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NorCal Baseball 2022 | Players To Watch NorCal Baseball 2022 | Players To Watch
We’ve Listed More Than 100 Names Of Guys We Expect To Be Impact Players Throughout The 2022 Season Of NorCal Baseball • PICTURED ABOVE:... NorCal Baseball 2022 | Players To Watch

We’ve Listed More Than 100 Names Of Guys We Expect To Be Impact Players Throughout The 2022 Season Of NorCal Baseball •

PICTURED ABOVE: Valley Christian-San Jose pitcher, Jacob Hudson (Chace Bryson photo)

As we prepared for our NorCal Baseball and Softball preview coverage to be included in our March 2022 issue, we just generally started listing names of players we may want to highlight.

I guess 2022 could be a really good year because this list got long in a hurry. Let’s just dive in. Each position category has players listed alphabetically.

PITCHERS 

John Alkire II | Folsom | Sr.
Texas Tech signee and Oakland A’s Area Code team member compiled a 3.23 ERA and averaged over a strikeout an inning as a junior.

Robert Aivazian | College Park-Pleasant Hill | Sr.
Right-hander headed to Pacific in the fall figures to feature prominently in head coach Andy Tarpley’s pitching plans for 2022.

Michael Barnett | College Park-Pleasant Hill | Sr.
Oakland A’s Area Code team member headed for UCLA in the fall enjoyed a standout junior campaign with a 1.91 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 40 ⅓ innings pitched.

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Alec Belardes | Valley Christian-San Jose | Jr.
Arizona State commit was a top option out of the bullpen as a sophomore, finishing with a 1.81 ERA in nine appearances.

Tyler Blair | Redwood-Larkspur | Sr.
Dominant junior campaign featured a 0.96 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 36 ⅓ innings pitched. Headed to Cal in the fall.

Nic Bronzini | California-San Ramon | Sr.
One of the top pitching prospects in the state has an SEC future lined up after signing with LSU. Notched 84 strikeouts in 48 ⅓ innings and finished with a 1.88 ERA as a junior.

Kade Brown | Elk Grove | Sr.
6-foot-5 right-hander is headed to Sacramento State as a pitcher after making nine appearances for the Thundering Herd in 2021. Also hit .328 as a junior.

Michael Castaneda | Valley Christian-San Jose | Jr.
Made 15 appearances as a sophomore and went 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA and four saves. Also contributed at the plate with a .333 average.

Kyle Connelly | Clayton Valley Charter-Concord | Jr.
Cal commit enters his junior season as one of the top arms to watch for the always-dangerous Ugly Eagles.

Nate Criswell | Oakdale | Sr.
Talented right-hander will play collegiately for resurgent Long Beach State program. Went 2-2 with a 3.85 ERA and struck out 27 in 23 ⅔ innings as a junior. Also hit. 359 in 2021.

Jake Cross | Alameda | Sr.
6-foot-4, 225-pound righty is set to head to Cal Poly in the fall. 

Tyson DeWall | Folsom | Sr.
Right-hander headed to San Diego State made nine appearances in 2021 with a 3.38 ERA. Ranked second on the team with 39 strikeouts.

Erick Diez | Vanden-Fairfield | Sr.
Two-sport standout for the Vikings is a Long Beach State-bound right-hander on the diamond.

Nick Dugan | St. Bernard’s-Eureka | Sr.
First team All-State Small Schools selection by Cal-Hi Sports in 2021 didn’t allow a run in four appearances and struck out 39 in 16 ⅔ IP as a junior. Stanford signee also hit .375 with 17 RBI.

Ryan Edwards | Chico | Sr.
Another talented north state hurler is set to head to Long Beach State. Made four appearances as a junior and allowed just three earned runs in 20 ⅓ innings.

Tristan Fox | Archbishop Mitty-San Jose | Sr.
Went 9-1 with a 1.88 ERA in 63 innings as a junior in 2021. Headed to Utah Valley in the fall.

Gabe Gaeckle | Aptos | Jr.
Right-hander returning from Tommy John surgery is a UCLA commit who has more than 25 scholarship offers, including LSU, Arkansas and nearly all of the Pac-12.

