We're several weeks beyond the 2022 Five Tool Hawaii Classic, but we wanted to give one last recap on the ultra competitive event. We wanted to take one final look at the Upperclass and Underclass standout performers and those who caught our eyes by team. Upperclass notes by Jeffrey Kahn and underclass notes by Tim Arakawa.
As I wrote during the event, Mekenna Wakakuwa is going to make a college very happy at the next level. The 5-11, 160-pound MIF out of Hilo showed he can handle all sorts of velocity at the dish coming up with some clutch hitting in the Championship Game. He’s definitely a gamer by all means with a short approach at the plate making hard contact mostly up the middle and away. There’s some sneaky arm strength, too, where he had an 87 MPH IF velo across the diamond and was 84 MPH on the bump.
Kade Hue, aka "Bulletproof", aka "Da Bullet", was shooting balls over the park at the Classic. The 5-10, 175-pound 3B/C senior from Kaiser hit .500 (4-for-8) on the week with one double and two runs batted in. Hue had one of the harder balls hit at night waking up the crowd by hammering a double to the deep left field corner on Day 3. He picked up two hits on the last day in the Championship Game and really left his mark on this year's Classic.
On Day 2, Mid-Pacific MIF Jake Comeaux came out swinging. Had a 3-hit game with two doubles and three runs batted in. The uncommitted senior flashed some range during the week both at short and second. He made a deep play in the hole on the first day of play at SS going to his left to backhand a ball and throw across the infield. In the Championship Game, Comeaux, playing second, went up the middle falling away nearly making the play at first. There looks to be a lot more upside here with a 94 MPH exit velo and 6.93s 60 time when considering he’s 5-8, 145 lbs. and still has room to grow.
Noah Kubo is quickly evolving into a stout utility player who can handle the catcher and second base positions with ease. Seemingly a quiet approach at the plate, the 5-8, 160-pound junior out of Mid-Paciifc strikes with violence and a 95 MPH exit velo. Another “gamer” type player who also has above average metrics, Kubo found himself picking up three hits in the Championship Game while hosing a runner out at second. In short, Kubo is the type of player who is going to come up with big performances when you need him the most and that was on display on Day 4.
From a hitting standpoint, we were robbed of a statistically good week out of Jace Souza due to balls being hit extremely hard right at people. It was Day 2 where Souza drilled multiple balls deep and right to the outfielders. For whatever reason, defenses had his number and he still picked up a few hits on a week where if a few balls were hit to the left or right about 10 feet more, that would have given him a .500-plus batting average. But, from all that was taken away from him by opposing defenses, the Texas Tech commit out of Kamehameha did the same in center field during the week tracking down balls with his speed — a sub-6.75 runner who plays way faster than that and is only getting better by each game. Souza really solidified himself as the top outfielder in the 2024 class.
The backstop out of H.P. Baldwin in Maui, Isaiah Chaves was second in the RBI category with five and drilled a few balls to the left side of the field. On Day 2, the catcher just missed a home run to left which really I’m still not sure how that ball did not get out. But he still was able to smoke an RBI double and show off the ability to hit for extra bases. Chaves threw out a runner on the week and showed defensively why he’s one of the top 2024 catchers in the state.
Switch-hitting shortstop who can field the position and has a polished swing. That’s your line for Ridge Choy. If that doesn’t excite you after reading that and watching his videos, you may not know exactly what you’re looking for, but I can assure you, the 5-9, 180-pound senior from James Campbell is going to be a dude at the next level. Choy picked up hits from both the left and right side on the week and had a 93 MPH exit velo to go with it. Uses a high leg kick for timing and catches barrels. Most impressively on the week was his play at short deep in the hole going to the backhand showing that he can in fact handle the position at a high level. Reminds me a lot of Tresten Shigematsu from last year’s Classic who is now at freshman at Fort Scott CC (KS).
One of my favorite plays of the week happened when Jayden Gabrillo took an unassisted double play up the middle himself showing off the athleticism and a strong arm. It was slick, to say the least. The next day, the 5-9, 145-pound junior out of Mid-Pacific took to the mound to strike out three batters and top 87 MPH. Gabrillo is definitely scrappy, but there is some explosiveness there. I’m quite intrigued to see what he can do from the mound moving forward while his glove certainly still plays up the middle.
