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N. California Fall Ball Coverage


Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director of Scouting


ISLANDERS FIELD, LATHROP, CA - On Friday 9/20 I got a chance to see three games at a local tournament run by NCTB. The players on the teams ranged from 2020-2023 so it was a good look and there were quite a few players who caught my eye. Some I'd seen plenty of times, others I'd heard about, and then there were players I'd neither seen nor heard about. For this post I'll stick to only uncommitted players (uncommitted to our knowledge at the time of this piece).

Be sure to click on the players' names for their full profile/bio/stats/etc.

2020 PLAYERS:

SS Roberto Nunez - Monte Vista Christian HS
A strong and physical player, the ball was jumping off his bat, in the middle of the field. He's got a 'hitterish' presence at the plate and there is intent to do damage with each swing. The power potential is very much real and frankly, there are only a handful of senior SS in the region who have his type of physicality at the plate. As impressive as the bat speed and strength was the consistency o fhis swing path, staying inside the ball and staying behind the ball, allowing him to see it well and to be that physical at contact. Defensively he showed off an arm that will play above average at SS or 3B.. He's not only got tools for major college baseball, Nunez will end up on the radar of MLB scouts at some point, whether in the spring or during his college career. (Game video in his profile)

RHP Aidan Lee - Monte Vista Christian HS
Long and lanky, Lee has added some size and strength to his lower body from the last time I saw him. He has the physical attributes that are easy to be drawn to, height, size, loose and quick arm (high-3/4 slot), and enough raw stuff to dream on. The fastball was up to 87 and steadily 84-86 for his four innings. He did have to dip down to the 82-83 mph range to get some strikes as his control was spotty, due to the front shoulder flying and too much energy going toward the 1st base line. When on-time and with good direction there is considerable sink to the fastball, which plays well off his 71-74 mph slider that can create a scissor-effect to hitters. Can hold runners better and develop better mechanics (posture over the rubber), which he will be able to do as Lee is a good athlete who fields his position well and also swings the bat quite well. (Game video in his profile)

CF Isaiah Weitherspoon - Inderkum HS
There are few uncommitted centerfielders in the region with the raw physical tools possessed by Weitherspoon. That wide range of tools was on full display in this game. On a windy and sunny day, he made numerous (4-5) players in centerfield that were borderline WOW plays. He took some routes that were direct and led him right to the spot deep in the gap. He took some routes that while not perfect, allowed himself to show his make-up speed and range. He also showed the ball-hawking nature of a true CF (with a sure glove) while ranging to darn near straight-away RF to make a catch when his teammate didn't see the ball. He closed on the ball both in front of him and behind him. Weitherspoon also possesses an arm that plays in CF and could tick up to a RF type arm with some work (we saw 80 mph OF throws earlier in the summer). Offensively, swinging a wood bat, he showed power to the LF gap and displayed that he sees the ball well. He can occasionally lose the barrel a bit below the ball and will have to make adjustments to cover the outer half better, but has the bat speed and strength to be an impactful middle of the line-up presence. His ability to get an extra base going 1st to 3rd was also displayed. Two walks, a double (on a CB) and a K vs slider (he saw it and was on it, it was just a good pitch) showed quite a bit of who he can be as a hitter. The tools are all present, both for college and pro ball at some point.

C Zachary Enos - John F. Kenney HS (Sacramento)
He had an outstanding day at the plate, barreling three balls and driving in multiple runs. Enos, a R/R catcher, showed the type of hand strength that will allow him to impact higher velocity fastballs. Now, in this game he faced two pitchers working in the 77-80 mph range, but to his credit, he dominated that level of competition, which to me is a very important factor. There is some top hand hook to his swing but it's similar to that of a hitter like Mike Napoli and his top hand finish creates good carry to his ball flight. When it was a hittable fastball he was ready to hit and aggressive, with good barrel control. Obviously would like to see him more vs more velocity, but the hit tools stood out. Defensively he blocked really well and showed the toughness and grittiness for the position. Can improve his pop times and arm strength but his warm-up throws to 2nd base were 2.15-2.19 and on the bag. His footwork is good and he looks to be an accurate thrower.

