I got out to El Dorado High School on Sunday for a scout ball game between the OC Red Sox and the SoCal A's.
The Red Sox feature 25 Division 1 commits on a roster of 46. Of those 21 uncommitted players only eight are in the 2014 class.
This was the second consecutive weekend I saw the A's but was treated to seeing a couple of new guys worthy of the recruiting attention they're receiving.
Below are some notes (in no particular order) on players that stood out. Please note I had to leave before the second game was completed. Among the standouts in the second game were catcher Ryan Fineman (Agoura HS), outfielder Josh Stephen (Mater Dei HS), and infielder Nick Allen (Valhalla HS).
2014 LHP JoJo Romero (Oxnard HS) took the mound to start things off for the Red Sox and impressed from the get go. The Nevada commit sat 85-86 and touched 88 with his fastball that flashed late movement. His curveball touched 75 and showed incredibly tight spin. The southpaw mixed in a sharp cutter that topped out at 80 and had scouts talking in the stands. Romero showed an advanced pick move which kept runners guessing all day. Very good get for Nevada as Romero will only get better working with Dave Lawn as his college pitching coach.
2015 INF Niko Navarro (Los Osos HS) was arguably the best non-pitcher on the field all day. Showing advanced defense while playing third base where his arm strength and range were on display. Romero had scouts attention all day with his defense and offense. At the plate, the LHH showed some pop by lacing a standup RBI double followed by a standup triple. The San Diego State commit showed the complete package in terms of defense, offense, and speed.
2015 C Chris Betts (Long Beach Wilson HS) didn't play defense after what appeared to be a twisted ankle on a sloppy home plate area during pregame. At the plate the LHH catcher showed very advanced skills. Against Nathan Hadley, Betts repeatedly fought off 91-93 MPH fastballs before eventually flying out. Betts is considered by many to be the best catcher in his class and on this day he showed offensively he has the makings to live up to that hype.
2014 MIF Tristan Hildebrandt (Esperanza HS) showed that he belongs in the conversation for top defensive infielders. He pairs incredible arm strength with outstanding glove work. At the plate he often chased in what seemed like an attempt to make things happen. He did square the ball up a few times but they were hit right at guys. The Cal State Fulleton commit will certainly get his opportunity in his senior season to shed the rep of being a small player.
2015 INF Bryce Fehmel (Agoura HS) put on a defensive show during pregame by showing great range and arm strength. At the plate the Oregon St. commit showed there is room for improvement although his pitch recognition is off-the-charts. With added strength to his 6'0" frame he should fit in nicely in the PAC-12.
2014 INF Steven Dubb (Loyola HS) had a great day for the A's showing position flexibility to go with solid defense and a keen eye at the plate. Pitch recognition is advanced as Dubb doesn't waste many opportunities at the plate. Often seeing as many as 10 pitches in his AB's, Dubb showed his ability to adjust on different pitches in both of his laser base hits.
2015 OF Jordan Myrow (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame HS) was as impressive a player as there was on the field. Showing incredible range in center field to go with a strong arm, it was his bat that caught scouts attention. After a standup triple early in the game, he mashed a three-run home run over the LCF wall making a great adjustment to an off speed pitch. Defensively he made a great diving catch while charging a ball in center field. Look for Myrow to be a highly recruited player moving forward this season.
2014 RHP Kiko Garcia (St. Augustine HS) showed flashes of brilliance during his outing. The Pepperdine commit sat consistently 86-88 with his fastball that he routinely for strikes. He backed that up with a curveball which sat 74-75. While not totally overpowering it's evident that Garcia can pitch by the way he set hitters up and mixed his pitches, often times pitching backwards.
2016 INF Anthony Walters (Bishop Amat HS) showed very well both offensively and defensively while playing second base. Has very good range going right and left to go with a strong arm and quick hands. Showed great pitch recognition throughout the day. Had a 12 pitch at bat before lacing a single to right center field. Followed that up with a base hit that would've been a double if not for a great play by the center fielder.
Others that stood out:
2015 LHP Patrick Sandoval (Mission Viejo HS) is considered by many the best southpaw in Orange County in his class, the 6'2" 190 Sandoval overcame some early inconsistency. He sat 86-88 with the fastball and followed it up with a curve at 75-77. Coming back from a little arm fatigue, Sandoval appears primed for a big season.
2015 LHP Kolby Allard (San Clemnte HS) is battling Sandoval for the title of best LHP in Orange County for the 2015 class. The Cal State Fullerton commit scuffled a bit with location but his 85-87 mph fastball along with a swing and miss curve will serve him well this season.
2015 C Ty Greene (St. Augustine HS) showed well behind the plate with advanced receiving skills and an ability to call a good game. The Cal commit showed good pitch recognition and put good swings on the ball. Many scouts believe the power will come once he puts on a bit more weight.
2017 INF Ben Ramirez (Eastlake HS) is a very intriguing prospect because he is a long 6'2" 170 pound third baseman with very good range and surprising arm strength given his age. He has tools at the plate from the left side that will only get better as he plays against a higher level of competition. He's already getting PAC-12 attention.
2014 OF Joey Sanchez (Orange Lutheran HS) is a pure outfield in every sense of the word. Has great range going in either direction and can make every throw. Carries a high baseball IQ and is rarely caught out of position. Seems to have corrected some gliches in his swing from last season and is primed for a big senior season. The Long Beach State commit will fit right in at cavernous Blair Field.