This past weekend, it was the sophomore class’s turn to put on a show at the Arizona Fall Classic. And it didn’t disappoint.
Always one of the premier, destination events of the baseball calendar with outstanding, MLB Spring Training fields as its setting, the Arizona Fall Classic once again delivered with a tremendous amount of talent from all over. And in our first year as an official partner with the AZFC, Five Tool was back in the Phoenix area to capture as much of the action as reasonably possible during the senior event. We’re going to look at some of the standout players from the sophomore weekend of the AZFC; I say “some” because it’s impossible to list all of them so make sure you find the AZFC coverage at FiveTool.org.
(All prospects mentioned are in the 2026 class and uncommitted unless otherwise noted.)
Based on how many really talented, hard-throwing pitchers took the mound, it seemed like the Sophomore Arizona Fall Classic wasn’t the best hitting environment for young players. Pitchers from across the nation showed up to the greater Phoenix area ready and able to throw gas. Shawn Sullivan was often overpowering during his time on the mound. He ran his fastball up to 93 MPH, often beating hitters up in the zone before he dropped in an overhand curveball that looked like an absolute hammer. The Walsh Jesuit (Ohio) prospect and Alabama commitment already possesses impressive strength and physicality and is unafraid to pitch with some visible intent.
Sullivan wasn’t just a dominant right-handed pitcher. He showcased one of the top right-handed swings and mashed a two-run homer. With a steady head, repeatable hitting operation and short, strong swing, Sullivan looked like a major dude in the batter’s box; he rotated quickly and has the type of swings and hands that should be able to time premium velocity in the future. Speaking of premium velocity, Jake Turner touched 91 MPH from the left side, which is especially and absurdly good when you realize he’s a 2027 prospect. A product of Centennial (Nevada) and TCU commitment, Turner is tall, long, lean and rotates his shoulders really well with a quick arm. Basically, he’s a good bet to continue getting better and throwing harder despite being really good and throwing really hard already.
Another lefty who threw hard and was really tough for hitters to handle was Brody Bumila (Bishop Feehan; Massachusetts). But he didn’t just overwhelm hitters with a fastball that touched 88 MPH; he also attacked from a sidearm slot that surely bugged hitters because it came from a long, 6-6 frame. Instead of seeing an expected release point much higher, hitters were forced to adjust to a unique look. Bumila also showed a 78-81 MPH slider that has major promise as a future bat-missing weapon, especially as he learns how to use it as a backfoot pitch against right-handers. And he created a very uncomfortable at-bat for a lefty because he started the slider to his arm side from a release point that looked like it was coming right at the hitter. Exciting upside. Scary look for hitters.
Gunnar Garrison, who attends Eaton High School in Colorado, looks like a future big, physical, right-hander power pitcher. He touched 88 MPH with his fastball and his release point/delivery and frame helped create some angle to his fastball. Another Colorado standout was Falcon High School’s Aaron Jaquez. The right-handed pitcher struck out 10 in 4.0 perfect innings with a fastball that reached 86 MPH, quality changeup at 79-80 MPH and a short slider that missed bats up to 74 MPH. Jaquez filled up the zone about as well as any pitcher in the event and routinely hammered the glove side corner with his fastball. At the plate, the two-way prospect racked up hits with strong hands, a quick bat and a very short stride and repeatable, low-maintenance approach in the batter’s box. A strong athlete who will continue to add strength, Jaquez bounced around the diamond notably with athletic actions, which helped explain why he was such a good strike-thrower, and should become a major dude in the 2026 class.
New Mexico, like Colorado, seems to produce more hard-throwers and talented pitchers each year. La Cueva’s Everett Burdett showcased one of the best deliveries and easily fired fastballs up to 89 MPH with some natural, arm side life. He looks like a good bet to develop into one of the best starting pitching prospects in the state for 2026 along with Alburquerque Baseball Academy and high school teammate Dylan Blomker. Long ago, Blomker established himself as a major name to follow in his class and to his credit he keeps getting better. A tall right-hander who is adding some strength to his frame, Blomker touched 91 MPH with carry through the zone and racked up whiffs with his fastball. When he needed it, the big righty used one of the event’s best sliders – a sharp, hard breaker up to 79 MPH that looked like a fastball out of the hand and featured late break.