SS Zach Chamizo - Lincoln HS
Seeing a left-hand hitting, lean-bodied SS who looks to have hit-getting ability and also some defensive tools and is still uncommitted was eye-opening. Chamizo ended up going 4-for-5 in this game and he collected hits to all fields and vs fastballs and breaking balls. He starts with an open stance and from the get-go showed hitting type hands. Chamizo was aggressive vs pitches to his liking in positive hitting counts and in two-strike counts showed the ability to cut down his swing and move the baseball where he was pitched. To be transparent, he was facing stuff in the mid-70s but to his credit, he dominated his competition in this game, which is all he could control. Defensively he had some good and some bad, with a play to his backhand where he fielded the ball deep in the hole and made a jump throw that was on target and got the runner. He then lost concentration and kicked a routine play right at him. So it goes for a high school SS at times. The arm strength looks to be capable of playing at least as average at the college level. (Game video in his profile)

2021 PLAYERS:

SS Carson Ramocinski - Windsor HS
A player we've seen numerous times and always seem to leave with a favorable impression, Ramocinski has shown time and time again that he's a player who deserves attention from the college game. He does have some tools that stand out, in particular HEAVY hitting hands and the ability to impact the game offensively. He's also got that 'it' type factor as a player that give you the feeling that he's a winning-type player. Ramocinski has palpable presence in the batters box and when he got a fastball to his liking, he repeatedly pounded it from center to right field. The ball jumps off his bat and from this look it would appear that he has very strong hands and generates bat speed THROUGH contact, spending his energy (created with his hips) at the right time. Defensively he's got an arm that can play at any infield spot, with range and footspeed that fits best down the road at 3rd base, though with his instincts he could play a very competent 2nd base.

OF P.J. Kissee - Live Oak HS
Having seen Kissee a few times, the expectation when seeing him is that I will see a physical hitter with plus bat speed and legitimate raw power. Those attributes again showed up in this look when he went 2-for-3. One knock was an infield single, as he does have decent speed at his size. The other knock was a ringing double to right-centerfield, along with a strikeout on a fastball away. He rarely gets cheated, even in two-strike counts, which is part of his development he will have to improve to gain trust from college recruiters. His power is real, the question is whether he will be able to routinely get to that power against good competition. Generally shows a pull-side approach but with his strength he can be late and still drive the ball the opposite way. How he handles offspeed pitches will also be a key to his future development as a well-rounded hitter.

3B/1B/C Carson Seeman - Placer HS
One of the more consistent performers we see among uncommitted 2021 grads, Seeman once again was steady Eddie in this look. His approach at the plate is one of the most consistent and quality approaches of any player in the region in the 2021 class, committed or uncommitted. It's rare that he doesn't bang one or more balls to the right-centerfield gap, while showing excellent zone discipline and hands that consistently work inside and through the ball. He is able to see the ball deep stay on-time to center and right-center, and that approach also allows him to lay off pitches that many hitters offer at. Truly, his approach is outstanding and though there are other players who have bigger raw tools, his approach is superior as a 2021 player. He doesn't overswing and has a chance to be an excellent RBI/run-producing presence in a line-up. Defensively he has the chops to play either corner position and is also a very competent catcher. It's likely he's being overlooked because there are flashier players but when it comes to performing between the white lines, he's an outstanding player.

2022 PLAYERS:

OF Leighton Helfrick - Clayton Valley Charter
Without going too deep on a young player I saw for the first time (though did see in back to back games), Helfrick is player who is going to be well-received by the college recruiters. He's got the body type to immediately draw the eyes, and then has a style of aggressive play that keeps eyes on him. A right-handed hitter, he starts with an upright and slightly open stance and has an aggressive/confident demeanor from the second he steps to the plate. Strong fast hands, can create barrel leverage and power will be part of his game, to all fields. Will have to develop better barrel control and limit how big the swing gets at times, but he's also a hitter who will punish mistakes. Didn't get to see much on the defensive side so I'll leave that part for another day. Runs well underway and given the aggressive style of play, he will put pressure on the defense while taking extra bases. (Game video in his profile)

SS Cade Campbell - Tokay HS
One of the more talented 2022 SS we've seen, Campbell is going to be an offensive force and also possesses talents to be an above average defensive player. Plays the game with confidence and carries himself with body language that can positively affect his teammates. Defensively showed off a strong arm that can keep him at SS, with the ability to flick a quick snap throw and get good mustard on the ball across the diamond. Range will have to be something he works hard to develop in order to stay up the middle. Otherwise, 3rd base will be an option and there he looks to have the offensive talents to profile at that position. Campbell has hitters hands and is aggressive. He sees the ball well and early and showed the ability to get the barrel to the ball in multiple zones. Now, developing more zone discipline will be important so he's not getting himself out on pitches that are out of the zone. Good top hand finish, he did show a pull-side approach that limited his ability to drive pitches on the outer half. His body is lanky and rangy and there is ample room to fill out. (Game video in his profile)

RHP Ryan Edwards - Chico HS
Though not the best we've seen Edwards in regard to velocity, the other attributes that need to be consistent were present. The lower velocity (FB peaked at 78 mph, we've seen up to 82) simply indicates he's tiring at the end of a long year, and that's understandable. He's got an easy overhand and loose arm action. The athletic delivery is consistent and repeatable and is built to manipulate the ball well at release point. Showed three pitches, with the slider looking like a pitch he can use to steal strikes in fastball counts and also as an out-pitch. He can start the slider in the zone and get swings and misses. One to keep an eye on during the spring 2020 season.

