Tournaments | Story | 6/24/2019

Pacific Invitational Scout Notes

Connor Spencer        

Pacific Coast Invitational: Day 1-2 Scout Notes

Day three of the Pacific Coast Invitational brought the beginning of the 16u division and saw some crucial matchups between two- and three-win teams in the 14u division.

CBA Wave Blue moved to 2-1-1 in the 14u division after another offensive explosion. Third baseman Brendan Shanahan (2023, Temecula, Calif.) was 2-for-2 with a triple and a walk on the day and showcased excellent agility on the basepaths. His triple should have been a double, but he was able to get to third thanks to his speed and technique on the turns. At the plate he has a slightly open, heavily crouched stance. He tends to come around the ball at times but when he’s able to work his hands inside he finds solid pop for his frame.

In the first game of the 16u division Hit Club 16u had an offensive outpouring of their own led by third baseman Adam Trujillo (2021, Redwood City, Calif.). Trujillo was 2-for-3 on the day with an RBI and shows athletic actions in the field and at the plate. His frame is still developing, and the arm action feels slightly cut off, but he has good foot work at third, uses his hands very well at the plate, and there’s potential in his developing size and maturing game. He could possibly make a smooth transition to second base.

Andrew Krodel (2023, Villa Park, Calif.) flashed his strong arm for ROX Baseball going five full innings with four strikeouts. He has a short arm action from a three-quarters arm slot and uses a low- to mid-leg lift. Krodel sits mid- to high-70s and hit 81 mph once. Krodel loves to pitch with the fastball and he’s not afraid to go right after hitters with it. At times it has some arm-side run and sink but for the most part it’s pretty flat. He also has a 12-to-6 curveball with a large shape that is more of a get-me-over pitch than an out-pitch. Krodel’s arm is strong enough to be optimistic about his potential as a pitcher moving forward, however, he’ll need to develop his secondary pitches in order to take his game to the next level.

Markus Petures (2021, Brentwood, Calif.) went 1-for-1 with two walks in game one for NorCal Prospects. Petures has a larger frame at 6-foot, 200 pounds, but shows present athleticism for his larger frame. He has an upright conventional stance at the plate and uses his hands well. Petures will at times pull off the ball with his front side and his hands will follow. When he’s able to stay over the plate and dive his backside through, he gets solid jump off the barrel that will play at the next level. Moreover, he has a polished plate discipline that will translate as it matures.

One of the better swings of the tournament thus far belongs to the San Diego Ballers own Christian Nava (2021, San Diego, Calif.). He has a simple and quiet stride and load and his hands work direct to the baseball. Nava gets a quick linear weight shift, uses his lower half well and the back-side drives his hands as he creates a strong flat barrel plane through the zone. There’s still room for his hands to extend through the zone, but they’re still effective with his hand-eye coordination and quickness. He looks to attack the baseball with every pitch and in game one smoked a double against NorCal prospects. In game two he peppered his opposite field showcasing his ability to work his hands inside the baseball. At third he moves well to his left and right, has clean glove work and shows feel of the position. There are plenty of projectable actions at the plate, quiet yet violent is what scouts like to see out of a hitter.

Teammate Hunter Hargett (2021, San Diego, Calif.) posted the highest velocity of the tournament so far, topping out at 86 mph. Hargett has a short arm action from an over-the-top slot, and works straight down the mound with authority. His fastball does not possess much action, but it is a live arm with some downward angle. His curveball has a high 11-to-5 action that has the ability to miss some bats. When thrown with conviction, it has late sharp bite down and shows promise to be a kill pitch. Hargett did struggle with his command during his quick outing, but the stuff has the potential to become great.

The late afternoon slates brought a slurry of solid pitching started by CBA Utah’s Blayde Roblin (2020, Lehi, Utah).  Roblin went 3 1/3 innings while striking out six. His motion begins slow and methodically, then he speeds up at his apex and works down the mound quickly and with authority. He has a short arm action from a true three-quarters arm slot and finds some hard two-seam run on his 80-85 mph fastball. His breaking ball is a high 11-to-5 shaped curveball that has good late bite when thrown down in the zone. The shape of the pitch becomes looser and its spin rate decreases as its left over the plate. What was very promising to see out of Roblin is he flashed a plus splitter that has strong late tumbling action down. He’s still inconsistent with the quality of the pitch, but when it’s on, it’s lights out. Roblin’s stuff qualifies him as a high follow going forward.

For the Santa Barbara Grizzlies/Coastal Cubs, Henry Manfredonia (2021, Santa Barbara, Calif.) showed off his live arm with downward angle on the mound. Manfredonia has a large and lengthy frame and his over-the-top slot creates some downward angle to the plate. His fastball sits around 81-85 and there’s some break Z prevalent meaning the velocity of his pitch does not waver much from when the ball leaves his hand to when it reaches the catcher’s mitt. At times he struggles to get his high front side down through separation making him miss up in the zone. However, the further he does get the ball out in front the more downward angle he creates on the hitter. He loves to pitch with the fastball and he did show a 12-to-6 curveball, but he rarely threw it. The breaking ball has solid depth however its large shape and lack of bite makes it tough to be a kill pitch. Scouts love to see the live arm and action Manfredonia has on his fastball. He’s just missing a solid complementary pitch to go along with it but the foundation is there to build off of.

Ben Pajak (2021, San Diego, Calif.) for CBA Wave hit the first true home run of the tournament sending a rocket into the netting out in left. Pajak has a pretty swing that utilizes the lower half well. His load is simple and quiet in a conventional upright stance and he uses a simple mid-leg kick trigger. His hands work down through the zone and his barrel finds some upward plane creating consistent backspin. He does a nice job of really forcing his hands out and through into extension, and his backside stays tall throughout the swing. His athleticism in the field and on the basepaths is undeniable. It’s not hard to argue that Pajak is one of the most polished all-around players in the 16u division.

Markos Sanchez (2020, Fontana, Calif.) capped off an eight-run hitting clinic with an RBI base hit through the six-hole to help lead JG Baseball 16u to a win. Sanchez has a large build and an upright narrow stance at the plate. His hands do not travel far in his load and it’s a shallow load as well. He takes his hands directly to the baseball and shows an ability to get the head out on balls.

Juggernaut Group Baseball Academy defeated HBA Aces 16u and John Stark (2021, Riverside, CA) was 1-for-2 with a triple and two RBIs. Stark has a wide stance with a high back elbow and high hands. He uses a simple load and stride and uses his backside well to get the barrel through the zone.

In the night slate Luis Becerra (2022, San Leandro, Calif.) gave Bay Area United one heck of a start with his plus stuff. He has a short arm action from a high three-quarters arm slot and uses a high leg ligft. Becerra works quickly through his motion down the mound and keeps a slight hunch to his posture throughout. His fastball sits around 82-86 mph and has hard two-seam run and sink to both sides of the plate. His 11-to-5 shaped curveball has good depth and solid bite down and away to righties. All in all, it’s a plus pitch and shows great promise as his arm matures. He pitched primarily with a two-pitch mix and was extremely effective throwing to both sides of the plate with intent. He finished his night going 5 1/3 innings and struck eight displaying very projectable stuff.

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