The Bells are excited to welcome four young ballplayers from UCLA to the 2021 roster: RHP Kenji Pallares, RHP Thatcher Hurd, shortstop Cody Schrier and outfielder Nick McLain.
6-foot-2, 200-pound Pallares will join the Bells in summer 2021 after being slated to make his Bells debut in the summer of 2020 (which was cancelled due to COVID-19). Pallares is a 2020 graduate of Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles, Calif.
“Kenji is highly thought of as a right-handed pitcher and also as an individual,” Bells Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Jim Clem said. “Kenji is known to have a live fastball with great off-speed command.”
Pallares was ranked the No. 12 RHP in the state of California in 2019 and a part of the No. 4 nationally ranked UCLA 2020 draft class.
“We believe Kenji will be a big help to us,” Clem said. “Not only on the mound, but also as a leader in the clubhouse. We are very excited about his return and what he brings to our team!"
Thatcher Hurd will bring a large frame to the mound standing at 6-foot-4, 195-pounds with an impressive four-pitch arsenal. He has experience at other positions as well but has adapted into a dominant pitcher.
“Even though he's an exceptional athlete, his development as a pitcher is impressive, because he is relatively new to the position,” Clem said.
From Manhattan Beach, Calif., Hurd is scheduled to graduate from Mira Costa High School in the spring of 2021 and is already being talked about as a future MLB draft selection.
"Thatcher Hurd is a hard throwing RHP (91-93), who is getting a lot of attention as a high school prospect,” Clem said. “He also throws a slider, curveball, and change-up, and has good feel for all of his pitches. Previously, he was a catcher, but recently his talent for pitching has garnered him a lot of attention. His ceiling is high. We are excited to add Thatcher to our roster!"
Cody Schrier is also graduating in the spring of 2021 from JSerra High School in San Clemente, Calif. According to Perfect Game, he has “elite” ability to hit good pitching with heavy hands at the plate and provides a powerful, accurate and balanced infield performance.
"Cody Schrier is a top-rated, versatile shortstop,” Clem said. “He has already refined his baseball skills and has great feel for the game. He truly has excellent tools, both offensively and defensively. He has a plus arm, plus speed, and hits for average and power. He can really defend and watching him play will be a lot of fun for our fans!"
Nick McLain is another Bruin who will join the Bells in 2021 after graduating from Arnold O. Beckman High School in Tustin, Calif. McLain is the second in his family to join the Bells after brother Matt spent the 2018 season with the team.
He is a switch-hitter who will bring speed and strength to the plate and the outfield next summer.
"Nick McLain is a terrific switch-hitting outfielder,” Clem said. “We expect Nick will really be able to help us on both sides of the ball. He can really defend; knows how to play his position. He is versatile. He runs and throws very well. His ability to switch hit is an added bonus, plus he has some pop in his bat. Nick is going to bring great energy to the yard and he too will be an exciting player to watch!"
This quartet of UCLA Bruins will add firepower to the Bells roster in the summer of 2021.
"We are very excited about the players that have been given to us by Coach John Savage at UCLA,” Clem said. “All four of these players are highly talented and possess great character as well.”