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High School | General | 3/27/2019

Boras Classic Day 1 Scout Notes

Vincent Cervino         Steve Fiorindo        
Photo: Jared Jones (Steve Fiorindo)

National High School Top 50

Day 1 in Southern California at the 2019 Boras Classic got started with a bit of a detour as one of the top juniors in the country, Mick Abel (2020, Tigard, Ore.), was starting a game at nearby Brookhurst Park in Anaheim. Perfect Game hasn’t had eyes on Abel since 2018 and Abel certainly flashed his power stuff and what makes him one of the top prospects for the class.

Abel went three strong on the mound and provided a very good start, especially when considering he was throwing on short rest and over 1,000 miles from his home. The Oregon State commit has the size and stature of a top-flight pitching prospect at 6-foot-5, 185-pounds with long limbs, a young face, and plenty of physical projection remaining at maturity. Abel’s arm stroke is loose and fast as he whips the arm stroke through the zone well with a good overall delivery featuring good balance throughout.

Abel sat 90-93 mph with his fastball for the majority of the contest and rarely were any of the fastballs straight. The timing of the release gave him a bit of trouble early on but Abel attacked with sinking fastballs low in the strike zone. He mixed in his slider a good amount of times too in the 80-83 mph range. The pitch showed some sharp shape and flashed above average. The manipulation of the pitch coupled with Abel’s projection and feel to spin make for a future plus pitch; he also worked in his changeup to lefthanded hitters at 84 mph and the pitch showed good fading action to the arm side.

Moving on to the action at the Boras Classic over at JSerra, Etiwanda and JSerra matched up with two impressive pitching prospects as Marcus Johnson (2019, Fontana, Calif.) of Etiwanda and Luke Jewett (2021, Ladera Ranch, Calif.) of JSerra both showed things to like on the mound.

Johnson is a large, lanky prospect with arms that almost touch his knees at an uber-projectable 6-foot-6, 180-pounds. The physical projection is notable but the present stuff is pretty good in its own right with an upper-80s fastball that has good life and a slider that he can get chases from righthanded hitters on. The delivery is fairly simple and fluid and Johnson has a very loose arm stroke that he uses to pound the zone with fastballs. The fastball has very good life and moves enough to avoid barrels, though Johnson did find himself in some trouble during the game. He allowed five runs early but really settled in and competed to get through the sixth inning on the mound. Johnson’s slider has pretty good horizontal break to it in the mid-70s and worked as an outpitch when he would get hitters to two strike counts.

Jewett is a very interesting uncommitted sophomore, with a fastball that already touches 90 mph and a three-pitch mix on the mound. A primary catcher, Jewett has a huge frame at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds with broad shoulders and some present strength. Jewett throws exclusively out of the stretch with pretty good extension and a cross-fired landing leg. The righthander has a compact and quick arm stroke, throwing almost like a catcher off the mound, and held 87-89 mph throughout with his fastball that flashed some cutting action at release. His best secondary pitch was his firm changeup which came in the low-80s with some sink to it and he used it well to neutralize lefthanded hitters. His curveball is still developing in the low-70s but Jewett checks a lot of boxes for a young arm.

JSerra shortstop Michael Curialle (2019, Mission Viejo, Calif.) is a big draft prospect this year as for the 2019 SoCal prep class there is a lot of headway for prospects to make some noise. Signed with UCLA, Curialle is very toolsed-up with above average to plus tools headlining the profile and making him a very high upside prospect.

Curialle looks the part standing at a physical 6-foot-3, 198-pounds with some room on the frame to get stronger. There is a good amount of present strength now but given the size and arm strength he may be a fit for third base at the next level if he continues to fill out. The size doesn’t hinder his athleticism, however, as he is an above average runner and that speed coupled with his first step quickness over at short allows him to get to balls that other shortstops can’t get to.

It was another ho-hum day at the office for Curialle on Tuesday as he finished 3-for-4 on the afternoon with a couple of RBI to his name as well. The set up is fairly quiet and balanced for Curialle who utilizes a simple leg lift to get his hips going into contact. He explodes onto the ball and is fairly aggressive in the box, allowing his plus bat speed to generate hard contact when squared at the plate. He attacks early in counts and will be susceptible to some breaking balls when behind, but all three hits on the day were well-struck and to the pull side highlighted by his double down the line to bring home a couple runs.

Curialle’s teammate up the middle is sophomore Cody Schrier (2021, San Clement, Calif.) and the USC commit looks to have gotten stronger, and more impressive, since his strong showing at the Boras a year ago. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect looks to have filled out his frame some and added strength to further create impact offensively. On the defensive side of the ball, Schrier looked as good as ever moving well with agility to both sides and showing off his excellent hands that work well whether it be to the backhand or forehand on grounders. His agility and instincts jump out and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Schrier take over the mantle of shortstop following Curialle’s graduation.

