Prep Baseball Report

Hardy's Hits: CIF-SS Coverage 4/8 - 4/12

Steven Hardesty
Central Coast/North LA Area Scout


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Ventura, Calif- 

As the CIF-SS schedule starts to near completion the hope of a playoff berth looms large over all contenders across the section over the next couple of weeks. With that in mind I caught a very important matchup in the Channel League with title implications and a pair of very good Marmonte League programs who are battling for at-large berths in their divisions.

My look at the series between the first place Santa Barbara Dons and second place San Marcos Royals featured a partial game look on Tuesday with a full game look on Friday. The top two programs in the Channel League split the series with San Marcos claiming a strong 6-2 win in the opener on the back of a solid pitching performance. The Dons responded with a thrilling 3-2 win in 8 innings which featured a walk off wild pitch to plate the winning run for Santa Barbara. The Dons remain atop the league standings with San Marcos still just a 1.5 games back in third place behind the emerging Rio Mesa Spartans.

On Thursday I got my first spring look at the Newbury Park Panthers as they hosted the Oaks Christian Lions. Oaks jumped out to an early lead over the Panthers and stretched their advantage to at one point 9-1 before the Panthers made some noise late bringing the eventual tying run into the on-deck circle before the Lions closed out a 9-5 win and would claim the series with a walk off winner the next day. Oaks Christian sits in third place just one game back of the top two teams who are tied for first place with the Panthers two games back of the Lions in 4th place and each team is still in the hunt for the CIF-SS playoffs in their respective divisions.

Below you can check out my breakdown of the standouts of the day with video highlights, access to their PBR profile and a scouting report on them.

(Players click the link on your name below to claim your profile. Also, players search the PBR database for your profile. Don't see your profile? You can create a free PBR profile here)

Santa Barbara:

+ ‘25 RHP/1B Zeke Adderley

Getting my 2nd look at Adderley this spring on the mound in a tense rivalry environment with first place in the league on the line and Zeke put on a performance. His FB gave me the same look with a tick more velocity in this outing no doubt a product of the environment he sat at 84-87 MPH while touching 88 on multiple pitches (with more in the tank for him) and showed good ride at the top of the zone where he gets swing/miss with the FB. Where I came away more impressed was with the shape and control of his CB which sat in the 71-74 MPH range with 11/5 shape that showed sharpness to the break more consistently which induced swing/miss. As well, Adderley flipped in a few CHG’s in the 79-80 MPH with some arm side fade to it that showed potential as he develops a better feel for it. Zeke went 5 innings allowing 2 runs (one mistake pitch he left a 84 MPH over the heart of the plate for a 2 run HR) with 9 punchouts for him in a no-decision (he exited in a 2-2 tie). The 2-way talent also continues to impress with the bat collecting multiple hard hit balls over the course of the 2 games and showing solid defense around the bag at 1B. My arrow on Adderley is pointed up and he is a name that college programs should be paying attention to in the ‘25 class.

+ ‘ 25 3B Kai Mault

I got 2 quality looks at Mault over the course of the 1 ½ game look on this week. In the opener to the series he took what would be the first “bad at bat” I’ve seen from him before responding with a pair of quality at bats including just missing a HR to LF. In the second game of the matchup his impressive athleticism, impact speed and offensive versatility was on high display reaching base twice, scoring 2 runs, stealing 2 bases, playing the small game with the bunt including a 3.8 second home to 1B time from the RH side on a BH bunt and going 4.23 seconds home to 1B on a GB to SS. Mault has cemented himself in my eyes as a top of the order potential offensive player who combines feel to hit, on base ability, impact speed and sneaky power impact with the bat. I like the actions he shows with his feet/hands at 3B where he consistently makes impressive plays including snaring a hard line drive to steal extra bases from the Royals. Where he can polish his defensive profile is on the throwing side with above average arm strength for the infield dirt he tends to stand straight up on his throws which can cause inaccuracy which he can polish by staying in his legs better and cleaning up his footwork, but if the infield dirt is not in his future the uber athletic Mault profiles as a CF defender in the OF who could see an even greater offensive jump should he move to the OF in the future. I was already very high on Mault, but he just continues to trend higher and higher for me as one of the better ‘25 uncommitted players I have seen.

