Baseball: All Eyes Will be on Sophomore Chase Strumpf

Strumpf after winning MVP in Colombia
Strumpf after winning MVP in Colombia

By Eric Sondheimer, LA Times

It has been a little over a month since sophomore Chase Strumpf of JSerra returned from Colombia with a gold medal after helping the USA 15U baseball team win the Pan American championships.

It was another achievement for a young player who keeps raising expectations. Before he even played in his first high school game last season, he accepted a scholarship to UCLA. Then he became a starter for the Lions. And things keep getting better.

Strumpf is ranked No. 3 in the nation among the class of ’16 prospects by Perfect Game. He’s appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd after hitting five home runs in eight games in Colombia to earn tournament MVP honors.

“It was amazing being able to wear USA on your chest,” he said of his USA 15U experience last weekend at halftime of the JSerra-Buena Park football game. “It was the best feeling in my life. I’ll never forget it.”

Strumpf has already made a big jump from freshman to sophomore year based on his summer. He’s stronger and has more power. He got to see Trinity League pitching as a freshman. It’s a little scary to think what he’ll look like by his senior year.

JSerra’s Robinson Gets High Marks on Progress Report

Parker Joe Robinson
Parker Joe Robinson

By Adam Maya, OC Varsity

Parker Joe Robinson threw two scoreless innings while striking out three batters in a recent showcase at UCLA. But the true test came the next day when he asked his father, Jeff, how he looked.

“I noticed he was opening up his front side early,” Jeff said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I felt it. I wasn’t getting loaded.’ For him to figure that out is really gratifying.”

Not so much because of his son’s success, Jeff said, but his progress. Jeff pitched nine years in the major leagues, including one season (1991) with the Angels. Once Parker Joe made it clear at a young age he hoped to “follow (his) dad” on the mound, Jeff alternated between Father and Coach, one pitch at a time.

“With my background, I knew you had to build a foundation,” Jeff said. “It’s a process.”

Parker Joe, who will be a senior in the fall at JSerra, worked on being quicker to the plate from the stretch this past spring. The previous year was it was about maintaining his balance point. Before that it was his follow through.

Now, Jeff wants his son to put it all together.

“It’s for him to figure it out on his own,” Jeff said. “He’s learned all the major mechanics. Ever since he started pitching, there was one goal per season, one thing to master every year. That’s led him to where he is now.”

This week that’s the Area Code Games in Long Beach, where more than 200 of the nation’s top prospects are competing in an all-wood bat tournament. Parker Joe is one of seven players from Orange County that made the cut.

“It’s a big honor,” Parker Joe said.

It’s also a big improvement. Just 15 months ago, the powerful, 6-foot-5 Parker Joe was still playing junior varsity, mostly because Lions varsity coach Brett Kay wanted to see Parker Joe develop into a two-way player. The sophomore responded by playing nearly every inning and winning MVP honors.

“He understood the process,” Kay said.

To read the complete article click here.

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Strumpf on to Next Stage of USA Baseball Tryouts, Cohen Named to Development Team

Chase Strumpf, Shortstop

JSerra standout freshman shortstop Chase Strumpf impressed a lot of people out on the baseball diamond during his first year of high school.

At the USA Baseball 15U National Team Championships in Cary, N.C. in late June, Strumpf kept on impressing and on July 1 was named to the 40-man roster of the 15U National Team Trials.

Strumpf has now made it past the first stage of tryouts for the USA National Team and will head to Cary, N.C. again from July 13-18 with the hopes of being named to the final 20-man 15U National Team roster.

Sam Cohen, Catcher

The 15U National Team will compete in the COPABE “AA”/15U Pan American Championships in Barranquilla, Columbia from July 26 to August 4.

Strumpf is currently committed to UCLA.

JSerra sophomore catcher Sam Cohen was named to the USA Baseball 17U National Development Program on July 8. Cohen competed in the National Team Championships and was selected to the Development Program’s 40-man roster. Two players from that 40-man roster will be invited to the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials and eight will be invited to the 2014 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars.

Major League Futures Ahead for Four JSerra Alumni

2013 Alumnus Dane McFarland
2013 Alumnus Dane McFarland

JSerra Catholic High School has four alumni drafted into Major League Baseball, in the 2013 draft.

“Obviously a very exciting day for JSerra Catholic Athletics and the baseball program to see four Lions drafted in the MLB 2013 Player draft,” said JSerra Head Baseball Coach Brett Kay.

Recent graduate and 6-foot-4 outfielder, Dane McFarland was selected 360 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up his spot to play at Oregon in the fall.

McFarland has one of the most enticing power/speed combos among the prep outfielders in the Draft. With his huge frame he combines this with great bat speed to give him plus power.

