm rates very near average at 76-79 mph and pops between innings were an easy and relaxed 2.01. Left-handed hitting catchers with power and possible hit tool who are plus defenders are obviously not just growing on trees.

Oakmont HS 2019 RHP Greg Nichols (uncommitted) pitched a gem but ended up getting a no-decision. He's not a hard thrower but he's about as crafty as they come, with feel of three/four pitches (FB 80-82), curveball and flashes of a slider, and a plus change-up. Loose arm, big time savvy and moxied, changes arm angles, changed tempo's of delivery, changed TYPE of delivery and generally had Buchanan flustered all game. It was the ONE mistake to Ortiz that cost him a shut-out. If he was left-handed he'd have a college program by now (reminds me of LHP Grant Stevens of Franklin) but because he's a soft-tossing right-hander, the fish aren't biting. That could be a mistake because his feel and movement and control (bordering on command) are about as good as I've seen. He's the older brother of T.J. Nicholas and plays SS when T.J. is on the mound.

2020 CF Andrew Paolini of Oakmont HS (uncommitted) is a HIT GETTER. He is calm, sees the ball real well, was on time with each swing, his 3-3 off Fondtain was impressive. Stays through the ball, lets it travel and is wiling to use the middle of the field. Doesn't swing hard, takes what he's given and looked fully capable of hitting for a high average. All three knocks were to right-center. Sometimes it doesn't have to be much more complicated than, he sure looks like he can hit.

Jesuit 2019 RHP Cade Pilchard (Cal-State Northridge) had a good day, maybe his best day of the season and perhaps turned a corner. The long and lanky right-hander has a loose and quick arm, works from an overhand slot and generally repeated the delivery. Looks to have a bit of a shorter stride and early on was pulling off line just bit, but really locked in late. Fastball was 88-91 all game and he held the 89 deep into his outing. Has both a curveball and slider but the slider has the makings of being the better pitch. Neither is real hard (72-73 and 74-75) and his change-up is 82 mph. The change-up has some life but he drops his slot pretty regularly on that pitch. In any case, after escaping a jam he gained confidence and seemed to relax and when he did, his stuff got more crisp and lively. He's highly projectable and if he's throwing 93-94 someday in college with a near average slider and average change-up I wouldn't be shocked.

Notables:

2020 Bryce Tweedt of Red Bluff flashed athleticism on the bases and in CF showing quick hips able to drop step and track the ball. Stole second against a good catcher getting around the tag after a quick first step and fluid stride...2022 MIF Adolph Sykes of Stockdale HS is going to be a fun player to follow these next few years. Very athletic MIF who showed flashes of his potential. Runs well; defends well; has feel for hitting. Should be a good one when he is more physically mature…. 2021 RHP Ethan Garcia of Redwood (St. Mary's commit) was 83-85, 66-68 CB, 76-78 change-up, competed well, stuff seemed a little tired, arm is good, body is athletic, we've seen better but today he gutted it out with what he had.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
N. California Underclass ID CA 05/26 Islanders Field - Lathrop
Inland Empire Futures Games Trials CA 06/01 Norco High School
SoCal ProCase CA 06/08 Hart Park
Northern California ProCase CA 06/09 Delta College - Stockton
Bay Area Open Showcase CA 06/26 Laney College
Inland Empire Top Prospect ID CA 07/23 Santiago High School
Norcal Top Prospect ID CA 07/24 St. Mary's College
Junior Future Games / Future Games NATIONAL 07/30 LakePoint
Rising Stars Showcase CA 09/21 Santiago High School

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