Offensively Schrier strides hard into contact to drive through his lower half but allows his hands to whip well while keeping the swing short. The result is a swing that is geared to square balls to both gaps and leverage to pull to create some power as well. Schrier added two hits on the afternoon including a double that short hopped the left field wall and Schrier’s athleticism coupled with his improved strength has him looking like one of the top sophomores in the country.

Another sophomore who looks to have added strength over the past year is Etiwanda lefthanded slugger Jack Holman (2021, Wrightwood, Calif.). The 6-foot-4, 200-pound hitter played first base during this look but the broad frame looks to be stronger throughout and that has culminated with more power at the plate and some better bat speed too. Holman’s stance is fairly balanced at the plate with a wide base and a simple operation of the swing. There’s added loft to the path now and he leverages well to the pull side to hit the ball on the screws and create some backspin. It didn’t show up in the box score but in Holman’s first two at-bats he crushed two loud fly outs to deep right field and then worked a walk later in the game. The pitch recognition and discipline are both there and profiles Holman as a lefthanded power hitter who will earn his walks as well.

Game 3 on the day featured a strong pitching matchup between Maranatha’s Owen Hackman (2020, Los Angeles, Calif.) and Rancho Bernardo’s Chandler Cameron (2020, San Diego, Calif.) as both junior righthanders were impressive in their own right.

Hackman can dial his pitches up into the upper-80s but operated mostly in the 84-86 mph range. Hackman has a simple, low effort delivery on the mound exclusively from the stretch but can really sink his fastball which helps him to get a lot of ground balls. The arm stroke is clean and loose and comes out from a fairly clean slot and he really works the fastball to both sides of the plate. He mixed in a curveball that showed potential too and Hackman was very good over five innings allowing only one run and only one hit on the afternoon.

Cameron found a way to outpitch Hackman as though he allowed two runs he went over six innings while earning the victory as well. Cameron is an extremely projectable righthanded pitcher, working comfortably in the low-80s though his velocity dipped some as the outing wore on. Cameron has a longer, offline arm stroke and spins around his front side to fire in the fastball but would also mix in his secondary pitches with feel. He did a good job at pitching his way out of jams and his pitchability was enough for him to earn the victory during the late afternoon game at JSerra.

Tuesday night featured a tremendous pitching matchup between two of the top juniors in the country as Lucas Gordon (2020, Los Angeles, Calif.) and Top 25 ranked Notre Dame came out victorious over the No. 4 team in the country Orange Lutheran. Gordon is making his first appearances in over a year this season as he has fully made his way back from elbow surgery that derailed him after his freshman season.

The Southern California commit gave up a run early on but after that was nails as he competed very well and eventually earned the victory. Gordon has a very athletic delivery with a loose, clean arm stroke and really gets the most out of his about 6-foot frame. He drives well toward the plate with his lower half and really extends well, oddly enough he extended the best toward the plate when throwing the changeup.

The changeup is really Gordon’s bread-and-butter pitch and it worked in the upper-70s flashing plus at times. Gordon really has tremendous feel not only to throw the pitch but to manipulate the pitch and cause it to vary life depending on exactly he wants it to do. The pitch adds in deception as it’s thrown with the exact same tilt as his fastball and really garnered some ugly swings on the pitch throughout. The fastball worked up to 90 mph but he held 87-89 mph with a good amount of arm-side life; Gordon also mixed in a curveball with 1-to-7 shape in the upper-60s to low-70s. Gordon not only looked very good on Tuesday but he also looked healthy which bodes very well for him heading into his junior year.

Opposing Gordon on the mound for Orange Lutheran Christian Rodriguez (2020, Conroe, Calif.) and the uncommitted junior was very good early on showing a lot of things to like and near sky-high physical projection. At 6-foot-6 there is a lot of room on the frame for additional strength and the delivery itself is very easy. He has good balance throughout with a very low effort release from a higher arm slot. There’s a bit of crossfire to his landing and he is a short strider, but he repeats the delivery well and is able to clear the lower half well to get downhill.

Rodriguez worked up to 90 mph and sat 87-89 mph with some late life for the first three innings. His velocity began to dip down into the mid- to upper-80s after that but the fastball was tough to square thanks to the life and the severe downhill angle that it came from. The righthanders curveball is a beauty, with big 12-to-6 shape and high spin rates in the low- to mid-70s. The pitch had very good shape with spin rates around 25-2600 rpm and he really commanded it well early on. The changeup was also a good pitch that got a few whiffs later in the game against lefties and Rodriguez looks like an exciting uncommitted prospect especially when you look at the present stuff coupled with the physical projection.

