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Scout Blog - Lincoln/Cleveland/Century/Liberty


Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

Hillsboro, OR - Tuesday evening we found ourselves at Ron Tonkin Field, home of the Hillsboro Hops, for some high school doubleheader action.

Lincoln

The first contest was a Portland Interscholastic League match-up between the Lincoln Cardinals and the Cleveland Warriors. In a tightly contested battle with minimal offense from both sides, Lincoln ended up victorious by a final score of 2-1.

‘19 Presley Cable got the start for Lincoln and was solid across his 6 innings of work. The senior righty pitches exclusively from the stretch with a simple, low effort delivery. Working from a high ¾ release point, he effectively mixed both his FB and CB to keep thitters off balance throughout. Consistently inducing weak contact. FB has some late cutting action at 74-79 and topped at 80. CB showed 11/5 bend at 68-70. Both offerings found the bottom of the zone and when Cable did miss, he missed out of the zone and avoided leaving anything over the plate that hitters could do damage on. Posted a final line of 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Overall, he pitches like a senior and has a poised, controlled demeanor on the mound. After Cable, Lincoln turned to ‘19 Ivan Elsener to get the final 3 outs. The physically built RHP worked out of a tough bases loaded situation with 2 outs to lock up the save and seal the victory. Attacking with primarily his FB, Elsener sat 75-78 with some heavy life on the offering.

‘20 Jake Leitgeb had a standout day at the plate for Lincoln while also providing reliable defense behind the plate. The Washington commit has an athletic frame to go with a lean build at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. Flashed solid receiving ability with clean catch and throw actions. Consistently around a 2.00 pop time between innings. Offensively he sets-up in a balanced, upright stance with feet slightly open to the pitcher. Hitting actions have steady rhythm and tempo. Quick, easy bat speed with slight uphill finish after contact. Stays balanced throughout. Currently has more of a gap to gap approach but the game power could steadily improve as he physically develops and gets stronger.

Cleveland

Cleveland sent ‘21 Logan Geiszler to the mound to battle against Cable and the young 2-way prospect was up to the challenge. Although he ended up on the losing side of things, he only allowed 1 ER across his 6 innings of work and punched out 7 batters. Featuring a short, compact arm action that creates some deception, Geiszler ran his FB up to as high as 83 in the 1st inning before eventually settling down in the 77-81 range consistently. In addition to the FB, he has feel for a sharp 11/5 breaking ball at 65-71. It’s a tightly spun offering with depth and carry thru the zone when thrown at its best.

While Cleveland struggled to get any offense going on this look. They feature a couple underclassmen to keep an eye on in the future. ‘20 Frank Romanaggi showed clean, controlled actions at SS during pre-game. Accurate arm with consistent carry across the diamond. He has an average build at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds with the frame to handle additional strength. Offensively he’ll need to continue to develop but looks to have the body control and strength in his frame to make that happen. ‘20 Nick Brink was at first base defensively on this look but has created some buzz for himself as a RHP prospect. Although we didn’t get to see him pitch, he flashed a strong arm during pre-game and has the size/frame to be a durable, workhouse type pitcher. The arm path is long but stays moving throughout, without any pause or hesitation. We’ll have to double back again when Brink gets the nod on the bump to see how well the arm strength translates to the mound.

Game 2 of our DH coverage featured the Century Jaguars against the Liberty Falcons. Century features a strong line-up from top to bottom with several upperclassman who will play at the next level, as well as some youngsters to keep an eye on. Liberty had a tough draw on this look and ran into a bit of a buzzsaw in uncommitted ‘20 Ian Lawson, who only allowed 1 hit across 7 innings. Century won by a final score of 11-0.

Century

Lets get things started off with Lawson. The athletically built and physically imposing junior stands at 6’5 with a projectable frame at 210 pounds. Throws from a ¾ release point with smooth, loose arm action that looks capable of adding more velocity as he gets stronger. Repeats his delivery with steady, consistent tempo and low effort. FB shows late life as it gets into the zone, especially when he places the ball middle-in on a RHH. Topped at 89 in the 1st inning and comfortably sat between 85-88 throughout his start. Also mixed in a slurve shaped breaking ball at 71-74. Didn’t flash great command of the breaking ball on this look, but it’s an above average offering when thrown at its best. CH is a work in progress and came out at 73-74. He rarely used or needed it though. Had some brief lapses of control at times but he was quick to make adjustments and avoided repeatedly missing in the same spot. Overall, Lawson has an exciting blend of present ability but with the physicality to get significantly better in the near future.

Working the middle of the infield behind Lawson were ‘19 Jaren Gordon (Yakima Valley College commit) and ‘19 Justyn Herzog (Western Oregon University commit). Gordon, who played second base, has a strong, mature frame at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. Moves well laterally on defense with plenty of arm strength. At the plate, he showed a disciplined approach with consistent feel for the barrel. Swing works quick to the ball and has noticeable strength in his hands at contact. Herzog played SS and displayed sure hands on defense as well as a strong arm across the diamond. His actions at SS are controlled and he maintains a consistent tempo throughout the fielding process. Had a tough day at the plate and couldn’t seem to get his timing locked in. Showed a compact, lefty swing with an easy, high finish thru contact.

Another standout upperclassmen for the Jaguars was ‘19 Micky Thompson. Although the Washington State commit stands out the most for his pitching ability from the left-side, he’s a capable hitter with an absolute cannon of an arm in the OF. His arm strength was on display during pre-game. Produces tremendous carry and velocity on throws with a loose, whippy arm action. At the plate, he has a quick bat with a level barrel thru the zone. He squared up a ball to his pull-side gap that narrowly made it out of the spacious combines at Ron Tonkin Field. He settled for a ground-rule double.

Two youngsters to keep an eye on for Century are ‘21 OF, Nathan Martinez and ‘22 INF, Niko Rosell. Both had quiet days at the plate but they’re projectable athletes who defend well enough at their respective positions to stay on the diamond. How the hitting ability develops for both will play a significant role in the type of players they end up becoming.

Liberty

For Liberty, ‘19 LHP Benjamin Ineson had the tough task of matching up against Lawson and shutting down the potent Century offense. He showed consistent control of his 2-pitch mix, featuring a FB in the mid-70’s and a CB with 2/7 shape at 64-66. The box score isn’t truly indicative of how Ineson pitched. He did an efficient job of inducing weak contact and preventing the Century hitters from elevating the ball. The defense had a difficult time making plays behind him though and of the 8 runs that came across to score on Ineson, only 4 were earned. ‘19 RHP, Briley Heller came on in relief and was solid across his 3 innings of work.

As we mentioned earlier, it was a tough night on offense for Liberty. The lone hit of the game came from ‘20 Kyle Perkins when he laced a FB up the middle for a clean single in the 7th inning. At the time, Lawson needed only 2 more outs for a no-hitter. Perkins has a sizeable frame at 6-foot, 205 pounds and could develop more power potential as he gets stronger. Although he didn’t have much to show for his efforts, ‘19 C, Bryan Bafaro had two solid plate appearances and also drew a BB. Strong framed at 6-0, 220 pounds, Bafaro showed quick hands and a polished approach at the plate. He was able to recognize spin early and consistently found barrel when he had a good pitch to hit.