Scouting Notes on Grand Canyon’s Richardson, Avitia, Yorke

I traveled to Bellevue this past weekend to see Grand Canyon take on Seattle U. Grand Canyon attracts solid talent, including last year’s  No. 6 overall pick, Jacob Wilson, and alums Tim Salmon and Chad Curtis. San Diego Padres prospect Homer Bush Jr., a fourth-round pick last July, is also a product of GCU.

This year’s GCU roster also has some intriguing names.


Grant Richardson, LHP

The sophomore started the Friday game for Grand Canyon, and the 6-foot-3, 220-pound lefty certainly was impressive, likely the best prospect on either team. Richardson went six scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts, two walks, and one hit. The stuff was too much for the Seattle hitters to handle.

Richardson sat 91-96 MPH with a fastball showing tons of late arm-side fade, almost reminiscent of a changeup, a pitch that bullied hitters late into the game. He also threw a slider at 85-89 which he commonly buried to the glove side. It was ineffective early but got better as the game went along, and he mixed in a low-80s changeup, too.

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He’s a drop-and-drive guy from a high 3/4 slot, but aside from the crossfire, the delivery is clean and he stayed in and around the zone throughout.

This kind of stuff plays. He’s a 2025 eligible sophomore worthy of keeping an eye on moving forward.


Daniel Avitia, RHP

Avitia is the most notable 2024 prospect from this series, and he’s got some fun traits, even if he’s not particularly flashy.

Avitia came in for three innings after Richardson, closing out the game, a role which seems to be about building him up coming off injury. He sat 89-93 with a changeup in the 82-84 range.

The strike-throwing was solid, but the stuff was underwhelming, and he didn’t garner the swing-and-miss generally indicative of a strong prospect. He looked more like a soft-contact, ground-ball arm, at least for now as he gets back to pre-injury form.

Avitia is a plus athlete with an extremely loose and easy delivery and the entire operation is reminiscent of Seattle Mariners right-hander, Bryan Woo, so there are elements to like.


Zach Yorke, 1B/DH

Yorke is one of the more interesting evaluations. He’s 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds with true 20-grade speed.

Yorke, a 2025-eligible, is notable because of his bat. It’s a strong approach, with Yorke working mature at-bats. The raw power is apparent, but he hasn’t quite tapped into it, tallying just 13 extra-base hits this year, although seven of those have left the yard in 2024.

Yorke is a bat-only prospect who has yet to tap into his one projectable tool, but with more experience should be able to do just that.

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Oliver Boctor

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