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2017 California Collegiate League Top Prospects

Dominic-Fletcher-2
California Collegiate League Top Prospects
Dominic Fletcher, OF, Orange County, (So., Arkansas)
Blair Henley, RHP, Santa Barbara, (So., Texas)
John McMillon, RHP, Santa Barbara, (So., Texas Tech)
Joshua Jung, 3B, Santa Barbara, (So., Texas Tech)
Chase Gardner, LHP, Healdsburg, (Jr., UConn)
Evan Lee, LHP/OF, Santa Barbara, (So., Arkansas)
Garrett Gayle, RHP, Santa Barbara, (So., Rice) 
James Free, C, Neptune Beach, (So., Pacific)
David Clawson, C, Santa Barbara, (So., BYU)
Beau Philip, SS, Orange County, (So., San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) CC)

Postseason Recap: The Orange County Riptide rode some of the top prospects in the California Collegiate League to win its first ever championship. The Riptide, managed by Tyger Pederson (brother of Joc), defeated the Healdsburg Prune Packers, 5-3, in the winner-take-all championship game. Arkansas’ Dominic Fletcher, Delta (Calif.) CC’s Beau Philip and Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) JC’s Joey Parente helped anchor the top of the Riptide’s championship-winning lineup. Orange County also had some of the league’s top arms, including Pacific lefthander Ricky Reynoso, Brown righty Will Tomlinson and Virginia lefty Jordan Dosey.

1. Dominic Fletcher, OF, Orange County, (So., Arkansas)

Coming out of Cypress (Calif.) High in 2016, Fletcher was ranked No. 206 in the BA Top 500. He went undrafted and attended Arkansas where he earned freshman All-American honors this spring. Fletcher followed a .291/.356/.495, 12-homer season at Arkansas by batting .358 for Orange County’s championship-winning squad this summer. He is an above-average hitter and outfielder and has an above-average arm with some speed and power, as well. He hit six homers and stole eight bases for the Riptide. The biggest knock against him is his size. At 5-foot-9, 175 pounds he might not have as much room to grow as other prospects.


2. Blair Henley, RHP, Santa Barbara, (So., Texas)

Henley chose to go to Texas after he was drafted in the 22nd round by the Yankees in 2016. He was roughed up a bit in his first year with the Longhorns this spring, posting a 5.87 ERA while batters hit .292 against him. However, Henley developed his changeup this summer and turned into one of the best pitching prospects in the CCL. He went 3-1, 1.69, and opponents hit just .152 off him. Most impressive was his command. In league play, Henley struck out 30 batters compared to just two walks in 32 innings for the Foresters. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander’s fastball sits in the low 90s and he also possesses a slider and curveball to go along with his changeup, which still has room to get better.


3. John McMillon, RHP, Santa Barbara, (So., Texas Tech)

McMillon was offered a $700,000 signing bonus as a 21st-round pick by the Rays coming out of Jasper (Texas) High in 2016. He declined and spent this spring at Texas Tech, where he put together a stellar freshman campaign out of the Red Raiders bullpen (25.2 IP, 1.75 ERA, .143 opponent average, 29 SO, 20 BB). McMillon ranked as one of, if not the, top arm in the CCL this summer. Coming out of Santa Barbara’s bullpen, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder threw his fastball from 94-98 mph and paired that with a curveball. He also tried to smooth out his delivery to work on his command, striking out 32 batters compared to just seven walks.

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4. Joshua Jung, 3B, Santa Barbara, (So., Texas Tech)

Jung was one of two Red Raiders freshman All-Americans in the CCL this summer. Jung hit .341 this summer and showed a knack for putting the ball in play, striking out just 13 times in 103 plate appearances. While an average to slightly above-average defender, Jung will need to find a way to produce more power to stick at a corner spot at the next level. He hit six home runs in 62 games at Texas Tech before hitting two homers in 26 games for the Foresters this summer. The righthanded hitter squares the ball up frequently and most of his power is currently up the middle and to the opposite field, so the power numbers should eventually come.


5. Chase Gardner, LHP, Healdsburg, (Jr., UConn)

Gardner started his college career at San Francisco, where he struck out 14 batters and posted 5.13 ERA in 33.1 innings as a freshman in 2016. This spring he played at Marin (Calif.) JC, where he struck out 88 batters in 81 innings. The 6-foot-6 lefty continued to frustrate hitters for Healdsburg this summer, striking out 38 batters in 31.2 IP. He posted a 1.42 ERA and had a .132 batting average against. Gardner works in the lows 90s and will play for UConn next spring.


6. Evan Lee, LHP/OF, Santa Barbara, (So., Arkansas)

Lee both pitched and hit for the Razorbacks this spring, batting .333/.451/.405 in 42 at-bats and posting a 3.60 ERA in 15 innings on the mound. He has a line-drive swing with a knack for putting the ball in play from the left side of the plate to go with a good approach in the box. He hit .356 for Santa Barbara, walking 16 times compared to 15 strikeouts. On the mound he sits in the high 80s to low 90s, touching 94 mph this summer. He showed good command of his fastball, changeup and curveball, striking out 28 batters with eight walks in 21 innings.


7. Garrett Gayle, RHP, Santa Barbara, (So., Rice)

As a freshman at Rice this year, Gayle pitched just 1.1 innings on the mound. While he didn’t put up great numbers for Santa Barbara this summer, posting a 4.59 ERA and allowing batters to hit .284 against him, Garyle showed potentially dominant stuff. Listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he sat 94-96 mph with his fastball and paired that with a potential plus curveball to strike out 21 batters in 15.2 IP.


8. James Free, C, Neptune Beach, (So., Pacific)

Free’s bat is impressive from the catcher position. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound switch-hitter had a slash line of .343/.407/.652 for Pacific this spring and continued to produce this summer for the Pearls (.318/.444/.609). He tied for the CCL league with eight home runs and hit 14 for the Tigers in the spring. His defense is a question mark as there is doubt he will be able to stay behind the plate.


9. David Clawson, C, Santa Barbara, (So., BYU)

The physical tools are there for Clawson, who was drafted by the Yankees in the 34th round in 2016. Clawson is an above-average athlete and also possesses an above-average arm behind the plate. However, sometimes his skills behind the plate come and go. His bat isn’t as good as Free’s. He batted .269/.306/.477 with the Cougars this spring and hit .277/.330/.442 this summer.


10. Beau Philip, SS, Orange County, (So., San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC)

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound shortstop does a little bit of everything on the field. Philip posted a .336/.413/.500 slash line for Orange County while going a perfect 17-for-17 on the basepaths. Philip shows above-average athleticism and instincts on the field and looks like he will be to stay at shortstop. He also has a legitimate arm at short, as he hits 90 mph off the mound. A righthanded hitter, Phillip hit just three homers for Delta JC this school year and two more for Orange County but looks like he could add more power in the future.

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