Five Tool Scouting Staff Notes (March 29-April 6)

Over the course of the 2022 high school baseball season, Five Tool will have scouts to go alongside video coverage at select games throughout our regional areas. The Five Tool Scouting Staff Notes this week include Southern California and Texas. Our staff has been tasked to look at all sorts of players who perform at a high level as well as players who have 2022 MLB Draft potential.

There will be a wide variety of players in these notes from uncommitted players to Division 1 commits to Division 3 commits and to junior college commits. Some games may have a few players noted while others may have a plethora, all dependent upon performances during the games.

Listed below are the Five Tool Scouting Staff Notes.

Arizona

Verrado vs. Lake Havasu (March 29)

Verrado’s (AZ) Garrett Hicks was electric on the bump. The RHP had everything working as he racked up nine strikeouts over six innings of work. Hicks utilized a nice pitch mix with a fastball sitting 86-89 MPH and a sharp curveball at 76-77 MPH.  Smooth, repeatable delivery which should give him the ability to add more velocity at the next level. The 2022 Pima signee also impressed at the plate as he went 3-4 with an RBI.

2023 New Mexico State commit Tyler Acton was a standout performer in this matchup. The switch hitter was 2-3 while grabbing a single from both sides of the plate. Stoic approach at the plate waiting for delivery with a two-handed finish. Can see more power coming from this swing in the near future. The Verrado (AZ) junior proved to be a threat on the base paths and displayed great range at shortstop.

– Aaron Cable, Five Tool Arizona

Shadow Ridge vs. Tolleson Union (March 31)

2022 Tennessee signee Dillon Orr dealt for 6.1 innings striking out 11 in this matchup. The right-handed pitcher out of Shadow Ridge (AZ) was up to 93 MPH, but sat mostly 88-92. In the 7th inning, Orr was still consistently hitting 90 MPH on the radar gun. Curveball had a hard, late break at 74-76 MPH. Used it as a strikeout pitch mostly with his fastball setting things up. Also got a strikeout with a change up and threw it multiple times at 78-80 MPH. It was mostly a healthy dose of FB/CB on the night. Has a quick arm and an extremely projectable frame at 6-5, 205 lbs. Repeatable delivery on all pitches working from the same over-the-top arm slot. Love the hair game, the extra lettuce in the back might add a few miles per hour – small joke, but Orr is certainly nothing to joke about when he’s on the bump and locked in.

– Aaron Cable, Five Tool Arizona

Casteel vs. San Luis (April 6)

’22 Eduardo Villarreal out of San Luis (AZ) went seven innings striking out eight in a shutout victory. The RHP gave up four hits, but avoided hard contact for most of the game. Fastball sat 81-85 MPH, but used a slurve at 67-70 MPH consistently to get batters out. Threw first pitch breaking ball mostly pitching backwards keeping hitters guessing all game as they searched for the FB. Helped that he was deceptive and not tipping the slurve while still throwing this pitch in all counts. Uncommitted arm who knows how to pitch.

’23 Ernesto Ochoa hit the game’s only home run to left field in the 6th. The RHH out of San Luis (AZ) has some sneaky pop with some explosiveness. Starts in a high stance and places his hands back as his body goes forward with a high leg kick — good separation before attacking the baseball. Played well in center showing some range running in to make the final out with a diving catch.

’24 Arizona commit Kade Thompson has an absolute hose behind the plate. The catcher for Casteel (AZ) showed off the arm strength in between innings and is the real deal. Didn’t get a true opportunity to throw out any runners on a clean pitch. Is an above average blocker and receiver. At the dish, the RHH did not see much to hit, but did come up with a first inning single off third base. Excited to watch this one develop over the next few years.

Casteel’s (AZ) Landon Hairston is a pure hitter. The ’24 Arizona State commit picked up two hits on the late afternoon going to left and to center for singles. The LHH has a small leg kick and keeps his hands close to his helmet before the pitch. Upon arrival, gets some separation and looks just like the MLB logo before taking a swing. Has good rhythm at the plate he uses for timing with his bat moving up and down. Was really impressed with his ability to hit the low pitch and looks down the barrel on contact. Two-handed finish and there should be a big jump in his power in the next year.

