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High School | General | 3/28/2019

Boras Classic Day 2 Scout Notes

Vincent Cervino         Steve Fiorindo         Perfect Game Staff        
Photo: Michael Curialle (Perfect Game)

Boras Classic Day 1 NotesNational High School Top 50

Starting off Day 2 of the Boras Classic South over at Mater Dei was senior righthander Andrew Devine (2019, Simi Valley, Calif.) as the Texas Tech signee was simply masterful over the course of six shutout innings. From the moment the umpire said “play” Devine was in complete control, pounding the strike zone and getting a significant amount of swing and miss on the fastball.

Devine is a bit of a smaller prospect, listed at 5-foot-9 and 155-pounds, but he really does a good job at maximizing the most out of his frame with really good drive out of his lower half and excellent extension toward the plate. There is effort to the delivery but he does a good job at maintaining his stuff throughout while the impressive arm speed might be the biggest draw of the profile. Devine’s combination of arm speed, extension, and high fastball spin rate allowed him to generate a number of whiffs on the pitch and he held 90-91 mph throughout the start. Devine’s breaking ball was pretty solid ranging anywhere from 71-77 mph as he could add and subtract at will while front-dooring righthanders with the pitch. The righthander was dealt the tough luck no decision on Wednesday morning but he did strikeout twelve batters over six shutout frame.

CJ Rodriguez (2019, Newport Beach, Calif.) was the backstop in Mater Dei’s second game of the Boras Classic South and he looked impressive behind the dish, blocking almost everything in the dirt and really showing off his receiving skills as well. The Vanderbilt signee collected a hit too and has good feel for the barrel of the bat but he was most impressive behind the plate. He handled starter Alonzo Tredwell well as he really stuck low fastballs and just slightly outside breaking balls to steal a few strikes. There’s a good amount of polish to his skills behind the plate and given Vanderbilt’s current catching situation Rodriguez could be an immediate stabilizing force defensively should he make it to Nashville this fall.

The big pitching draw of day two came during game two over at JSerra as PG All-American Dawson Netz (2019, Sierra Madre, Calif.) toed the rubber and was impressive against the No. 4 team in the country Orange Lutheran. The Arizona signee was eventually dealt the loss but Netz was masterful over the first five innings of the game.

Netz looks more physical than he did over the summer and stands with a well-built frame at a listed 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. The delivery is rather simple and the arm stroke is quick and clean through the back with above average arm speed to boot. Netz worked mostly in the 89-92 mph range with the fastball touching 93 mph a handful of times and dipping into the low-80s near the tail end of the start. The fastball is mostly straight in terms of life though he pounded the strike zone with it and wasn’t afraid to challenge hitters up in the zone especially so with two strikes. Netz threw two breaking balls, a short slider in the 78-81 mph range and a softer curveball in the 67-71 mph range. The curveball had good shape to it but was at its best when he really threw it with intent while the slider was effective over the glove side of the plate to miss the bats of righthanded hitters; he also showed a couple of changeups in the low-80s. There’s some refinement to be sure but Netz has already established himself as one of the top prep arms in the area for the 2019 draft class and he put forth a strong effort against a solid opponent.

Opposing Netz on the mound for Orange Lutheran was junior righthander Max Rajcic (2020, Fullerton, Calif.) and though the UCLA commit didn’t have his usual velocity, that didn’t impede his effectiveness in the slightest. The righthander went a complete game shutout while striking out ten batters and allowing just two hits against the opposition while turning in one of the performances of the tournament thus far.

Rajcic is a very physical righthanded pitching prospect, listed at 5-foot-11 and 175-pounds, and his velocity was more in the 87-90 mph range while bumping a few 91s along the way. The command was certainly there however as he pounded the strike zone and worked to either side from a tough angle as it looks like he’s raised his arm slot from last year. Rajcic drives off his back leg hard and spins off his stiff front leg at landing point, garnering good extension and providing some deception as well. His breaking ball is of the high-spin variety, routinely spinning around 2800 rpm on the pitch and it was at its best when thrown hard in the upper-70s showing some sharpness to break. Rajcic would go to the breaking ball often with two strikes and the pitchability stood out on Wednesday as he would mix both effectively to keep hitters on their toes.