Elias Pereira quietly had a great all around week. The CIF out of Kauai ended up with a hard double to right center on the last day of the Classic finishing with a. .500 bating average. Some metrics that jumped out was the 84 MPH infield velo and 88 MPH exit velo which likely was higher in game on his double. I’m very intrigued to see how the 5-11, 175-pound junior develops over the next calendar year.
I wrote this during the week on Isaac Ahokovi: “Tore the cover off the ball, but unfortunately for him the ball was either right at the defender or tracked down. There’s some legitimate middle-of-the-lineup type pop in his bat that’s going to play at the next level.” We saw him last year and during travel ball, but the 6-1, 200-pound catcher from ‘Iolani School had a 1.90s POP and 96 MPH exit velo during the showcase portion. He put that into the game throwing out a runner and piecing up several balls during the week. Ahokovi’s swing is fun to watch and once those balls start finding spots where defenders are not… look out.
Zechariah Takahashi knows how to find holes in the defense and isn’t afraid to attack the baseball. With a 94 MPH exit velo, the Arizona Christian University commit out of Pearl City picked up three hard hits on the week. While we didn’t get to see him pitch this year, I don’t think there’s a position he can’t play at a high level. The tools are all there and he should be in for a great senior season.
There’s definitely something there from switch-hitting senior Shayde Koga. Out of Moanalua, the 5-8, 150-pound middle infielder is set to play at George Fox University next Fall and has some explosiveness at the dish from the left side. He had a triple on the first day of games to right that he tore the cover off the ball and in another game got the job done going to left for a single. I like his rhythm at the plate that should help him catch up at the next level.
While offensively he did not enjoy the best week, Eryx Awaya certainly showed me enough on defense. The 2024 out of Punahou fielded the part and looked like a collegiate shortstop. I think this is a sneaky junior who will be a late bloomer, but one to keep an eye on.
I was raving about Reyn Gaspar in the Championship Game after his performance behind the dish. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen a catcher work like that blocking everything in site and keeping the ball in front of him towards the plate. Throw in the 2.04s POP time and a good bat from the left side, Saint Louis is going to be deep at the catcher position.
Coen Goeas had the best all-around performance out of any player in this year's event At the plate, the BYU commit went 5-for-8 with one RBI and one run scored. One the mound, he struck out seven in 3.0 innings of work issuing one hit with no walks and no earned runs. The Mid-Pacific product topped 90 MPH on the bump, ran a 6.97s 60 and had an exit velo of 91 MPH. He seems to play with a chip on his shoulder and is always wanting to compete. At 6-0, 178 lbs., Goeas is quickly showing promise on the bump, but his athleticism and range at short is still most impressive to me. Named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
A 5-10, 155-pound 2024 LHP out of Waiakea, Loren Iwata struck out eight batters in 5.0 innings of work with one earned run. The uncommitted junior topped 84 MPH with a slider at 69-70 MPH, change up at 75-76 MPH and curveball at 63-64 MPH. Iwata got two outings and really showed great command and pitchability. Really hides his stuff well on the bump with sink to the fastball. The changeup was a strikeout pitch and when this dude is on, he is special to watch. Named the tournament's Most Valuable Pitcher.
Aydan Lobetos is just a pure right-handed hitter. The 5-10, 175-pound OF from Kamehameha went 5-for-9 on the week with one double, four runs batted in and two runs scored. An uncommitted senior, Lobetos is going to make a college very happy as the next level as he just knows how to hit all types of pitching. There is still some room to improve which I think gives him a big upside at a junior college with already having a good enough 60 (7.02s), OF velo (82 MPH) and exit velo (90 MPH). Look for a big senior campaign from this dude. Named the tournament's Most Valuable Hitter.
Chandler Murray is one of the more imposing bats in the 2024 class and that is certainly saying something. Posting a 100 MPH exit velo on the showcase day, the 6-5, 210-pound junior out of Mid-Pacific showed off his tools on a triple to right center. The CIF moves extremely well for his size and has a strong enough, developing arm that will help him stick at third moving forward.
Out of Island School in Kauai, Kameron Lee was up to 91 MPH on the mound with some nasty off-seed stuff he’s not afraid to throw. The 5-10, 150-pound RHP has a loose arm sitting 87-90 MPH with a 67-70 MPH curveball and 78-80 MPH change up. There’s a ton of athleticism here that helps give him some power in his pitches. Add that to his ability to compete on the mound in each count, Lee is quickly grabbing the attention of college coaches.
