Season Preview: St. John Bosco Braves

Ryan Ozella
California Area Scout

With the 2019 high school baseball season just around the corner in California, we have begun rolling out team previews from around the state. Today we focus on the St John Bosco Braves from the Trinity League. The Braves return a veteran lineup looking to make noise in the ultra-competitive Trinity League and make a run in the CIF-SS D1 playoffs. 

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Team: St. John Bosco

Nickname: Braves

Section: Southern Section, Division 1

League: Trinity 

Head Coach/Years at school: Don Barbara (5th Season)

Team Twitter Handle: @boscobaseball

2018 Overall Record: 16-12 (8-7, 4th Place in League)

2018 Postseason Finish: N/A

Number of Returning Starters: 7

Number of Returning Pitchers: 5

Top Returning Players:

‘19 LHP/1B David Hays, ‘19 LHP Kyle Moats, ‘19 CF/LHP Sebastian Orduno, ‘20 RF/RHP Jon Jon Vaughns, 2020 RHP Ty Collins, ‘19 C Oscar Favela, ‘20 OF/RHP DJ Uiagalelei

College Commitments:

‘19 LHP/1B David Hays - Nevada, ‘19 LHP Kyle Moats - Air Force, ‘19 C Oscar Favela - UNLV, ‘19 CF/LHP Sebastian Orduno - Oregon, ‘19 MIF Derek Delgado - Concordia

2019 Outlook:

The St John Bosco Braves are coming off an up and down 2018 seeing them finish 4th in the Trinity League and just missing the Playoffs at 16-12. After having a lot of Sophomores and Juniors in the lineup in 2018, they'll return a veteran lineup for 2019 with a group of upperclassmen who have gained experience playing in one of the toughest conferences in California. The Braves will be looking to get back to the playoffs in 2019 with high expectations for this group.

For the Braves to reach their goals in 2019, they will have to battle through a difficult schedule with out of league games against some of the best teams in California including Mira Costa, Gahr, Bishop Amat, Cypress, Tesoro, and Damien. All of those teams made the playoffs in 2018 and won’t be intimidated facing the Braves in 2019. That group of games doesn’t include the deep rosters of talent currently residing in the Trinity League, where the Braves will have to play three times a week. If the Braves want to make a Division 1 run they will need to bring their best each and every game, earning the right to play postseason baseball with no pushovers showing up on their schedule.

St. John Bosco will need to focus on playing good baseball and that starts with strong pitching and defense, which Coach Barbara sees as the Braves strength. That pitching staff will be led by ‘19 LHP Kyle Moats, an Air Force commit, and ‘19 LHP/1B David Hays, a Nevada commit. These top two are going to be asked to be the workhorses for the pitching staff and keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard. Moats is a long and projectable lefty using three pitches and the ability to use his fastball to different quadrants. Hays was one of the best two-way players in the state in 2018 as he led the Braves striking out 60 in 43 innings while also batting .342 with 9 extra-base hits.

Behind this 1-2 will be a couple of players that the Braves will need to come in and finish games for their big dogs. ‘20 RHP Ty Collins, one of the top uncommitted arms from the 2020 class, could be an ace for many other staffs and will be asked to pitch well, especially during the 3rd game a week in league. Collins is a projectable body working in the upper 80’s with feel for a developing curveball and changeup. ‘19 CF/LHP Sebastian Orduno may be asked to pitch a bit more this season while also using his speed in Centerfield and at the top of the order.

The Braves lineup will need to manufacture some runs by being an in-motion team. Having Orduno and ‘19 MIF Derek Delgado, a Concordia commit, should help that plan. Delgado is a short-stroke lefty who will be asked to make big steps for the Braves this season. Hitting behind these two will be a group of players who will be looking to do damage and drive in a lot of runs. ‘19 C Oscar Favela, a UNLV commit, had a big offensive season in 2018 while also shutting down opposing run games and will be asked for more of the same in 2019. ‘20 OF/RHP Jon Jon Vaughns is one of the most exciting bats in the 2020 class and has enormous power potential from the left side. He will be moved around the field and can also hop on the hill bringing a big arm for the Braves possibly at the end of games. ‘20 DJ Uiagalelei is a big and physical frame that should add some protection in the lineup and follow up with late innings for the Braves as well.

St. John Bosco is keeping their eyes on the tasks ahead of them in 2019 being challenged playing the best competition in the state. For the Braves to have a magical season they will need some other pieces to step up and support their core group that has been playing at a high level the last few seasons. With a veteran staff and roster, look for the Braves to be a force in the Trinity League.


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