Yesterday, we announced the All-Festival Team for the inaugural Five Tool Festival, and you’ll probably notice some of those same names on this list, too. Following all of the excellent baseball we watched this past week in the DFW area, let’s hand out some superlatives to recognize top performances, prospects, and more:
In addition to college coaches, MLB scouts were a consistent presence throughout the Five Tool Festival and they had their eyes on the two big prospects: Marcus’ Caden Sorrell and Magnolia Heights’ Cooper Pratt. Sorrel, named MVP of the tournament, boosted his stock because if a scout showed up to see him, he saw a homer.
Sorrel, with his quick, whippy bat from the left side, smacked three bombs, ran 4.12 seconds down the line, made a couple of standout defensive plays and showed his arm strength and athleticism on the mound with a fastball up to 89 MPH. The Texas A&M signee, who looked to be around 6-3, 190 pounds, gave professional evaluators a lot to consider with top performance to match really intriguing tools. Undoubtedly, he boosted his MLB Draft stock.
Top two-way talent
Luke Billings is among the most famous names for the 2025 class nationally. A longtime Tennessee commitment who was a member of the Texas Rangers Area Code team, Billings looked noticeably stronger and performed at an elite level with the bat. The right-handed pitcher also showed a distinct, true four-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, slider, changeup) with all pitches giving the appearance of being future average or better and touched 89 MPH on the mound.
Perhaps Edmond Santa Fe (Oklahoma) two-way standout Carson Brumbaugh soon joins Billings as one of the most famous 2025 names in the country. He certainly looked the part of an elite talent at the Five Tool Festival. Brumbaugh touched 92 MPH during a dominant relief appearance and also snapped off a true, swing-and-miss slider at 81 MPH. He flashed the leather, and arm strength, when an unreal play from deep in the hole at shortstop and smacked line drives all over the field during the tournament. Dude alert.
This list could be a long one, which led to a loaded utility role section on the All-Festival team.
Rockwall’s Remington Spoerl punched out seven in 7.0 innings and gave up just three hits against a good Frenship lineup. His fastball touched 90 MPH, but it was the conviction he threw it with that made it really stand out. Spoerl didn’t mess around on the mound. He challenged hitters with his heater, trading command for fearless control and daring hitters to beat him with his number one. Sometimes, the presence a pitcher takes with him to the mound can help his stuff play up. That's the case with Spoerl.
I don’t know who is in charge of the Bixby High School PA system, but I’d be tempted to take it over and play the M.C. Hammer, “Stop! Hammer time!” clip whenever Brian Justice toes the rubber. An uncommitted right-hander in the 2025 class, Justice spun an impressive curveball with tight spin, true overhand shape, bite and depth. A case could even be made for Justice’s changeup making the list, too. He punched out Caden Sorrell with it twice before Sorrell took him deep the third time. Regardless, Justice is a very intriguing 2025 pitcher with major D1 upside.
Rockwall-Heath’s Landry Powell, an ETBU signee, could be the pick here, too. His curveball has a similar profile and shape and baffled hitters, which led to nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings.
Sometimes, it hisses as it angrily and aggressively attacks the batter’s box only to dart and deliver a painful experience as it approaches. That “it” is the slider of the ‘Water Moccasin,’ Stephen Sepulveda. The Americas right-handed pitcher and Baylor signee used his excellent slider to rack up 11 strikeouts during his 7.0-inning complete game masterpiece against Southlake Carroll.
Although he had a short outing, Mater Dei right-hander and 2023 Vanderbilt signee Brennan Seiber showed a future plus slider that created whiffs and uncomfortable takes against Southlake Carroll.
Marcus junior right-hander Griffin Lewis didn’t just have a good changeup, which featured some late tumble to his arm side. He used it in a way many high school pitchers don’t: he attacked right-handers with it early and often. We hardly ever see high school - heck, even a lot of college and pro pitchers - pitchers use a changeup in a right-on-right situation. Lewis' looked like a good one, adding to his profile as one of the more intriguing uncommitted 2024 pitchers in the Five Tool Festival.
Frenship’s Brooks Roberson, a 2024 Louisiana Tech commitment, could have been the pick here, too. His changeup is a true difference-maker and neutralized left-handed hitters during an impressive start.