Another Kauai find, Makoa Chong out of Kapaa was one of my favorite players from the week that I previously had not seen. There’s a little hitch in his swing, keeping the hands back helping him generate some power, and the 5-10, 155-pound catcher had some clutch hitting in the week. The 2024 has some metrics that will stick out such as the 1.93s POP time and 91 MPH exit velo. Add the 7.03 60 time showing he moves well for a catcher, and it’s a recipe to play at the next level. I have a high follow here with some upside to like.
I really liked what I saw from Brennen Panis on the mound. The 5-10, 160-pound ’24 RHP out of Aiea showed me a fastball up to 86 MPH with a 71-73 MPH curveball. As I mentioned during the week, he works from a 3/4th arm slot with some whip. He got two innings of work in with one hit and no runs allowed striking out one with no walks. If Panis can take that command into the high school season, I think we could see him excel on the bump.
Sean Yamaguchi put up the biggest exit velo from the week at 101 MPH. The 5-10, 195-pound IF has loud tools with an 88 MPH IF velo as well. Mix in the 7.20s 60 and a well above average 160 grip strength and the Saint Louis product has plenty of intrigue. Yamaguchi showed he could play both short and third on the week making multiple plays and showing off the defensive tool. I’m extremely curious to see what kind of junior year he’ll have.
I think Journey Leialoha needs to be on your radar for the 2023 high school season. The 6-0, 185-pound OF/1B swings and throws from the left side and has some above average tools. If he can improve on his metrics, I don’t see why he can’t end up at a high level JUCO or potentially a mid-major Division 1 school. The Hilo product gets a ton of power through his back side and connects on the fat part of the barrel. Had an 88 MPH exit velo off the tee during he showcase day, but I think his round of BP may have been a tick better.
I think every high school in Hawaii wishes they had Elijah Ickes on their team. He’s just that dude. There’s never a time where the Hawaii signee not ready to play and perform at a high level, and he never gets cheated out of an AB — he is a straight competitor. The 6-0, 185-pound SS leads by example, but also knows when to speak up. All his tools are significant (6.65s 60, 87 MPH IF velo, 93 MPH exit velo) and the power at the plate is starting to come along. I would not be surprised if the Kamehameha product ends up leading D1 overall in the triple crown categories in his senior campaign.
It was Day 4 at the Classic. The sun was setting and up comes Kuhio Aloy to the mound. The 6-1, 196-pound RHP/OF/1B needed a batter to really get loose. Then, the H.P. Baldwin senior popped 93 MPH multiple times and struck out two batters in one shutout inning of work. It was all we needed to see, as well as many colleges who jumped on him after the outing. Ultimately, BYU grabbed him and landed a two-way talent who is athletic, strong and projects well. The 183.4 grip strength shows the kind of power he possesses when looking from a metric standpoint. If Aloy doesn’t stick it on the mound, the bat still plays and the tools are all set for him to be a bonafide dude for the Cougars.
There were some at-bats where Tanner Chun just missed doing some serious damage. The 6-1, 160-pound OF/IF is always a threat to go gap to gap for extra bases and isn’t shy about trying to get his money’s worth at the dish. There still remains a ton of high upside for the Tulane commit who has improved his strength since last year’s Sandlot. Currently at a 6.89s 60, 85 MPH OF velo and 88 MPH exit velo, but I could see those all reaching Elijah Ickes’ territory by this time next year. A fantastic get by Tulane, Chun continues to make improvements to his game that are going to translate to the next level.
Christian Dominno is an all-around talent from a solid H.P. Baldwin school that will be looking to have another deep run in the State Championships. A 5-8, 160-pound MIF/OF made two spectacular catches to start off his game on Day 4 showing the defensive tool. Dominno really punished the ball during the week showing some power to the left and up the middle with a level swing. You can see the 93 MPH exit velo at the dish and the junior could certainly be in for a breakout high school season.
Nathaniel Wagner did a little bit of everything at the Classic. The 5-11, 170-pound C/UTL had a 98 MPH exit velo during the showcase portion, swiped a few bags during the games, made a great catch in left, picked up a hit, and pitched a little. A recent commit to Pacific University, the 2023 Mid-Pacific product brings a ton of value to his high school squad and the school he’ll be joining in the Fall.