California

Granite Bay vs. Whitney (March 31)

Granite Bay’s (CA) JP Smith had a great day at the dish finishing 3-for-3 with, most notably, the 2-out, bases loaded walk-off single off to center securing the win for Granite Bay. The 2022 Sacramento State signee has some pop from a quiet toe-tap load. Exudes confidence in the box and loves playing game. Will be fun to see what this dude can achieve at the next level.

Whitney’s (CA) Jace Gillmore swung it well in this one going 3-for-4 with a double. The 1B has a tall, lean build with room to grow. The uncommitted 2023 showcased a balanced and simple swing that allows him to hit the ball to all fields. Gillmore is also having a solid spring on the bump for Whitney. Certainly a guy to keep your eye on moving forward both on the mound and at the plate.

– Adam Yacek, Five Tool California

Bella Vista vs. Yuba City (April 1)

Yuba City’s (CA) Kaedin Bulock showed out in his first game starting for the varsity squad. The uncommitted 2024 was slotted in the 3-hole and finished 3-for-4 with two doubles. Bulock stands tall with a wide base and has a short, compact swing. The RHH was very aggressive in the box, sometimes chasing out of the zone, but the bat-to-ball skills were there and it didn’t hurt him in this matchup. Look for this dude to start popping up on scouts’ radars.

Uncommitted 2023 Jamie Groshong is a smooth swinging lefty who hits atop of the Bella Vista (CA) lineup. Although Groshong had no hits in this contest, I liked what I saw. He made hard contact twice at the plate with a line out to center on what could’ve been extra bases. He plays shortstop and has smooth, clean actions. A guy to definitely keep your eye on.

Bella Vista’s (CA) Daniel Paul is another sweet-swinging left-handed bat in the lineup. The uncommitted 2023 has a flat swing and drives the ball to all parts of the field. He finished with one hit in this contest with a couple of hard-hit outs. Paul has put together a solid spring so far, and I expect his success to continue throughout the rest of the season and into the summer.

– Adam Yacek, Five Tool California

Sheldon vs. Jesuit (April 5)

Michael Granrud has had solid performances in both games that I’ve attended this spring. The uncommitted 2023 hits out of the two-hole for a quality Jesuit (CA) side and consistently puts barrels on the baseball. A contact hitter who sprays line drives and is very patient in the box with a good eye. Impressive stuff from a LHH quality bat.

Jesuit’s (CA) Nick Alkire is a stocky left-handed hitting power bat who stood out in this one. The uncommitted 2023 is another guy who has squared up the ball in both games I’ve seen Jesuit this spring. He likes the pull-side of the field and makes loud contact when he connects. Short and compact swing with a mostly flat bat path.

– Adam Yacek, Five Tool California

Santa Margarita vs. Cypress (April 6)

Santa Margarita’s (CA) Luke Lavin is a high level back stop for the Eagles. The junior has a 6’3 frame with tons of mobility behind the dish and plus hands. Held on to a couple foul tips for strike three and presented strikes well. The 2023 Stanford commit has an above average arm. On the offensive side, this dude seemed to barrel balls all day from the left side. Has tremendous feel for the barrel and his approach is advanced. Has a compact swing that plays against velocity and both RH & LH pitching. Definitely expect to see this dude’s name called on draft day next year.

2023 Oregon commit Sammy Cova showed a solid arsenal on the mound. The Santa Margarita (CA) junior mostly relied on a two-pitch mix of a fastball at 86-88 MPH and a curveball at 67-71 MPH. The LHP showed the ability to locate his FB on the inner half at times to neutralize 9 RHHs. Really tunnels the CB well with the ability to back door and back foot the pitch with lots of depth. Nice showing from an arm that is only going to get better.

Santa Margarita’s (CA) Logan de Groot is uber athletic and sports a 6’3 190-pound frame. The 2024 UCLA commit has long levers that generate power when on time. The RHH utilizes a simple load at the plate and collected two hits with one RBI. The outfielder has long strides which allow him to run bases well and cover ground in the field.

Cypress’ (CA) Gabriel Cobian is a do-it-all guy. The switch hitting CF/LHP impacts the game in many facets. Only a sophomore, but has the moxie of an upperclassmen. The 2024 Long Beach State commit covers a ton of ground in center and showed some extra base potential from the left side. Really neutralized heavy LHH lineup on the mound with ability to mix speeds and miss barrels. This dude will be a cornerstone for Cypress throughout his HS career.

