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Tournaments | Story | 6/27/2019

Pacific Invitational Scout Notes

Connor Spencer        

Pacific Coast Invitational: Day 1-2 Scout Notes
 | Day 3 Scout Notes | Day 4 Scout Notes

The 16u division saw fierce last battles for semifinal spots while the 17u division finally got rolling at day five of the Pacific Coast Invitational. Southern California’s June gloom was back in full effect Tuesday and the cooler wet weather brought a different playing surface than what most of the teams had experienced thus far.

In game one of the day, Gameday Angels 16u got another win to move to 2-1-0 in the tournament and catcher Kaleb Duke (2021, Monument, Colo.) went 2-for-3 with a double in the game. Duke has a developing frame with plenty of room to fill out. At the plate, he has a slightly open, crouched stance that he further crouches into and back into his load. His hands do travel deep into his load but he throws them quickly at launch and works hard to keep his hands inside the baseball. He uses a simple leg lift trigger and stays tall on his backside throughout his swing. In game two, Duke competed his butt off on the mound taking a shutout into the sixth inning. Duke has a shorter arm action form an over the top slot. His 71-to-78 mph fastball is in no way overpowering; however, he spots up, competes hard, and uses his defense well. His 11-to-5 shaped curveball has a larger shape and possesses some depth. Although Duke ran into trouble in the sixth, he made a gutsy start and gave Gameday Angels 16u a chance to win.

Finnegan Wall (2021, Hesperia, Calif.) went 1-for-3 on the day for Pfahd. Wall has a slightly crouched, upright stance with a vertical bat wag rhythm. He uses a simple leg lift trigger and gets heavy linear weight shift into his load. His lower half is a little late to fire, but he stays tall on his back-side throughout his swing and extends the top hand through the zone. Wall has a very projectable frame and finds good pop when he finds barrel.

In the kickoff game for the 17u division JGB Prime 2020 defeated HBA ACES 17u behind a stellar pitching performance from Alex Navarrete (2021, Colton, Calif.). Navarrete uses a high leg lift and works quick through his motion with hard drop and drive actions down the mound. He has a short arm action from a high three-quarters slot. His arm is live sitting 84-87 while topping out at 88 mph. At times he gets his fastball to cut, especially when throwing cross body. He throws a good low 11-to-4 shaped slider that was a plus pitch as the game went on. Navarrete is not afraid to go back to back to back with the breaking ball and will throw it in any count. He also has a straight change that sits around 73-75 but is not as effective as the breaking ball. What’s interesting is he has a fourth pitch as well that looks to be a splitfinger that comes in at 62 mph and it is an effective out pitch. It has strong tumbling action and is devastating for hitter’s thinking that it’s the slider. If you count his ability to manipulate the shape of his breaking ball thus, saying he throws a curveball and a slider, then the argument can be made that he has a five-pitch mix. He pitched a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts. Navarrete has lots of room to develop and is a fantastic find as a 2021.

Teammate Darius Price (2020, Fontana, Calif) also impressed for JGB Prime 2020 with his silky-smooth hands in the field and at the plate. Price displays plus glovework in the infield and has a short arm with a quick release across the diamond. He makes good first step reads and shows an ability to make adjustments off his initial reads. In the fourth, he made a stellar barehanded play on a toughly spun ball up the middle. At the plate, Price has great hands that consistently fight to get inside the baseball, and he becomes very handsy with two strikes. He uses a simple small leg kick trigger and his hands stay quiet throughout his load. There’s still room for him to engage his lower half more but his handsy foundation will make any college coach want to work with him.

Erik Elizalde (2021, Santa Barbara, Calif.) laced a double that one hopped the right center fence for Santa Barbara Junior Foresters 17u. He has a large frame and quick compact hands at the plate, especially for his large build, and makes athletic actions in the field. He has an upright stance with high hands that work hard down through the zone. His leg kick trigger is quick and heavy into his load, and he opens his front hip early, which really forces his hands to unload through the zone.

Dylan Schwartz (2020, Chino, Calif.) popped out to scouts and coaches with his quick short arm action and live fastball. His fastball lived around 87-88 mph and he touched 89 mph on a couple of occasions. He uses a high leg lift and his entire motion is quick from start to finish. His drop-and-drive actions are violent, and he shoves his high front side down the mound quickly after separation. His high three-quarters to over the top slot creates some arm-side run when locating to his arm side of the plate. His breaking ball is a high 11-to-5 shaped curveball that is a plus pitch when thrown with conviction. He can use it as a get-me-over and as an out-pitch at will. Schwartz does possess a changeup, however, he threw it only a few times and tended to miss up with the 76 mph offering. If he learns to get the off-speed out on in front and down, the pitch has promise. All in all, it’s surprising that Schwartz is uncommitted given his strength and stuff.

Jacob Billings (2021, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) was locked in at the plate for Bulldogs Baseball 2021 going 3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. Billings has an upright stance with a hanging leg lift trigger. He gets a solid amount of weight transfer that he balances on his back-side until unloading his lower half at launch. His quick lower half creates good tension between his upper and lower halves, and it whips his barrel through the zone with solid barrel speed. His power at the plate is still developing, but he backspun his triple nicely into deep center field and his hands will always give him a chance at the plate.

Soon-to-be USF Don Eric Reyzelman (2019, San Ramon, Calif.) looked poised and ready to compete for a spot in the rotation this upcoming fall with a live fastball that touched 91 mph. He sat around 88-90 throughout his outing, and his fastball has strong arm-side run at times. Reyzelman’s breaking ball will bring him plenty of success at the next level as it’s a plus-plus 10-to-4 shaped slider with a slight hump in it. It possesses sharp late side-to-side bite as it lifts up into the hump and then disappears away from barrels. The one thing he does lack is a complimenting third pitch in his arsenal, but he’ll have the opportunity to develop it at San Francisco. It was pretty dominant stuff out of the power righty.

Easily one of the coolest things of the day, and something even the most avid baseball fan does not get to see every day, was ambidextrous pitcher Caleb Park (2020, Upland, Calif.). He has a very conventional motion with a long arm and mid-high leg lift when throwing from both sides. It’s quite astonishing how similar his motion is from both the left and right side. At 71-73 mph, his stuff isn’t enough to blow hitters away, nonetheless, being able to use both your arms to throw off the rubber is a rare and incredible feat. Park mostly uses a two-pitch mix from both arms, but if he continues to develop his pitchability on the mound he may become an asset someday.

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