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N. California Preseason All-State: Quick Hits


Ryan Ozella & Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Scouting Staff

STOCKTON, CA - Our inaugural Northern California Preseason All-State event took place at San Joaquin Delta College on 1/27/19. The day warmed up to be quite nice and we had an energetic group of players ready to get after it. For the many players in Northern California, this was the final day before their spring practices start (NCS & CCS) with their respective high school teams (Central Section started 1/14, SJS starts 2/4). Which means that we saw the players nearing their 'ready' status for the upcoming season.

The event featured our PBR workout with 60-yard dash, hitting stations including front toss swing mechanics evaluation, exit velocity (off a tee) live on-field BP, defensive workouts at the players' primary positions, and at the end of the day, bullpen sessions for the pitchers. 

With just shy of 80 players at the event we got a good look at players from all over the region and in all four grad classes. There were college committed players and uncommitted players still mulling offers and some players who will certainly make their way into the recruiting cycle after what they showed us.

We will break down the video, compile the scouting notes and roll out a lot of content, broken down by position. In the interim, we wanted to highlight some of the players who our team of scouts felt stood out with their performances. Videos and scouting reports for players will be posted to their respective profiles in the coming days and weeks.

Players are listed in no particular order. Be sure to click on the player profile for full statistics from the event. 

+ 2020 C Jacob Elias (Ponderosa HS) - L/R, 5-10, 165 - Smooth lefty swing was on display with barrel control and leverage. Physical build and athletic utilizing those skills in the 60 and during defensive portions. Compact and quick arm keeping the ball on the bag with more projection available. His all-around skill set rates with upper echelon of catchers in his class and he's still just scraping the surface.

+ 2019 2B/SS Jackson Forbes (Vanden) - L/R, 5-9, 160 - One of the more physically gifted uncommitted INFs in the area, Forbes ran a real quick 6.75, showed his well-above average range, quick release, improved arm strength, and that whip-quick bat speed that we've seen before. Coming off football season (all-league WR), the timing at the plate will come soon.

+ 2022 OF/LHP Jaron Nevarez (San Ramon Valley) - L/L, 5-9, 160 - Had just pitched the day before so chose to not to throw the pen session, which we understand. We've seen him quite good on the mound. The bat speed (90 mph exit) and life of the barrel through the zone is impressive. Nevarez lashes balls to all field and displayed shocking pop given his size and age.

+ 2020 SS/2B Nick Salas (Highland) - R/R, 5-9, 165 - Very twitchy and quick athletes who has plenty of speed to stay in the middle of the field. Bat was loud and did damage staying up the middle before showing clean middle infield actions on defense. Salas is a confident player and plays with confidence. He does things with relative ease and yet, he has powerful actions and brings a presence to the field.

+ 2021 SS/2B Ryan Werner (St. Mary's) - S/R, 5-10, 150 - The switch hitter showed pull side gap swing from both sides of the plate with space for the body to keep growing. Defensively moved well to both sides showing a quick release and an arm that looks to stay up middle and more growth available. Werner likes to get after, with intense focus and talent/tools that will continue to grow with his passion.

+ 2022 C/P Ryan Edwards (Chico) - R/R, 5-11, 155 - Showed good two-way abilities. On the mound he was steadily 80-82 mph with good run and angle, big 12/6 type curveball as well. The CHG is a work in progressive but the stuff is quite good for a freshman. As a position player he showed bat speed and some raw strength and behind the plate displayed catch/throw talent that can certainly bloom.

+ 2021 C/SS Anson Aroz (Placer) - S/R, 5-10, 160 - Energy, talent, and skills are all present with Aroz. He's a cat-quick defensive catcher with shortstop skills behind the plate. His throws were accurate while displaying a strong arm. The agility behind the plate is quite good. Offensively showed bat speed and power to drive the ball gap to gap from both sides of the plate.

+ 2020 LHP Ryan Rissas (California) - L/L, 6-2, 180 - Laser focused and sharp in his bullpen session. Rissas left a strong impression on us, with a quick arm and crisp stuff across the board. The body type is immediately noticeable and the stuff matched. FB up to 85 mph with lots of arm side life, slippery SL with bite that can get below bats and flashed a 'pull-the-string' CHG.

