Five Tool Texas/AZ Fall Classic: 2024/2025 Scout notes

 

Baseball returned to the Z-Plex in Melissa, Texas for the Five Tool Texas/Arizona Fall Classic Qualifier as Freshmen Division (2025) and Sophomore Division (2024) teams competed for a AZFC berth. The Colorado Braves emerged victorious in the latter division while the NTXBC Dirtbags 2025 Woods/Delgado won the former. As usual, really intriguing talent and standout performances emerged on the diamond led by a young lefty who has immense upside. 

 

While his team, Texas Cannons 2024 Rumfield, came up short that didn’t prevent 2024 left-handed pitcher Jordan Stribling from emerging as a major left-handed pitching prospect to follow in Texas. Up to 87 MPH with some angle out of a very promising frame with size and length, the Highland Park product overwhelmed opposing hitters Saturday (2.0 innings, six strikeouts, one walk) with his fastball and also showed a curve (70-72 MPH) and changeup (75-77 MPH).

Despite being young with the type of size and length typically seen in the junior and senior classes, Stribling showed a simple, easy delivery with some athleticism, an advanced feature for a player that young and that tall. Stribling finished pitches with a quick arm out front and threw his stuff with conviction. 

 

When college coaches look at ideal starter’s kits for young lefties, Stribling’s fits. Although the lefty’s curveball shape was inconsistent, there was enough of a feel present, spin and the type of hand/arm finish to get excited about what the pitch will look like in the future. His Sunday outing – 1.2 innings, four runs on three hits and three walks with a strikeout – showed he’s still very young in his development and consistency is often a process for young pitchers, especially for an arm pitching back-to-back days in the fall. But the stuff really flashed. If Stribling doesn’t have any scholarship offers currently, he soon will have the attention of major division-one programs. Oh, and he can swing the bat well too.

 

Teammate, and fellow southpaw, Kai Bumpas baffled hitter with his advanced control, which allowed him to change speeds routinely for strikes. Yet to fill out much at all physically, the Wakeland prospect also projects as a starting pitcher to follow. He tossed 5.2 shutout innings across two outings and allowed just two hits, issued one walk and punched out eight.

In the batter’s box, 2024 Joey Yetter (Valor; Colorado) starred for the champion Colorado Braves. With some physicality already present, the right-handed slugger mashed pitches routinely with noteworthy bat speed, ignited by well-timed separation in the batter’s box before unleashing a dangerous bat. Yetter finished the event with a .700 slugging percentage with six RBI. 

Teammate Tate Gargasz (Palmer Ridge; Colorado) showed a lot of arm strength for a 2024 arm, touching 87 MPH with signs of a developing three-pitch mix and was able to carry and hold his stuff throughout multiple innings. The Braves were loaded on the mound and the impressive velocity continued from right-hander Mitch Haythorn. Although Haythorn, who attends Eaton High School in Colorado, has some length in his arm action, which led to him battling his timing at times, his arm worked quickly through its finish; his release point helped create some sink to his arm-side and played well with his slider, which backed right-handed hitters off the plate occasionally before ducking back into the strike zone. Braves pitchers enjoyed pitching to talented catcher Ian Kersten, who showed athleticism behind the dish and some receiving skill.

For the 2025 champs, Evan Robson was the clear star in the batter’s box. The left-handed hitter starts in an upright position before crouching while timing pitches, which adds some leverage to his swing. Robson, from Southlake Carroll, hammered the ball to all parts of the field and showed a natural feel for covering the plate, timing pitches and controlling the barrel. 

He finished the event with an absurdly good .833/.867/.917 slash line. As the young hitter matures, he should add strength to turn a high contact bat into one that can more often impact the baseball. Teammates Peyton Davidson (.500/.700/.500), Austin Baussman (.364/.462/.545) and Bach Hartwig (.364/.533/.545) helped carry the load on offense. 

USA Prime 2025 Bybee’s duo of Aidan Martinez (.750/.889/.750) and Cole Potestio (.857/.900/1.000) were nearly impossible for pitchers to keep off the bases all weekend. Potestio, who attends Mansfield Legacy, times pitches with very active hands from the right side, but showed the ability to get the barrel on time and has the look of a future power-hitting corner infielder or outfielder. 

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

Five Tool’s Drew Bishop contributed to this report.

 

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