+ ‘ 26 OF Jetner Welch

The offensive profile for Welch is very enticing as he continues to show the swing path, balance, bat speed, and frame that project a potential power hitting LH hitter at the next level. In this 2 game look at him he gave me glimpses of both his current performance and his future projection with areas that can still be polished on the offensive side. In game 1 he lifted a 2K pitch to CF off the barrel for an out, turned on a CB for a hard hit barrel right at the 1B and showed his patient approach which still can be a little overly patient at times. The second game he got the Dons on the board first by taking a low outside FB (one of the rare FB he saw in the zone) and driving it deep to LF for a 2B in which his long athletic running stride showed off his athleticism and high ceiling for where he can go as he continues to mature, then would lift an offspeed pitch to LF for an out, turned on another offspeed pitch in the zone for an E-4 to reach base and was at the plate when the walk off wild pitch occurred. Bearing down on his defensive ability more in this look he made several routine plays with ease in the OF, but showed off his athletic ability charging a sinking line drive to go into a slide and steal a hit from the Royals, while showing off his arm during INF/OF. Welch is performing at a very high level for a SO. on varsity, but what is really enticing is that there is rawness to his profile/game meaning he hasn’t even reached his ceiling of ability/performance the Channel League, CIF-SS, College coaches and potentially MLB scouts be aware the future for Welch is very bright.

+ ‘26 MINF Max Weddle

I got a very brief look at Weddle in my first two looks at the Dons (flashed athletic defensive actions during INF/OF in first look, brief appearance in game 1 including a barrel at the plate) but on the 3rd look I got a full game of Weddle playing 2B and he showed an intriguing profile of tools and upside to his game. With a wiry, lean, but athletic frame Weddle moves around well on the infield dirt with rhythm to his feet, quick smooth hands and projects to have the arm to stay at SS in the future. He made a couple of nice plays at 2B in the game, but did get stuck in between on a ball that resulted in an error showing the continued polish ahead, but the tools are enticing for him defensively. At the plate it’s a loose swing which shows some present bat speed with whip through the zone and a line drive plane that works the middle to pull side with leverage. He stung 3 balls for me in the games although did not collect any hits. He showed a consistent ability to find the barrel in his at bats. Weddle has room to grow and develop not just athletically, physically, and his overall baseball skills, but the profile is an interesting one that college coaches should file away and keep tabs on as he goes forward.

+ ‘24 OF Michael Firestone

The SR. CF for the Dons is having a strong season and the tools he shows while playing the game backup the potential for him to keep playing beyond this year at the college level. I did not bear down hard on him in the 1st game, but paid closer attention to him during game 2 of the week in which he stung a drive to CF off the barrel, collected a hard single up the middle and played stellar defense in CF where his arm has fringe above average strength will be a weapon. Overall Firestone is a good athlete with some strength to his frame, has performed offensively, shows power potential with strength and quickness in his bat path, the ability to stay in CF long term or slide to RF where he can be impactful defensively. Being later in the process JUCO seems the most likely destination for Firestone to keep playing baseball and a JUCO program would be very smart to add him to their program going forward.

San Marcos:

+ ’25 RHP Alexei Stegner

Stegner has put together some very impressive numbers this year on the mound for the Royals including 46.1 IP, 49 Ks, 19 BB, .91 ERA with 4 wins so far. The operation to get there is unique as the control is best described as effectively wild in which he doesn’t consistently pound the strike zone, but does through enough strikes with a quality FB/CB combo that hitters have a hard time finding success against Stegner. The arm shows some quickness with the FB velocity mainly in the low 80’s bumping the mid 80’s with room to add as he cleans up the delivery operation and adds more strength to his frame. Drops in an interesting CB in the 69-72 MPH range that will give you true 12/6 break at times, but more consistently in the 11/5 shape and when he throws it down in the zone has bite to the break to get swing/miss from hitters. Obviously, there is polish to the whole profile for Stegner, but the quality of his performance with success while still being more raw makes for an interesting profile on Stegner that if he can make the necessary adjustments and improvements to his game what the future performance could look like for the ‘25 righthander.

+ ‘26 3B Mason Crang

The SO. 3B for the Royals has been one of their better offensive performers over the spring season and gets there with an interesting RH swing. With a leg lift in his load, he finds his way to the launch position with balance (although there is polish necessary to his rhythm/timing/approach going forward) into an aggressive turn of the hips with quickness in his bat path. The path itself shows some lift potential to the pull side as the barrel gets into the zone early and Crang does a good job of keeping the barrel in the zone throughout the swing. Presently, it’s more leverage through the middle with doubles power, but as he matures physically and improves his approach at the plate there is pull side HR power in the profile. Crang moves well at 3B with his feet/hands both looking solid, but there is length to the arm stroke presently that will need to shorten up to be a better thrower in the long run. Overall, Crang is a name of note in the ‘26 class and one to pay attention to how he progresses over the next few years for the Royals.

