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Conejo Oaks Prospects — Game Notes

conejo oaks prospects baseball news 1 california collegiate league july 19 game notes
Date: July 19, 2018
Team Name: Conejo Oaks
League/Level: California Collegiate League
Opponent: Arroyo Seco Saints
Location: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ballpark: Sparky Anderson Field (CLU)
Result: W, 7-1
Box Score: N/A

Position Players

Prospect, Pos.
Notes & Comments

Tanner Wright, 2B, Cal Lutheran
Overachiever all summer long; held his own as undersized D-III kid in a world of D-1 guys, kick backs, etc. Hustles all the time; runs hard out of the box every single time, no exceptions. Great situational awareness and hustle on the bases to consistently take the extra base — took an extra base twice during today’s game, pushed envelope and it paid off each time when he caught Arroyo Seco sleeping … At the plate, well-balanced through his swing mechanics with a short, punchy line drive stroke; no power, very small/slight build, but decent line drive feel with some barrel control; enough contact skills to hold his own against velo, power breaking balls, etc. even if he may never show much pro projectability in hit tool … At second base, always feels like he’s in the right place defensively, plays big — two exceptional leaping catches on line drives today to steal base hits; like he’s involved in every key play. Winner, grinder type. Come for the pro prospects, stay to be impressed by Tanner Wright. Like him a lot.

Brandon Lewis, 3B, UC Irvine
One of the better MLB Draft prospects in the entire California Collegiate League; power bat, particularly to his pull side, with very quick hands; stayed inside a 91 fastball today and barreled it to his pull side with authority; impressive hands and good timing/eye to turn quick on inner half when he needs to. Real power potential there, ability to really lift and drive the ball quite a ways; enough for a pro look … Not great foot speed, had him just 4.51 up the line today, but decent first step defensively at third base; made one really nice play in particular that required two quick steps to his backhand, a stab, and a quick, strong throw across the diamond. Good velo, hit his target in the chest. A little lumbering.slow at times, but I like his hands defensively at third base; nevertheless, wonder whether he doesn’t ultimately transition to first base in pro ball, where he may better fit with footwork, athleticism, etc. — especially if his power stroke develops enough to legitimize that move.

Sam Shaikin, SS, Valparaiso
Fascinating tweener prospect who for me is right on that cusp of maybe/maybe not being a legit MLB Draft prospect. Exceptional hands and very strong, accurate arm on defense at shortstop with a natural feel for the position; kid fields everything he can get to and every throw is accurate on a line right to first with a good, quick release. That said, he’s ultimately a below-average athlete with no foot speed (had him just 4.91 on the turn today, 8.61 to second; in previous readings I’ve had him 4.46 up the line). His range is iffy beyond the first couple steps to each side, and he seems to lack ability/desire to sell out and dive for balls (?) especially deep in the hole. But man, the glove is pro quality … Bat is a project, too; he’s got decent pop to his pull side, but really limited in going the other way with authority and he hits a fair amount of ground balls. Will post a longer video of swing mechanics from a few different angles this summer; he’s a bit of a project offensively but a big enough kid that he could feasibly develop some real pop … Ultimately, is the combination enough to get drafted, especially as a shortstop? For me, I think it’s nearly inevitable that he’ll move to third base as soon as he enters pro ball or very soon after — but, then, can he produce enough over-the-fence pop to truly warrant the change? Will write up more formal, longer thoughts about Sam Shaikin in a more significant way soon; he’s an interesting one to follow next spring at Valpo.


Pitcher, Pos.
Notes & Comments

Gerry Ramirez, RHP, Glendale College
Impressive seven-inning start here that had (granted, a pretty weak) Arroyo Seco lineup on their heels. Fastball 83-87; Curveball 65-70; slider 74-76. Curve and slider distinct from each other; real feel to pop the big, slower curveball in for a strike early, and then was able to go to the slider late in counts to wipe guys out, particularly RHH who were susceptible to it off the plate glove side when he was able to expand the zone. Good arm strength through the outing, consistent velo, but faded a little bit down the stretch; pitch life seemed pretty consistent, command held up. Held runners OK, I had him 1.41 – 1.52 to the plate with runners on base; not much throwing help from catcher but he should manage running game well enough with average catcher. Logged 35.1 innings at Glendale this spring; will return there as a sophomore this coming year, from what I’m told; with a little bit of a velo bump and modest development across the board, he should make himself into a pretty attractive pitching prospect eight or ten months from now..

Uncommitted in technicality; John Vergara is reportedly about to sign with UC Irvine; good for him, considering his remarkable summer, really came on strong lately. Pitched an inning in the prospect game on Wednesday and was back for a two-inning save this evening against Arroyo Seco on back-to-bakc nights. Velocity dipped very slightly; 84-88 in this look compared to a typical 86-90 in my past, but he still challenged hitters and showed feel to climb the ladder when ahead, get bad swings out of the zone. Slider slightly slower than it’s been in previous outings, too — just 73-77 today (typically 76-79), but still missed a few bats with good tilt, hard late break. Across the board it’s been a very encouraging summer for John Vergara, and it’s good to see him now on the Division I door step. You can read more about him here.


For more on Conejo Oaks Prospects…

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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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