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Norcal 9 - Two-Way Players


Blaine Clemmens
Northern CA Director of Scouting

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - Two-way is a term used regarding high school players who haven't quite yet settled into a primary role as a position player or as a pitcher. Two-way players at the college level do exist, but it's just not that common. Schools are willing to recruit players and give them a shot to prove they have what it takes to be a two-way player, but for the most part they have already decided which position they will groom the player. To be a legitimate two-way player at the D1 level is a challenge for so many reasons, and primarily it's the lack of reps either on the mound or at the plate in practice. Of course the challenges are different at each position as well. 

These nine players have shown talent as both position players and pitchers, talent that independently would make them recruitable as either a pitcher or a position player. Ultimately that is pretty much the determining factor when considering if a player is a legitimate two-way player.

There are other local players who fit this category but given that its Norcal 9... I chose these nine.

(Listed alphabetically)

Tucker Bougie RHP / 3B / Tamalpais (CA) / 2021

6-foot-3, 200-pounds; Cal commit; LHH with good feel for the bat, sound approach and knack for driving in runs, he profiles better at 1st base than 3rd base, which very well could make it easier for him to contribute two ways. It's on the mound he has shown the higher ceiling, with a fastball up to 90 mph in spring 2020, also armed with a quality SL, CB, and CHG.

Carson Crawford SS / RHP / Cardinal Newman (CA) / 2021

6-foot-1, 180-pounds; Cal commit; Varsity contributor since his frosh year, started as a SS/3B as both a sophomore and junior. The arm plays on the left side of the INF and there are glimpses of bat talent (RHH), though the approach would have to be refined to be playable in Pac-12. On the mound his ceiling is higher, showing a steadily increasing FB (last saw him up to 87), improving SL & good CHG.

Thatcher Hurd C / RHP / Acalanes (CA) / 2021

6-foot-4, 195-pounds; UC Santa Barbara commit; Long and lanky, Hurd is an elite level defensive backstop. The arm is a plus tool, he is agile and has quality blocking and receiving skills. Offensively (RHH) he has not yet developed at the level of his defense and that's not uncommon for a catcher. However, this catcher has a FB up to 90 (last we saw July '19) w/both a CB and CHG and a LOOSE, LIVE arm.

Lucas Kelly 3B / RHP / Sacred Heart Cathedral (CA) / 2022

6-foot-3, 195-pounds; Uncommitted; He looks the part of a RHH offensive thumper and with SS skills that he will bring to 3rd base, he's going to be an impact offensive and defensive player beyond HS. Has been a significant varsity contributor in one of CA's toughest conferences and has performed at an elite level. On the mound we've seen up to 86 mph and also has quality secondary offerings.

Nick Kresnak 3B / RHP / Acalanes (CA) / 2020

6-foot-1, 200-pounds; Washington commit; Among these players, Kresnak, to me, is the safest bet to contribute two-ways in college. He's absolutely going to fill a role as a RHH middle-of-the-line-up corner position player (INF or OF). Has a knack for driving in runs and is an outstanding situational hitter. On the mound he's in the upper-80s with pinpoint control of three pitches. Can see a closing role for him.

Jaron Nevarez OF / LHP / San Ramon Valley (CA) / 2022

5-foot-9, 165-pounds; Uncommitted; Was shining in his soph year after a brief varsity stint as a frosh. Offensively (LHH) he's got line-to-line hit-ability & sneaky pop given his modest frame. His feel for the barrel projects well vs both RHP/LHP. On the mound he's approaching the mid-80s and has an assortment of secondary pitches, including CB and splitter. OF/LHP profile has a chance to play in college.

TJ Nichols SS / RHP / Oakmont (CA) / 2020

6-foot-4, 175-pounds; Arizona commit; Most physically gifted of these players, he's got a chance to play as an everyday SS with elite defensive skills and was showing his offensive developments this spring (2 HR in 6 games). On the mound he's got one of the best arms in CA, repeatedly up to 96 and believe it or not, more in the tank. He's got a chance to be an elite position player and pitcher. Gut says if he doesn't hit then he pitches, but gut says he will hit.

Cole Tremain SS / RHP / Vista Del Lago (CA) / 2020

6-foot-1, 175-pounds; Sacramento State commit; An early rising HS player, Tremain was poised for a big senior season as the velocity on the mound had risen toward 90 mph. With strength gains, his considerable athleticism was also in the midst of producing a big season with the bat. His ceiling as a pitcher seems to be a bit higher, but depending on the role he's asked to fill, he's got a chance two-ways.

Luke Williams SS / RHP / Jesuit (CA) / 2020

6-foot-0, 180-pounds; UC Santa Barbara commit; Lost entire junior season due to oblique injury suffered in his very first 2019 AB, and it had a tremendous affect on the Jesuit season. He's a winning-type player both in the field, at the plate, and as a closer, his upper-80s stuff and wipeout slider are very much in play beyond the high school level. Very athletic player and really just scratching the surface.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Of course given the social distance precautions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, future event dates/locations could change. If there are changes we will alert all registered players and make adjustments to our calendar.
 
SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Norcal Underclass Games (INVITE-ONLY) CA 06/06 Islanders Field - Lathrop
Northern California ProCase (INVITE ONLY) CA 06/13 Folsom Lake College or Islanders Field
SoCal Underclass Games (INVITE ONLY) CA 06/13 Hart Park
SoCal ProCase (INVITE ONLY) CA 06/14 Hart Park
California State Games CA 07/25 Southern California


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