Grant and Will’s SoCal Scout Notes (June 28-July 2)

Over the course of the 2022 Five Tool California Summer Season, staff members Grant Carver and Will Bonn will be at select games to provide extra scouting coverage for select games. Scout notes have no bias and players of note in no particular order from the Five Tool California SoCal events will be highlighted.

There will be a wide variety of players in these notes from uncommitted players to Division 1 commits to Division 3 commits and to junior college commits. Some games may have a few players noted while others may have a plethora, all dependent upon performances during the games and events.

Listed below is the Five Tool Scouting Staff Notes from the USA Premier #1 Firecracker National Division

1) Brandon Gutierrez, LV Recruits 2023:

LV Recruits 2023’s Brandon Gutierrez dominated his start during the USA Premier #1 Firecracker National Division Tournament. The right-handed pitcher threw a complete game while racking up nine strikeouts and allowing no runs. The ’23 got more and more comfortable as the game went on and struck out the side in the seventh inning to complete his impressive outing. Gutierrez utilized a fastball, curveball, and changeup mix that kept batters guessing at the plate. The fastball ranged from 83-86 MPH and touched 87, the curve was between 71-74 MPH and the changeup sat around 76. The fastball had a little arm side run moving into right handed hitters and away from left-handed hitters. The curve was his go to set up pitch, showing good downward action and a solid late break that led to a lot of swing and misses. Gutierrez flashed nasty stuff that not a lot of players his age can flash.

–Will Bonn, Five Tool California

2) Cade Collins, Team Colorado Braves:

Team Colorado Braves’ Cade Collins put on quite the offensive performance. During the game I watched, the left-handed hitter went three-for-three with two triples and one double while racking up four runs batted in on the day. The uncommitted 2024 has a very simple approach at the plate and utilities a small leg kick as a load. There was one at bat I watched where he was able to rope a fastball that was painted on the inside part of the plate into right center for a triple, showing off his impressive hands and his speed. The Dakota Ridge High School (CO) product is also a solid defender at short and had two very athletic plays that caught my eye. Collins was the backbone of this team in many ways and for good reason.

— Will Bonn, Five Tool California

3) Alec Waddell, Canes SD Black 16U:

Canes SD Black 16U’s Alec Waddell had an impressive outing during the game I caught at the event. The right-handed pitcher tossed a complete game, struck out six batters, allowed just four hits and only one run. This uncommitted product has an over the top arm angle that creates a good downward tilt to his fastball, giving the pitch a good deception. His curveball plays very well off his fastball with solid 12-6 motion that plays well with the downward tilt to his fastball. The 2024 righty commanded the zone well and was able to hit his spots effectively. A prospect out of Yorba Linda High School (CA), Waddell’s two-pitch mix is a fun one to watch as long as your not up at the plate.

–Will Bonn, Five Tool California

4) Camden Burdick, Trosky Redbirds 17U: 

Trosky RedBirds 17U’s Camden Burdick showed some powerful pop at the Premier Firecracker Tournament. At the game I watched, the right-handed hitter crushed a pitch that easily cleared the left center wall. The 2023 uncommitted stud has a very relaxed approach at the plate, staying in rhythm with a small sway to his bat and his hands relaxed by his shoulders. When it’s time to go to the ball, he explodes towards it with authority. Burdick loads up his backside with a mid-height leg kick and as his backside loads so do his hands. The Carlsbad High School (CA) product showed that his is able to keep his hands inside the pitch well, staying inside a pitch that was in and crushing it to left center. Burdick brings a thump to the lineup that every team loves.

— Will Bonn, Five Tool California

5) Blake Uribe, Ventura County Baseball Academy:

Ventura County Baseball Academy’s Blake Uribe had a solid day on the bump. During his outing, Uribe went five innings while allowing one run and striking out five batters. The right-handed pitcher commanded the strike zone well and was able to hit his spot throughout the outing. He allowed six hits during the outing, but was producing weak contact and missing barrels. The Camarillo High School (CA) product relied on a fastball and curveball combination to keep batters guessing, relying on his curveball as his primary out pitch. The CB is almost more of a slurve due to its good pop out of the hand and downward break. The two pitch mix that Uribe was showing was too good for the opposition in this one.

— Will Bonn, Five Tool California

6) Ayden Holker, Colton Nighthawks:

The Colton Nighthawks Ayden Holker took care of business during his relief appearance at the Premier Firecracker Tournament. The right handed pitcher went two innings in relief, striking out four batters and only allowing one hit. The CSUN Baseball commit showed a fastball that sat between 83-85 MPH with solid movement and a curveball between 70-71 MPH. The fastball moved like a two seam fastball, running in to right handed hitters and away from left handed hitters. He also showed a change up which was used as his out pitch and sits from 77-80 MPH. The changeup coming out of his hand tunnels off of the fastball well, creating that deception that every changeup looks for. It moves like a circle change and dives away from left-handed hitters quickly. The Los Osos (CA) product is quick to the plate utilizing a modified slide step at all times. Holker was making quick work of his opponents and it was special to watch.

