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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SportStars Magazine, Scout It Out Loud

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Last year SportStars Magazine and Bay Area World Series got together on a partnership, with SportStars becoming the official media partner of BAWS.  That relationship will continue this season.  With that, I write columns for both the on-line version of the magazine and the print version that is distributed all over the Bay Area and Northern California.  The first article is up, on-line and it details the plan for BAWS events this summer. 

Here is a copy of that article...

By BLAINE CLEMMENS | Special to SportStars

Last spring SportStars became the official media partner of Bay Area World Series (BAWS) and that relationship will continue in 2013. 

 

Starting in 2004, BAWS is the longest running and most successful showcase-focused organization in Northern California. This summer, BAWS will be held at its traditional home, Schott Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University, June 21-23. BAWS 2013 will focus mainly on the region’s top 2014 graduates (current juniors). This season Spalding has come on board as the title sponsor of BAWS. There are some exciting new aspects of the Spalding/BAWS partnership!  

 

 

A second major BAWS event will debut later in the summer, BAWS Underclass.  BAWS Underclass will take place at beautiful Baggett Stadium on the campus of Cal Poly in scenic San Luis Obispo, July 19-21. Cal Poly was actually the host of BAWS 2012 due to Schott Stadium field renovations. The venue, the weather, the city, and the cooperation of the Cal Poly coaching staff was outstanding, leading to BAWS Underclass which will feature 144 current freshmen and sophomores.

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High school players & social media

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Today I was researching the correct spelling of a player's last name before sending him an invitation for Bay Area World Series Underclass.  So of course I entered the player's name and his school into a Google search.  The results of the search directed me to this player's Twitter account.  Interesting.

When I was a college coach and a MLB scout, I did what most recruiters and scouts do, I researched players via social media, looking for as much background information as possible regarding the character and off field habits of players.  I searched Facebook, MySpace and had Twitter been as big as it is now, I'd have searched Twitter too.  You would think (ok, maybe hope is a better word) kids these days would be much more aware of how their social media musings can reflect upon them.  Guess what?  They aren't.

Simply put, if you are a player who wants to be recruited or wants to be drafted and you are posting stuff on your Facebook or Twitter account that reflects negatively on your character or off field habits or social circle you run with, you can and likely will be ELIMINATED from consideration by recruiters and scouts.  Yes, it's a fact.  I eliminated players based on the poor choice of an email address handle, based on what I found on Facebook pages, based on conversations with a high school coach about practice habits.  Someday you will want a job and you will apply for one.  An employer will check your background. 

Read that again if you are a player.  If you are a parent reading this, then I suggest you become MUCH more aware of any social media accounts your son or daughter might have and what they are posting and who they are linked to (yes, that matters too).  You work hard for your kids.  They likely are working hard in the classroom and in the weight room and on the practice fields.  However, all that work can and will be undermined by their social media habits.

When I found the player's Twitter account today, the most recent post was just the type that would raise a red flag if I was a recruiter or scout.  Then I scrolled his tweet history and found A LOT more disturbing posts, the types of postings that would eliminate him from a recruiter's radar. 

I will not throw this kid under the bus and tell you his name or what he posted.  I just hope someone helps him figure out that he is well on the way to ruining his chances of playing major college baseball (I have no idea yet if he is that good) if he keeps up the type of Twitter activity he has displayed to this point.

I am not suggesting this player or ANY young player who makes poor social media choices is a bad person, not at all.  Clearly kids do foolish things (and doing foolish things is not a market cornered by only young people).  I did foolish things as a high school kid that could have limited the interest recruiters would have had in me.  However, I was a high school kid from 1987-1991 and social media did not exist. 

Players, it's true, as your parents and coaches have told you, you never know who is watching, who is listening, who is paying attention to you.  If the guy who runs Bay Area World Series is looking for information about you, I think you can safely assume a Pac-12 recruiting coordinator is looking a little deeper and a little harder. 

Make better choices. 

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Uncommitted 2013 grads

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Now that the early signing period for National Letter of Intent has passed, here are the names of some talented players who DID NOT commit or sign in the early period, to my knowledge... As always, these are not the ONLY good players who remain uncommitted, they are just many that I have seen and think need to be on the radar for college programs...