The big hit for the Lancers came in the form of USC commit Tank Espalin (2020, Glendora, Calif.) as he provided a big at-bat in the sixth inning to push across the second run and give the Lancers a bit of breathing room heading into the seventh. Espalin is a prospect that has steadily improved throughout his high school career and his lefthanded swing has always been fairly smooth, increasing in power as he increased in strength. He took an excellent at-bat, working the count to 3-0 before getting knotted up at 3-2. He fouled off a tough pitch and went with an outer half fastball from Netz to drive the ball into the opposite field gap. There’s good carry off the barrel and it will be intriguing to see how that power potential plays out for Espalin as he could be a bat that will have an important role to play for the nationally ranked Lancers.

One of the top prep hitters in the country is Cal State Fullerton signee Joseph Naranjo (2019, Chino, Calif.) and though he didn’t record any hits during the game on Wednesday, he hit three absolute rockets to the pull side. Naranjo, who is coming off a 2-4 day on Tuesday where he also earned the win on the mound, has a very balanced and quiet swing, with little wasted movement and outstanding barrel control. There’s not a ton of loft to the swing or significant size on the frame which will lead scouts to question the true power output, but his ability to manipulate the barrel and create well-struck contact to seemingly every corner of the field will certainly stand out regardless. Naranjo has very quick hands with a compact path and his history of hitting at PG events will be a surprise to no one and with the aforementioned Southern California class being a free-for-all at this point Naranjo’s bat could make some serious noise as the spring progresses.

In what looked to be the deciding blow in Wednesday night’s thriller over at Mater Dei High School, Chase Meidroth (2019, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) hit a first-pitch home run to left centerfield to give his Mira Costa team a 2-1 lead over La Mirada. The Matadores eventually came back in the seventh inning but Meidroth has impressive tools that were highlighted by his sixth inning big fly. The San Diego signee is a good athlete with a twitchy build and profiles well at the top of the lineup. There’s quickness to his short stroke and he showed that he can really get his hips going and put a drive into mistakes, like when he got an elevated 81 mph fastball to drive to the pull side. Unfortunately for Meidroth he only got to play hero for the better part of a half inning but he looks the part of a prospect who should be able to make an impact right away for the Toreros next year.

– Vincent Cervino

Wednesday's quarterfinal of the Boras Classic featured a close battle between JSerra and Ayala. Coming off the heels of his three hit performance in Tuesday's round one victory, Blake Klassen (2019, Rancho Mission Viejo, Calif.) showed why Arizona has signed him as he racked up his fourth and fifth hits of the tournament. At 6-foot-2 and 205-pounds, Klassen projects to be a serious power threat at the next level and today he showcased his strong hands by roping a double into the left center gap at his first plate appearance off a hanging curveball and then later keeping his hands inside the ball and finding the six-hole for a base hit. Klassen has a solid rhythm with the pitcher and keeps his hands low throughout his load. Moreover, his load is simple and efficient as he displays controlled violence throughout his swing. Klassen gets his foot down early and has no problem using his lower half. However, his early front foot causes his hands to be late at times and proves further that he hasn’t unlocked his full power potential and could become a serious slugger at the next level.  

Top SoCal prospect Michael Curialle (2019, Mission Viejo, Calif.) also laced a double in today’s game, blasting a line drive that began in the right field gap and faded over the right fielder towards the foul pole and continuing his hot streak thus far in the tournament. What was even more impressive about Curialle’s double was the adjustment that he made between his first two at bats and the double. In his first two appearances the UCLA signee was having trouble coming around the baseball as he rolled over to the right side twice. Then he kept his hands inside, stayed back on a hanging breaking ball, and drove the ball to the opposite field. Curialle has strong awareness for his swing and projects to have an above average hitting tool at the next level as he matures. It’s also worth noting that Curialle turned one of his roll overs into an infield single as he showcased his great speed with a 4.01 time to first base while lunging for an outside pitch. Curialle was coming off a game where he went 3-4 with a double on Tuesday and he shows up as the hero of game two as his double down the line was a difference maker as it gave them the lead they would not surrender. When you look at the tools it's hard not to get excited about the JSerra shortstop as a prospect and his aggressive approach has allowed him to really find the barrel often thus far in the spring.

