Mason City, Ia. —— Below are a few quick hits on notable junior college baseball prospects that stood out on day one of the NIACC JuCo Classic, hosted by North Iowa Area Community College at Roosevelt Field in Mason City involving the Trojans, as well as Southeast Community College (NE) and Dakota County Technical College (MN). A full scouting report and HD video of each prospect will soon be made available exclusively to our subscribers behind the paywall. If you have yet to subscribe for our exclusive junior college baseball scouting work and want access, please click here.
North Iowa Area Community College (IA)
Michael Oh, RHP
The game one starter for the host North Iowa Area Community College club, Michael Oh sat 83-87 with a 73-77 slider and a 76-78 splitter. He struggled to corral the splitter in the strike zone, but his fastball/slider combination was strong against Southeast Community College; coming from high three-quarters, Oh gets good downward plane that helps play up his pitch life in the mid-80s, and he showed the feel for command side-to-side to keep hitters off balance on weak contact in three full innings of work.
He struggles when he tries to make his slider too good, yanking it far out glove side, when he’s actually got enough feel to just trust the grip and let the sharp breaking ball do its thing with tilt and depth late to the plate. Velocities across the board were down on Friday due to some particularly cold, nasty weather coming through Mason City, and Oh was likely no exception; in a higher velocity band, he should do just fine at this level and position himself nicely for a four-year transition.
Jake Hansen, SS
Many of the scouts and recruiters at last week’s Midwest Fall Classic in Springfield were there to see Jake Hansen play shortstop, and I’d surmise it’s not much different here this week up in northern Iowa. The left-handed hitting infielder showed out well in both of NIACC’s games on Friday evening, ranging both directions as well as charging hard in to make several difficult plays while showing off both the strength and accuracy of his arm. He’s a smooth, smooth defensive infielder who seems to have struck that difficult balance between being sure to make the routine plays, and being gutsy enough to take a chance on the tough plays.
Offensively, I have a hunch he’s more a bottom third of the order hitter at a major Division I program, but his barrel skills are good and his bat will be good enough (as well as his speed, running a 4.30 up the line on Friday). Besides, his defensive tools are so good at a premium position that he’ll provide considerable value at his next stop before he ever picks up a bat.
Ryan Swanson, RHP
We wrote up Ryan Swanson last week in Springfield (click here for that); this week, he had the difficult job of starting the night game (in the cold rain) against Dakota County Technical College (MN). The 6’5” righty saw his velo and stuff tick down a bit on Friday night (just 83-87 here, compared to 85-89 a week ago), and he got hit around a bit more thanks to struggles commanding the ball to corners early in the game, but I still like him as a Division I-quality arm. He’s got the size, the strength, the athleticism and repeatability in his delivery, and when it’s on, he’s got the hard, sharp breaking ball to equalize righties.
We typically keep game video behind our paywall for subscribers only, but here are our two videos of Ryan Swanson, taken this week and last week during his two outings for North Iowa Area Community College:
(If you enjoyed that, please click here and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Most of the videos we publish are private and meant only for our subscribers, but occasionally we’ll release clips like that for the public to see.)
Southeast Community College (NE)
Mitchell Goodwin, SS
A freshman infielder who played shortstop in Southeast Community College’s second game against Dakota County Technical College, Goodwin impressed with above-average arm strength across the diamond, as well as a few very nicely fielded balls deep in the hole during key situations late in that close game. The long, lean righty has decently long arm action that could stand to be shortened up a bit for his infield work, but his arm is strong and pretty accurate. Considering he’s just a freshman, he’ll be a follow for me a year from now to see the development from here. Honorable mention to Caiden Hill, another freshman infielder for Southeast who played shortstop in the first game of the day and more than held his own on several different difficult choppers and slow rollers requiring him to throw on the run.
Gavin Gragg, RHP
A big, strong righty who worked the first three innings of Southeast Community College’s opener against NIACC, Gragg sat 83-86 and touched 88 twice, while also showing off a 77-80 changeup, a 76-78 slider, and a 70-72 curveball. He had some fastball command issues early on, but settled in to work three good innings and ended up pounding the zone while mixing it up enough to draw some weak contact thanks to decent feel for sequencing. He’s big with plane and some life on his fastball, and if he puts it together and stays working downhill and online, he’ll be an attractive get for a program seeking potentially big arms.
Dakota County Technical College (MN)
Brad Goulet, SS
Alongside Jake Hansen for NIACC, Dakota County Technical College’s Brad Goulet stood out on the field as one of the best defenders of the day on Friday. A tall, strong shortstop listed at a sturdy 6’1”, 195 lbs., Goulet made all the tough plays — and the easy ones, too — while showing off above-average first-step and lateral quickness defensively and a strong arm to his target across the diamond. Late in a close game against Southeast Community College, he made back-to-back difficult plays deep in the hole at shortstop, executing on throws to first to throw out sub-4.4 runners.
At the plate, he’s more of a project; he’ll swing quite a bit — early and often — and even after just a handful of at-bats it’s apparent he’s going to record his fair share of strikeouts. He’s a strong kid who runs very hard out of the box, though, and so you figure he might be a decent gap-to-gap guy if he can tone down his aggressiveness and refine his approach just a bit to be more selective.
Henry Laue, 1B
A 6’2”, 195 lb. freshman from Mahtomedi, Minnesota, Henry Laue hit a long, long home run to right field (his pull side) early in game one of the NIACC JuCo Classic against North Iowa Area Community College. The no-doubter showed off plus power for the strong 2020 recruit, though he was pitched carefully later in the day and didn’t do much more to go along with it. Still, on a cold day where hard-hit balls were somewhat tough to come by, Laue jumped on one early and let loose with good bat speed and loud, hard contact.
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