+ ‘27 OF Patrick Foster

A Fr. getting full time playing time on varsity for the Royals in RF Foster has intrigue to his future as a LH hitter with a direct bat path that showed minimal swing/miss even facing present mid/upper 80’s velocity. While he is very lean presently he shows good actions at the plate with hands that work and a good turn of the lower ½ while putting together a solid spring season. In the opener Foster broke the game open by turning on a 2 RBI double with the bases loaded and then showed me the feel to find the barrel with a couple other well struck baseballs in the series. Defensively, made a pair of very nice plays including an adjustment on a ball drilled over his head in RF that he got turned around on before finding it and retiring the Dons hitter, but also has some polish on his first step/routes that comes with playing against advanced competition on a bigger field. It’s very early in the career for Foster, but there is potential for him to be another in a line of very good Royals players to come through the San Marcos program.

Oaks Christian:

+ ’25 LHP Ty Hanley

This was my 2nd extended look at Hanley and the lefthander is continuing to grow on me. His FB velocity has worked consistently in the 84-87 MPH range for me and he is able to hold that velocity throughout the game working 7 innings in my first look at going 6 innings in this look. Where Hanley was noticeably better in this game was first in his control as he kind of sprayed the ball around the zone the first time I saw him he was much more consistent within the zone this time and his misses were more competitive with both the FB and his CB. To go with the improved look at his control was a better feel for a 72-75 MPH CB which showed a more consistent 1 to 6 shape with sharper break on it which gives him two solid offerings. As well, the feel for his 77-79 MPH CHG looked better although it’s still a third offering at present he executed the pitch better in the few times he threw it. Hanley was able to pitch through traffic making pitches when needed and also strung together a few clean innings throughout the game. I came away from this look more convinced of his potential to start at the next level with a better look at his control, more consistent CB shape and better feel for his CHG. Hanley is a name to keep tabs on in the ‘25 class for a college program looking for LH arms with a starter potential.

+ ‘26 C Carson Sheffer

Already high on Sheffer through my first look at him this look gave me a better look at the quality of his approach at the plate in which he recognizes pitches well, stayed within the strike zone consistently against both FBs and offspeed offerings, was able to drive a baseball to RF on a pitch on the outer half while staying through a pitch he was early on later in the game for a single. The feel for what he does in the batter's box is sound with an interesting ceiling for him. Again giving me a quality look at his receiving/blocking ability he caught a very clean game stealing a few calls on the edges for Hanley while giving him confidence to throw his breaking ball down and his throws between innings continue to show arm strength with accuracy including a low of 1.85 on a between innings throw. Sheffer is a catcher who should be on numerous recruiting boards for the ‘26 class.

+ ‘25 3B Quentin Young LSU Commit

Young had the chance to take multiple swings in this live look at him (my first one he was intentionally walked 3 times and only able to take 2 swings). In his 5 plate appearances he gave me 3 very quality plate appearances by controlling the strike zone with his swing decisions (he had one at bat where he chased a pair of breaking balls in the dirt), but within the game he made adjustments to how he was being attacked by the Panthers arms (minimal FB within the zone and extensively breaking balls within the zone). In his first at bat he saw mainly spin before just missing a FB off the plate away, he then jumped on a pitch at the bottom of the zone for a 1B up the middle, his third at bat was the chase at bat, responded by coming back in his 4th at bat to lay off spin down and get a pitch up in the zone that he shot through the left side for a single and then in his final at bat worked a 9 pitch at bat that featured all spin before laying off a pitch inside that was called for a strike but appeared to be a good take that should have been ball 4. The strength in his swing is apparent as the bat moves through the zone and as he continues to develop his rhythm/timing vs. various pitching the loud raw power he possesses should show more consistently in game. On defense the more I see Young play 3B the more I’m intrigued at his potential to stick there. His feet/hands work well at the spot and he moves well both laterally/downhill with a solid above average arm that will flash plus potential. He took INF/OF at SS where he moved around very well, but once the game started he was back at 3B looking very comfortable and playing sound defense for me in both looks. 