+ 2021 SS/C/RHP Drake Bicknell (Jesuit) - R/R, 5-10, 175 - Very strong bat driving deep into gaps with a lean muscle frame. High release allows him to get life out of throws while showing the ability to move well and attack the ball. The bat really did stand out though, with a BP round and focused approach that he's clearly worked hard at. Stays inside the ball and knows how to get to and through contact with pop.

+ 2021 OF/3B Jason Booker (Rodriguez) - R/R, 5-11, 155 - Booker recently verballed to Air Force and had that not taken place, he'd be making his way up recruiting lists. He impressed with one of the stronger outfield arms (85 mph) and also posted one of the top exit speeds (90 mph). He's lean and wiry and has multi-position versatility and really is just scratching the surface.

+ 2021 OF/2B Casey Cummings (San Ramon Valley) - R/R, 5-11, 135 - San Ramon Valley is going to have a good problem with all this young talent. Really used lower half well in OF having throws show extra life into the bags. Strong understanding of his body and utilized it well to put balls gap-to-gap. Plenty of space to keep filling in.

+ 2020 RHP Ethan Medders (Rio Vista) - R/R, 6-0, 180 - One of the more intriguing pitchers, Medders was sharp throughout the pen session. Lots of life on the fastball that got up to 86 mph, short easy arm action, breaking ball has the kind of snap and bite that can get swings and misses. Also threw a slider with big sweeping action.

+ 2020 SS/RHP Carson Kohls (El Camino Fundamental) - R/R, 5-11, 175 - A two-way performer, Kohls really shined bright on the mound. Good body type, athletic and lean. Quick strong arm with short arm action that make his quality stuff sneakier. Fastball was crisp (T87 mph), showed feel for the CHG and flashed makings of quality CB. Fun to watch his pen. 

+ 2020 OF/SS Michael Mugan (Monterey) - R/R, 5-11, 160 - Santa Clara commit continues to show understanding of what he does well which is use athleticism in every aspect of his game. Bat drove through balls as he hit loud line drives. Quick arm from RF with enough speed to fit in CF. When he's comfortable and just letting his talents live, Mugan rates with the best in his class.

+ 2020 SS/RHP Andrew Neil (Freedom) - L/R, 5-11, 160 - If there is a hitter in the 2020 class in N. California with a consistently better left-hand stroke than Neil, we've not see him. His hand speed and barrel awareness are outstanding, while maintaining excellent balance throughout. Defensively he showed off a strong left-side caliber arm and soft hands, with a quick release.

+ 2021 OF/1B J.C. Ng (Menlo School) - L/L, 5-10, 145 - We've seen J.C. at a few events and his game always catches our attention. Barrel shows late whip with authority and his quickness fits in CF. Lots of space for continued growth as well. He's lean/wiry and yet, the stats always show that he's got innate explosiveness in his body. As he physically matures he will make coaches wonder what they didn't see.

+ 2020 SS/2B Jack Grant (San Ramon Valley - R/R, 6-0, 165 - UCLA commit showed off quick bat with line drives to all fields. On defense was smooth and controlled with projectable middle infielder actions and a loose arm with ability to throw from all sorts of angles. Confident fielder, he simply moves to and through the ball, picks it up and throws darts. As he physically matures the bat skill is ready to show up.

+ 2020 SS/RHP Treven Crowley (Hilmar) - L/R, 6-1, 165 - Once again showed us a good arm on the mound, up to 85 mph (early season, plenty more will come) and snappy breaking ball. CHG is coming along. FB/CB combo is good now and if improves the third pitch, he's going to be a handful. Offensively he shows ability to spray the ball and at shortstop he's aggressive and likes to show the arm strength.

+ 2021 SS/OF Cameron Butler (Modesto Christian) - R/R, 6-0, 170 - One of 2-3 most impressive showings, Butler is an elite talent, with tools and usability of the tools. Body is lean/strong. He has arm strength (82 mph), glove skills, to go with the bat speed, approach, and power potential (96 mph exit). Easy to see why he's one of California's top sophs. Ran 6.79 (hand held).

+ 2021 SS/RHP Carson Crawford (Cardinal Newman) - R/R, 6-1, 170 - Arm wasn't feeling up to being on the mound but showed his wares on the field. Confident fielder with aggressive actions through the ball and even though his arm wasn't feeling 100%, he let loose an 85 mph throw. Still growing into his frame, the bat speed and power potential (90 mph exit) are there as well.

