One might think a ballplayer trying to advance his career past high school would choose a high profile school.
After all, that’s where talent scouts frequently gather, whether they represent college programs or professional teams.
But players from New Roads, a smaller school in Santa Monica, are being noticed too.
When West Los Angeles College played LA Mission on Saturday, March 28 the first two batters in the Wildcats’ lineup were left fielder Sho Yamada and centerfielder David Vibiano. Both are from New Roads.
Alex Vibiano, David’s younger brother, is playing at another college after batting .409 at New Roads last season. And a player drawing considerable attention in high school baseball circles this season is outfielder Anthony Carrillo, a New Roads freshman.
In a sensational start to varsity competition Carrillo has hit two home runs and four triples while collecting 10 hits and scoring eight runs in his first 25 at-bats. He’s walked three times and struck out only once. Incidentally, he’s also a pitcher.
Carrillo pitched well against Crossroads this month and drew praise from Crossroads co-coach Pat Armstrong.
“He was as all-star in the North Venice Little League and he’s getting to play varsity earlier than perhaps he would have at a larger school,: said Armstrong. “He sure made an impression on us.”
“Blaise Dolcamachio , another New Roads freshman who’s playing on the varsity, comes from the North Venice Little League too.”
How do scouts see New Roads players?
“We were asked by New Roads if our field might be available for their playoff games,” said West Los Angeles College coach Bob Grant. “We were able to accommodate them and had an opportunity to see their talent.
“Erik Scott was a New Roads outfielder. He hit an infield ground ball and instead of being retired on a routine play he was safe at first. That got my attention .I like having exceptional speed in my lineup.”
Grant saw more, scheduled a visit with Scott and his family and had a new player for the community college program that was brought back last season following a 21-year absence.
Grant believes all three of his New Roads players will be able to continue playing when they conclude their two West LA years.
Both Yamada and Vibiano are likely to play at four-year schools and Scott may have the option of turning pro.
“The scouts like him,” said Grant.
Scott hit .444 at New Roads last season but displayed very little power. Recently he hit a deep line drive for West LA that, according to Grant “just kept going.”
At times Scott has been overpowered by pitchers and in the game against Mission he was removed for a pinch-hitter in a crucial late inning situation. But he’s shown enough flashes to keep the scouts interested.
“Don’t forget he’s making quite an adjustment from a small high school to the pitching on this level,’ said Grant.