Prep Baseball Report

Quick Hits: NorCal Preseason All State Underclass Standouts

Steven Hardesty
Central Coast/North LA Area Scout


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Prep Baseball California brought together 80+ of the top players in Northern California for the opportunity to showcase their ability at Mission College in Santa Clara, Ca.. Today we take a look at the players in the '26 and '27 classes who put together impressive performances amongst a talented group of participants.

Players participated in a showcase-style workout with athletic testing, on field batting practice, defensive workouts, and bullpen sessions. During the workout portion of the event players had the opportunity to let their tools shine on video and build their database of metrics through Prep Baseball California's use of Swift Technologies, Blast Motion swing trackers, and Trackman technology for batted ball data and pitch tracking. 

For all the data and information on all of the players outside of the Quick Hits click here.

On a day filled with so many talented players from Northern California selecting the top performers of this event was a difficult process. Beyond the players featured here there were many others who had strong showings to start off the '24 baseball season. 

With that in mind here is a look at some of the Upperclass standout performers from the Prep Baseball California's NorCal Preseason All State.

Gino Cappellazzo C / 3B / St. Francis, CA / 2026

Cappellazzo, the former California Future Games participant, put on one of the best performances of the day for any graduating class with his collection of tools as a catcher, infielder, hitter, and RH pitcher. He started the day behind the plate showing his arm strength and feel to throw with 79 MPH C arm velocity and pop times consistently in the sub 2.0 range with a best of 1.94. Then sliding over to work out at 3B he showed good feet with solid hands and the ability to move laterally with plus arm strength potential (89 MPH INF arm velocity). If that wasn’t impressive enough he put on a display during BP including a max exit velocity up to 100.2 MPH (3rd best on the day and best amongst all underclass participants) with present bat speed up to 75 MPH and quick hands 23.7 MPH helping him to drive the baseball consistently in the air with natural leverage to his path. Finally, to finish up the day Cappellazzo put a cherry on top with a sterling bullpen session which featured a FB up to 86.8 MPH with 21.7” of IVB at its max with a 93% spin efficiency. Add in a tight SLD up to 77.8 MPH with almost a cutter like action to it and adding feel for a 79-80 MPH CHG. The overall collection of advanced tools with physicality at 6’3 185 lbs. will undoubtedly have many schools itching for Aug. 1, 2024 to get here so they can begin to recruit Cappellazzo who has true 2-way potential.

Kaden Nicholls LHP / 1B / Bear River, CA / 2026

With an athletic wiry frame standing 6’ 150 lbs Nicholls put together a very impressive 2-way performance on the day. Showing real potential as LH hitter who plays a solid 1B and flashing big upside on the mound as a LHP. Nicholls swing flashes strong metrics with fast hands up to 24.8 MPH on Blast motion, efficient bat speed at 72.8 MPH with good use of his lower ½ generating 28.3 G’s of rot. acceleration. The swing metrics play to his lift based path which flashes pull side leverage with a max exit velocity up to 92.9 MPH, 315’ max distance and average launch angle of 25 degrees. His approach still needs some polish, but there is potential for him to show power consistently from the LH side. Once he toed the rubber his pure arm strength jumped out as one of the better arm talents at the event. Running his FB up to a 88.1 MPH while sitting comfortably in the 85.9 - 87.8 MPH range with a peak IVB of 22.8” and an avg. IVB of 20.5’ with spin rates up to 2376 RPMS. It’s a lively FB that he flashes average control of with room to continue adding velocity as he adds strength to his frame. Adds in a strong CHG as his present best secondary which he throws in the 75.2 - 78.8 MPH range with a feel for killing spin and similar movement patterns to his FB. Flashes a promising CB in the 66 - 68.6 MPH range with a spin rate up to 2069 RPMs, as well as a 4th offering with potential in his 73 - 76.9 MPH SPLT with late hard action when he executes it. The combination of arm talent with upside, plus potential LHH with power potential should have Nicholls high on the radar of college coaches as he heads towards the Aug. 1, 2024 contact date as a ‘26 grad.

Giovanni Castaing C / SS / Novato, CA / 2027

Castaing is an advanced young backstop with a high ceiling and very good offensive potential. He showed his toolset off very well on the day, especially offensively. His 5’10 170 lbs frame has some present strength to it and that shows up in his ability to impact the baseball. With a max exit velocity at 95.2 MPH with a max distance of 352’ there are plenty of home runs to dream on with Castaing, but he shows a strong feel for hitting the ball hard consistently with avg. exit velocity at 86.5 MPH. The swing has present bat speed at 73.1 MPH with good balance to the operation at the plate. Stepping behind the plate, Castaing flashed some premium arm strength with a 79 MPH C arm velocity while clocking a 1.98 low pop time and sitting consistently below 2.05 seconds on his pop. His throws have carry with accuracy to the base. His frame is built to handle catching and while still only a ‘27 there is projection for him to be a potential impact defender at a premium position with a middle of the order offensive profile.