+ 2020 OF/RHP Angelo Zazzarino (Lodi) - R/R, 6-0, 175 - On mound he was about as sharp as anyone. Heavy sink/bore with the FB (T84 mph) and then big time scissor effect with sharp/late CB that at times was a knee-buckling type breaker. In the stretch he flashed makings of a good CHG. Offensively he also showed talent, starting with a sub-7.0 60, but strong arm and power potential at the plate.

+ 2019 OF/3B Ronnie Belton (Alpha Charter [JMF]) - R/R, 6-0, 200 - Physicality showed again with a build of a RB who will run you over playing in OF. Arm has extra level and put the ball where he wanted during defense. Balanced swing drove balls into gaps and found barrels. One of the toolsiest uncommitted players in the 2019 class.

+ 2021 1B/OF Blake Burke (De La Salle) - L/L, 6-3, 200 - A physical specimen, Burke has made a name for himself at an early age, for good reason. His combination of bat speed, strength, and power all comes with the ability to swing with bat control, which makes him dangerous. Defensively he showed a strong and confident arm at 1st base and can make positive contributions in that part of the game as well.

+ 2019 1B/OF Xavier Carter (Capital Christian) - L/L, 6-4, 200 - Large framed and highly projectable, for a player who's already signed with a major D1 (SDSU), Carter is still a long way from his ceiling. His best BP swings had him lashing balls to left-center and off the tee he flashed the power potential (91 mph exit). His footwork around the bag was smooth and easy.

+ 2021 OF/C Shane Moran (Cardinal Newman) - L/R, 5-11, 180 - One of the players with much intrigue in recruiting circles, Moran started at catcher on varsity as a freshman, but will move to the outfield as a soph. The arm is good (82 mph), the bat speed is present and his approach has him short to the ball. He's built like a RB (which he is) and he's just scratching the surface.

+ 2020 C/3B Omar Plascencia (Lodi) - R/R, 6-0, 190 - Physical/explosive player who plays calm and relaxed. Great round of BP where he put on a show, saving the big power for late in the round. Catch/throw skills rate with the best. One of the top 2020 catchers in California. Not only has physical talent and honed skill, Plascencia displays the intangibles of leadership, passion, and confidence. 

+ 2020 3B/RHP David Rodriguez (Vacaville) - L/R, 6-1, 195 - He's been seen by us a few times and on the mound he's really coming on. FB comes out easy (T84), powerful body/delivery suggests plenty more velo coming. Late two-plane CB, feel of good CHG too. Offensively he has also made strides, now working to drive ball in the middle of the field. Defensively he has strong attributes as a 3rd baseman.

+ 2021 C/3B John Sheehan (Cosumnes Oaks) - R/R, 6-2, 175 - One of the top 2021 catching prospects in all of California. Catching skills continue to be impressive with his a big arm and smooth, controlled movements. He has outstanding footwork an agility for the position. Offense showed improvements from the fall with quick turns and connection between the body and the barrel. Very impressive player.

+ 2020 C/OF Jacob Weiss (Atwater) - R/R, 6-1, 195 - Physically impressive catcher who tested very well in all areas. High level of athleticism translates behind the plate and is matched by a big arm. Very quick bat regularly drove balls deep into gaps from controlled effort. Weiss has made strides even beyond his impressive performances last summer. An uncommitted 2020 catcher who won't be for long.

+ 2022 LHP Owen Dueck (Aptos) - L/L, 5-11, 135 - Another lean/lithe young pitcher, Dueck was a favorite of all who were watching him. Easy arm, clean mechanics, feel for all three pitches, the ceiling is high for this young left-hander. Topped at 80 mph and he's just getting started. Flashed a couple of above average CBs and CHGs, both will be factors for him as he matures.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/03 The Max
Solano-Sac Junior Future Games Trials CA 02/24 Vacaville Christian HS
SoCal Junior Future Games Trials CA 03/09 O'Malley Field - Harvard Westlake
East Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 03/24 Athenian School
North Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 04/28 Clyde P. Smith Field - Cardinal Newman HS
Northern California Future Games Trials CA 05/26 Islanders Field
Orange County Futures Games Trials CA 06/08 Hart Park - Orange CA


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