INF/P Lucas Erceg - Westmont HS

INF Mason Melin - Monte Vista HS

CF Marcus Wise - Deer Valley HS

OF Draco Roberts - Dougherty Valley HS

OF Austin Lonestar - De La Salle HS

MIF Jesse Medrano - Clayton Valley HS

IF/OF Scotty Akrop - Soquel HS

INF Michael Angulo - Fremont HS

C Ray Bartolomucci - De La Salle HS

C Bryan Bucher - Aptos HS

RHP  Anthony Bender - Casa Grande HS

RHP Ryan Bohnet - Benicia HS

INF Daniel DeFazio - California HS

INF Ryan Hooper - Campolindo HS

1B Tyler Hall - Benicia HS

C Jimmy Hill - Monterey HS

C Dylan Isquirdo - Foothill HS (Pleasanton)

RHP Cole Lang - Homestead HS

RHP/SS Logan Lanza - Rodriquez HS

RHP Andrew Merken - Acalanes HS

IF/OF Ryan Morris - Dublin HS

RHP Sam Nathan - Amador Valley HS

LHP Ryan Stevenson - Sonora HS

C Jacob Tonascia - San Benito HS

RHP Tyler Vistalli - Deer Valley HS

I saw all of these players at BAWS 2012 and some of them I have seen quite a few other times.  Each one of them, in my opinion, is recruitable somewhere at the D1 level, whether that is locally, regionally, or nationally, somewhere.  It doesn't mean I think they are Pac-12 caliber talents but they all bring something to the table.

Know of other kids you think should be known?  Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let me know.  In June 2013 at Bay Area World Series I will have some of these seniors there.  If you know of or are a senior who has either slipped through the cracks or has been steadily improving to the point that maybe you are considerably better than colleges may have seen last summer or fall, then let me know, I'd love to have you at  BAWS and give you that last shot to be seen and maybe get your shot.

 

 

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Prospect Wire Las Vegas Showcase

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

I was at the Prospect Wire showcase in Las Vegas this weekend and here are some links to some performances from some outstanding Northern California players, including Deer Valley HS CF Marcus Wise (2013), Monte Vista HS C Lucas Halstead (2014) and Enterprise HS INF Kaelan Crisosto (2014).  Deer Valley HS RHP Tyler Vistalli was also there and was a standout as well.  In fact, all four of these players were rated in the top 10 of the event. 

Here are the reports about three of those players, after their defensive workouts...

Here were the top 5 performers during I/O in no particular order:

1.  Lucas Halstead, 2014, C - Showed a plus arm during throw downs to 2B.  Showed a fairly quick transfer as a new catcher.  Already showing signs of having standout defensive skills behind the plate.

3.  Marcus Wise, 2013, CF - Graceful actions in CF.  Made a great play over the shoulder catch on a poorly hit fungo!  Accurate throws, above average range.  Plays with tempo and feel in the OF.

5. Kaelan Crisosto, 2014, MIF - Has athleticism that he transfers very well to the baseball field.  Not the strongest arm, but he has some carry to it.  Also shows a quick release.  Seems to have a good internal clock.

Crisosto and Halstead also earned praise from their BP sessions...

Kaelan Crisosto, 2014, MIF - Easy, fluid swing.  Line drives.  Can handle wood.  Projectable body with projectable power.  Easy line drive swing.

Lucas Halstead, 2014, C - Has a chance for plus power.  Great batspeed.  Has strength to handle a wood bat now.  Drives the baseball (when his body stays behind the ball)

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Uncommitted 2013 Grads - Catchers

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Now is a time of year when many of the very best rising seniors have given their verbal commitments, while other very good and steadily improving players are still waiting for their shot to be recruited.  The D1 coaches are at the Area Code Games this week, looking to lock up the last few uncommitted players at that event and there will be a battle for those players.  Numerous schools will compete for the same players and yet, only one school will get each player.  That will leave opportunities for others who may not have been recruited as aggressively yet.

Players who competed at showcase events like Bay Area World Series earlier in the summer, or have been playing with competitive travel ball teams at tournaments all summer, they have been seen and noted but their time to be recruited should be coming.  Many of those kids will head to Arizona in October, for the Arizona Senior Fall Classic and from there many will get their opportunity.

So if you are a player who doesn't have a bunch of recruiting interest right now, but maybe you did hear from some schools earlier in the summer, stay patient, but be PROACTIVE.  Reach out to your top choices.  For instance, if you are a catcher and you have heard from a school, reconnect with that school.  It might be that that program is hot after a catcher at the Area Code Games, like Dominic Miroglio of O'Dowd, for instance.  Well, Miroglio is getting a lot of interest and only ONE school that needs a 2013 catcher will get him.  That will open up an opportunity for the next group of players on the recruiting lists. 

Speaking of catchers, there are quite a few good ones that are still uncommitted that I think are recruitable by D1 programs... in addition to Dominic Miroglio (Bishop O'Dowd) and Bryan Bucher (Aptos), both of whom are at the Area Code Games, here are some others: Jacob Tonascia (San Benito), Jimmy Hill (Monterey), Ray Bartolomucci (De La Salle), Dylan Isquirdo (Foothill-Pleasanton), and Daniel Jackson (Amador Valley), are those that come to mind.

