Game Notes: Rancho Cotate at Tamalpais

Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director of Scouting

MILL VALLEY, CA - Opening day at Tamalpais HS led me to check in on a sophomore 1B Tucker Bougie, who has been getting some recruiting attention. Tamalpais was a team that some felt was slighted by not being included in our preseason Power 25, so I went to check out the Red Tailed Hawks.

After a slow start Tam ended up running away from Rancho Cotate by a count of 7-2. Tam's senior outfielder Andrew Frame (their most accomplished player) wasn't available due to sickness and I was hopeful to get a look at junior RHP Jake Buxton, but he was scheduled to pitch on Thursday vs Casa Grande. RCHS has had some players over the years but are a bit lean in 2019, and as such, there aren't any notes for the Cougars, coached by John Morrow (yes, Brandon Morrow's father).


As mentioned, the player who drew me to the game was 2021 1B Tucker Bougie (L/R, 6-foot-2, 186-pounds). Bougie went 0-3 in the game but a batting line for a given game doesn't tell a scouting story, it just gives results. He's got the type of body that will always draw attention, long and athletic, with ample room to continue to fill out. Didn't see him pitch but the word from sources is that he's also good on teh mound. At the plate he starts with a wide base in his set-up and there are some moving parts that can make timing difficult. He takes a big stride (even out of the box on occasion) and while that is happening, his hands were moving to his launch position, which had him frequently late even though the pitcher was throwing in the low-mid 70s. Mechanical things can be tweaked/worked out. The bat speed and strength should continue to evolve and allow him to develop power as he physically matures. On a 4-3 put out he ran 4.59. Best struck ball was a deep F9 which saw the RF rob him with a diving catch. As Bougie rounded second he looked back to see the catch and doffed his cap to the RF in appreciation f the catch. Classy move by a young player. Defensively he made some short hop picks between innings that showed some soft hands though his initial footwork set-up needs to improve. Balls thrown to his right were a struggle for him to receive well as his feet got crossed up.

2020 C Sean Loder is another player to take note of. He displayed quite a bit of the tools/skills of a good defensive catcher, with blocking/controlling the blocked ball being particularly notable. His pitcher, 2019 RHP Bennett Flynn has an outstanding curveball and was quite comfortable throwing it down in the zone and willing to bounce it, showing trust in Loder's ability to make the block, which he did repeatedly and did so in 2-strike counts. As a receiver he was solid, with soft hands and trained technique. He did struggle to get his feet under control to throw when it was a pitch outside his right knee. On a couple of occasions with a stealing runner he had to sling the ball off his back foot and it was always on a pitch outside the right knee. That has to improve as those mechanics led to non-competitive pop times. The arm strength was 73-74 mph and outside of the throws I just described, he was generally accurate, with pop times 2.01-2.20. Offensively he has a pull-side approach and generally lets the barrel get ahead of his hands. There is bat speed present and tools to work with.

As previously mentioned, 2019 RHP Bennett Flynn (Davidson commit) has quality stuff. He has a good build on a 6-foot-1, 180-pound-ish frame. Overhand slot, good arm speed, good direction down the slope. Has a circular backside arm action and not much deception in the delivery but with the hammer he has, deception isn't quite as necessary. His fastball (83-85 mph) was fairly straight and often up in the zone in this viewing but when he got to a 2-strike count the at-bats were generally over, because his 12/6 curveball (74-76 mph) is that good, a legitimate out pitch now and at the college level when he gets there. It was a cool day and early in the season, so it's fair to assume he will pitch with a little more velocity as the weather heats up and he eases into his workload. By my unofficial count, he was around 10 strikeouts with 2-3 walks on the day, in 5 innings of work.


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