Top Prospects ID: Quick Hits


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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ORANGE, CALIF. - The annual Top Prospect ID showcase came through SoCal with a stop at spacious and scenic Hart Park in Orange, home of the 2019 DIII National Champion Chapman Panthers and Orange Lutheran baseball teams. For many players it was a return to update their profile metrics while vying for invitations to fall games events, while for others it was an introduction to what PBR California is all about, which of course is baseball.

With close to 70 players on hand the event drew plenty of players flashing varying tools. We saw speed with 17 players running sub 7.25 led by ‘22 OF Parker Ellis of Rancho Bernardo’s 6.78 laser timed 60. We saw power, both at the plate and on the mound. There were 23 players with an exit velocity of 90 mph with the best being 94.2 mph tied by two players whom we’ll dive into later. On the mound we saw several arms 85 mph and over with the high belonging to 2023 RHP Nick Dunlop at 89 mph. 

With so many talented players on hand it was a great day of showcase baseball. In the coming days we’ll begin to roll out statistical leaders, categorical leaders, scouting reports, and much more. Until then we’ll take a look at some early standouts from the Top Prospects ID Showcase in this edition of Quick Hits. 

EARLY STANDOUTS

Andrew Campbell OF / RHP / Woodcrest Christian, CA / 2022

Campbell continues to impress with each and every viewing we have of him. Before the spring season he was a standout at the SoCal Upperclass ID event at Great Park earning Quick Hits recognition. Then he goes out and has a big spring season at Woodcrest Christian both on the mound and at the plate. He continues to show power to his game while hitting and pitching. His BP round was nothing but line drive after line drive. He punished the gaps with hard hit balls using a balanced setup and explosive strength through the ball. On the mound he pounded all quadrants of the zone with his three pitch mix. He appears more physical now and the upside is really beginning to shine through making Campbell one of the better uncommitted players in the 2022 class.

 

Nick Dunlop RHP / OF / Torrey Pines, CA / 2023

Perhaps no player had a better day than Dunlop. After moving to San Diego from Chicago just before the spring season, Dunlop was a virtual unknown to everyone outside of the Torrey Pines program. That certainly changed at this event where in front of a dozen college coaches Dunlop looked like a premium Division I arm in his session. With a loose, whippy arm that is very fresh after his move to California, Dunlop at 6-foot-4 has the physical and athletic attributes that will make him a highly sought after recruit. Working 87-89 mph with the fastball, Dunlop also flashed an, at worst, average changeup (76-78) with a snappy slider (71-73) that oozes projection. With advanced high school Trackman metrics on all pitches the projection of his career is pointing straight up.

Mikiah Negrete LHP / 1B / Servite , CA / 2022

Much has been made about Negrete’s ability to be a two-way player and to his credit he did much this spring season to disprove the notion that he can’t do both. At the Top Prospect ID event he showed during his BP round the ability to pepper all fields with some power at the plate. His frame has lengthened and tightened up providing more strength at the plate and more durability on the mound. The USD commit looked sharp in his bullpen throwing strikes with all three pitches with the changeup showing marked improvement from spring viewings. Negrete looks and plays more athletically than before and has the mentality of getting after it, traits that will serve him well heading into his senior campaign. As the velocity continues to jump, so will his status in the state and beyond. 

Brodie Purcell RHP / 1B / Jserra, CA / 2023

Purcell worked out as a two-way guy, but he continues to open eyes on the mound. After a couple of errant pitches to start his session, the rising junior settled down and began to pound the zone with the type of vigor and tenacity that will earn him a lot of innings for JSerra next season. Coming off a spring that saw him earn innings on the mound for the Lions, Purcell came into this event with some expectations and he did nothing short of delivering on them. Working in the upper 80’s with the fastball, Purcell pounded the zone with his three-pitch mix with the changeup flashing massive potential at 79-81 mph. His understanding of the strike zone and his ability to deliver pitches with a loose, whippy arm and repeatable mechanics has made the 6-foot-3 190-pound Purcell a pitcher with not only high upside, but one that will be highly sought after in recruiting circles.

