24 7 Line Drive Dudes of the Weekend: Week 5

Hitters

Christian Smith-Johnson (Stix 2022 Heitz)

Stix 2022 Heitz’s Christian Smith-Johnson had an excellent all-around weekend at the SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool. The uncommitted 2022 from Richland (TX) was always looking to take the extra base out of the box and provided great production out of the lead off spot in the order. The RHH posted great metrics at the SBC combine and will continue to develop plus speed as he grows. Look for Smith-Johnson to continue to make waves on the summer showcase circuit in the weeks to follow.

Event: SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool

Stat Line: 8-14, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 5R, BB

Baylor Smith (Lone Star National Pena)

Lone Star National Pena’s Baylor Smith showcased the ability to hit to all fields this weekend at the SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool. The uncommitted 2021 from Blanco (TX) does all the little things right and quietly goes about his work. Smith has a short, compact swing and stays on balls to generate power to the power alleys. The RHH can be a major contributor to a college program. Watch out for this one the rest of the summer and into his senior season.

Event: SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool

Stat Line: 7-13, 4 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 3R, BB

Deundre Jones (Canes SW Houston)

Canes SW Houston’s Deundre Jones swung a hot bat at the SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool. The uncommitted 2022 from Lutheran South Academy (TX) showcased power to all fields and picked up a number of extra base hits this weekend. The sweet-swinging lefty generates pop from his violent lower half and is always looking to put a charge into the baseball. Look for Jones to keep blasting home runs and crushing opposing pitchers for the remainder of the summer. Keep an eye out for this one.

Event: SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool

Stat Line: 7-11, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 6R, 2 BB, 3 SB

Kade Benavidez (ABA 2021 Felix)

ABA 2021 Felix’s Kade Benavidez provided some Fourth of July fireworks of his own at the Five Tool Colorado Rocky Mountain Championships. The 2020 New Mexico JC signee from Los Lunas (NM) blasted a whopping four home runs and drove in a staggering 18 runs. The LHH proved to be an absolute force in the middle of ABA’s lineup as he used his strong back leg drive to spray balls all over the yard. Benavidez is a dude to watch out for this upcoming spring as he looks to continue his home run barrage against collegiate competition.

Event: Five Tool Colorado Rocky Mountain Championships

Stat Line: 8-15, 2B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 8R, 4 BB, 2 SB

Larry Drake (Marucci Elite Texas 2023 Dado)

Marucci Elite Texas 2023 Dado’s Larry Drake has impressed week in and week out all summer long and makes his Dudes of the Weekend debut after continuing to swing a blistering hot bat at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic. The uncommitted 2023 from Grand Oaks (TX) has shown the ability to hit for both average and power as well as crafting a mature approach at the plate that is rare at his age. The RHH stays on pitches all the way through the zone and drives the ball to all fields. Drake is already becoming a high-follow prospect and will only continue to impress as he develops and grows into his frame.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 7-12, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 6R, 2 BB, HBP, SB

Sam Hardcastle (Marucci Elite Texas 2022 Adams)

Marucci Elite Texas 2022 Adams’ Sam Hardcastle showed serious pop this weekend at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic. The uncommitted 2022 from Foster (TX) proved that he can be a middle of the order dude as he consistently drives the ball to the gap and brings runners around to score. Hardcastle has a very good frame that and will only continue to get stronger. The RHH was most impressive as he stayed on the baseball through the strike zone and featured opposite field power. Keep an eye on this one in the coming summers.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 8-11, 2 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 4R

Dylan LaRue (Marucci Elite LaRue)

Marucci Elite LaRue’s Dylan LaRue was an on base machine at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic. The uncommitted 2022 from Blanco (TX) proved to be a tough out at the plate as he tallied eight hits this past weekend. The LHP has a very lanky and wiry frame that as he matures and gets stronger will only help generate more power at the plate. LaRue has a very quiet load but a violent lower half that contributes to his ability to drive the baseball. Keep an eye out for LaRue in the coming weeks and into his junior year at Blanco.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 8-11, 3 2B, 7 RBI, 8R

Joshua Gonzales (G51)

G51’s Joshua Gonzales showed out at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic this past weekend. The uncommitted 2021 from Moody (TX) was a force at the plate as he showed off his ability to hit for average and power. The RHH plays with emotion and flair as he shows off his passion for the game. Gonzales racked up four extra-base hits and hit the ball well to all fields. This dude can be a top of the order type of hitter that sets the table for the rest of the offense. Continue to watch as Gonzales puts up big numbers the rest of the summer.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 7-10, 3 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 7R, 2 BB, 2 SB

Jackson McFall (Canes Southwest Ortega 2023)

Canes Southwest Ortega 2023’s Jackson McFall was a problem at the plate this weekend at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic. The uncommitted 2023 from Vista Ridge (TX) reached base 11 times this weekend and drove in eight runs as he kickstarted the Canes’ offensive attack. The RHH has a great frame and will only continue to grow over the course of the next two summers. McFall has a mature approach at the plate and showed the ability to get on base in a variety of manners. Keep an eye on this dude as he jumps onto college recruiters radars.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 7-10, 2 2B, 3B, 8 RBI, 6R, 3 BB, HBP, 2 SB

Pitchers

Ryan Prager (Dallas Mustangs Sharp)

Dallas Mustangs Sharp’s Ryan Prager was dominant on the rubber at the SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool. A 2021 Texas A&M commit from Hillcrest (TX) features a hard running fastball and mixes speeds effectively to cruise through innings and keep hitters off balance. The big lefty is difficult to pick up at the plate due in part to his over-the-top delivery and ability to hide the baseball. Prager has been a highly-touted prospect for quite some time and will be a workhouse ace as Hillcrest looks to make a deep run this spring.

