UCLA - Champs despite losing tons of talent

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Congrats to the UCLA Bruins, for winning the school's first NCAA championship.  What is amazing to me is how many outstanding high school players the Bruins have lost to the MLB draft, kids who never stepped foot on campus.  This year they lost more incoming players to the draft, including Tracy HS lefthander Jonah Wesley but the Bruins will keep on going. 

Last year they lost incoming righthander Joe Ross and 3rd baseman Tyler Goeddel.  A few years back they lost catcher Max Stassi to the draft.  Those are just some of the Northern California players who never got to school... the number of outstanding Southern California high school players who never made it to Westwood, well, it's a lot more and players like catcher Austin Hedges certainly would have been missed by most programs.  The same year they lost Stassi they also lost INF David Nick.   There are MANY more but those are just some kids I remember.

On the current roster are three former BAWS/NWS players, OF Christoph Bono from Palo Alto HS, RHP Nick Vander Tuig from Oakdale HS, and INF Chris Keck from Amador Valley HS.  Bono as you might surmise, is the son of former NFL quarterback Steve Bono.  Vander Tuig was drafted in the 6th round by the Giants and was the winning pitcher in the championship game.


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Northern Calif. Players in 2013 MLB draft

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Not all of these players listed are originally from the Northern California scouting region (such as Braden Shipley) and some were drafted out of colleges outside of the region.  Many of our high school players leave the region to attend college somewhere else while other players come from high schools out of the region to attend the outstanding college programs in Northern California. If a player is from the region his high school will be listed.  I've also listed the college commitments for the drafted high school players.

Round (overall), Team, Position/Player, School(s), College Commitment

(Bold = BAWS/RNWS participant during my time with each event)

1 (1) - Astros - RHP Mark Appel, Stanford (Monte Vista HS) - signed

1 (15) - Diamondbacks - RHP Braden Shipley, Nevada - signed

1 (32) - Yankees - OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State (Linden HS) - signed

1s (35) - Marlins - LHP Matt Krook, St. Ignatius Prep (Oregon) - DID NOT SIGN

2 (49) - Mariners - OF Austin Wilson, Stanford - signed

2 (53) - Phillies - C Andrew Knapp, Cal (Granite Bay HS) - signed

2s (69) - Padres - OF Jordan Paroubeck, Serra HS (Fresno State) - signed

2s (70) - Rockies - RHP Alex Balog, USF (Archbishop Mitty HS) - signed

3 (102) - Braves - RHP Carlos Salazar, Kerman HS (Fresno State) - signed

4 (121) - Phillies - C Jake Sweaney, Garces Memorial HS (Oregon) - signed

4 (132) - Giants - 1B Brian Ragira, Stanford - signed

5 (144) - Royals - OF Amalani Fukofuka, James Logan HS - signed

6 (169) - Rockies - 3B Dom Nunez, Elk Grove HS (UCLA) - signed

6 (192) - Giants - RHP Nick Vander Tuig, UCLA (Oakdale HS) - signed

9 (268) - Padres - RHP Adam Cimber, USF - signed

9 (270) - Diamondbacks - C Grant Nelson, Saint Louis (Serra HS) - signed

9 (272) - Brewers - LHP Tyler Linehan, Fresno State (Sheldon HS) - signed

9 (276) - Tigers - RHP Will LaMarche, LSU (Amador Valley HS) - signed

10 (299) - Pirates - RHP Shane Carle, Long Beach State (Scotts Valley HS) - signed

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MLB Top 100 draft prospects

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

The draft is drawing ever closer and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo published his updated Top 100 prospects list for the 2013 MLB draft.  There are lots of lists, lots of draft experts, lots of blah blah blah and to call anyone an expert regarding how the draft will go is silly.  Mayo is an office, he has a phone, he calls GMs, crosscheckers, scouts, agents, etc.  He is contacted by agents who want to push up their own clients, etc.  He has video he can watch and the more anyone watches something, the better they can be at analyzing it. 

I say all of that because as a former scout, I always giggle when I watch TV and see guys from Baseball America and MLB.com and wherever else, presented as experts, as though they were the ones out there driving around, finding and evaluating the players, breaking down the tools, getting the signability, getting to know the make-up of the players, etc.  They get the results of all the work scouts do and by the time they are on TV talking about it or on the web writing, the thousands upon thousands of players scouts sift through are funnelled to a couple hundred the draft talking heads write and talk about.  It's pretty easy by that point.

Anyway, because I don't have my own prospect list (unless you are interested in Petaluma American Little League's AA division of 7-9 year olds), I too read what guys like Mayo write.  I used to write and do my own rankings with Team One and Perfect Game USA, so I do enjoy seeing lists because they are at the very least, interesting.  Especially so for those of us who live in fertile prospect areas like Northern California.

On Mayo's Top 100 list are 13 players who are within the typical territory for a scout who covers Northern California.  That territory generally goes north to the Oregon border, south down to Monterey, over toward Coalinga and Fresno, some go as far south as Visalia, then north and east to cover Northern Nevada.  A few might still cover Bakersfield as well and some might sneak down into San Luis Obispo. 

So, who are those players in this area?  Here you go..

#1 Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford - Appel is a former participant in my event and I also had the pleasure of having him on one of my Braves scout teams.  Great kid, great talent, hope he goes #1 overall.

#13 Braden Shipley, RHP, Nevada - Shipley had a great sophomore year for a Nevada team that really overachieved, well, that's what I thought.  Then I realized that Shipley was not only a good college pitcher, but also a high end prospect with a good fastball (reported to be up to 98 mph).