Elias Gennis | De La Salle- Concord | Sr.
One of the top options on an especially talented Spartans staff. As a junior, the Rice-bound right-hander went 6-0 with a 1.47 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 28 ⅔ innings.

Ryan Guidi | St. Mary’s-Stockton | Sr.
UC Irvine-bound right-hander averaged over a strikeout an inning as a junior. Went 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 2021.

Mark Hu | Harker-San Jose | Sr.
First team All-State Small Schools selection by Cal-Hi Sports in 2021. Went 8-2 with a 1.41 ERA, two complete games and 80 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. Struck out 18 in tossing a perfect game against Priory-Portola Valley.

AJ Hutcheson | Elk Grove | Sr.
Led the Thundering Herd staff in appearances with 11 and went 7-0 with a 0.45 ERA. Allowed just three earned runs and struck out 60 in 46 ⅓ innings. 

Aiden Jimenez | Elk Grove | Sr.
Oakland A’s Area Code team member and Oregon State signee went 5-0 with a 0.95 ERA in 2021. Averaged over a strikeout per inning and opponents hit just .131 against him.

Brent Jones | Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills | Sr.
6-foot-3 southpaw headed to Utah in the fall. Went 3-2 in six appearances as a junior.

Aidan Keenan | Live Oak-Morgan Hill | Jr.
Stanford commit went 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA in 10 appearances as a sophomore. Averaged over a strikeout per inning.

Ishaan Khambal | Bellarmine College Prep-San Jose | So.
Emerging right-hander has already committed to Arizona.

Ethan Lay | Colusa | Sr.
Has the potential to be one of Northern Section’s most dominant arms in 2022. Struck out 14 in five hitless innings vs. Anderson in RedHawks season opener.

Noah Madsen | Woodcreek-Roseville | Jr
Another potential power arm to add to the Timberwolves’ stable. Nebraska commit.

Devin Mason | Benicia | Sr.
Heading to Cal in the fall. Struck out 24 in 19 innings as a junior. Also hit .308 and led the team in RBI with 15.

Josh Morano | Granada-Livermore | Jr.
Rising junior enjoyed breakout sophomore campaign with 3-2 record, 1.66 ERA and a no-hitter against Monte Vista. Arizona commit also hit .411.

Reed Moring | Aptos | Sr.
UC Santa Barbara commit compiled a 0.92 ERA as a junior. Struck out 46 in 30 ⅓ innings pitched. Also contributed at the plate with a .333 average.

Austin Nye | Roseville | So.
Heralded youngster announced his presence as a freshman, striking out 53 in just 28 innings and compiling a 1.50 ERA. Committed to Vanderbilt.

Jackson Pace | San Benito-Hollister | Sr.
A Haybaler headed for Hollywood. USC commit checks with college measurables at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds.

Cal Randall | De La Salle-Concord | Jr.
UCLA commit starred for the Spartans as a sophomore with a 5-0 record, 1.67 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 29 ⅓ innings.

Jason Reitz | Pioneer-San Jose | Sr.
Selected as a second team All-State Medium Schools honoree in 2021 by Cal-Hi Sports. 6-foot-9 Saint Mary’s signee struck out 88 with a 1.09 ERA in 57 ⅔ innings as a junior. 

Ruben Rivera | San Ramon Valley-Danville | Sr.
Impressive junior campaign included a 2-1 record, 1.58 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 49 innings. Will continue his career at San Francisco.

Aidan Russell | Vacaville | Sr.
Right-hander bound for San Diego State. 

Grant Selig | Tamalpais-Mill Valley | Sr.
Contributed to Tamalpais’ memorable 2021 season with nine appearances and a 3.91 ERA. Set to play collegiately at San Francisco

Braeden Sloan | Woodcreek-Roseville | Sr.
6-foot-4 lefty headed to USC had a standout performance for the A’s at the Area Code Games, fanning eight to lead the team.