Jace Wooley SS / OF / Cardinal Newman, CA / 2027

Wooley flashed some very impressive tools on this day both defensively and offensively. Working out in the OF and at SS gave us a chance to see his arm strength shine. First, with an 87 MPH INF arm velocity with online accuracy and good fielding actions he looks the part of a left side of the INF profile, but even more impressive was his 92 MPH OF arm velocity with low carry and a feel for accuracy to the bases. The arm strength jumps out at you, but Wooley put together an impressive round of BP later in the day. At a present 5’6 160 lbs. with some strength to his frame he shows strength through impact with a max exit velocity up to 90.5 MPH while averaging 80.6 MPH on his exit velocity. He uses his body well in the swing with good hands (20.3 MPH hand speed and 23.3 G’s of rot. acceleration) and flashes leverage to the middle of the field. Between the raw arm strength, physicality in the swing and potential to play impact defensive spots (3B/RF primary with SS potential) Wooley will be one to keep an eye on in Northern California.

Ryan Hubbard C / 3B / Oak Ridge High, CA / 2026

The catching crop in Northern California looks to be very deep with several talented prospects and Hubbard showed himself to be right near the top of that group after his performance at the NorCal Preseason All State. The strongly built 5’11 195 lbs. Hubbard has the present strength and athletic ability to be a potential plus defender behind the plate. Running a 7.29 60 with good feel for receiving/blocking and an above average arm that could be plus in the future with 74 MPH C arm velocity and consistent pop times below 1.98 seconds and a top of 1.9 seconds with carry to the base. For as good as Hubbard is behind the plate the performance he put on in the batter's box ranked amongst the best of anyone on the day. With explosive bat speed at 88.4 MPH and fast hands working up to 23.3 MPH while using his lower ½ aggressively with 23.3 G’s of rotational acceleration. His ability to use his body effectively in the turn with physicality in the frame and his natural feel for the barrel produced loud contact throughout his round. His exit velocity peaked at 98.6 MPH, but even when he misses a ball it is hit hard with an average exit velocity at 93.2 MPH. He gets good carry off the bat with a max distance at 358’. The overall collection of tools at the plate with his feel for hitting give Hubbard a chance to be a middle of the order impact bat if everything continues to trend in the direction it is headed currently. 

Hudson Hall C / 3B / Elk Grove High, CA / 2026

Hall adds to what was a very strong crop of catchers at the NorCal Preseason All State event. The 6’ 185 lbs. Hall has the strength, arm, feel to receive/block and mobility to be a potential impact defender behind the plate. His throwdowns were extremely impressive consistently at 1.94 or below with a top at 1.9 seconds while flashing accuracy to the base from a clean transfer. He shows solid athletic ability with a 7.36 60 time. The RH hitting Hall put together a strong round of BP including a max exit velocity up to 83.5 MPH while averaging 82.1 MPH with max distance of 366’ of a pull side drive to LCF. He gets there with quick hands at 21.4 MPH with bat speed at 72.3 MPH and as he learns to use his lower ½ more in the swing there is true HR potential to the big part of the field at pull side with a consistent feel for elevating the baseball on nearly 90% of his swings. 

Xavier Vuittonet RHP / 3B / C.K. McClatchy, CA / 2027

With a thick and strong frame for a ‘27 Vuittonet checks in at 6’ 190 lbs presently with room to continue to develop his frame. The arm talent is noticeable for him already with a FB he works up to 85.9 MPH and he worked comfortably in the 82 - 84.7 MPH with promising spin rate up to 2319 RPMs at its max presently with 19.6” of IVB at its max, as well. Mixes in a pair of promising offspeed offerings between his 63 - 67.3 MPH CB which flashes depth to the break and he can continue to add power to the pitch. His CHG is intriguing working in the 66.4 - 70.1 MPH range with a similar movement pattern to his FB and as he learns to develop his feel for the pitch could be a weapon for him. While the overall package is a little raw, the tools and upside with potential to continue developing strength and polish to his profile should make Vuittonet one to keep an eye on through the next couple years.

Damien Nolan RHP / 3B / St. Mary's College Prep, CA / 2027

Nolan put together a pretty good 2-way workout with some intriguing tools as RH hitter and a RH pitcher. His stuff on the mound presently will open some eyes with a FB velocity up 83.7 MPH while averaging 80-83 MPH with an interesting mixture of offspeed pitches highlighted by a 71-74 MPH CHG which flashed potential and a 66-70 MPH SLD and a promising 61-65 MPH CB with some power to the break. At the plate the 5’11 170 lbs demonstrated some strength in the swing with a max exit velocity up to 90.5 MPH and averaging 82.1 MPH on his exit velocity. His hands are relatively quick at 21 MPH and as he continues to add strength and tap more into his lower ½ there is impact potential for him as an RH hitter. Flashed solid footwork and hands at 3B with plenty of arm strength (84 MPH INF arm velocity) to handle 3B. Nolan will be one to keep a close eye on as he continues to develop.