#24 Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State - I liked Judge when I was still scouting, but at that time I hadn't seen much of him as a position player, but rather as a pitcher.  Well, he's put the pitching aside and is a highly regarded prospect due to his tools, size, speed, power, etc.  Tall hitters are tricky though, there are lots of moving parts and generally I'd call tall and toolsy hitters a boom or bust type of prospect.  Think Michael Taylor and John Mayberry... rather than Dave Winfield.  Mayberry is a solid MLB contributor, Taylor seems to be a AAA player and of course, Winfield is an all-time great.

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Top 5 Regional High School Draft Prospects

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

The 2013 Major League Baseball amateur draft is right around the corner so it’s time to take a look at who are the top high school prospects in Northern California.  Now, you might be saying, “the draft is in June, that isn’t right around the corner.”  You would be correct if only considering the calendar and how many days until the draft.  However, a scout’s “pref list” is turned in by May 1st and from here on out it is all about making sure all the paperwork is in, getting last looks at the top guys, and more than anything, getting each player’s signability. 

 You might need some help deciphering some of that language in the previous paragraph.  A “pref list” is an area scout’s preferred order of the prospects in his territory.  Some scouts have DEEP lists (say up to 75 players) and some have very shallow lists (maybe as few as 40 players).  The top ten players won’t be exactly the same for every scout but in each scout’s top ten there are likely to be at least five common names.  The term “signability” refers to what it will take to sign the player to a pro contract.  A high school senior with a scholarship to a major college program will tell clubs how much it will take for him to forgo going to college.  Signability isn’t really supposed to affect how high a player gets drafted or IF he gets drafted, but the reality is that signability has trumped talent in some ways.

I was out at the Casa Grande/Cardinal Newman game on Wednesday (May 8) and there was a small collection of scouts, including a west coast crosschecker, to see Casa Grande's catcher, Francis Christy.  Christy signed with Oregon and as a left-handed hitter with power and a strong arm, he is obviously on the radar to be drafted.  How high?  I could see the 4th or 5th round as a possibility, based on talent and his profile.  Is he signable in those rounds?  I have no idea.  I do know that he didn't have his best day on Wednesday, showing poor blocking skills, including a lazy effort with a runner on third base that allowed that runner to score, and poor baserunning instincts and effort. 

I took my little league team out to the game to see the top ranked Gauchos because most of the kids I coach will attend Casa Grande someday.  I didn't go out to see Christy but seeing some of my old scouting colleagues got me thinking about the rest of the area, which is generally regarded as VERY strong and top heavy this season.

Here are the top five high school prospects in Northern California, generally speaking: LHP/1B Matt Krook of St. Ignatius Prep, OF Jordan Paroubeck of Serra HS, RHP Chris Viall of Soquel HS, RHP Carlos Salazar of Kerman HS, and LHP Jonah Wesley of Tracy HS.  Now, those players aren't ranked in order, but those five players are likely to be the most commonly listed near the top of the pref lists.  That doesn’t mean they are the top five of ALL prospects in Northern California because a full list takes four-year and junior college players into account. 

Krook signed with Oregon, Paroubeck signed with Fresno State, Viall signed with Stanford, Salazar signed with Fresno State, and Wesley signed with UCLA.  All of those can be considered major college programs, obviously.  It is basically a foregone conclusion that kids committed to Stanford will go to school so Viall likely won’t get serious attention, despite his exceptional talent.  Krook recently had a VERY poor outing in front of a very large gathering of draft decision makers and that will affect his draft slot.  UCLA isn’t quite as good as Stanford in getting their players to come to school, but they do get their fair share so Wesley’s signability is likely in question, as will be Krook’s. 

Of those players, Paroubeck and Salazar are likely the most signable, simply because a degree from Fresno State and playing baseball in the Mountain West Conference doesn’t quite measure up with a degree form Stanford, UCLA, and Oregon, while playing Pac-12 baseball.  That statement isn’t intended to disrespect a great Fresno State baseball program and a fine university, rather, it just reflects part of what is considered in the draft process.

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Las Vegas College Prospects - Top 10

Written by 9 County 9 on .

Top 10 College Prospects from AA Games West

- Written by Matt Bomeisel, President/Founder of Prospect Wire

- Notes, evaluations, ratings, reports compiled by PW staff, which I was part of for the weekend

LAS VEGAS - The 1st Annual Underclass All-American Games West concluded on Sunday at UNLV Baseball Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.  Prospect Wire scouts and staff have been hard at work debating and agreeing over the top 10 college baseball prospects from the event.

NOTE: 3 rating = Major D1 caliber recruit / 2 rating = Mid-major (at least) D1 caliber recruit.  Defining a major and a mid-major gets tricky and it is not meant to slight any programs, so to keep it basic, consider Pac-12/SEC programs as MAJOR (obviously Fullerton, Long Beach St., USD, Fresno State, etc, should be considered MAJOR baseball programs as well) and consider most WCC/Big West programs as Mid-MAJOR (USF, UC Santa Barbara, Nevada, etc).  Obviously there are schools in the non-BCS type conferences that ARE MAJOR programs in the sport of baseball.  I tend to think of a MAJOR program as school in a BCS conference and/or a program that is consistently in the playoffs or in the Top 40 of the country year in and year out. 


1. Ryan Day, MIF, 2014 - Day was the most talented player at the event right now, with multiple tools that will excel at the college level.  His batspeed is good, he squares up a lot of balls, he has a high baseball IQ, and a very advanced approach offensively.  He also pitched a little bit (up to 87mph).  Although he doesn't have a lot of power potential on offense, he is a top of the order bat with consistent line drive/gap to gap pop.  He also showed very well against breaking balls.  He was the most well-rounded player at the event that can do a little bit of everything.  He plays hard, the game comes easy to him and he's a gamer.  Major division 1 colleges in California should all have Ryan Day high on their radar.  PW Rating - 3*

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