Landon Stump | Live Oak-Morgan Hill | Jr.
First team All-State Medium Schools pick by Cal-Hi Sports represents yet another talented Acorn arm. Went 7-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 50 strikeouts as a sophomore.

Jacob Whitaker | Woodcreek-Roseville | Sr.
Tied for team-high in appearances in 2021 with nine and went 3-0 with a 2.07 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 23 ⅔ innings.

Tyler Wood | De La Salle-Concord | Sr.
Oakland A’s Area Code team member returns for his senior season as another talented arm for head coach David Jeans to choose from.

George Zaharias | Menlo-Atherton-Atherton | Jr.
Standout class of ‘23 arm has committed to Texas. Struck out 61 in just 37 ⅓ innings as a sophomore, finishing 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA.

Noah Zirkle | St. Mary’s-Berkeley | Sr.
Fresno State commit will team with Evan Kleinhans and EJ McGrew to form a potent pitching trio for the Panthers. Struck out 43 and walked just four en route to a 1.18 ERA as a junior.

CATCHERS 

Aidan Camberg | California-San Ramon | Jr.
Established himself as one of the region’s top catchers as a sophomore, hitting .394 with 17 RBI and 24 runs scored.

NorCal Baseball, Players To Watch, Aidan Camberg
Aidan Camberg (Chace Bryson photo)

Noah Canter | Elk Grove | Sr.
Enjoyed tremendous junior campaign with a .385 average, eight doubles, five triples, three home runs, 29 runs scored and 22 RBI. Also led the team in steals with seven.

Matthew Gonsalves | Dougherty Valley-San Ramon | Sr.
Future Fresno State catcher hit .320 with 15 RBI and 13 runs scored as a junior in 2021.

Ryder Helfrick | Clayton Valley Charter-Concord | Jr.
Arkansas commit hit .522 with 20 extra-base hits (nine doubles) as a sophomore. Scored 32 runs and drove in 14.

Anthony Martinez | De La Salle-Concord | Sr.
UC Irvine-bound catcher returns as one of the region’s top hitters after a junior campaign that ended with a .403 average and 25 RBI in 23 games played.

Malcolm Moore | McClatchy-Sacramento | Sr.
The Stanford commit was an absolute force for a 20-4 Lions team last spring, putting up team-bests in hits (38), runs (46), RBI (55), doubles (14),  triples (7) and HR (7).

Max Ortega | St. Mary’s-Stockton | Sr.
Talented receiver is headed to Cal State Fullerton in the fall. Hit .292 with six extra-base hits as a junior.

Hideki Prather | Campolindo-Moraga | Jr.
Standout in the class of ‘23 has already committed to Michigan.

JP Smith II | Granite Bay | Sr.
Sac State-bound senior hit .356, drove in 31 and added 11 extra–base hits as a junior.

Griffen Sotomayor | Turlock | Sr.
Played for the Oakland A’s Area Code team in 2021. As a junior, hit .426 with 16 RBI and 13 runs scored.

Jack Vanoncini | Carlmont-Belmont | Sr.
Stalwart behind the dish is headed to Cal State Fullerton in the fall. Hit .397 with nine doubles, six home runs and 22 RBI as a junior.

INFIELDERS 

Nic Abraham | Franklin-Elk Grove | So.
6-foot-4 youngster has already committed to Oregon. Projects as an impact two-way player who can play 1B, OF and pitch.

Jarren Advincula | Archbishop Mitty-San Jose | Jr.
Standout sophomore season featured a .441 average, 41 hits and 30 runs scored. Committed to San Diego State.

Shane Aldridge | Moreau Catholic-Hayward | Sr.
Set to matriculate to Colorado State after a junior season in which he hit .367 and only struck out four times.

Charlie Bates | Palo Alto | So.
Appeared in 11 games as a freshman but future is a short walk across El Camino Real for the Stanford commit. 

Conner Barth | Woodcreek-Roseville | So.
Another impressive athlete in the Woodcreek pipeline. Already committed to Oregon State.