Event: SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool

Stat Line: 5.0 IP, 10K, 3H, ER

Trent Nickerson (DBAT Walden)

DBAT Walden’s Trent Nickerson turned out a spectacular outing on Wednesday night at the SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool. The uncommitted 2021 from Chisum (TX) was in and around the zone as he proved to be difficult for opposing hitters to solve. The LHP doesn’t overpower hitters with his fastball but generates swings and misses with his curveball and tunnels both pitches effectively to keep guys off balance. Nickerson is a very crafty lefty that can be a good addition to a college club. Get on this one!

Event: SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool

Stat Line: 5.0 IP, 10K, 2H, 0R, 2 BB

Davis Luikart (Lone Star National Moench)

Lone Star National Moench’s Davis Luikart cruised through a six inning outing at the SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool. The uncommitted 2021 from Regents School of Austin (TX) used a stark contrast in pitch speeds to keep hitters off balance. The RHP used a mid to upper 80s fastball to put his opponents away and featured great control all afternoon. Luikart has already made noise on the summer circuit and look for him to continue to do so as the summer winds down.

Event: SBC Invitational Powered by Five Tool

Stat Line: 6.0 IP, 11K, 2H, ER, BB

Levi Tucker (USA Prime Colorado Hormann 2021)

USA Prime Colorado Hormann 2021’s Levi Tucker was masterful in his outing on the mound at the Five Tool Colorado Rocky Mountain Championships. The uncommitted 2021 from Brighton (CO) cruised through five innings of work as he ran his fastball up to 86 and put hitters away with his nasty curveball. The RHP limited the opposition to only one hit and highlighted that he can be a workhorse for a college ball club. Tucker has a unique arm action that allows his fastball to tail away from left handed hitters and in to right handed hitters. Look for Tucker to continue racking up strikeouts this summer.

Event: Five Tool Colorado Rocky Mountain Championships

Stat Line: 5.1 IP, 11K, H, 2R, 3 BB

Saxton Sorenson (CIL Gold)

CIL Gold’s Saxton Sorenson was brilliant on the mound at the Five Tool Colorado Rocky Mountain Championships. The uncommitted 2021 from Lutheran (CO) featured great control of his four-pitch mix that is rare at his age. The RHP sat in the low to upper 80s with his fastball and put hitters away with a devastating arsenal of offspeed pitches. Sorenson has the makings of a strikeout focused pitcher that can pitch deep into ballgames and limit opponents at the plate.

Event: Five Tool Colorado Rocky Mountain Championships

Stat Line: 6.0 IP, 15K, 3H, 3R, ER, 2 BB

Miguel Bustamante (SA Kings Scout 2023)

SA Kings Scout 2023’s Miguel Bustamante tossed an excellent game on Friday afternoon at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic. The uncommitted 2023 from O’Connor (TX) racked up strikeouts as he used a herky-jerky windup that proved difficult to pick up. The LHP mowed hitters down and cruised through five innings of work as he was in and around the zone. Bustamante has good arm action and features good tilt for his age. Watch for this one as he develops and adds velocity in the coming summers.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 5.0 IP, 11K, H, 2R, 3 BB

Kade Budd (Marucci Elite LaRue)

Marucci Elite LaRue’s Kade Budd was nearly unhittable this weekend at the Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic. The uncommitted 2022 from London (TX) turned out two great outings on the hill as he looked hitters look lost at the plate. The LHP used very effective offspeed pitches to keep hitters out in front and to set up his fastball and put guys away. Budd is very deceptive and makes it very extremely difficult for the opposition to mount rallies and blow open innings. Keep an eye on this crafty lefty.

Event: Five Tool South Texas Hill Country Classic

Stat Line: 8.0 IP, 9K, 2H, 0R, BB

Aaron Molina (Lubbock Baseball Academy Walden)

Lubbock Baseball Academy Walden’s Aaron Molina did a little bit of everything this weekend at the Five Tool Oklahoma College Classic. The uncommitted 2021 from J M Hanks (TX) turned out a gutsy performance on the mound in the 17U College Classic Championship Game. The RHP threw 117 pitches in seven innings of work and battled through adversity and sweaty situations throughout the outing. Molina features an upper 80s to lower 90s fastball and a nasty slider to put hitters away. Leading up to the Championship Game, LBA rode Molina’s hot bat through Saturday evening as he posted four doubles and five RBI at the dish. This dude has already started to get serious interest from college programs and will only continue to impress. Get on this one.

Event: Five Tool Oklahoma College Classic

Stat Line: 7.0 IP, 7K, 4H, 0R/7-16, 4 2B, 5 RBI, HBP

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