+ ‘26 OF/RHP Jack Laubacher

I have not had the chance to catch Laubacher on the mound where the ‘26 righthander features a FB into the upper 80’s that is now bumping the low 90’s which he pairs with quality offspeed offerings as the opening starter to the week for the Lions. Where I have seen the athletic Laubacher excel has been in the batter’s box where he shows an interesting hit tool that shows feel for finding barrels and with the bat speed to pull the ball for authority evidenced by a pull side double he picked up in game. As well, he showed his toughness getting hit by multiple upper 80’s FBs in the game. Laubacher on the mound is still something very high on my list to see either before the end of the spring high school season or over the summer circuit for the rising talent in the ‘26 class.

+ ‘25 CF/RHP James Latshaw 

Latshaw oozes projection from his loose athletic 6’4ish frame with easy actions moving around the baseball field; there are noticeable tools to this uncommitted ‘25 OF. He plays an impressive CF being able to go to both gaps and take away hits, comes in on the ball with ease and can turn around to chase down a ball over his head with an arm that gives you above average looks with his strength/accuracy on throws. My first look at him intrigued me for what he can do in the box and on this day I got a more extended look at his offensive potential. I’m a fan of looseness in his hands both within the stance/load, but then during the swing he really lets them work with ease to cover the plate. He went to the right side with a hard single to plate runs for the Lions, then smoked a ball to CF where a hit was taken away from him by the talented Panthers CF and dropped down a clean SAC bunt giving me a good look at his offensive potential/versatility. There is still some polish to his approach and feel to use his lower half in game like he does during batting practice to tap into the power projection in his profile. Latshaw is a premium defensive profile with an intriguing offensive ceiling that can be an intriguing piece for a college program in the ‘25 class.

Newbury Park:

+ ’25 RHP/3B Cameron Fausset 

The #72 ranked ‘25 by Prep Baseball California Fausset has been strong this spring working 30 innings so far with 32 Ks and a 3.03 ERA while his FB velocity has consistently sat in the 88-91 range touching 92 MPH. On this day I got a clean 1st inning look with a strikeout before the 2-way talent smoked a single and running to 2B on a groundout he seemed to tweak something in his leg. There was timeout as he walked it off and Fausset would remain in the game, but the issue from the leg appeared to affect his control as he would struggle through another 1+ innings of work before the Panthers went to the pen. In the briefer outing he showed the ability work his FB at 88-90 consistently bumping 91 MPH for me with arm side run while mixing his 75-77 MPH SLD with 10/4 shape that will flash swing/miss potential when he buries to the glove side and an interesting 70-72 MPH CB which will give you 12/6 shape, but can morph into a 11/5 shape at times. While this was not quite as good a look at Fausset as my first one during January or compared to his season performance his competitiveness/toughness showed on this day competing without his best stuff. The arrow for me still points up highly on Fausset and he will be a good land for the college program who commits this talented righthander.

+ ‘24 3B/OF Paul Lizzul LMU commit

Having to sit out the first month of the season as part of the transfer sitout period Lizzul started the year slower, but has really been coming on of late and facing a quality LH arm the LH hitting Lizzul had a very good day. In his first at bat he was aggressive on a pair of early pitches fouling them off before winning on a high FB to shoot it to LF for a single, in his 2nd at bat he turned on an inside pitch pulling it down the RF line for a double, then in his 3rd at bat he stung a hard line drive to LF for a single, before being HBP in his final plate appearance. The bat has been his calling card for some time and he is continuing to show his offensive potential with impact from the LH side which is a desirable commodity not just for the LMU Lions who is committed to, but potentially in the future for MLB scouts. He intrigued me with the move over to play 3B where he shows potential there is polish that is needed to his footwork/throwing, but he shows good hands with the arm strength to handle the spot in the future giving him versatility beyond the 1B/LF profile. 

+ ‘24 SS Cade Falsken Oregon State commit

Falsken hits atop the Panthers order and the table setter profile from the LH side suits this talented future Oregon State Beaver just right. He has a pretty LH swing that is compact & direct with good bat speed that gives him gap power presently and could turn into more in the future. Falsken has good rhythm with an advanced approach controlling the strike zone well. In his first at bat he shot a single to LF, then lined a hard F-9 to the warning track in RF, worked a deep at bat before being called out on a questionable strike 3, finally drawing a BB late in the game as the Panthers worked to rally against the Lions bullpen. Defensively, he is an athletic mover at SS who plays laterally to both sides with comfort, can come downhill with quickness, plays 1 handed & 2 handed with soft hands, the arm projects to be average at SS long term, but could play above average at 2B where he could be an impact defender to go with an impact offensive piece if everything clicks for him at Oregon State. 

