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Navari Julius Scouting Report, West Los Angeles College — February, 2018

Full Name: Navari Julius
Birthplace: Playa Del Rey, CA
School: St. Bernard High School
Height, Weight: 6’1”, 180 lbs.
Position: SS
Bats/Throws: R/R
Dates Observed: 2018 — January 30
Affiliate(s): West Los Angeles College (Western State Conference, South Division)
Previous Coverage: None

Tool (PV/FV)
Notes & Comments
Hit (35/45)
Somewhat limited offensively compared to his defensive skills and natural feel there. Short stroke ground ball hitter who struggles to get his front foot down in time and can get beat consistently by good velocity when his timing is off. Fairly good bat speed in spite of it, but not always enough to catch up depending on stride and swing timing. That said, good feel for the barrel, and some natural ability to hit line drives to all fields. Tracks ball deep; advanced understanding of strike zone with good feel for working counts; downward plane swing, though, with game to put ball in play and beat it out on the ground; will need to change approach some as he graduates to higher levels.

Power (25/35)
Little raw power to speak of, but some projectability in his frame and good raw strength that could aid him in the future. High hands hitter who swings down onto the ball rather than trying to lift it. Considering his plus foot speed, hard to blame him for accentuating that aspect of his game, but it won’t play the same at higher levels. Fairly good bat speed and a naturally strong kid who can put on some good weight in the next couple years, though, so perhaps that combined with adjustments to his swing mechanics may produce a modest amount of power, particularly gap-to-gap.

Glove (40/50)
Great athlete at shortstop; fluid in the field and moves very well laterally; easy actions side to side, with comfort to his backhand side in the hole. Soft hands; great reactions and good fundamentals especially considering less-than-ideal playing surface on home field; athleticism shines reacting to hops there. Sense of urgency in fielding and throwing to first base from shortstop; moves hands quickly and doesn’t double clutch; good internal clock on staying ahead of baserunners up the line to first; reminds me a little bit defensively of Colorado Rockies infield prospect Shael Mendoza in how he attacks the ball and gains ground. Still very raw relative to most MLB Draft prospects at this level, but easy to imagine a scenario where he can stay at shortstop into his pro career.

Arm (40/50)
Promising arm strength with quick release from left side of the infield; lacks above-average raw arm strength but good footwork and athleticism help him get in position to throw the ball across the diamond. Particularly good feel for making throws from deep in the hole; accuracy and timing ahead of raw strength and velocity here. Sense of urgency in throwing to first base from shortstop; moves hands quickly and doesn’t double clutch; internal clock stays ahead of good runners up the line to first base.

Speed (60/70)
Clocked him 4.14, 4.19, and 4.21 from home to first base; great runner who shows a quick first step and really kicks it into overdrive several steps up the line. Powerful runner who moves like a football player; explosive speed; quick-twitch athlete. Good footwork defensively with quick first step and good reactions there, too. Has pretty much been given green light to steal as he sees fit with WLAC; would benefit from some development time in learning how to pick his spots, but raw speed gets the job done for now and will continue to be a tool in the toolbox moving forward.

Very good player on a bad team; sneaky-good find at little known West Los Angeles College. Would do well to develop at a quicker pace by being around/playing against consistently better competition at his four-year stop, or come MLB Draft time. Product of St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Ray — both the former high school of big leaguer Royce Clayton and home of the baseball field from which this evaluator lived literally across the street for two years during Julius’ high school career. Small world.

MLB Draft
Legitimate MLB Draft follow for 2018 and then after his four-year stop in 2019 and/or 2020; Will need considerable development time easing into pro ball, and likely to spend a year — or two — with a complex-level rookie league team, but there are enough raw tools here to suggest a future in baseball. Overshadowed by suburban players, bigger programs, travel teams, more money, etc., but this kid can play ball and if he’s put in the right development program at the right time, he could actualize some of this raw talent and toolsy athleticism. Would be a great late-round target for a team that really does its homework on diamond-in-the-rough guys.

OFP (45 FV)
Glove and speed will play as he advances assuming regular development path; if bat and approach at the plate come along too, it’s easy to dream on this kid as a second-division regular or platoon/utility infield man in professional baseball. Will take considerable time, and growth, for all that to happen, but tools shouldn’t be ignored and his lack of high-level amateur experience makes him something of a clean slate that could make for an interesting development piece. Have to dream on him a little bit to see a big league future, but athleticism here makes it feasible to see some value in his defensive flexibility and feel for the game there.MLB ETA: 2023.

Navari Julius Scouting Report, West Los Angeles College — Game Video

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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census, the author of We Is Blaze, (obviously) a fan of minor league baseball, and an unlikely expert on the animated classic TV show King Of The Hill. For more on Bobby and the personal, human side of this site, follow him on Twitter and Facebook: @BobbyDeMuro.

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