Huge opening game for WG's Michael Jenkerson

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

There are some very good uncommitted seniors playing this spring, with hopes of securing an opportunity at the four-year college level.  One of those players, Willow Glen HS centerfielder Michael Jenkerson, got off to a big start in the Rams' first game.  Jenkerson, a wide receiver for the football team, is a highly athletic player who is really coming into his own on the diamond.  His skills are quickly catching up to his athleticism and raw talent and the results are showing.

In the opening game against Los Gatos, Jenkerson was a star for WG.  He was 2-4 with a 2-R home run and made a diving catch (which are FREQUENT for him) which saved two runs.  When you add that up, his homer and catch were responsible for a four run swing in the game.  Ultimately Los Gatos won the game 12-5 but it would have been a whole lot worse for the Rams without Jenkerson's day.

I have seen him consistently make outstanding plays in centerfield, due most to the excellent jump he gets on and his ability to close on the ball.  He is not a burner in terms pure running speed but he is a solid average, if not slightly above average runner.  He throws accurately and is a heady outfielder.  For those who have seen him play, they know the defense is there and they like the athleticism.  The question has been how much will he hit and it was a question for me too.

Well, Jenkerson has worked very hard on his swing and it shows.  He has always had the ability to keep the ball out of the air and I liked his short contact oriented swing as a foundation. Now, he is getting through the ball better, driving it better and is able to backspin the ball, resulting in some carry.  He has plenty of bat speed so it is all about how consistently he can square up at contact and get extension.  Early indications are that he is on his way to being a very well rounded player. 

Deer Valley @ Foothill scrimmage

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

I got out on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon and saw Deer Valley at Foothill in Pleasanton.  Not that it matters but FHS won 7-6 and they played eight innings, as much as they could get in before it got dark.

Here are some things I took away from the game, mostly about the underclassmen I saw and liked:

Sophomore SS Ryan Anderson of FHS is a good looking young player.  I see a very projectable hitter with power projectability.  His arm was above average but I don't see as a plus at shortstop.  He was pretty good in the field yesterday and since I have only seen him one day in my life, I am not ready to say he has to move positions someday.  However, I didn't see the footwork or natural feel for shortstop.  His frame looks like it will fill out nicely and his hitting ability is what is drawing college interest and will continue to do so.

Junior catcher Dylan Isquirdo of FHS played on a team I coached last September and he played GREAT in that USA NTIS tourney.  Well, Isquirdo has dropped some weight and is in GREAT shape.  He looked good with the bat and is throwing the ball well.  I also like Isquirdo's field presence and think he is going to make a good college catcher.

Sophomore LHP T.J. Barradas of FHS is pretty raw but I liked his body and his arm action was ok too.  His stuff looked like it had a lot of movement when he was down in the zone.  Given time and physical development, I like this young lefty.  He sort of reminded me of what I think former Campolindo and USF LHP Aaron Poreda would have been like as a high school soph.  The ball comes out of his hand pretty easily and he is still clearly far away from being technically sound with the delivery.

There are some other nice looking players at Foothill but I would need to see more to feel like they are major college talents.  I will mention that junior OF T.J. Friedl is a good runner and I saw his speed impact the game a couple of times.  He hits from the left side so keep an eye on him.  Not a big kid (5'9" 165... maybe) but he can scoot.

For Deer Valley, I was most impressed with junior CF Marcus Wise.  Wise is the leadoff hitter and he has natural leadoff hitting talents.  He was hitting the ball hard on the ground with a swing that is going to keep the ball out of the air more often than not.  In time more and more line drives will show up.  He kept his hands back on the breaking ball well too and there is enough strength there for gap power, doubles and triples.  He went down the line on two occasions in the 4.10 range so he can put pressure on the defense.  He has strong legs is put together well.  Defensively his arm is good and he plays a shallow CF.  This is a good college centerfield prospect.

Stanford tops ESPN Top 20, midweek notes

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

The other day I took a spin around the landscape of Northern California D1 baseball, after the opening weekend.  It clearly was an eye opening weekend for Cal Poly (destroyed Oklahoma State), Santa Clara (swept a tourney in Texas), Stanford (pounded Vanderbilt in a sweep), and to a lesser extent, Cal (swept Pacific, which they should have) and Saint Mary's (dominated on the mound in sweeping Southern Utah).  There was an awful lot of winning coming out of this region and ESPN has taken note.  

D1 Weekend Wrap - Santa Clara

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Santa Clara - 3-0 (Texas State, Wichita State, Louisiana-Lafayette)

The Broncos are off to a 3-0 start as they went on the road to a tourney in San Marcos (TX) and might have slid under the local radar with their sweep of the tourney.  The won 5-4, 7-1, and 8-5, with two of the wins coming in extra innings.  That has to feel great for the new coaching staff and for the players who haven't experienced enough success the last few years at SCU.  Early returns are that the pitching is improved and since I think Santa Clara can still score like they have in the past seasons, things are looking good for SCU.

D1 Weekend Wrap - San Jose St.

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

SJSU - 1-2 vs USF

The Spartans dropped the first two games at home (4-0 & 5-1) but bounced back with a nice 7-3 win at USF on Sunday.  There wasn't much to celebrate in the two losses but in the 7-3 win they Spartans got a BIG spark from freshman CF Andre Mercurio, who went 4-4 (2 R) out of the lead-off spot.  For the series Mercurio was 6-9 with two runs scored.  He didn't strike out and also got hit by a pitch.  He is a PERFECT lead-off hitter.