Left-handed pitcher Payton Dixon really knows how to pitch. On the first day of games, the 6-0, 160-pound Mid-Pacific product struck out four in three innings with no hits. Dixon showed command of four pitches with his fastball sitting 80-82 MPH, curveball at 63-67 MPH, slider at 68-70 MPH and change up at 75-77 MPH. The lefty would pitch again on the last day going one shutout inning striking out three. True competitor here who is going to fill up the zone with strikes and tough pitches to make hard contact on.
Hawaii Pacific commit Bruce Boucher is a polished talent behind the dish. The 5-11, 185-pound C/3B from Kamehameha had a back pick at second and flashed a 1.99 POP time during the showcase portion. With the 93 MPH exit velo, Boucher smoked a ball deep to left nearly going out, but foul — one of the harder balls hit on the week. Boucher is someone who can handle plus pitching and can be a leader of any team he’s on.
Matthew Zarriello is someone who just knows how to hit and can go with the pitch to any part of the park. His quick hands helps him see plus pitching where he hit .500 (4-for-8) on the week with three runs batted in. Always with a smile on his face, Zarriello is going to compete every time up. He still has plenty of room to improve which shows his ceiling is growing.
Speaking of growing ceilings, Ka’imi Kahalekai is a dude that Power 5 colleges are starting to take note of. The 6-8, 195-pound RHP out of Kamehameha Maui topped 87 MPH with a 73-76 MPH curveball striking out two in two no-hit innings. The uncommitted 2024 works with a repeatable delivery and releases his pitches from the same arm slot. Clean arm action with some command and sink, Kahalekai is not one many want to face.
Nico Low showed he can compete with anyone. On the bump, the LHP struck out six in 3 innings of work. Had multiple 1-2-3 innings and showed command of all pitches. The offspeed stuff works great as you can see in the video below and he knows how to compete. At the plate, the 2024 LHH out of Maryknoll School had two loud hits with a triple and single. I think this is a true ballplayer who could be in for a breakout junior year.
5-10, 180-pound RHP Kory Chu has a ton of upside on the mound. The 2024 Maryknoll School product struck out five batters in 4.0 innings of work with only one hit and no runs allowed. His fastball was up to 88 MPH with a change up at 67 MPH and curveball at 63-67 MPH. The change is absolutely disgusting and a really tough pitch when mixing in that change up speed between that and the fastball. As long as he can throw strikes, Chu is someone who can put up some big pitching numbers this spring season in high school ball.
A top player in the state for the 2025 class, there’s a lot to like from Bruin Agbayani. Big league pedigree as Dad (Benny) played parts of five MLB seasons. Bruin is a 5-11, 175-pound LHH SS whose bat looks like the carrying tool. BP on Day 1 was filled with intent and present bat speed. Game ABs showed the evident feel for the barrel and awareness of the strike-zone while showing potential for extra base power with a double in the opposite field gap. Has the potential to stick on the left side of the infield as a SS/3B hybrid type with good actions on the dirt. Present physicality and will only continue to grow all his tools over next couple years.
Kainoa “Kai Kai” Kaneshiro showed he was a good athlete all week. Future looks to be on the mound as he moved well and flashed a two-pitch mix of a FB and a CB. Fastball was up to 88 but sat in the 83-85 MPH range while the CB was around 72 MPH. Decent strike-thrower who has a chance as he develops. Also knocked the ball around the yard from the left side and made a highlight reel diving catch in RF. As I said before, good athlete who’ll make big strides over next couple years.
Zakary Komeiji showed good actions behind the plate, good catch and throw and receiver. At 5-10, 190 lbs., the Punahou sophomore has a good frame for his future as a catcher. Komeiji has a simple, line-drive swing at the plate and delivered an RBI knock during the week.
Nicholas Nashiwa is very skilled defensively behind the plate. All week he showed the ability to block and receive while also flashing arm strength and baseball IQ back-picking a runner off second base. Offensively had a couple knocks and showed an advanced approach and good feel for the barrel. Smaller frame as a 2025 catcher — with added strength and physicality, the tools will rise.
Charlie Ushijima is a super interesting young arm out of 'Iolani School. Wiry frame at 6-1, 160 lbs., but plenty of time to add to it. Fastball had some good spin and ride to it at 84 MPH with good command. Slow curveball at 68 MPH tunneled from same slot as FB. As he matures and adds a third pitch, look for Charlie to be well recruited as a potential weekend arm.