— Will Bonn, Five Tool California

7) Athan Kroll, Team Colorado Braves:

Team Colorado Braves’ Athan Kroll was dominant on the mound during his teams championship game for this event. The RHP went the distance for seven innings, only allowed one run and striking out nine batters. Kroll had a fastball, curveball, and slider mix that was working perfectly in this one. The 2024 DBU commit has incredible downhill action on the mound due to his tall frame. With the downhill action of the fastball and the sharp break of the sliders, hitters are almost guaranteed an uncomfortable at bat. On top of that he throws in a curveball that has a velocity difference from the fastball and late 12-6 break. This dude out of Valor Christian (CO) showed a very relaxed and repetitive motion that was consistent throughout his appearance on the mount. Kroll was as overpowering as they come during this one and the stakes on the game made it even more impressive.

— Will Bonn, Five Tool California

8) Kevin Takeuchi, SD Trosky Redbirds Baseball:

SD Trosky Redbirds Baseball’s Kevin Takeuchi had himself a weekend. The RHH collected two triples and a home run during the tournament, and some singles to make his showing even more impressive. A product of Rancho Bernardo (CA), Takeuchi shows a very quick bat path and the ability to shoot the ball in the gaps. He was able to pull the ball for a homerun, send breaking balls to the right center gap, and crush the ball to dead center as well. The 2023 uncommitted also showed off some impressive speed while legging out a triple on a ball to left center. Takeuchi was as reliable as they come this weekend and his team used it to their advantage.

— Will Bonn, Five Tool California

9) Charlie Orman, BPA SD 15U Black:

BPA SD 15U Black’s Charlie Orman was doing it all when I saw him during this event. He went four scoreless innings on the hill, while also going 2-2 at the plate with an RBI. The 2025 uncommitted right hander from El Camino (CA) had an impressive swing that featured a heavy leg kick. He loved to pull the ball, but he showed he can hit the ball with authority to center field as well. Orman stays low through the ball in a way that gives him the ability to produce consistent hard contact. This dude is an all around ball player and is an impressive one at that. 

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California.

10) Carter Enoch, Saddleback Cowboys American:

Saddleback Cowboys American’s Carter Enoch had an impressive weekend at the plate. Enoch has an interesting yet successful swing, as he drops his hands a little low during his leg kick before bringing them to the ball. The 2025 uncommitted right hander out of Santa Margarita Catholic (CA) was able to pull the ball for hard line drives and came up big with runners on the bases. Each at bat that he had was an intense fight due to his impressive eye and patience at the plate. It was always a hard fought at bat when he came up, which is such a good trait to have as a hitter.

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California

11) Logan Freeborn, Saddleback Cowboys American:

Saddleback Cowboys American’s Logan Freeborn was a player that contributed in all kinds of ways this weekend. The right hander went five no hit innings with three strikeouts in his outing and was also producing at the plate throughout the weekend. This 2025 uncommitted dude from Santa Margarita Catholic (CA) showed excellent command on the mound and was getting weak contact consistently. At the plate, this dude has a short and compact swing that he controls very well and uses it to spray the ball all around the diamond. Freeborn was an all around ballplayer on the field and should only improve in all of those facets, making him a guy to watch.

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California

12) Ryder Taylor, BPA SD 15 Black:

Another player that contributed on the bump in a big way this weekend was Ryder Taylor of BPA SD 15 Black. The right hander went five shutout innings in one of his starts, only allowing one hit and racking up five strikeouts. The 2025 uncommitted dude from Escondido (CA) had a nice fastball and curveball pairing working in this one. His fastball had some nice run on it and his curveball was a big breaker, which had enough velocity change to buckle hitters knees and get outs. Taylor’s mechanics were fluid and repeated between all pitches, helping disguise the curveball before he dropped it in. This right hander was making quick work of the opponents and it helped his team in a massive way.

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California

13) Preston Waller, BPA SD 15U:

Preston Waller of BPA SD 15U had a sweet stroke from the left side that caught eyes in this event. The 2025 uncommitted dude out of Mission Hills HS (CA) was constantly dropping in singles for hits and driving in runs while he was doing it. His body was very fluid throughout his swing. Waller kept his hands away from his body as he drifted back in preparation of the pitch before pulling them in as his body exploded towards the ball. The bat control he was able to show was impressive and his bat to ball skills were also a standout. Everybody loves watching a left hander with a clean swing that is a hits machine, and Waller was just that.

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California

14) Payton Dixon, Holomua 2023:

Holomua 2023’s Payton Dixon was an absolute beast on the hill for his club in the outing I saw during this event. Dixon finished one of his outings with eight strikeouts in six shutout innings. The 2024 uncommitted player out of Mid-Pacific Institute (HI) was extremely comfortable on the mound and attacked hitters successfully. The most impressive aspect of his performance was his usage of the curveball. The left hander was dropping it in the zone on all counts and using it quite a bit. It played off the fastball, which he was locating perfectly, extremely well. This is a bonified dude with impressive stuff and a presence on the mound that is always fun to watch. 

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California

15) Jacob White, Slammers Halpin:

Slammers Halpin’s Jacob White put on a show when he was on the bump this weekend. The 2023 uncommitted product out of Dakota Ridge (CO) racked up six strikeouts during five innings of one run ball while only allowing three hits. He was locating his fastball, which sat 80-81 MPH but touched as high as 84 MPH, extremely well and it had some nice tail to it. The right hander loved to throw the fastball up in the zone to set up his 67-69 MPH breaking ball for his out pitch. The curveball featured a sharp and late break that was having hitters chase it out of the zone. White also flashed a nice changeup occasionally that sat 74-75 MPH and it worked as an out pitch as well.  This dude had a live arm and was on cruise control in his outing this weekend.

— Grant Carver, Five Tool California

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