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SoCal ProCase Spotlight: RHP Izeah Muniz


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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FULLERTON, CA. - Despite being committed to Cal State Fullerton, perhaps no player came into the SoCal ProCase a bigger mystery than RHP Izeah Muniz of Bishop Amat High School. What's hard to argue is that any player left the SoCal ProCase as a hotter follow for local scouts. Like every player in the state Muniz lost valuable competitive innings this past spring, but what he lost on the field he made up for it off of it. 

I saw Muniz throw in an Opening Day double-header where he went three strong innings allowing only one hit against a very capable Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) lineup that featured a minimum of six Division I hitters. Being that it was Opening Day Muniz was likely on a pitch limit and threw all but a couple fastballs before running into some control issues late in the outing. 

That’s where the lost season comes into play. 

Muniz focused on his conditioning and dropped 25 pounds from the Opening Day start and the results are nothing short of impressive. At 6-foot-4 he was always a large specimen on the mound, now he's moving towards the look of an imposing figure. The arm is looser, the delivery cleaner, the endurance more evident, the velocity and the action on his pitches are up too. While he doesn’t look like he’s done with the conditioning, the improvement he’s made in four months is very impressive. 

Despite his 1.46 ERA in 33.2 IP as a sophomore and his 0.00 ERA in 14 IP to start this season, Muniz may have come into the SoCal ProCase a bit of an unknown to some scouts.

He left with the attention of all of them.

When you combine his repertoire with his improved physique and throw in the fact that he won’t be 18 years old for four months after next year’s MLB Draft, what you have is a prospect with an incredibly high ceiling and a floor that’s not much lower. 

THE REPORT:

Body: 6-foot-4, 228-pounds. There’s noticeable muscle structure now. The frame is strong, durable, and still developing. Long limbs and feet. High waist. 

Delivery: Simple, starts upright and tall with an upward leg lift and drive. Easy knee lift with good hand/feet rhythm. Clean through the backside maintaining balance and control down the mound. Lands inline with the target in an athletic and stable position before the arm pulls through the rest of the body maintaining consistent release point with all three pitches. High 3/4 slot. 

FB: Max: 91, 89-91. Pitched comfortably in the 89-90 mph range, topping out at 91 on several occasions. His average FB velocity of 91 mph is good for second amongst all pitchers in attendance. Average spin rate on the fastball of 2279, ranking fifth. Average inverted break of 20.8, an indicator on ability to get angle on the fastball and pitch down in the zone, was fourth best in the group. Flashed sinking action on two-seamer. 

CB: Potentially Muniz’s best pitch (67-69 mph), is a sharp and late breaking ball that he throws with feel and ability to locate in strikeout situations (see video above). Works very well off the fastball as it comes from the same tunnel before falling off table late. Maintains same arm speed as fastball. Pitch shows 11/5 shape with a top spin rate of 2305 rpm with an average of 2245 rpm.

CHG: Threw only one in-game (74 mph) but a few during warmups and like the rest of his arsenal, it comes out easy and he shows some feel for it. Almost half the spin of his fastball resulting in some late diving action at the plate. Because of the speed differential with the fastball and Muniz’s consistent and repeatable delivery, the pitch has the potential to develop into a quality third pitch in his arsenal. 

Summary: Muniz faced four hitters during his outing striking and registered five strikeouts including striking out one blue-chip prospect twice. He did walk two hitters who stayed in and reset the count to 1-1. Multiple strikeouts came via the curveball. The ability to put hitters away with the curveball gives him a legitimate second putaway pitch given the swing-and-miss his fastball generated. With 41 strikeouts in 47.2 career IP, the development of his changeup will dictate just where Muniz falls in the rotation whether in college or in professional baseball. Make no mistake, his birthday will play a huge role in where he’s selected in the 2021 MLB Draft if that becomes a reality for him. If not, he heads to Cal State Fullerton where pitchers like Muniz tend to walk out of as professionals. 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:


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