Cypress’ (CA) Matthew Morrell is a two-sport athlete who shows a ton of twitch and athleticism on the diamond. The 2023 Oregon State commit went 4-for-4 on the day with the ability to use the whole field to find his knocks. This dude is very physical at 6’4, 195 and is a little raw but has a tremendous ceiling. Look for him to be a key player on a superb Cypress squad.

2024 Arizona State commit Nicholas Montgomery had the best offensive day for Cypress (CA). Montgomery is a commanding presence in the box who looks to do damage. Love the intent he brings to plate. The RHH has a big load but is consistently on time even against high velo. Has a fluid swing and hands are advanced. This dude has a chance to bee special as his hit and power tools are both off the charts.

Cypress’ (CA) Luke Matlock was solid in his four innings of work on the mound. The uncommitted 2023 was in the low 80s with his fastball but showed elite command of it. The RHP has a low three-quarters slot generating a ton of movement on his three-pitch mix of fastball, slider and changeup. Slider has late bite while the changeup has some bugs bunny action to it. Can throw all three pitches in any count to any hitter. Matlock has excellent pace on the mound and competes his butt off. Will certainly jump onto scouts’ radars with more performances like this.

– Tim Arakawa, Five Tool California

Oakmont vs. Placer (April 6)

Oakmont’s (CA) Adam Reyes didn’t really stand out at the plate in this one as he only went 1-for-3 with a bunt single, but his defense stood out as he had good footwork and a solid glove. The uncommitted 2023 has very smooth actions with enough arm strength to stick at the position at the next level.

Oakmont’s (CA) Kurt Marton proved to be a big time strike thrower in Wednesday night’s action. The RHP had a nice start in this one going five innings of shutout baseball en route to a 12-0 victory over a solid Placer team. His fastball velo was only 80-83 MPH, but he attacked the zone and mixed in a good curveball that he consistently threw for strikes finishing with five strikeouts and only giving up four hits. If this uncommitted 2023 can add a little strength and velo, he will have a chance to make some noise in the summer recruiting cycle.

Uncommitted 2024 John Handy had no hits to show for in this matchup, but he looked good at the plate making some hard contact. The Placer (CA) sophomore has an athletic build and a medium frame. Was aggressive early in counts jumping on the first pitch twice. Definitely, a guy to keep your eye on as he swings it well.

– Adam Yacek, Five Tool California

Texas

Summer Creek vs. Atascocita (April 1)

2023 Arkansas commit Kendall George’s hit and speed tool were on full display Friday night. The LHH led off the game with a triple and recorded a home to third time of 11.29s. The junior from Atascocita (TX) would finish the night with three hits, using the whole field, and scored three runs. Reeks athleticism and is a big time prospect.

2022 Cisco signee Erick Arcay hit a big league bomb in the top of the 1st to give his team a lead they would not relinquish. The LHH from Summer Creek (TX) went 3-for-4 with six runs batted in and one walk at the plate. Scorched all three of his hits to the pull side. This dude has huge potential at the plate and can absolutely mash the ball. Watch for this one to make some noise the rest of the season and into the summer.

– Nick Thames, Five Tool Texas

New Braunfels vs. Steele (April 1)

New Braunfels’ (TX) Sebastian Huerta is an uncommitted senior catcher who loves the game and being on the field leading his team. Vocal behind the plate with good receiving and blocking skills. The 2022 catcher has a quick transfer on throw downs and accurate arm. This dude has great pop at the plate and a strong recognition of the strike zone.

– Tracy Warren, Five Tool South Texas

Conroe vs. Grand Oaks (April 5)

Uncommitted 2024 Jackson Todd never seemed overmatched at any point in this ballgame. The Conroe (TX) sophomore stayed within himself in big moments. The LHH singled three times and drove in a run. Looked comfortable at 2B making all of the routine plays. Will definitely be a dude to watch in the coming years as he gets a little bit stronger.

2023 Rice commit Larry Drake is a dude you want on your side of the field. Hustles from the first pitch to the last and makes the routine plays at SS. The Grand Oaks (TX) junior ranges to his arm side and glove side well. Advanced bat-to-ball skills makes him a tough out at the plate. Went 3-for-5, with an RBI double and a triple at the plate. Hit the ball hard in his last at bat which resulted in a fly out, but sent the left fielder ranging back to the track. Displayed speed by stealing a base and hustled down the line on a routine ground ball to SS and caused the SS to make a throwing error. Drake seems to excel in all areas of the game and is an exciting prospect to keep an eye on.

