FIVE TOOL 55: Top players who just missed the cut

 

In the Lone Star State, limiting a numbered list to 55 players – Click HERE for Nos. 55-36, HERE for Nos. 35-16 and HERE for Nos. 15-6 – means being forced to cut some really, really good players who are undoubtedly major division-one prospects with high potential. Below is the list of players (in alphabetical order) I strongly considered including in the Five Tool 55 but ultimately missed the cut:

Adrian Najar – South Grand Prairie (Texas State commit)
Anthony Garcia – MacArthur
Blake Hansen – Cinco Ranch (Texas A&M commit)
Brett Hall – Tom Glenn (Louisiana commit)
Brian Panneton – Tomball Memorial (Texas State commit)
Brock Bearden – Pleasant Grove

 

Panneton, a right-handed pitcher, was among my favorite players to watch this summer because he has some of the best control and execution of any prep pitcher I’ve watched. If the stuff and physicality improves at Texas State, he has a real shot at being an all-conference weekend starter. He threw 17.0 innings in Five Tool events with a 0.53 ERA and just four walks. 

 

During the AABC Don Mattingly World Series, Garcia’s competitiveness really stood out as he pitched the Stix, who reached the title game, deep into its first game. He’s touched 91 MPH and someone is going to land a promising arm. Speaking of standing out during the AABC Don Mattingly World Series, Hall hit .500 and has a promising swing and hit tool. Bearden swings the bat with impressive bat speed.

Bryson Dudley – Cedar Ridge (Texas A&M commit)
Cade Romero – West Brook (Wharton)
Cade Sharp – Rockwall Heath (Texas Tech)
Caiden Wilson – Deer Park
Caleb Bergman – Plano East (Baylor commit)
Christian Smith-Johnson – Richland (Oklahoma commit)

 

Dudley is a two-way player, but I think the upside is on the mound where he reportedly touched 93 MPH during the high school season. A two-way standout with SETX Mizuno, Romero touched 90 MPH, showed feel for manipulating his breaking ball and also promising use of a changeup. With infield athleticism and quick arm on the moun, I like Romero’s upside as a pitcher because there’s a lot of untapped potential; clean actions in the infield too. 

 

Sharp was poised for a huge summer but had an elbow injury. Before, the fastball had good life and the changeup looked like a possible plus offering in the future. Bergman is a guy opposing coaches really appreciated because of his competitiveness and the way he plays the game. Baylor smartly added him in late June and he can absolutely fly too. As for Smith-Johnson, another Stix standout, he doesn’t lack tools but the production with the bat was inconsistent. That said, he’s an ideal college commitment because he’ll arrive to Oklahoma with high upside.

Coldon Kiser – Frenship (Texas State commit)
Cole Wisenbaker – Cypress Christian (Kansas State commit)
Connor Benge – Montgomery
Damian Bravo – Haltom (Texas Tech commit)
Dominick Reid – Lonestar (Oklahoma State commit)
Dylan Maxcey – Friendswood (Texas Tech commit)

 

Texas Tech has multiple commitments from catchers, and I think Maxcey emerges as the best all-around catcher who can stick behind the dish. While some undersized players are overwhelmed by switching to a wood bat, Maxcey’s bat speed remained the same. Fellow Texas Tech commit Bravo has some standout hitting hands and has a chance to develop well in Lubbock. 

 

Reid’s velocity really ticked up late in the summer and Oklahoma State wisley noticed and grabbed his commitment. A lefty performer with pitchability, Wisenbaker pitches better than the radar gun; I saw him probably during his worst summer outing statistically, but the ingredients are present. 

Easton Dowell – Gregory-Portlan (Texas Tech commit)
Edward Hart – Alamo Heights (Duke commit)
Fabian Ramirez – Milby (Wharton commit)
Gabriel Flores – Longview
Grant Fahrlander – St. Michael’s Academy (Oregon commit)
Jacob Devenny – Prosper (Rice commit)

 

Dowell swung the bat so well this summer, and particularly at the AABC Don Mattingly World Series, it led to a commitment to Texas Tech. When the Red Raiders grab a bat, it’s definitely one to follow. I saw Hart at the end of July and the velocity stood out and the arm worked a little better than I anticipated because he’s a big, physical lefty with some length. Really smart add by Duke because if the pitching development is right, there’s a lot to unlock. 