Unsurprisingly, Anthony Del Angel (Cleveland; New Mexico) was among the event’s top prospects and performers. A special two-way talent, the Oklahoma commitment used some of the quickest hands we saw to pepper loud line drives all over the field; his swing and load are both active with notable hand movement, but his hands are so quick that he’s able to time pitches without issue. A third baseman and outfielder, Del Angel is a projectable prospect physically who will continue to fill out and he moves well with athletic actions on the diamond. He also touched 85 MPH on the mound as an intriguing right-handed pitcher, but I think he’s destined to be an impact, toolsy right-handed hitter with more than enough arm to profile well at third base or in the outfield.
Liberty High School (Arizona) right-hander Abram Sherrin touched 89 MPH with a short curveball. Skinny, projectable right-hander Noah Hunter (Edison; California) showed a quick arm on the mound, finished his pitches well with conviction and touched 87 MPH with his fastball. In addition to flashing a quality changeup, Hunter also spun a slider that played well off his fastball. He’s a good bet to throw strikes and continue adding velocity. Another Arizona prospect, Basha’s Zach Bolles, punched out eight across 5.0 innings and touched 86 MPH.
Among the most difficult challenges for pitchers during the Sophomore AZFC? Getting Judah Ota out. The Hawaii 2G Elite left-handed hitter, who attends Iolani School in Hawaii, was a machine and showed one of the best left-handed swings and hit tools in the event. He was so good that he won Player of the Game honors three times and at 6-4, 185 pounds, he has a rare feel for creating easy, fluid energy/weight transfers in the batter’s box to accompany impressive feel for the barrel, tracking pitches and covering the hitting zone. Ota pounded extra-base hits to all parts of the field and played with an infectious, competitive energy. Teammate and right-handed hitter Alika Ahu presented similar problems for opposing pitchers. A skilled, 6-3 middle infielder, Ahu (University Laboratory; Hawaii) was able to spoil quality pitches with his bat-to-ball ability and plate coverage and projects to add more strength/power to his offensive profile in the future. On the mound, the right-hander racked up seven strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
California is always well-represented at the AZFC and this past weekend was no different. Moises Razo showcased exciting tools and a powerful, quick, dangerous left-handed swing that could impact the baseball and do extra-base damage. An impressive athlete who is already 6-2, 180 pounds with some physicality, Razo appeared poised to break out this upcoming spring and become a major prospect in California. St. John Bosco teammate and UCLA commitment Jaden Jackson could be described similarly – athletic left-handed hitter who can run, has quick/strong hands and can do damage with hitting ability and bat speed.
Canyon High School’s Camden Goetz had some of the best natural hitting feel we saw. A left-handed hitter, Goetz did an impressive job of letting the baseball travel before using his quick bat and advanced barrel feel to smack liners around the outfield. And another quality left-handed hitting prospect from California was Jacob Bitonti. If that last name looks familiar, it’s because it is. Jacob is the younger brother of recent Milwaukee Brewers draft pick Eric Bitonti, who was a star prospect at Aquinas High School last season. The younger Bitonti uses a short swing and creates good paths to the baseball and is a good bet to continue hitting at a high level and developing physically. Redondo Union’s Keijiro Hattori was a smooth hitting machine at the AZFC and among the most difficult hitters for pitchers to retire. Naturally and easily, Hattori creates balanced rhythm in the batter’s box and does a good job of timing pitches while keeping his weight/energy back before showing a promising left-handed swing. The theme of impressive left-handed hitters even included a member of the 2027 class. Kings Way Christian (Washington) prospect Reece Johnson looked like a senior who snuck into the sophomore tournament because of his size and impressive left-handed swing and hitting ability.
A duo of Bishop Gorman (Nevada) prospects really stood out and for one of them this was the third Arizona Fall Classic weekend that led to standout performances. After playing up with the seniors and the juniors, Jhett Ohira was back playing with his classmates in the sophomore tournament where he feasted on opposing pitching, flew around the bases and showed one of the most exciting skill sets we saw. A toolsy infielder and middle of the diamond player who is at least a plus runner, Ohira is the type of unique talent who attracts eyeballs whenever he’s involved in the action. Given his physical projection, and current hitting ability, it’s not outlandish to label him as a player who could have future average or better tools across the board. Fortunately for freshmen, I don’t think Ohira is going to be able to play next weekend.
High school and AZFC teammate Chase Wilk blasted the baseball routinely and had some of the best barrel feel from the right side. He proved capable of hitting pitches up, down and feasted on mistakes. While we’re on the subject of right-handed hitters who can feast on mistakes, Arizona State commitment and Chaparral (Arizona) catcher Raul Escobar timed pitches well and pulled the ball in the air with authority. He was one of the top performers and showed some notable catch-and-throw skill behind the dish, too.