Socal ProCase Player Spotlight: RHP Xavier Cardenas III


Joey Cohen
California Staffer

     

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San Juan Capistrano, CALIF. The most eye-popping pitcher from our 2021 ProCase was SDSU commit Xavier Cardenas III. Cardenas has been on our radar for some time now as he has a 6-6, 195 pound frame that is a pro scout’s dream. Cardenas has some of the loudest stuff on the mound especially when talking velocity and spin. Command is the one facet of his game that he has still been fine tuning as he worked through some command issues during his ProCase outing but showed that once he finds his lanes he can dominate. 

The Report:

Body: 6-6, 195 pounds. Lean athletic build. Projectable with his long limbs and plenty of room to add some efficient mass. 

Mechanics: Athletic delivery with some slight crossfire. Side steps into a high knee tuck. Keeps a stable back foot keeping it planted into the rubber till footstrike where it peels off. Smaller sit (higher angle) into his back leg as he drives down the mound. Bent front leg at footstrike that lands slightly toward the 3B side of the mound and he ends up falling toward the 1B side. Long and loose in the back. Whippy action. Arm gets into a full arm circle in the back. It also gets good layback in the cocking phase as it accelerates well into release for plus arm speed. 

FB: 91-93 T94. Had some trouble locating it but it has a nice movement profile. Showed good rise with average induced vertical break of 20.5 inches and max at 22.4 inches. Plus spin rate as well sitting around 2600 rpm and maxing out at 2720 rpm. Extension on the pitch is also above average at 6.87 ft (6.5 ft mlb average) which helps it gain some more perceived velocity. When thrown for strikes up in the zone it basically guaranteed a swing and miss. 

CB: 74-75. Didn’t throw it that many times during his outing. Slurvy profile due to the present HB break. Decent Bauer Units at 33 due to the level of spin (2384 rpm avg.) for its velocity. Didn’t slot it that same as the FB as it was thrown out of a slightly lower slot and gets about a foot less of extension on it. 

CH: 75-78. Some present late fading action. Slightly slower arm speed to get it to that low of velocity. Higher spin at around 2000 rpm helps give it some horizontal break at 8.6 inches avg. Release height and extension were more consistent with the fastball than the curveball was. 

Summary: Cardenas' ProCase outing was one of highs and lows. Started off giving up some hits and walks but finished his outing easily striking out the remaining three batters. To me he is just a few adjustments away from being something really special. The highly projectable frame combined with his velocity along with his aptitude for spin is a great recipe for a future pro. It’s all about him finding that mechanical repeatability and efficiency where he will be able to use all 6-6, 195 pounds to his advantage. Look for Cardenas to take the next step this summer and for him to make a name for himself amongst pro scouts next HS season. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Top Prospects ID CA 07/07 Hart Park
Rising Stars Games ID CA 07/13 Hart Park
Rising Stars Games ID - NorCal CA 07/14 Islanders Field
California State Games (INVITE ONLY) CA 07/16 Islanders Field
2021 PBR Future Games (California Invite) CA 07/28 LakePoint Sports
PBR Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/28 LakePoint Sports
PBR West Coast Games (California Invite) CA 08/13 UNLV & College of Southern Nevada
Northern California Academic Games CA 10/09 Islanders Field


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