Jackson Kemmerer OF / 2B / Santa Margarita Catholic, CA / 2023

Not many players are having the start to a summer season like Kemmerer. A plus runner who packs a punch at the plate, Kemmerer has been on a tear this summer demonstrating his ability to hit quality pitching consistently and with authority. That continued at the Top Prospects ID where he clocked 6.89 laser-timed 60 yard dash before pounding baseballs to all fields with power during BP. The arm plays in the outfield at 84 mph with accuracy to both third base and home plate. There’s controlled aggression in his compact swing in which he does a fantastic job of incorporating his lower half strength while using a full hip/trunk rotation to pound balls. Profiles as a corner outfielder, Kemmerer will be a part of Team California at the 2021 PBR Future Games.

Adam Magpoc SS / 2B / Loyola , CA / 2023

The rising junior shortstop showed plenty of tools to like beginning with his 7.02 laser-timed 60 yard dash. He continued with a stellar round of BP showing his ability to hit from both sides of the plate with a stronger stroke from the left side. It’s a simple “attack the ball” approach that sees him keep his hands inside the ball and consistently barrel balls up. At 5-foot-9 155-pounds, Magpoc showed some sneaky pop to the pull side with many balls in the gaps that would go for extra base hits under normal game circumstances. Playing at Loyola HS and in the Mission League will allow Magpoc an opportunity to see some of the better arms in SoCal, in turn giving him plenty of opportunity to back up what he showed at this event.

Blake Wilson SS / OF / Santa Margarita, CA / 2023

The University of Washington commit attended his first PBR California showcase event and backed up that Power 5 commitment with a standout showing at the event. Wilson showed strength in everything he did including his powerful and athletic gait when running a 7.06 laser-timed 60 to open things. That physicality continued at the plate for BP where he continuously drove balls to both gaps with power on a line. Simple, rhythmic stroke with fast hands showing the bat-to-ball skills of an advanced hitter. His fast hands and power really shone on defense with an arm (87 mph) that will allow him to stay at shortstop as he progresses through his career. Instincts and quick footwork paired with fast transfers and arm strength allow Wilson to get in position to execute any throw on the field.

Wes Hickey SS / OF / Yucaipa , CA / 2024

The rising sophomore from Yucaipa HS is a player I saw this past season playing with the Thunderbirds and is a player you can’t help but notice now that he’s beginning to fill out his frame. The converted outfielder (can very much still play the INF) has taken to the switch seamlessly. His natural athleticism plays up in the outfield where he’s quick to the ball with the footwork of someone in that position for years. Having 6.98 speed helps. The arm is strong (84 mph) for a player his age and projects to get stronger as his frame fills out. At the plate he showed a controlled and rhythmic swing that sees him stack on the back leg before rocking into the ball with a front leg lift. There’s present bat speed and flashes of power that should inevitably come.

Devon Eskridge OF / Arcadia , CA / 2023

Arcadia HS has produced some quality players in the last 3-4 years and when it’s all said and done, Devon Eskridge may be at the top of the list. There’s the prototypical size at 6-foot-3 190-pound outfielder. There’s the speed/athleticism to run a 7.1 60-yard dash. There’s the power to drive balls at a clip of 95 mph. The right-handed hitting Eskridge looks a lot bigger than the guy we saw back in October of last year and that size/strength is taking his game to another level. The arm (74 mph) works in the outfield because of its accuracy while his technique, footwork, and exchanges were all efficient and aggressive. The bat is seeing the biggest gains from the strength as his once soft liners are now line drives to gaps, and his bloopers have become soft liners.

Cameron Kim SS / 3B / Norco, CA / 2023

Kim, the 20th ranked player in his class made his first appearance at a PBR California event and showed what we saw all spring and early summer, power! At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, Kim has a frame that will easily add mass that should only enhance his already present power. He registered multiple 95 mph+ exit velocities during his round that resulted in four home runs, two to the deepest part of the park. There’s controlled aggression in the swing that generates power from the ground up with a significant leg lift trigger that he brings nearly into his stomach before driving the front leg into the ground. His timing with that leg lift and the subsequent sequencing of the lower/upper half was consistent throughout the round allowing him to get the barrel on every pitch he saw. Defensively he showed well enough to believe he can stick at shortstop for now with athletic actions, quick/instinctive footwork and an arm (81 mph) that seemed capable of making all throws. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Rising Stars Games ID CA 07/13 Hart Park
Rising Stars 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 10/16 Menlo College


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