+ ‘27 MINF Cole Munyon

Another FR. who is seeing significant varsity playing time that I’ve come away impressed with the upside on. Munyon shows interesting offensive potential from a swing that has a good turn of the hips with connection to his barrel showing strength through contact. He looks comfortable facing quality pitching with feel for his rhythm/timing, pitch recognition that as he develops more experience and his frame adds strength gives off a hit with power potential offensive upside for Munyon. In the game he drew a BB, turned on a loud F-8 to the pull side gap. Defensively, the hands/feet are solid with a good arm. There is some stiffness at times to how he moves which can be cleaned up with more experience moving around against better hitters who can impact the baseball harder plus the speed of the game at the varsity level. His future home might be at 3B long term. Munyon is a quality name to file away in the ‘27 class and keep eyes on over the next couple years.

+ ‘25 OF/LHP Luke Medhurst University of San Diego Commit

Mark me as high on the 2-way ability of Medhurst. I’ve been a fan of his compact direct LH swing since getting eyes on him last spring and now with the added strength to his frame the bat speed is increasing which is allowing him to impact the baseball with more authority. Combine increased bat speed/authority with his innate feel to hit and find his barrel there is real ability from Medhurst in the LH batters box, now add in the above average run tool with feel for the small game with an impact CF defensive profile and the Toreros have a really fun piece coming to campus in the ‘25 class. On the day Medhurst was hitting in the 3 hole where he put together 3 quality at bats for me after an early game 3-U ground out he went line drive single to CF, hard line drive out to CF, line drive single to LF over the course of his last 3 at bats. 

+ ‘25 OF Owen Meli

An athletic 6’3ish frame at around 190 lbs. Meli looks the part of a potential corner OF impact offensive piece and his toolset gives credence to the eye test. His swing is quick with leverage in the path that plays to a middle/pull side approach as he looks to drive the baseball with authority. There is some consistency to his feel for the barrel, but I would like to see more consistency to his rhythm/timing that should come with more at-bats over the rest of spring through the summer to help him fully tap into his potential. Meli moves around well in the OF with solid average ability on either OF corner and the arm shows the ability to potentially stick long term in RF with plenty of strength to handle LF. In the game he gave me multiple good swings and narrowly missed going yard to straightaway LF with a SAC FLY to the warning track. I’m intrigued by the offensive ability that comes with Meli as he continues to improve/develop. 

+ ‘24 RHP Justin Frohn Lewis and Clark Commit

Coming into the game out the bullpen the future Lewis and Clark Pioneer Frohn had an outstanding outing. Working off a consistent 2 pitch mix with his FB at 86-88 with arm side run that pairs well with his SLD at 74-76 MPH with various shapes to it both longer sweeper break & shorter tighter break and gives you some depth at times. The two pitch mix tunnels well as they come out of the hand similar then will run opposite directions making it difficult for hitters to decipher which helped Frohn to rack up 8 Ks in his 4 innings of work. He gave up a couple hard hit balls on FB that straightened out on him staying over the heart of the plate, but when he is getting run horizontally or ride up in the zone with the action on his SLD there is intriguing leverage reliever/closer potential for Frohn with some intrigue to potentially start long term.

Names To Know:

In a one day look not all highlights are caught or players won’t always have their best results. With that in mind there were several other players who showed interesting tools/potential or futures. The names below are ones to keep an eye on going into the spring and going forward. Each player below is uncommitted for college coaches to put on their board for potential needs in the ‘24 or ‘25 class.

Santa Barbara:

+ ‘24 SS/RHP Liam Keithley

+ ‘24 LHP Kaden Spencer

San Marcos:

+ ‘26 1B/LHP Landon Johnson

+ ‘25 C Kieran Babai

+ ‘24 CF Steven Bradley

+ ‘26 SS Miles Herbert

+ ‘24 INF/DH Dayne Dreste

+ '26 MINF Grant Hoover

Newbury Park:

+ ‘27 OF Carson Richter

+ ‘26 C/OF Nathaniel Nunez

Oaks Christian:

+ ‘24 SS Elijah Clayton Cal Commit

+ ‘25 OF Josh Brown