– Connor Spencer

Standing at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, Julian Alvarez (2019, San Bernardino, Calif.) is a primary center fielder for the Thunderbirds who wreaks havoc at the top of the order. His speed tool plays well both down the line and in the outfield, covering the gaps and is usually in the middle of their rallies. In this look Alvarez filled up the stat sheet both at the plate and on the mound, collecting two hits and a stolen base, but it was on the mound where he really shined. A Cal Baptist commit who showed two-way potential, Alvarez was locked in from the start in route to tossing a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits. His fastball worked mostly 85-86 mph, touching 88 a handful of times and showed comfort moving the FB in and out on the plate. He flashed a curveball in the mid-60s but it was his fastball-changeup combo he went to most often, showing nice fading life to his glove side on the pitch that topped at 72 mph.

Michael Carpentier (2019, Highland, Calif.), an Arizona State commit, is a strong framed catcher who controls the game and epitomizes the Yucaipa brand of blue collar play. His lefthanded stick stood out as usual, showing a refined approach in the box which allows him to fight tough pitches and while waiting for something he can drive. Along with his approach, Carpentier has no issue driving the ball to the opposite field as he showed, working a solid at-bat before barreling a pitch into left field. That said, in two of his following trips to the plate the Sun Devils signee showed the ability to pull the ball with an RBI single into right field before hitting a towering home run over the right field fence in his final at-bat. He has a reputation of limiting the opponent’s running game on the bases thanks to a strong and accurate throwing arm.

Already standing 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, Alonzo Tredwell (2021, Coto De Caza, Calif.) is plenty athletic on the diamond as he also plays first base and shows a smooth lefthanded stroke. Despite his age the young UCLA commit already shows a calm demeanor on the mound and plenty of presence, controlling his body well through his delivery with clean, efficient mechanics. His arm stroke works well through the back and produced a fastball that worked in the 87-89 mph range early, bumping 91 mph, but his ability to locate to either side of the plate was just as impressive. The curveball proved to be his primary off-speed pitch, a low-70s offering and used it to record multiple strikeouts. He also flashed a slider and changeup, both in the upper-70s, and the combination of present stuff, body and projection have him ranked as top arm in class in So Cal with very high upside.

Jared Karros’ (2019, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) 6-foot-6, 185-pound frame offers ample physical projection moving forward though the UCLA commit has made vast improvements the past year plus with significant velocity gains. In this look the young righthander worked in the 86-88 mph range with his fastball, topping out at 89 mph while working to either side of the plate with intent and missed barrels throughout. He wasn’t afraid to challenge hitters up and in which helped his changeup become all the more effective, keeping the 76-78 mph pitch down in the zone with nice fading, downward life. The curveball would get big in terms of depth at times, though it should tighten with added physicality and he also mixed a slider as a fourth offering.

While the arsenal is enough to be effective, Karros remained in attack mode and lived around his target, pitching backwards with comfort especially with the changeup as he showed no hesitation in doubling up to either lefties or righties. He got the tough luck no decision from the outing, allowing just one hit over six innings pitched with four strike outs. His younger brother Kyle (2020 class) is also a third baseman and their father Eric is a long-time MLB veteran and also a UCLA alum.

A San Diego signee and a member of their 2019 class, infielder Chase Meidroth (2019, Manhattan Beach, Calif.) possesses solid tools across the board and put his righthanded stroke on display in a loud way. Meidroth is currently ranked No. 409 in the 2019 class and showed off excellent bat speed Wednesday afternoon as he turned on an inner half fastball and connected for a deep drive over the left-center field fence.

– Steve Fiorindo

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