They call him the fireman
With his team clinging to a 6-3 lead in a true road environment against Prosper in its home park, Adrian Quintana was brought in for a 2.0-inning save. The Americas right-hander isn’t an imposing figure on the mound. But his fastball did a lot of talking. With a lightning-quick arm and athletic delivery, Quintana, who signed with El Paso Community College, began firing bowling balls up to 91 MPH on a frigid night. He didn’t give up a hit, allowed just one walk and struck out two to earn the save against one of the state’s top lineups.
Flower Mound Marcus junior right-hander David Hernandez was outstanding in relief against Mater Dei. He entered with the bases loaded and one out and proceeded to strike out the next two batters to escape the jam. Ice in his veins. From a low slot that was an uncomfortable look for right-handed hitters, the uncommitted prospect touched 85 MPH with his fastball and his harder breaking ball, which appeared more like a true slider than slurve, generated whiffs around 77 MPH.
Mater Dei right-hander JM Harduvel entered a dicey situation in front of a raucous student section and performed so well he made the All-Festival team.
Scouting sometimes delivers unexpected presents and among them is looking down at a stopwatch and audibly saying, “whoa!” That’s what Rock Hill’s Danny Lawler did when I watched him Friday. In addition to playing excellent defense at third base, Lawler, an uncommitted right-handed hitter in the 2023 class, ran 3.86 seconds down the line on a bunt. Unsurprisingly, he turned the sacrifice bunt into a hit. Lawler is a good athlete whose arm probably profiles better at second base than third base, but he can fly and put the ball in play routinely.
Lincoln Skinner is a name mentioned on the Five Tool podcast a couple times recently because of his standout athleticism, speed and all-around ability as an uncommitted shortstop in the 2023 class. I saw Skinner run down the line in 4.01 seconds and he runs with the fluidity of a good wide receiver. He also smacked some hard line drives, made a couple of tough plays at shortstop and is poised to hit at the top of the lineup for one of the state’s top teams.
Fearless in the box
Rather than give this to one player, I’m going to give it to an entire team. Watching Americas fearlessly compete in the batter’s box was a treat. Starting at the top with a pesky, annoying (or pitchers) leadoff hitter Andres Suarez, Americas routinely spoiled pitches, worked deep into the count and never once looked like it lacked confidence. Suarez helps set the tone and hands it off to players like Eason Moomau and Gael Bernal keeps the approach going behind the heart of the lineup.
If a pitcher is going to get this lineup out, he’s going to have to earn it.
Let the big dog eat
Deer Creek right-handed slugger Luke Schimmels established himself early as one of the top hitters in the event and ended the Five Tool Festival by hammering baseballs against Southlake Carroll. A big, imposing presence who appeared to be around 6-4 and moved well for his size, Schimmels impressed because he chose good pitches to swing at and when he swung, he swung with under control aggression. Looking ahead, Schimmels is a candidate to add a substantial amount of muscle, which likely results in plus raw power in the future.
For Rock Hill, Colin Moore stepped into the box with one thing on his mind: hitting the baseball as hard as he possibly can. Yes, it’s an all-or-nothing type of approach and swing. And yes, he is a power over contact hitter. But no one better represented “let the big dog eat” than Moore, who destroyed two home runs, including one that nearly hit the building way behind the left-center field fence at his home park.
No fly zone
Frenship’s Landon Hutcheson was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Five Tool Festival and also had the top defensive play of the event. Rock Hill looked like it had just one the game when it hit a sinking line drive to right-center field. But Hutcheson, with the score tied 4-4, made an outstanding, instinctive break off the bat, took an excellent route, and used his plus speed and athleticism to dive full extension, make the catch and then get up to throw out a runner at second base to complete a double play. Off the bat, it appeared like Hutcheson had no chance at making the play. None. He flew across the turf like he does on Friday nights when he catches touchdowns.
Hutcheson was so impressive defensively with such a natural feel for the position that there were moments Frenship could have played with just two outfielders because he was covering that much ground. In fact, he was able to range over to left field and right field multiple times to make catches when other outfielders were struggling with the wind.
Rockwall-Heath’s Drew Smith also represented a “no fly zone” in center field, which included making two outstanding catches to rob opponents of hits. Smith, like Hutcheson, is a good athlete with plus speed and it translates to center field where he can impact games and track balls down even if he doesn’t get a perfect read off the bat. And like Hutcheson, Smith was one of the top uncommitted 2024 prospects at the event.