Mateo Bellisimo | Tamalpais-Mill Valley | Sr.
Second team All-State Medium Schools choice by Cal-Hi Sports is a Saint Mary’s signee. Hit .333 with 10 extra-base hits (four HRs) and 27 RBI as a junior.

Joe Brown | Petaluma | Sr.
Cal signee has been on the recruiting radar for several years. As a junior in 2021, hit .407 with 18 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Cade Campbell | Tokay-Lodi | Sr.
Two-time All-Tri-City Athletic League choice hit .333 as a junior. Cal commit praised by future coach Mike Neu as “one of the premier shortstops in Northern California.”

Kenji Colston | Jesuit-Carmichael | So.
Talented middle infielder joins the Jesuit varsity squad with an Oregon State commitment already in his pocket.

Brendan Comerford | Foothill-Pleasanton | Jr.
Rising junior committed to Saint Mary’s. Hit .373 as a sophomore.

Xavier Esquer | Palo Alto | Sr.
First team All-State Medium Schools honoree by Cal-Hi Sports in 2021 is headed to Arizona in the fall. Son of Stanford’s head coach hit .341 with eight home runs, eight doubles, 35 runs scored and 20 steals as a junior.

Brandon Forrester | Jesuit-Carmichael | Sr.
Another Marauder bound for Oregon State. Lauded by OSU head coach Mitch Canham for his “high motor and feel for the game.”

Jackson Giacone | Eureka | Sr.
Versatile Cal St. Fullerton signee hit .500 with 20 hits in 40 at-bats as a junior. Drove in 20 and scored 16 runs.

Drew Giannini | Tracy | Sr.
Future San Diego State Aztec batted .379 as a junior. Also scored 18 runs and drove in 16.

Dylan Green | Woodcreek-Roseville | So.
Oregon commit will look to join the left side of an already strong Timberwolves infield.

Jake Harvey | Woodcreek-Roseville | Sr.
First team All-State Medium Schools pick by Cal-Hi Sports is headed to Nevada for college ball. Hit .474 with 17 extra-base hits, 34 RBI and 40 runs scored as a junior.

Rashad Hayes | Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland | Fr.
Highly touted youngster joins the Dragons with a Stanford commitment in tow. 

Lucas Kelly | Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco | Sr.
First team All-State Medium Schools choice by Cal-Hi Sports is a Texas A&M commit. Powerful corner infielder hit .432 with eight home runs, nine doubles, 35 runs scored and 31 RBI as a junior.

Jacob Krieg | Clayton Valley Charter-Concord | Sr.
Oakland A’s Area Code team member is headed to Oregon State in the fall. Hit .367 as a junior and drove in 30. Also contributed on the mound with a 1.23 ERA.

Jared Lewis | San Ramon Valley-Danville | Sr.
Oakland A’s Area Code team member is a standout at shortstop and a switch-hitter at the plate for the Wolves. 

Jack Metcho | Rodriguez-Fairfield | Sr.
Middle infielder bound for Pacific hit .348, drove in 16 and scored 24 runs as a junior.

Brett Ott | Granite Bay | Sr.
Will stay in the region with Sacramento State commitment. .392 average, 25 runs scored and 13 steals highlighted junior campaign.

Kevin Parker | Berkeley | Sr.
Played for Oakland A’s Area Code team in 2021. Will contribute both at the plate and on the mound for the Yellowjackets in 2022.

Blake Schaaf | Head-Royce-Oakland | Jr.
Left-handed hitting middle infielder set to star for program with a history of big-time infield recruits. Committed to Georgetown.

Carl Schmidt | Marin Catholic-Kentfield | Jr.
Texas A&M commit joined the Wildcats’ varsity squad as a freshman. As a sophomore in 2021, hit .327 with three home runs.

Colin Spear | Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco | Sr.
Corner infielder headed to Nevada owns a .387 career average in three varsity seasons. Hit .368 with 13 extra-base hits, 28 RBI and 27 runs scored as a junior.

Jack Spinelli | Aptos | Sr.
Second team All-State Medium Schools selection by Cal-Hi Sports turned in a .490 average, eight doubles, 20 runs scored and 14 RBI as a junior.

