By now, you’ve probably read or heard us discuss how deep and talented the 2023 class is in Texas. In particular, both the “just missed” and follow lists include players who are especially intriguing and poised for breakout seasons to increase their profile even more. We wanted to highlight some of those players we believe could move up the rankings in the future. Five Tool Scouting Director Drew Bishop and I put our heads together and selected five of our favorite “picks to click” during the upcoming high school season from our 2023 Five Tool 55 follow list:
Ryne Farber – SS/INF – Johnson
Summer Team – Alamo Drillers
— ?Five Tool Texas? (@FiveToolTexas) June 13, 2021
A switch-hitter with a short swing and legitimate hitting ability from both sides, Farber is a really interesting middle infielder with a chance to stick at shortstop. The son of a coach, Farber’s baseball instincts are plus, and he exudes a lot of winning intangibles across all areas of the game. With some wiry strength through his projectable build, Farber, an all-state selection, seems to transfer his weight and energy well in his swing instead of letting it drift towards the mound. Farber plays the game with joy, confidence, and is seemingly never overwhelmed. He really stood out during a couple in-person looks this fall and is a good bet to continue playing a key for winning teams.
Chase Morgan – LHP – Cypress Woods
Summer Team – Texas Twelve
Known as a good performer, Morgan could be the next left-handed pitcher to emerge as a big-time arm for both Texas Twelve and Cypress Woods High School. Morgan’s velocity ticked up this fall, after he returned from a stress reaction injury last summer, and his three-pitch mix (sharp curve with some bite and a changeup) stood out even more. A physical lefty with more to come, Morgan will likely be one of the lefties college programs try to get eyes on during the early portion of the season.
Tyler Moody – 2B/OF – Brock
Summer Team – Dallas Tigers
— ?Five Tool Texas? (@FiveToolTexas) July 25, 2021
QB1 for the 3A Division 1 state runner-up, Moody’s football athleticism translates to the diamond, too. His winning ways from the diamond carried over to the gridiron because Brock reached the state tournament last season. Playing against 17U competition this summer, Moody more than held his own. He hit at a high level from the left side, frustrated opposing teams with his aggressiveness and quickness on the bases, and covered a lot of ground in the outfield. A do-it-all athlete, Moody’s glove profiles all over the diamond and his speed and athleticism make him a candidate to play at second base or in the outfield. But the bat is the stand out part of the game currently and he consistently puts together competitive, composed, quality at-bats at the top of the lineup.
Caleb Otlewski – RHP/OF – Melissa
Summer Team – United Baseball Club
I think Otlewski has a chance to throw really hard with a sharp curveball that’s already flashing plus. As the physical, 6-4, 208-pound linebacker, who earned first-team all-district honors on the football field, continues to grow into his body and better understand how to harness it on the mound, the velocity should increase noticeably. And betting on the control seems like a wise move given the athleticism. With a quick arm, the right-hander can already beat talented hitters up in the zone with heaters and shows some signs of angle and command down to the glove-side. He swings the bat well, too, but I like the upside on the mound more currently.
Alex Paniagua – RHP/UTIL – Eagle Pass
Summer Team – Lonestar Baseball Club
— ?Five Tool Texas? (@FiveToolTexas) October 24, 2021
Another right-hander who I think will throw much harder as he matures, Paniagua really intrigued me during a short in-person look this fall near San Antonio. His frame hints strongly at projection and his quick arm features noticeable external rotation. When he releases the ball, the young righty shows some leg strength when his lead leg pushes off the ground, making him taller through his finish. As for the stuff, his fastball touched 85 MPH when I saw him and played up; he had feel for a 72 MPH changeup with some fade and his 73 MPH sharp curveball featured some spin and tilt.
JC Davis – MIF – Argyle
Summer Team – Dallas Tigers
— ?Five Tool Texas? (@FiveToolTexas) June 12, 2021
One of my favorite guys to watch play in the 2023 class is MIF JC Davis from Argyle. I had exposure to him at a camp as a freshman and he is just a guy you want on your team. Effort, baseball IQ, and leadership all make JC a winning player. After putting on weight this offseason, Davis is poised for another big year hitting at the top of the lineup. A double play tandem with Baylor commit Cam Pruitt in the summer, Davis will man the shortstop spot for the Eagles this year in hopes of getting back to Austin. Davis is a guy that no matter who you talk to you can’t help but tell he is a gamer that will find a home somewhere at the next level and be right in the middle of everything going on to help his team win.
Ethan Glaze – OF – Clear Lake
Summer Team – C2
— Five Tool Academics (@FiveToolGPA) September 24, 2021
Ethan Glaze uses his plus speed to create an impact on a baseball games. As a sub-6.5 runner, Glaze uses his speed to patrol the outfield and wreak havoc on the bases. With good contact abilities he is able to hit the ball where it is pitched to get on base to really do damage. As Ethan continues to fill out his wiry frame, he will add gap power to his repertoire. I expect Ethan to build off a good summer and fall to lead the way for Clear Lake this spring at the top of the lineup.
Cole Johnson – 1B – Lake Travis
Summer Team – Lone Star Baseball Club
— Five Tool Academics (@FiveToolGPA) September 25, 2021
Johnson has the ability to be one of the more polished power hitters in Texas this year. A year after leading Lake Travis in hitting with a .460 average, Johnson should see a power surge this spring to make his stock soar. After a good showing this fall and at a number of camps this offseason, it is evident that he is poised to make the next jump. A tireless worker with a high IQ as a hitter, Johnson is in line for a monster spring for a loaded Cavalier team that should make some noise in the playoffs. A capable RHP as well, he could easily give them some innings if needed.
Kyle Kubichek – C – Bryan HS
Summer Team – Texas Twelve
— ?Five Tool Texas? (@FiveToolTexas) July 11, 2020
One guy that I think has a chance to make a jump this spring is Bryan junior catcher, Kyle Kubichek. A guy that plays with his hair on fire at all times, he is a guy you love to have on your side, especially behind the plate. Known for his receiving abilities, Kubichek is able to give his pitching staff a boost in confidence. Armed with a high baseball IQ, Kubichek is athletic enough to play multiple positions on the field making him an asset to any team he is a part of. At the plate, Kubichek barrels the ball routinely and should continue to progress as he gains weight.
Aidan Lamar – LHP – Rock Hill
Summer Team – Dallas Patriots
— Aidan Lamar (@LamarAidan) February 26, 2021
Aidan Lamar is a guy that comes right at you on the mound. With an idea how to pitch and a deadly repertoire of stuff, Lamar racks up strike out numbers on a routine basis and looks to have a monster season for Rock Hill. After a big summer with the Dallas Patriots, Lamar will be part of a salty Rock Hill team along with Brenner Cox (2022 Texas commit) and Uriah Walters (2023 DBU commit). Lamar’s ability to pound the zone and change speeds will allow him to go deep in games and reminds me a lot of current big leaguer Dillon Peters. Those attributes will likely allow him to pitch early and often at the next level as well.
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