Coach Eric Borba once again has a very talented roster on the varsity level and is as excited about his freshman class as I've seen him. Coming off his second league title in three years, Borba once again has his roster primed for a deep run in the postseason. I had the chance to watch them for the third time this fall/winter on Wednesday night and every time it seems like a new prospect stands out. There is not a better OF group in southern California, and up the middle they're as strong as I've seen too.
Below are notes on Orange Lutheran's top prospects.
2013 - OF - Jason Martin - Signed: Long Beach State - Martin is a prototypical leadoff hitter that possesses plus-plus speed. He has narrowed his LH stance from last season and it's paying dividends. Martin's disciplined approach at the plate has really improved his recognition of off-speed pitches. His swing is smooth with good hip rotation and nothing seems forced. Defensively, he combines his speed with a strong arm and great instincts. Understands angles very well. Has played all OF positions which offers flexibility on the next level.
2014 - SS - Josh Morgan - Committed: UCLA - A starter since his freshman year, Morgan has gone from catcher to third base to his natural position of SS. Offensively, Morgan uses an aggressive but disciplined approach. Handles off-speed pitches almost as easily as the fastball with a neutral stance. High hands with tight elbow allows him to handle the inside pitch. He has good speed with very good baserunning instincts. Defensively, he possesses great footwork and a very strong arm. Soft, fluid hands ease transitions. Turns the double play seamlessly. Very high baseball instincts. Very coachable player.
2014 - RHP - Garret King - Committed: Nebraska - King possesses great skill on the mound. At the 2012 NHSI he threw a CG SO on 65 pitches with 56 strikes. King possesses command of three pitches which he can throw for strikes at any point in the count. FB sits 82-84 with location. CB drops to 73-75. CH is best pitch. King stands 6'2" with plenty of room to add weight. He's young for his class. Multi-sport athlete until deciding to settle on baseball. Very smart player who carries a 4.2GPA while taking all AP courses.
2014 - OF - Joey Sanchez - Committed: Long Beach State - Sanchez is a rangy OF who possesses plus speed and a plus arm. Baseball instincts are off the chart for one of most coachable players on the roster. Sanchez has played every OF position in high school and has settled in RF before moving to CF next season. Defensively he's a Martin clone with a slightly less strong arm. Takes great routes to the ball without a lot of wasted motion. Offensively there is a little work to be done. His aggressive, fluid swing sometimes gets him in trouble with off-speed pitches. Nice inside-out swing keeps him from getting jammed. Swing gets a little loopy at times. Borba told me he may be the best OF to come through OLu during his time there, which is saying something considering he's had 4 D1 outfielders.
2013 - INF - Travis Blue - Uncommitted - Blue is a throwback player who let's his play do all the talking. Defensively he's a smooth fielder with incredible instincts. Settled into 2B nicely last season after being a part-time player his sophomore season. Arguably the quickest hands I've seen this fall. Great instincts for the infield. Played SS his freshman season and projects to stay at 2B on the next level. Offensively he scuffled a bit last season but seems to have ironed out some kinks. So far this fall he's seeing the ball really well and putting together very good AB's. His body language and demeanor have changed completely while at the plate. Was getting some attention from ACC schools which has waned. High IQ kid who carries a 4.6GPA in all AP classes.
2013 - Dalton Frize - Committed: St. Mary's - Frize possesses plus speed which allows him to get to many balls in the OF. Projects as a corner OF at next level. Takes good routes without much wasted motions. Has an average arm. Offensively there is a little work to do. A bit of a loopy swing makes him late on pitches at times. Not a lot of power; more of a slap hitter who can drive the ball to gaps. Aggressive approach on the bases. Very playable skills which should advance once he puts on a bit more muscle.
Others to watch:
2014 - 1B - Chris Major - Flat out rakes! Covers plate well with a smooth, natural swing without wasted motion. Short, aggressive swing without much of a stride. Needs to improve on handling breaking balls. Defensively he has playable skills which need some refinement. Must improve his physique.
2014 - 3B/RHP - Leo Hernandez - Transfer from Colony HS where he was a two-time all-league selection. Solid glove at 3B; likely projects on the mound. Great run on CH. FB sits 83-86. CB is effective.
2013 - LHP - Matt Hammonds - LHP with playable skills. Could add size to frame. CB is effective and can locate it well. CH also playable. FB is flat without much run. Projectable skills.