The up-the-middle combination of Daylen Reyes (2020, Northridge, Calif.) and Jeff Pierantoni (2020 Valencia, Calif.) paid dividends for Notre Dame during their win as Reyes led the charge offensively while Pierantoni was a wizard defensively.

Reyes, who started at second base and is committed to UCLA, has such a balanced, easy stroke at the dish with plenty of righthanded bat speed behind it. He laced two singles up the middle in his first two at-bats while remaining balanced and really driving through the ball at the finish point. Pierantoni was outstanding defensively showing very light hands and advanced actions on the left side of the infield. Whether it was cleanly fielding a short hop or throwing across his body to nail a runner, Notre Dame probably doesn’t win the game with the number of game-saving defensive plays from the Yale commit.

Signed with Cal State Fullerton, Evan Adolphus (2019, Fullerton, Calif.) is an intriguing relief arm for Orange Lutheran and someone that looks to be able to make an impact right away at the next level thanks to his feel for his changeup. Adolphus is a very physical prospect with a mature frame and a strong lower half. The arm stroke is loose through the back and the fastball worked mostly 86-88 mph with some life but the changeup was the difference maker. Thrown in the 80-82 mph range, the cambio moved about a half a foot every time it was thrown with tremendous life to the arm side. It looked like he was throwing two-seamers up there but he also has such confidence in the changeup that he’s not afraid to throw it a lot, as high as five times in a row on Tuesday night.

Closing out the victory for Notre Dame was the very intriguing Jack Snyder (2021, West Hills, Calif.) who showed a lot of things to like in a one inning sting. The 6-foot-3 prospect is uber-projectable with room to fill out and is still young for the class too having yet to turn sixteen. The fluidity of the delivery coupled with loose movements and a low effort arm stroke all bode well for Snyder moving forward. The present stuff wasn’t bad either, working 85-86 mph and really going to his hard lateral slider often. The pitch worked as high as 77 mph with some darting action and 10-to-4 shape. Snyder only provided a brief look, he made quick work of the lineup to earn the save, but he’s a sophomore to keep an eye on.

– Vinnie Cervino

Jared Jones, RHP, 2020, La Mirada HS
Jones is a top-of-the-class arm, currently ranked seventh nationally, and showed his pitchability in this look during the first day of the 2019 Boras Classic. Facing a strong Huntington Beach squad, the HB hitters showed a good approach against him early on, not trying to do too much while putting the ball in play. Jones didn’t have his normal command early on and gave up an early run. After that he dialed in his command, settling in during the third inning and really committed to throwing all three of his pitches and spotting them up better.

Jones’ fastball worked at 93-96 mph with very good life. His 80-83 mph slider had power and length to its break, working the pitch away to righthanded hitters early and then broke some off of righthanders’ hips on the inner half as the game progresses. Jones used his changeup more than we have seen in previous looks, showing feel for the 83-88 mph offering while throwing it to both right and lefthanded batters with enough comfort to double up the pitch on occasion. He reached his pitch count and his outing camse to an end with two outs in the seventh when he walked the last batter he faced, maintaining his fastball velocity while by throwing in the 93-95 mph range in his last inning of work.

Jacob Sharp, RHP, 2020, La Mirada HS 
Sharp is a little undersized at 5-foot-10 but came in relief of Jones to record the final out of the game. He battled with his 85-88 mph fastball and a 76-78 mph changeup, eventually getting the strikeout on an elevated fastball against Huntington Beach’s Joshua Hahn.

Darius Perry, C, La Mirada HS
A PG All-American last summer, Perry showed his usual strong arm in pre-game warmups and between innings, but didn’t get tested much in game.  A physical, very strong player, Perry had two knocks on the day with a line drive to center field and drove in the leading run with another knock to center.

Joshua Hahn, LHP, 2019, Huntington Beach HS
Hahn showed a great feel for pitching, mixing all three pitches and commanding both sides of the plate. His fastball worked mostly at 89-91, touching 92 mph. Hahn’s curveball showed big break thrown in the 71-73 mph range but went more to his 79-82 mph changeup to comfortably dot the glove-side corner against righthanded hitters, recording multiple strikeouts with the pitch and eliciting plenty of other swings and misses with it. Hahn gave up two runs in the sixth inning but had been cruising up to that point as he didn’t give up much hard contact, even when he did allow the two runs to score.

Edward Pelc, LHP, 2019, Huntington Beach HS
A USD commit, Pelc is looking more and more like a pitcher with added strength and velocity. In this one-inning look Pelc struggled with his fastball command early but settled in to strikeout the side. His fastball sat at 87-90 mph, touching 91, while taking some off of his curveball to get more break, which worked at 71-75 mph. He showed more feel for the pitch as the inning continued and snapped off better breakers the more he threw them.

