02 03 SoCal High School Baseball: Prospect Focus: 2017 LHP Nicholas Pratto 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Prospect Focus: 2017 LHP Nicholas Pratto

After a great showing at the Perfect Game 16U WWBA West Memorial Day Tournament which saw him earn All-Tournament honors with a 3-1 record, 0.64 ERA, 17 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched, Nicholas Pratto of Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.) has continued to make an impression on the mound.

Playing for BPA Demarini 2017 at the WWBA - BPA played in the 16U division despite being comprised of 14U players - Pratto displayed his advanced knowledge of pitching. The southpaw pitched BPA into the finals in relief where he collected the win after chipping a couple of hits as well. He took the tough-luck loss in the final the next day where he lost a late lead.

Pratto mixes pitches well with an arsenal that includes an advanced changeup and functional curveball. His fastball is deceptive. His high leg kick hides the ball well, making it difficult for hitters to pick up until it's on-top of them.

A couple of coaches I spoke with about Pratto have raved about his maturity on the mound, many of them using the term "bulldog" to describe him.

I spoke with a coach last night whose team has faced Pratto a half-dozen times in the last year, he said, "he could be the best pitcher in Orange County by the time he's an upperclassman."

Looks like Mater Dei may have found their next great pitcher.

Below is a video of Pratto pitching against Edison HS (Huntington Beach, Calif.) on 6/19/13.

--Les Lukach

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