I got out to Concordia University on Sunday (9/22/13) to catch the A's play the Yankees in the SoCal Scout Ball League and had an opportunity to see some of the best talent in SoCal. Below are some impressions, in no particular order, from the afternoon.
2014 RHP Nathan Hadley (Loyola HS) was unquestionably the most impressive arm on the field. Sitting 89-91 with great command, the UCLA commit had no problem working through his two innings. Hadley flashed a wipeout slider to go with an impressive curve ball. After his stint on the mound he shifted to right field where his arm was again on display when he gunned a runner at the plate by at least five steps.
2014 RHP Tyler Megill (Los Alamitos HS) was as impressive as Hadley but for different reasons. While he didn't flash the top end speed Hadley did, he showed better command of the off speed pitches in his arsenal which were virtually unhittable. The LMU commit overmatched some of the younger hitters the Yankees trotted up to face him, but he was equally impressive against players in his own class and didn't allow a hit during his outing.
2013 RHP Toby Dunlap (Orange Lutheran HS) is an impressive looking specimen on the mound. Standing 6'6" 250 the righty has an effortless looking delivery that allowed him to hit 92 last season and sat 87-89 yesterday. He showed a plus change up that he commanded extremely well. His upside is tremendous as his arm is relatively fresh after not having thrown a ton of innings his first two seasons of high school. While he's getting a lot of recruiting attention it appears coaches are waiting to see the big righty in games this spring.
2017 C/OF/RHP Hagen Danner (Huntington Beach HS) is a recent UCLA commit despite not having played a high school game, and I can see why. While listed at three positions on the Yankees roster, it's pretty obvious his future is at catcher. The freshman shows advanced skills as a receiver and game caller that bely his age. Listed at 6'0" 165 he looks more like a junior than a freshman. His confidence at the plate was demonstrated when he faced Hadley (9 pitches) and Megill (11pitches). Although he did not get a hit against either he fought off some very tough pitches and showed well for scouts in attendance.
2017 LHP/1B Nick Pratto (Mater Dei HS) is as crafty a pitcher as I've seen recently. He's masterful in controlling the running game with a veteran move. He sets up his improving fastball with an advanced curve ball to go with a developing changeup. The recent USC commit appears to be on the fast track at Mater Dei where it wouldn't be a surprise if he's in the varsity rotation this year. Pratto was a member of the 15U national team that own gold this summer in Colombia.
2016 C Blake Sabol (Aliso Niguel HS) is an intriguing prospect and one scouts are having difficulty projecting. Listed at 6'3" some scouts are trying to decide wether he can stay behind the plate or be moved to first base. One thing is certain, the bat plays at either position. A smooth left handed swing that has shown some power has scouts feeling like there is a lot more in there. With pop times in the 1.85-2.02 range this weekend, the younger Sabol may be making his case to stay behind the plate.
Others That Stood Out:
2014 RHP Clay Chatham (JSerra HS) showed a powerful fastball with improving off speed stuff. Listed at 6'6" the big righty had scouts talking about his ability to command two pitches.
2017 INF Isaiah Parra (Cypress HS) showed very well defensively and had flashes at the plate. While he needs to develop strength he has skills at the plate that could give him a chance at playing time for defending Division II champs.
2015 INF/OF Andres Kim (St. Francis HS) showed well defensively all day. Consistently made difficult plays look routine. At the plate he has tools although he scuffled a bit with good off speed pitches.
2014 INF Kai Ho (University HS) may be small in stature at 5'7" but he makes up for that with his glove and arm strength. Showed a lot of discipline at the plate.
2015 John Gonzales (Corona HS) looked very good at first base all day making all the plays. At the plate he showed a lot of discipline and battled in every at bat.
2017 3B/RHP Jonathan Schiffer (Mater Dei HS) is an intriguing prospect to follow. Built like an upperclassman he showed very good defense at third base to go with a strong arm. At the plate he shot a couple balls the other way for doubles before pulling a ball down the third base line in his last at bat.