There will be further recruiting and the baseball draft in June before decisions are made, but at this point in the recruiting process, UCLA has shown the most interest in Santa Monica High catcher Cody Decker.
Interest has also been expressed by USC, and Loyola Marymount Coach Frank Cruz has attended several Samohi games.
So have professional scouts.
Decker is a former Santa Monica Little League star who hit 14 home runs for Samohi in his sophomore season, when he played third base.
Some professional scouts downplayed his accomplishments because Samohi played its home games that year at Marine Park, where the home run distance to left field is short.
Coach Kevin Brockway shifted Decker to catcher this season, citing Decker’s strong arm.
“The move will give us a better chance to win games and it could increase his chances in the baseball draft,’’ said Brockway.
Decker is having an outstanding season with eight home runs and 35 RBI to rank among CIF leaders in both categories Any questions about his power have been answered.
In his first at-bat of the season, facing a highly-regarded pitcher from Agoura High, he hit a home run far beyond the left field fence. The ball struck a building 375 feet away on one short hop.
Then last Thursday in a game at Culver City with the Ocean League lead on the line, Decker broke a scoreless tie by driving a fastball far over the left field fence. After Samohi went on to a 2-0 victory several former Culver City players said it was one of the longest homers they’d ever seen there. Beyond the left field fence is the school’s football field and Decker’s hit was heading for an end zone goal post when last seen.
As Samohi has won all eight Ocean League games, the number of scouts attending the team’s games has increased.
Decker and his parents met with UCLA coaches two weeks ago and it is likely the Bruins will offer a scholarship.
Former Samohi star Tim Leary, who became a major league pitcher, has been a UCLA assistant coach in recent seasons.
The last Samohi baseball player to draw this much attention was pitcher Jonas Swyer, who also excelled as a hitter for the Vikings five years ago. He chose the University of Connecticut.
A teammate, Rocky Collis, continued his baseball career at Cornell.
Steve Moore, who played baseball briefly at Samohi, is now a basketball star at Arizona State. A contingent of his ex-Samohi teammates went to the Sports Arena last season to see Arizona State play USC.In the past, several Samohi baseball players made it to the major leagues. Rick Monday was the first player chosen when the baseball draft began and is now a Dodgers announcer, Tony Tarasco played for the Yankees and other teams, Rod Allen reached the majors with the Mariners and then played for two other teams and became a broadcaster with the DiamondBacks and Terry Bevington was manager of the White Sox.