3B Dylan Long - Las Plumas HS
Of all the players I'd not laid eyes on before, Long was one that has me very excited to see him again. He's got a prototype body for 3rd base, standing 6-foot-3 or so and around 200-pounds. Watching the defenders between innings I saw what looks to be a future plus arm, with easy exit and good carry. Moved around with pretty light feet and simply looks the part over at 3rd base. In two at-bats there wasn't a ball in play but he did show some important traits. After striking out swinging on a good slider from a talented senior RHP (Aidan Lee), he made impressive adjustments in his second at-bat. After fouling off a fastball he just missed (which also showed how the ball impressively comes off his bat), the count eventually got to 3-2. He took the same slider that he struck out on before and again, it was a good one. Long has a hit-hit-hit mentality and saw the pitch early and was able to lay off as it broke off the plate. (Game video in his profile)

2023 PLAYERS:

C/3B/OF Ryder Helfrick - Clayton Valley Charter
Good build that doesn't look like that of a freshman, Helfrick will make a name for himself in due time. Played multiple positions in the two games I saw in this look and behind the plate is where he was most intriguing. The arm will play above average as he continues to develop and he also received the ball pretty well, maybe a little firm with the glove but that can soften up with reps and work. Otherwise, the arm also plays at 3rd base or a corner OF spot. Offensively he showed some tools, though raw, that will be what ultimately draw college coaches to him. Works his hands inside the ball well and though occasionally dragged the barrel, he also showed that when he releases the barrel at contact there is plenty of future pop in that swing. Worked with a disciplined middle of the field approach. Good make-up showed in his hustle down the line regardless of the result. (Game video in his profile)

OF/RHP Kyle Connelly - Clayton Valley Charter
Three at-bats is what I got in this first look at a freshman and it was enough to want to see him again. Connelly is a right-handed hitter with a short swing and fast hands. He's got presence at the plate and an intensity about him that can be felt. Compact/strong body type, he ran a couple of solid times on ground outs to 3rd base, 4.42/4.47. Was a little more to the pull-side than I would assume he wanted to be but there wasn't any hook or getting around the ball, he simply cleared his hips and allowed his hands to stay inside the ball, even to the pull-side. No hits to show for his day but the hit talent and some footspeed suggest he's one to put on the radar. NOTE: He's also a talented pitcher, perhaps more so than as a position player.

SS Dominic Puentes - Kerman HS
Aggressive young hitter, too much so at times, but that can be worked on as he matures. Absolutely wants to swing and has intent to do damage. Starts with slightly open stance and is hunting pitches middle in. Given his desire to swing there will be some swing and miss but when he gets what he's hunting he can be an impactful hitter. The ball came off his bat real well and his swing plane keeps him gap to gap. Defensively the arm looked to profile better if he was on the right side of the bag but given his age and time to develop, he's a SS until proven otherwise.

3B/P Carl (C.J.) Rice - Foothill HS (Pleasanton)
Looked the part of a big arm big bat 3rd baseman in this limited look. Arm strength showed up on a couple of plays and though won't have more than average/adequate range, his footwork within his area was good. Played the ball well on each opportunity. Offensively showed a couple of things that are notable, one good and one to be worked on. Strong hands, ball left the bat well and he's got some power already that will continue to play as he ages, particularly to the pull-side. He's pretty short to the ball but also showed a tendency to dive to the ball and that will eventually have to be worked on. We have seen him on the mound previously but not in this viewing. NOTE: Also known to be good on the mound, didn't see him pitch.

SS Cowen Meyer - Placer HS
Admittedly a limited look but he is a good looking young middle infielder, with a lean athletic body and athletic actions. Saw him facing a talented senior right-hander on the mound (up to 87 mph with a good slider) and both at-bats were quality, a walk and a hard fly ball to right field. Hit in the lead-off spot and didn't chase nibble type pitches, yet was aggressive to fastballs to his liking. Drove the fastball (84 mph) on outer half to right field, stayed on balance and the swing happens easily. Observations of him defensively between innings showed him to have appropriate movements and actions up the middle though not much to assess during game action. For now a name to get more familiar with.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
N. CA Uncommitted Senior Games
CA 10/06 College of Marin
N. Calif. Top Prospect Games CA 10/13 College of Marin


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