Christian Bodlovich, RHP, 2019, Mira Costa HS
A big-bodied pitcher with a strong lower half, Bodlovich threw his fastball in the 80-85 mph range with run and sink with the ability to add and subtract off of the pitch while moving it around the strike zone and essentially doing whatever he wanted to do with it. He really competed well, mixing in a 68-72 mph slurvy breaking ball that he could back-door, front-door and side-door seemingly at will. Not surprisingly he also showed good feel for his 73-75 mph changeup, moving the ball around while showing unique innovation on the mound, changing arm angles and changing speeds to keep hitters off balance.

Bodlovich helped his own cause at the plate with a home run off of CBA teammate Cameron Repetti while adding an RBI single in the sixth inning to the gap in right-center field that would have bene a double had he not pulled up with what appeared to be cramps in his lower leg.

Merrick Baldo, RHP, 2019, Mira Costa HS
Another big-bodied pitcher for Mira Costa HS, Baldo’s lower half has really filled out since our last look at him. A LMU commit, he closed out the game in relief of Bodlovich, throwing a 89-91 mph fastball and a 73-78 mph breaking ball. Still getting ramped up for the season, Baldo could be a factor in the rotation or out of the ‘pen this season.

Kyle Karros, 3B, 2020, Mira Costa HS
Karros employs an aggressive approach early in the count looking for pitches he can drive. With a projectable pro body already, he’s going to be a strong, physical player at physical maturity. Karros barreled one pitch up for a double hit down the left field line and has a very interesting offensive profile. He has committed to play for UCLA.

Cameron Repetti, RHP, 2019, Cypress HS
With a strong, athletic build Repetti is a Cal State Fullerton commit that looks every part of your typical Fullerton pitcher. A true two-way performer, his upside may be greater on the mound, dialing his fastball up to 91 mph early in this game with a slight dip from the stretch at times. His velocity did consistently decrease as the game progressed. Repetti worked primary with a slurvy breaking ball that elicited several swings and misses, attacking the glove side with his fastball trying to expand a stubborn strike zone to include the outside corner. He showed his two-way promise and helped his own cause by hitting a home run in his first at-bat of the game.

Luke Davis, C, 2022, Cypress HS
A participant of the 2018 14u PG Select Baseball Festival, Davis is not your normal high school freshman as he carries himself well and displays advanced defensive tools behind the plate. He handled his starter, Cameron Repetti, well and can really throw the ball, on a string, to second base. In this game he didn’t do much that showed up in the box score but he worked a good at-bat, fouling off pitches and eventually flied out to the warning track in right field. Davis shows a good swing from the lefthanded batter’s box and will be fun to watch develop the next several years.

Hunter Cope, RHP, 2019, Mater Dei HS
Cope immediately stands out on the mound as a 6-foot-11 righthanded pitcher and the Arizona commit has revamped his delivery over the last few months trying to stay more compact, or at least as compact as you can be with as long levers as he has, with a lower arm slot. It’s evident he’s still working on repeating the slot and maintaining a natural, fluid action which at times doesn’t seem natural at this point of his development with it. Cope’s fastball sat mostly at 87-89 mph early on and he appeared to have better feel for his secondary pitches with his new slot throwing both a low-70s curveball and a mid- to upper-70s changeup.

Michael Flores, LHP, 2020, Corona HS 
Scouts showed up for Flores pitching counterpart, Hunter Cope, but Cope was out-pitched by the little lefty who is over a foot shorter. Flores is a crafty lefty with a big leg kick somewhat similar to that of MacKenzie Gore. He’s the type that can throw any pitch in any count, mixing in a 87 mph fastball, a curveball and a changeup. Flores’ changeup played well off of his fastball, commanding well to his glove side while getting multiple strikeouts and swings and misses with the pitch. His curveball was also a weapon against both right and lefthanded hitters. Flores was cruising until the sixth inning when he gave up a pair of solo home runs but was able to battle on to finish the complete game effort.

Tyson Heaton, RHP, 2019, Yucaipa HS
Heaton is a BYU commit, a physical righthanded pitcher with a good, strong body and an equally strong lower half. He used his size well to get downhill in this three-inning outing. Heaton’s fastball touched 90 mph while mixing in three secondary pitches which included a 74-75 mph curveball that produced several swings-and-misses as well as a strikeout. His slider sat at 78 mph while mixing in a 79 mph changeup, attacking hitters with his full arsenal and really competing well. Heaton helped himself at the plate with a home run to left field and was one of three starting pitchers to hit a homer on the first day of the Boras Classic of the teams that played at Mater Dei.

– Steve Fiorindo

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