Southlake Carroll infielder and left-handed hitter Ben Tryon has been a Five Tool favorite for years. I recall him showing up to Texas Premier on a hot summer day in 2021 and hitting an opposite-field homer against an 85 MPH fastball on the outer edge of the plate; it was one of those moments when you know you’re watching a player who can truly hit. And Tryon hasn’t stopped hitting since.
A DBU signee, it’s almost a surprise when Tryon doesn’t hit a ball hard because he recognizes pitches well out of the hand and tracks them confidently. During his final game of the event, Tryon sat on a two-strike breaking ball and smashed a hard line drive into right field, which was a perfect example of who he is as a hitter.
Controlling the zone
Speaking of hitters tracking pitches well, Mater Dei senior outfielder Derek Gonzales displayed outstanding strike zone awareness and pitch recognition. He saw the ball so well that it hurt him in one at-bat: deep in a competitive at-bat, he took a fastball that was well off the plate before it was incorrectly called a strike. Sorry, Derek. The home plate umpires won’t get much better until professional baseball.
When Gonzales, who, much to our surprise, is still uncommitted, picks a pitch to swing at, chances are high it’s a strike and a pitch he can handle. The very physical, strong right-handed hitters showed he could pull the ball and go the other way against pitches on the outer half.
Controlling the zone (pitcher)
Even though the event’s MVP (Caden Sorrell) and Most Outstanding Catcher (Van Klein) tagged him for homers on a day when the ball was flying out, Mater Dei right-handed pitcher and recent USC commitment Kalani Santos was really impressive on the mound. A sneaky good athlete who repeated his delivery well, Santos pitched with a very steady head, minimal effort and appeared to have the best - or at least near the top of the list - control and command profile of any starting pitcher. Santos used a distinct pitch mix and began the game at 87-89 MPH and ended his outing in the fifth inning still touching 88 MPH multiple times. He profiles as a future strike-throwing machine at USC with multiple pitches in any count.
Rockwall’s Pearson Riebock deserves a mention, too. He showed very promising command and execution of his fastball, especially for a junior who is relatively new to pitching. Teammate Keller Lindeman again pounded the zone with his stuff after impressing Five Tool during the Hill Country Tournament the week prior.
Model of consistency
Heck, we could probably give this to the entire top part of the Rockwall lineup because Brayden Randle (Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Five Tool Festival) and Pearson Riebock have been unstoppable forces in the batter’s box and Jake Overstreet has statistically been the team’s top hitter. But we’re going to give this honor to TCU signee and left-handed hitting infielder Micah Kendrick because each time he stepped into the batter’s box, he had a very consistent approach, which translated to consistently being on base.
Not your typical freshmen
Sante Fe two-way talent Savion Sims made the Five Tool podcast look smart when he smashed a bomb over the ‘Green Monster’ at Prosper and was named to the all-festival team. It’s even more obvious after seeing him perform that Sims has a tantalizing combination of future tools and physical upside.
Rock Hill shortstop Joshua Viars also made the Five Tool staff look smart. Maybe we should just talk about freshmen who are going to be really good. Anyway, Viars was Rock Hill’s best and most consistent hitter. He also played a clean shortstop and his combination of skill and IQ showed in an impressive capacity all-around.
Keep an eye on Conway right-handed hitter Shaun Cover, too. He was a productive hitter with an advanced feel for letting the baseball travel. Magnolia Heights’ Cole Prosek showed why he’s already committed to Ole Miss because he is a major hitting prospect and teammate and fellow Ole Miss commit from the 2027 class - yes, he’s an eighth grader - Quincy Pratt stepped into the box and drilled a pitch hard to the outfield.
A magnet for baseballs, unfortunately
I don’t blame pitchers. When Conway’s Preston Prock stepped into the batter’s box, it looked like a college tight end holding a twig for a bat. Unfortunately for Prock, that also means he’s a big target when it comes to being hit by pitches because there’s simply a lot more of him to hit. And he was unintentionally plunked several times. When he wasn’t wearing a pitch that bounced off his muscular, physical frame, he was often hammering the baseball.