Nikko Taylor | De Anza-Richmond | Fr.
A name to watch for the future. Joins the Dons with a commitment to Cal already announced.

Caden Thompson | Woodcreek-Roseville | Sr.
Santa Clara commit is another Timberwolves returner with video game numbers. As a junior, hit .429 with 33 runs scored and 18 RBI.

Charlie Welch | Redwood-Larkspur | Sr.
Headed to Cal Poly. Batted .457 as a junior with 11 multi-hit games. Team MVP as a sophomore.

Ryan Zamora | Elk Grove | Sr.
Hit .302 with 11 doubles, 27 RBI and 15 runs scored as a junior. Also made seven appearances on the mound.

OUTFIELDERS 

Khamani Blakney | Pittsburg | Sr.
A key returning senior from the Pirates’ historic league championship team last season, Blakney has opened 2022 going 4-for-9 with two triples and 5 RBI over his first three games. 

NorCal Baseball, Players To Watch, Khamani Blakney
Khamani Blakney (Chace Bryson photo)

Henry Bolte | Palo Alto | Sr.
Bound for Texas in the fall, Bolte hit .304 with six triples, five doubles, three home runs and 26 RBI as a junior. Also stole 10 bases. 

Luca Bove | Redwood-Larkspur | Sr.
Future lies at Cal after a standout junior season. Hit .456 with 25 RBI, 16 runs scored and 11 extra-base hits in 2021.

Payton Brennan | Rocklin | Sr.
Impressive junior season earned second team All-State Underclass honors from Cal-Hi Sports. Batted .391 with 27 runs scored, 15 RBI, 12 extra-base hits and 11 steals. Can also play shortstop.

Wyatt Davis | Petaluma | Sr.
Batted .308 for the Trojans as a junior. Headed to Fresno State.

Darryl Dilworth Jr. | Vanden-Fairfield | Sr.
Cal commit set Vanden’s freshman hits record in 2019. Cousin of former MLB outfielder Jermaine Dye.

Raoul Fabian | California-San Ramon | Sr.
Long Beach State-bound outfielder hit .443 with 11 doubles, three home runs, two triples, 28 runs scored and 21 RBI as a junior.

Leighton Helfrick | Clayton Valley Charter-Concord | Sr.
UC Davis-bound outfielder has already enjoyed a standout senior year after earning all-league honors for the Ugly Eagles’ football team.

Easton Kreshel | Valley Christian-San Jose | Sr.
As a junior, scored 29 runs and drove in 22 for the Warriors. Also added 12 extra-base hits. 

Wyatt King | St. Francis-Mountain View | Sr.
Two-sport star for the Lancers is bound for Cal Poly in the fall. Hit .253 with 13 RBI and 11 steals as a junior.

Isaiah Landry | Clayton Valley Charter-Concord | Jr.
El Cerrito transfer comes to CVC with a verbal commitment to Alabama State in tow. Versatile defender can play both the outfield and infield.

Jordan Lewis | San Ramon Valley-Danville | Sr.
Another USC-bound Lewis hailing from San Ramon Valley. Athletic two-sport star shifts from the gridiron to the diamond.

Quinten Marsh | Valley Christian-San Jose | Fr.
Another highly touted youngster with a Stanford commitment secured. Profiles as an outfielder and left-handed pitcher.

Tatum Marsh | Valley Christian-San Jose | So.
The elder Marsh is also a Stanford commit. Appeared in 27 games for the Warriors as a freshman and hit .262 with 13 RBI and 13 runs scored.

Matt Moses | Del Campo-Fair Oaks | Jr.
First team All-State Medium Schools choice by Cal-Hi Sports compiled a tremendous stat sophomore stat line. Hit .505 with 37 runs scored, 22 RBI and 18 steals.

Jaron Nevarez | San Ramon Valley-Danville | Sr.
San Diego State commit turned in a .315 average, 22 runs scored and 12 RBI as a junior.