One of the more physical presences in the underclass games, Alika Ahu showed a good feel for the game. Handled himself well defensively at 3B/SS, barreled a few balls, and at 6-2 160 lbs., has an exciting ceiling for a 2026 grad.
Coming from a family full of Professional and Division 1 ball players, Kahaku Harrison is no exception. The 2026 SS/3B stands 6-1, 165 lbs. and moves well on the dirt. Loose, athletic movements in the box with intent to get the barrel out and let it work. Resulted in deepest ball hit on the week, an RBI double one-hop off left field fence. Confident actions defensively at SS and 3B, in control and not rushed with good feet and soft hands. They say the youngest is always the best, Kahaku could prove that right here in a few years.
Cade Wehrsig is an intriguing two-way talent who threw well in both appearances. Competed in the zone with three pitches (FB/CB/CH). Fastball was around 80 MPH, change up has potential to be a plus pitch with bugs bunny action to it and curveball had some good bite under RHH hands. Also flashed defensively with a full sprawl diving catch in right and used a strong, compact stroke to hammer an RBI double in the right center. Like the potential for this kid.
LHH Catchers are always easy to like especially when they have the at bats like Kanalu Antone did all week. Barreled a couple balls back through the box and also showed great strike-zone awareness. Was not afraid to hit with two strikes and competed every AB it seemed. Also showed good catch and throw ability nabbing a would-be base stealer at second.
Probably my favorite player in the underclass games, 2026 LHH SS Kahanu Martinez made the game look easy. Plus actions defensively, showed exceptional range and arm is good enough to stick at short. Advanced bat to ball and approach from the left side of the plate with the ability to go line to line. Can handle velo and seemed confident hitting with two strikes against a good arm. Not a burner, but moves well enough and runs the bases hard. Currently at 6-0, 155 lbs., but wouldn’t be shocked to see him add a couple more inches and fill out his athletic build. Thoroughly enjoyed watching this kid play all week.
Another two-way standout from the week was Alaka'i Kiakona who’s a 2025 LHP/CF. On the mound, Kiakona was athletic — the arm was quick and the fastball was up to 84 MPH with swing-and-miss stuff. He also knocked the ball around the yard with a simple stroke from the right side and patrolled CF well. I would bet on his future being on the mound, but I would like to see him do both as long as he can.
Kaleb Wada is a dude who can flat out play. Prototypical Waiakea HS player who just has a knack to hit and play the game of baseball. High feel for the barrel as he knocked in runners all week. Loose, controlled rhythm and got in his legs using his leverage to create some true flight. Played lights out defense at 3B starting two crucial double plays for his squad. If he can continue to add strength and physicality to his 6-0, 170-pound frame, he has potential to be one of the better hitters in the 2025 class out of Hawaii. Big fan.
If you want to talk pitchability, start with Cooper Konishi. The 2026 out of Punahou filled up the zone with three pitches and forced weak contact in his outings. Repeated delivery and with added velocity the swing and miss will rise.
Dillon Andres was one of the standout bats in the underclass games. The 2025 out of Kamehameha is physical at 5-11, 210 lbs. with a good approach at the plate. Has strong hands with good control of the barrel which resulted in a few knocks on the week.
Very easy actions at 6-2, 165 lbs. from Bryson Toner. The 2025 out of Kaiser flashed some exciting stuff on the mound running his fastball consistently up to 87 MPH. Very good athlete all around with some twitch and in control of all his movements. Arm will shut down a running game while the bat will continue to progress as he adds to his lean/athletic build. An extra 15-20 lbs. over the next couple years will have tons of schools knocking down Bryson’s door.
A lot to like in Malosi Mataafa-Alferos' game. Day 1 during the showcase he popped a 92mph IF velocity from short. On Day 2, the 2025 out of Saint Louis showed the offensive aspects of his game collecting multiple XBHs and a smooth easy swing from the left side. High, loose hands with a crouch to start but the barrel enters early and stays through the zone. Runs the bases hard and is always looking for the extra base. Dirtbag.
Really good week from Taj Uyehara. Posted a 2.08s POP time on Day 1 and was one of the better defensive catchers in the underclass games. Offensively he was no slouch either consistently driving liners up the middle and into the right-center gap. Swing is tailored to use the RC gap as he really forces hands inside the baseball and direction up the middle of the field. Physically has a solid catchers frame with present quickness.