Scout Blog - Bishop Blanchet at Juanita


Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

Kirkland, WA - After starting our Monday afternoon at Bannerwood Park, watching action between Bothell and Mount Si, we hustled over to Lee Johnson Field to see visiting Bishop Blanchet take on Juanita.

Upon arrival in the top of the 2nd inning, we were treated to one of the best pitching duels we’ve had the chance to see so far this season. Both Juanita and Bishop Blanchet used 2 pitchers each and over 13 ½ innings, those 4 arms only allowed 6 total hits and 1 unearned run. It’s fairly typical for pitching to always be slightly ahead of the hitting when the season first gets started, especially in colder weather states with limited outdoor practice time. This game was a prime example of how tough it can be to square up the ball against pitchers who understand how to disrupt timing and are willing to consistently mix their pitches. While a low scoring affair creates a tense atmosphere, it can make it more challenging to get a read on everyones offensive tools and ability. That being said, there were several standouts from Bishop Blanchet who we were getting to see for the first time.

Bishop Blanchet

Starting with the top of the line-up, uncommitted ‘20 OF Luke Rican is strongly built at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds and figures to be a consistent table setter for the Braves offense. The athletic OF’er showed off a quality run tool by clocking a 4.30 down the line on a hard 90 and a 4.64 on a turn. Quick, compact swing at the plate with gap-to-gap type power. Plays the game hard with some noticeable spark in everything he does. Hitting shortly after Rican is Montana State University-Billings commit, ‘19 INF Luke Bucher. Bucher has a developed, physical frame at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds. Hits with a slightly closed off, upright stance in the box and maintains consistent rhythm with his hands. Didn’t get many pitches to drive on this look but showed a quick, whippy barrel thru the zone. Defensively the actions are sound and he gets plenty of carry on the ball from his short, compact arm action.

Uncommitted ‘20 INF/RHP Cody Dreis stood out right away with his 6-foot-2, 185 pound frame. He is presently sporting a strong, sturdy build with the potential to add additional strength. As with most hitters on this look, had a quiet day at the plate but flashed a quick, level swing thru the zone. Stays tall throughout and creates considerable leverage with his height. Hits against a firm front side with full hip rotation. Defensively he has clean actions with above average arm strength. Another big body in the middle of the Braves line-up is uncommitted ‘20 OF/RHP Connor Stutz. The 6-foot-2, 185 pound 2-way prospect started his night in the OF before coming in to pitch the bottom half of the 6th inning. Hits with a balanced, relaxed set-up at the plate. Swing shows lift and there could be some pull-side power left for him to tap into down the road. On the bump, he pitched from a high ¾ slot with long, loose arm action. FB sat 78-79 with consistent downward angle. Also flashed an 11/5 CB at 60-62 and a CH at 68-72 with late sink thru the zone.

As we mentioned earlier, this was a night dominated by the pitchers. For Bishop Blanchet, they sent ‘19 LHP Aidan Kennedy to the hill. Not only was he terrific on the bump, but he also collected 3 of the 6 overall hits from this game on his own. At the plate, he stays tall and shows a fluid, low effort swing with a high finish. Hands stay tight to the body and allow the barrel to work inside of the ball. In 5 innings of work, the southpaw walked 4 but didn’t allow a hit and consistently pitched out of situations when Juanita had runners on-base. Strong framed at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. Workhouse type of approach with a consistent FB/CB combination. Throws from a ¾ arm slot with long, fluid arm action. Mostly 74-78 with the FB but his repeatable, low effort delivery allows him to hold velocity throughout and he has the ability to consistently find the bottom of the zone. CB features 2/7 shape at 61-63. Manipulates spin based on count. Capable of keeping it in the zone for an early strike but also tightened up the shape when he wanted to back-foot it to a RHH with 2 strikes. Confident and poised demeanor on the mound. Works quick and allows the defense to make plays behind him. Although in an official scorebook Kennedy gets tabbed with the loss in this situation, that is not even remotely indicative of how well he performed on this look. His battery mate out there was ‘19 C Brian Spear. The athletic backstop did a terrific job behind the plate throughout the game. At 5-foot-11, 165 pounds, he’s a quiet receiver with a soft glove hand and showed reliable defensive actions when he needed to block and recover. Also features above average arm strength. Routinely sat right at around 2.00 with his pop times between innings. Quick exchange into his high, compact arm action with a loose, whippy finish after release.

Juanita

Earlier this season we covered Juanita during their match-up against Skyline. For those game notes, click here. Again, without much of an offensive showing against Bishop Blanchet, there’s not much to add from our previous look. Some things did remain consistent with our initial evaluation though.

Uncommitted ‘22 SS Tyce Peterson didn’t have a productive day at the plate but looked more comfortable on defense and handled all the plays that came his way. ‘20 OF Cody Krohn continued to show athleticism out in CF and recorded the only hit for Juanita on the day. ‘21 Carson Adams is a strong, athletic player with some defensive versatility. How quickly his bat develops will play a significant role in his overall potential. Two other players for Juanita with the potential to be big factors for them on offense are ‘20 3B/1B Matthew McKeag and ‘20 1B Connor Freinik. They both have the size and strength to do some damage in the middle of the line-up. Keep an eye on their bats moving forward.

Lastly for Juanita is ‘21 LHP Nick Taylor. Taylor tossed 6 scoreless innings, allowing only 4 hits and 2 BB. Taylor won’t light up the radar gun but if you judge him solely based on a number then you’re doing him a disservice. The FB sits in the low-mid 70’s and consistently finds the bottom of the strike zone. Very efficient at painting low and away to a RHH and that sets him up to use his secondary pitches as needed.. Also features a slurve shaped CB at 58-62. Does an effective job of tunneling the CB when he wants to bury it with 2 strikes. Saw a few CH’s as well but weren’t able to get any velocities on them. Creates some deception by hiding the ball before working out of his ¾ release point. Maintains FB intent and arm speed on all pitches. Simple, mechanically sound delivery with consistent direction towards his target. Understands how to control the run game and didn’t get rattled in big situations. Overall he has a quality 3 pitch mix that he attacks hitters with and his defense plays with energy behind him. ‘19 RHP Cole Mackey came in for the 7th and secured the save.