Colton Plaia
Colton Plaia ’09

Colton Plaia ’09, was drafted for the second year in a row, this time by the New York Mets as the 446 pick overall from Loyola Marymount University. The catcher who leaves in less than 24 hours, since being drafted for training camp was said to have solid legs and is a durable receiver, with a tough presence and a plus-arm are his best tool.

Plaia was also selected to play for the U.S. National team in 2012.

Another draftee is right-handed pitcher Reed Reily ’10 of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was selected 549 overall to the Orioles.

Reily can touch the mid 90’s with his fastball and he has a good amount of deception to go along with it. He complements the heater with an 80-84 mph slider and a changeup he’ll throw in the low 80s as well.

JSerra’s final draftee is left handed pitcher, Cory Miller ’10 from Pepperdine University was selected as the 482 overall pick to the Brewers.

Miller, a three-year varsity letter winner and pitcher for head coach Brett Kay helped lead the Lions to the 2009 Trinity League championship. Miller also received two coaches awards and two of his team’s Cy Young Awards, set the school’s record for most saves in a season with four.

“All of them were outstanding young men while in our program and have the desire and work ethic to be able to have that great opportunity to get drafted. It will be great to see those guys don the uniform at the next level and know that they were Lions,” said Kay.

To see more on JSerra’s draft picks click here.

JSerra has Fabulous Freshman in Strumpf

Freshman, Chase Strumpf
Freshman, Chase Strumpf

By Jake Kaplan, OC Varsity

Coaches can often remember the moment they realized a player was special. Ask JSerra baseball coach Brett Kay when he identified Chase Strumpf as a can’t-miss talent and the answer comes easy.

“As soon as I saw him,” Kay said. “As soon as I saw him.”

It was the summer of 2010 when a 12-year-old Strumpf strolled into Kay’s youth baseball camp at JSerra Catholic High School. It was the first year Kay held the camp and only about 15 kids showed up. Kay says now that Strumpf really had no business being there. He was too advanced.

Two-and-a-half years later, Strumpf, of Ladera Ranch, plays for Kay here on JSerra’s St. Pierre varsity baseball field, smacking singles and doubles off pitchers several years older than him and fielding hard-hit groundballs at shortstop with the composure of an upperclassman.

Just a handful of games into his freshman season, Strumpf, who turned only 15 on Friday, is opening eyes at JSerra.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound shortstop entered the weekend a team-best 6 for 14 and has already showed his uncanny ability in the field.

“He doesn’t act like a freshman,” said Kay, who also coached him in travel ball. “He doesn’t perform like a freshman. You look at him and you think junior, senior, and he’s a freshman? It’s pretty cool to watch. … He’s special.”

Casey Worden hits out of the three-hole for JSerra, one spot behind Strumpf. Worden, a senior captain, lauded Strumpf’s fundamentals, which he described as “sound in every aspect.”

“I had heard about him before when he was coming in,” Worden said. “He lived up to every bit.”

To read the complete article click here.

Brackets Finalized for Highly Anticipated Boras Baseball Classic

Boras Logo*A Press Release from JSerra CHS & The Boras Corporation

32 Elite High School Teams Battle for State Championship

February 19, 2013 — The Boras Corporation announced final brackets today for its first annual Boras Baseball Classic of California.

The 32-team invitational pits 16 of baseball’s best high school teams from Northern California against 16 of the best baseball programs from Southern California, to ultimately name a de-facto state champion.  JSerra Catholic High School of San Juan Capistrano and Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana will jointly host teams from the south.  Elk Grove High School of Elk Grove will serve as host to the Northern California squads.

Winners of the southern and northern California brackets respectively will meet in a fictional state championship game to be held April 13, 2013, at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.  The northern California bracket will be played at the Daniel McAuliffe Memorial Ballpark in Sacramento, CA, beginning March 25, and continuing until March 29, 2013.  JSerra Catholic High School and Mater Dei High School will share hosting duties for the southern California bracket, being played April 1 through April 5.

The 32 invited high schools participating in the tournament will each receive a $1,000 donation from the Boras Corporation; there is no entry fee.  Each team is guaranteed a minimum of four games, with a fifth game for the two schools that reach the highly anticipated state championship game.

“The primary objective of the Boras Baseball Classic is to give back to youth baseball.  We want to provide outstanding high school teams a chance to participate in an elite competition, while at the same time giving them a world-class venue to showcase their talent in front of collegiate-level coaches and professional scouts,” said Scott Boras, Founder and CEO of the Boras Corporation.

The Boras Corporation plans to hold the elite event annually, with potential different invitees year by year, culminating in a championship game that crowns the winner de-facto California state champion.

To read the complete release click Baseball.

For the team line-up, and schedules visit Boras Classic.