Ny’zaiah Thompson | Mountain House | Jr.
Committed to Cal State Fullerton. Strong sophomore season saw him hit .395 with 12 extra-base hits, 37 runs scored and 35 steals in 35 attempts.

MULTI-PURPOSE

Hudson Aber | San Ramon Valley-Danville | So.
Already committed to UC Santa Barbara. Has touched 90 MPH on the radar gun, and is also listed by Perfect Game as a first baseman and catcher.

Emanuel Frias | Colusa | Sr.
A major reason for the RedHawks 27-1 campaign a year ago, Frias led the team in hits (38), RBI (46), doubles (10) and HR (6). He also went 5-0 with a 1.75 ERA in 11 appearances on the mound.

Dillon Goetz | Sequoia-Redwood City | Sr.
Chosen as a second team All-State Medium Schools honoree in 2021 by Cal-Hi Sports. Led the Ravens on the mound with a 9-1 record and 2.83 ERA. At the plate, hit .456 with 21 extra-base hits and 35 RBI.

Jacob Hudson | Valley Christian-San Jose | Jr.
TCU commit did a bit of everything as a sophomore. Finished 8-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 61 innings. Also hit .365 with 17 RBI.

Matt Jernigan | Cordova-Rancho Cordova | Sr.
Earned second team All-State Medium Schools honors from Cal-Hi Sports. Hit .609 with 53 hits, 39 runs scored, 35 RBI 17 extra-base hits and five steals. Also made 12 appearances on the mound with a 3.25 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 47 ⅓ innings.

Kaden Knapp | Vista Del Lago-Folsom | Sr.
Sacramento State commit hit .362 with 19 RBI and 18 runs scored as a junior. Also made four appearances on the mound and allowed just four earned runs while striking out 24 in 20 innings.

Jason Krakoski | Granada-Livermore | Jr.
Cal St. Fullerton commit compiled a 1.91 ERA in eight appearances for the Matadors in 2021. Also contributed as an outfielder.

Zack Malone | Woodcreek-Roseville | Sr.
The stars keep coming for the Timberwolves. Sacramento State commit hit .467, drove in 27 and scored 27 runs as a junior. Went 4-1 with a 1.52 ERA on the mound.

Toran O’Harran | Rocklin | Sr.
Oakland A’s Area Code team member and Stanford commit seems destined for the mound but also hit .318 as a junior. 

Freddy Rodriguez | River City-West Sacramento | Sr.
Cal Poly commit posted tremendous numbers on the mound and at the plate in 2021. As a pitcher, went 9-2 with a 1.75 ERA and 75 Ks in 48 IP. As a hitter, batted .532 with 18 extra-base hits, 43 RBI and 39 runs scored.

Nolan Stevens | Franklin-Elk Grove | Jr.
Second team All-State Underclass pick by Cal-Hi Sports made an immediate splash as a sophomore. Went 7-3 with a 1.92 ERA, two shutouts and 77 Ks in 54 ⅔ innings. Also hit .369 with 24 RBI. Mississippi State commit.

Austin Turkington | Bellarmine College Prep-San Jose | Sr.
Recruited by Cal as another in a line of successful two-way players. Made 13 appearances on the mound in 2021 and batted .281 with 18 hits.

Griffin Williams | Menlo-Atherton-Atherton | Sr.
Two-way talent went 6-0 with a 1.24 ERA on the mound. At the plate, hit .344 with 25 RBI and three round-trippers.

Isaac Zaldivar | Vanden-Fairfield | Sr.
Saint Mary’s commit hit .348 as a junior. Also stood out on the mound with a 4-0 record, 2.92 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 24 innings.

Chace Bryson is the managing editor of SportStars Magazine. Reach him at Editor@SportStarsMag.com

Chace Bryson

Chace Bryson is the managing editor of SportStars Magazine. Reach him at Chace@SportStarsMag.com

  • alan r kneisel

    March 11, 2022 #1 Author

    Corey Williams of Elk Grove is somehow missing from this list… He plays SS and hit .443 for the Herd last season. Not sure how he doesnt make this list as he is probably the top unsigned player in the Delta League.

    Reply

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