Even the most seasoned Five Tool employee is having a tough time keeping up with all the Arizona Fall Classic content.
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 on hand during the junior/underclass weekend to capture as much of the action as reasonably possible. We’re going to take a look at some of the standout players from the first weekend of the AZFC; I say “some” because it’s impossible to list all of them so make sure you follow all of the coverage at FiveTool.org.
(All prospects mentioned are in the 2025 class and uncommitted unless otherwise noted.)
As usual, the Academic All-Star Game Thursday night delivered. Despite facing a relentless array of talented arms there were a few hitters who really stood out. Cherry Creek (Colorado) right-handed hitter Mason Scott showed one of the best right-handed swings of the night and the ability to impact the baseball with authority. Scott, who won MVP, mashed a deep homer to left field, and at 6-3 he creates some notable bat speed and does a good job of rotating while also freeing up his hands to create a good bat path. Another Colorado prospect, Broomfield’s Brendan Fritch, is a compact athlete who used a simple, repeatable, right-handed swing to smack multiple extra-base hits.
On the mound, a couple notable performances came from strong, projectable lefty Caleb Sweeney (Valley Christian; Arizona), who was up to 89 MPH with a sharp slider, and right-hander Maxwell Schneider (Vazquez; California) touched 93 MPH. Although he didn’t light up the radar gun with low 80s velocity, Brady Ahn closed out a win for his team and showed the best curveball I saw all weekend. And there might not be a close second. The big bender with depth had spin up to 2900 RPM during showcase tryouts and is a thing of beauty to watch drop down from the sky with surprising bite. Just look at this thing:
The AZFC game action…
It seems like everywhere we go, we usual find a couple of Hawaii pitchers who stand out. And Elai Iwanaga (Kamehameha Kapalama) caught my attention. An athletic righty with a good delivery and low, three-quarters slot, Iwanaga showed impressive feel for spin and manipulating his breaking ball to throw a sharper slider and also added some depth to give more of a curveball look, too. He was up to 89 MPH with some glove side command and a bit of extra giddy-up through the zone. Kainoa Kaneshiro was also up to 89 MPH from the right side for Hawaii 2G Elite.
ABA’s Adriel Figueroa (Sandia; New Mexico) is a true two-way talent who is exciting to watch. Up to 90 MPH with a sharp, sweeping slider that occasionally flashed as a swing-and-miss offering, Figuero displayed why he’s so intriguing on the mound, although his control was inconsistent. He has a short takeaway out of the glove and arm path but clear arm strength. As a shortstop and right-handed hitter, I think I might like him a little more long-term as a position player. With a ton of confidence in his swing and defensive actions, Figueroa made some smooth plays at shortstop, has impact bat speed and ran down the line in 4.28 seconds from the right side. Really interesting prospect who is undoubtedly a future D1 caliber player.
I was also very impressed by Volcano Vista (New Mexico) prospect Noah Massey, who carried a lean, projectable frame with some length, showed some impressive catch-and-throw skill behind the dish with soft receiving hands and a strong arm. Sticking with catchers: Carson Sheffer threw out at least three runners at second base with confident actions and an accurate arm. A tall, thin 2026 prospect from Oaks Christian (California), Sheffer looks like he could become a major prospect in his class.
Kameron Beck, a corner infielder and right-handed hitter from Bingham High School in Utah, pounded a loud homer to left field and has shown an ability to impact the baseball during the AZFC. At around 6-3 and 200 pounds, Beck is an especially interesting power hitter because as he matures with more reps he should better leverage his powerful lower half. And any conversation about one of the strongest hitters in the event needs to include Rashaan Evans (Liberty; Nevada). Evans mashed a mammoth homer into the trees beyond left field, had a double and his strength/athleticism combo naturally shows in his swing. He looks like he’s just scratching the surface of what he can become in the future while already having some feel for a dangerous barrel in the batter’s box. And remember this 2026 name: Jhett Ohira from Bishop Gorman (Nevada). Despite being somewhat undersized, Ohira is an explosive, twitchy athlete who can really, really run and has some quick hands to go around with advanced hitting feel from the right side. He could become a major prospect in the 2026 class.
It's always a good feeling when you see a hitter you really like for a weekend and a few months later he’s hitting well again in another event. Connor Larkin, a left-handed hitting first baseman from Cherry Creek (Colorado), smashed a solo homer and continues to show some notable hitting feel. Once he adds strength and some more bat speed, the impact will grow in frequency and strength. Larkin’s Slammers teammate Vedant Sharma was up to 90 MPH and gave up just one hit across 5.2 dominant innings with eight strikeouts. Like Larkin, Sharma was excellent this summer in Five Tool events and is a big righty with intriguing upside who presents a look that is tough on hitters. And if you were a college coach who needed to find some pitching for your 2025 recruiting class, it seemed like the list of arms grabbing headlines was definitely longer than the hitters.
Up to 91 MPH, big Duncan Russell used his lively fastball and 78 MPH slider to overwhelm opposing hitters. The Bishop O’Dowd (California) prospect attacked with a low three-quarters slot and has a sturdy build that could make him a candidate to handle a starter’s workload in the future. Another big hard-thrower, 6-6 righty Cooper Berger (University; California) was up to 90 MPH and also overpowered hitters with his fastball. I liked what I saw from Aciel Guillen, who is a good athlete and possessed a deep, quality arsenal with a quick arm and strike-throwing traits. He does have a head whack that accompanies some effort through his finish, but he has the athleticism to quiet that in the future and turn into a quality prospect. Jaiden Oldwin (Vacaville; California) used a promising slider to rack up a ton of whiffs and ended up striking out nine of the 20 batters he faced. He's committed to Coastal Carolina.
Right-handed Carter Brown repeatedly hammered the glove side with his fastball from a near sidearm slot and moved well on the mound. Another hard-throwing righty with a sidearm slot (although his slot changed when he went to his breaking ball) was Cameron Millar (Alhambra; California), who touched 90 MPH and has notable developmental upside. Corden Pettey, a right-hander from Whitney High School (California) gathered on his back leg and got downhill impressively on the mound. He also opened up his outing with a perfect AZFC inning – five strikeouts (AZFC plays each inning with five hitters no matter the result as a way to help showcase the players and pitchers).
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