 

Ramirez doesn’t stand out physically, but his skill and talent does a lot of talking. The righty was up to 89 MPH on the mound, flashed a promising changeup and is a true two-way talent who competes well in the batter’s box. Farhlander is another catcher who could easily move into the Five Tool 55 and Flores is a really intriguing two-way talent with a very quick arm on the mound. 


Jake Duer – Marcus (TCU commit)
Jonny Lowe – Rockwall Heath (McLennan commit)
Josh Comeaux – Klein Collins
Lucas Davenport – Prosper (Texas A&M commit)
Luke Steward – College Station (McNeese State commit)
Maddox Miesse – East Central

 

Sign me up as purchasing all the Comeaux stock. A really talented basketball player still growing into baseball, I was pleasantly surprised at how natural the 6-4 athlete was on the diamond; there was some feel for the barrel and hitting and promising defensive actions. I could see scouts buzzing a little about this kid in the spring. 

 

Another guy they could be buzzing about is Lucas Davenport, who was up to 94 MPH during the high school season. He’s probably 6-5, 6-6 with plenty of room to fill out and length; harnessing those physical gifts and the length in the arm action does suggest a possible relief look professionally, but it’s also possible he’s touching 96, 97 MPH in the spring; perhaps the most difficult player to not include in the Five Tool 55. 

 

Steward suffered an elbow injury. If healthy, he’s undoubtedly a Five Tool 55 member because of the quick, loose arm and advanced ability to spin a big-time hook. Miesse hit like 17 homers at the Five Tool World Series. Okay, he only hit three, but the point remains. 

Nico Ruedas – Dripping Springs
Noah O’Farrell – Grand Oaks (Sam Houston State commit)
Nolan Foster – McKinney Boyd (Texas Tech commit)
Owen Proksch – Southlake Carroll (Duke commit)
Rashawn Galloway – Boerne (Texas State commit)
Tanner Chelette – Homeschool 

 

Ruedas stood out both as a switch-hitter with some feel for the bat and ability to smack one out of the yard and also with his arm action and velocity potential on the mound. I really like the upside of both righties O’Farrell and Foster who don’t lack projection with the fastball and physically. 

 

Funk. That’s the word I think of after Proksch put on a show at the AABC Mattingly World Series. It’s an unorthodox left-handed look that baffles hitters and can create some really uncomfortable at-bats. I’m not sure where Galloway plays at the next level, but the bat will get him in there somewhere. Same for Chelette, who is making his way back from an injury and could again emerge as a top catcher.


Tate Evans – Marcus (Yale commit)
Tate Yardley – Jim Ned (Texas Tech)
Trey Duffield – Strake Jesuit (Rice commit)
Viggo Lopez – PSJA Early College (Texas commit)
Walker Polk – Coppell (Baylor commit)
Wilson Woodcox – Lamar (Tulane commit)

 

Polk’s bat stood out with some ability to impact. I think he probably ends up at a corner infield spot where the bat profiles just fine at Baylor. Another two-way talent, Woodcox, at least in my opinion, is more likely to stand out on the mound in college. The Tulane commitment could pitch out of the Green Wave bullpen early. 

 

Yardley was up to 91 MPH at a Five Tool event and doesn’t lack intent and competitiveness. In the batter’s box, Dufflied’s calling card is raw power while Lopez shows some all-around athleticism. 

Wyatt Wiatrek – Sinton
Xander McAfee – Southwest Christian (Wichita State commit)
Xavier Perez – Veterans Memorial
Zachary Erdman – Keller (Texas Tech commit)
Zack Zavala – Georgetown (Oregon commit)

 

I’m expecting Wiatrek to look different in the spring than he did the summer. There’s more velocity and stuff in there and, like many pitchers, it’s possible he was simply fatigued by late July. McAfee really projects and at times the hitting tools flash just as brightly as the top-rated outfielders in the state. Zavala’s quick hands and infield actions stood out and Perez is unafraid to challenge anyone with his three-pitch mix. 

Tune in Sunday night on Twitter for the release of Nos. 5-1 of our Five Tool 55 for the 2022 class in Texas and also on Monday for the release of our lengthy follow list of intriguing players in Texas.

Dustin McComas – Follow me on Twitter
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball 

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