Like I said, Bucher and Miroglio are at the Area Code Games and simply by being there, they are likely to leave Long Beach with offers in hand.  The next wave of players needs to pay attention to where they commit.  

Get your fingers working and get some emails and tweets and phone calls going to your schools of choice.  Find out which programs will have prospect camps in the fall and winter, especially those you have near the top of your choice list.  Good luck!

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BAWS 2012 - My favorite players to watch

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

BAWS 2012 has come and gone and it was a great event.  I always look at the event in two ways, as an organizer/director but also as a scout.  For this post I want to highlight some of the players, the players I most enjoyed watching, for one reason or another.  All scouts are drawn to talented players, those with physical gifts and tools, but we are also drawn to some players for our own specific reasons.  Maybe it is a style of play, maybe it is just a hunch that there are bigger things down the road for a player, etc.  These players caught my eye while I was also running the event...  Again, it doesn't mean I thought these were the BEST players or the only players worthy of mention.  We all have our favorite players, right? Read on...

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Bay Area World Series 2012

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Last weekend at Cal Poly we had Bay Area World Series (BAWS) 2012.  This was the first year that Cal Poly (SLO) was the host and it couldn't have been any better.  The weather is spectacular, the scenery is gorgeous, the playing surface is fantastic, the venue is intimate and comfortable, and the city of San Luis Obispo is a wonderful vacation destination.  Safe to say, BAWS 2013 will be back at Cal Poly.

There will be more news and reports here in the coming days and weeks about the players at BAWS 2012.  For now, I wanted to make sure I release the results and the names of the award winners from the weekend.

Contra Costa defeated North Bay 11-9 in a slugfest that featured no fewer than six triples and a grand slam.  The wind was blowing a bit and we used minor league baseballs into the game.  Why does that matter?  Well, they are harder than the high school balls we were using in the other eight games and the seams are smaller.  This was the second BAWS title for Contra Costa (2004).

Here are the major award winners:

BAWS Championship Game MVP - OF Austin Lonestar, De La Salle HS (2013)

SSK Most Outstanding Player - C Dominic Miroglio, Bishop O'Dowd HS (2013)

Spalding Most Outstanding Defensive Player - CF Marcus Wise, Deer Valley HS (2013)

Pocket Radar Most Outstanding Pitcher - RHP Ben Hughes, Valley Christian HS (2014)

Bay Area FCA Most Inspirational Player - C Cole Duerr, Fremont HS (2014)

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Summer ball: South County Sun Devils vs EJ Warriors

Written by Blaine Clemmens on .

Last Saturday I saw the South County Sun Devils in a doubleheader at Ohlone College, as part of the Zoots Tournament.  It was a sweltering day but I got a good look at the SC Sun Devils and also their opponent in game two, the younger EJ Warriors team.  The Sun Devils are a team from up north in the 530 area code, with players from Redding, Red Bluff, Palo Cedro, etc.  They will be in Peoria (AZ) for the USA West 17u Championships and should be seen, especially for any college team looking for infielders.  They have four good ones and a couple of good pitchers I saw.

I was there primarily to see a 2014 grad for SC, infielder Kaelan Crisosto (6'1" 170, R/R).  He didn't disappoint but I was also impressed with a few of his teammates.  Here is what I saw, with some information from the player packet, such as grades...

Kaelan Crisosto (2014, INF, Enterprise HS) - He's not only a very good athlete, but apparently a very good student (3.8 GPA, with college prep and honors courses).  I also found out that he is an outstanding basketball player and that explains some of what I saw in the game.  His body is lean and strong and heading into his junior year he is well on his way to being a body that draws attention on the field.  Crisosto has all-around skills for baseball.  He is going to be a good college hitter, he has good infield hands (good to the backhand too) and instincts, he can steal bases despite not being a plus runner, he is versatile enough to play in the outfield, and he played with nice pace and feel.  He also appeared to be a great teammate, always sitting at the front of the dugout entrance, greeting every player in and out of the dugout, even on a 95 degree day.  As a hitter he has a line drive swing and will develop some power.  For this team he hits lead-off and when he gets on base he goes.  Defensively I saw a quick release and that he has a good clock that allows him to know how much he needs to put on a throw across the diamond.  His throws were accurate, both across the diamond and on his relay throws.  Crisosto has good lateral agility and also showed hops as he leapt to snag a high line drive.  He will have to get faster to be able to make the slow roller plays and high choppers that get past the pitcher.  I like this player, he is going to play major college baseball and I think really develop into a good player, potentially into a professional prospect during his college years.  He will be at BAWS in San Luis Obispo.

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