Grand Oaks’ (TX) Bryce Dwyer is a dude you want to have behind the plate for you any game. Receives the ball well and blocks balls in the dirt. Showcased a 2.05s POP between innings putting the throw right on the bag. Reached base safely in all four trips to the plate. The uncommitted 2023 went 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and one walk. Good energy behind the plate. Certainly a guy you would love to throw to if you were on the bump.

2022 Western Texas College commit Daniel Collins pounded the zone from the time he entered the game with two outs in the second inning until the final out of the ballgame. The RHP’s fastball sat 81-83 MPH and touched 84 MPH as he held that velocity all game. The Grand Oaks (TX) senior punched out 10 in 5.1 innings pitched without allowing an earned run. Threw 56 of his 77 pitches for strikes for an excellent 73 percent strike rate.

Grand Oaks’ (TX) Drew Dyer displayed his power in his first AB of the the game turning on a fastball and sending it over the wall in left field for a solo home run. I was really impressed with his approach at the plate in the at bats following the home run. The uncommitted 2023 really stayed within himself, swung at good pitches and singled twice after the home run. Impressive bat from this dude.

– Nick Thames, Five Tool Texas

Molina vs. Adamson (April 5)

’22 SS Martin Colunga handled his position well in the late afternoon game. The Molina (TX) product showed a good glove making quick adjustments on bouncing balls in the infield. One small bobble on a hard-hit ball right at him that he was able to still turn two on. At the plate, didn’t get too much to hit, but had a roped double to left. No head movement on his swing and gets his hands inside the baseball.

’22 Alex Molina hits 3-hole for Molina (TX) and seems to be the captain of this squad. We saw him last year hit two home runs and sit 80-83 MPH on the mound striking out 12. Didn’t pitch this game, but the LHH turned on a pitch for a 2-run triple to right. Presents plenty of athleticism and is one of the better players out of 12-5A in Texas.

’25 Christian Salazar is a mature freshman who leads off for Adamson (TX). Had one hit in this game with some presence at the plate. Stands upright in the box only moving his hands. Needs to improve on the lower half and some power should start to develop. Showed off some arm strength with a throw from left to home in the air keeping the runner at third. Would like to see him move to center in the future and is certainly an intriguing young prospect out of the Dallas ISD.

– Jeffrey Kahn, Five Tool Texas

Mansfield vs. Lake Ridge (April 5)

Uncommitted 2022 RHP Xavier Hirsch hit 90 MPH multiple times in the first inning of his outing (sat 86-89 MPH and maintained velo throughout). Threw a ton of sliders at 79-81 MPH in all counts. Tall, lanky Mansfield (TX) product who reminds me a lot of current Dallas Baptist University freshman Ryan Johnson with the makeup and delivery. Tough to see the slider (with good depth) out of the hand working from the same 3/4 arm slot. A little whippy at times and may have gone one inning too many in the end. But, a definite ’22 arm that needs to be followed closely over his next few starts.

UTA signee Ryan Black made a great play at short showing legit range diving up the middle and throwing from his knees, but the runner was called safe at first. Upon my own replay, he was out, but it was a play that needs to be noted. The ’22 for Lake Ridge (TX) has a chance to be a special player and just missed at the plate on multiple at-bats. A left-handed hitter who looks the part at the dish with obvious bat speed and clear athleticism.

Cisco signee Will Block left this game with a leg injury running out a ground ball, but the ’22 catcher was solid behind the dish. The Lake Ridge (TX) product had one tough passed ball with a pitch hard in the dirt, but showed off above average arm strength from the position. Threw out a runner at second on a low pitch with a 2.04s POP time.

’24 2B/RHP Matthew Tellez is going to be one to watch for the next couple of years. Potential to be a two-way dude as he came in relief sitting 84-85 MPH. Had a slider at 75-76 MPH and change up at 75 MPH. Quick arm working over the top, went 1.2 innings and showed athleticism off the mound. Had a key RBI double that gave his team extra insurance late in this game. Also had a single the previous inning at the beginning of a rally. Showed the ability to go to both parts of the park hitting the pitch where it was pitched. Hits out of the 2 hole for Lake Ridge (TX).

University of Texas commit Matthew Millett sat 88-89 MPH throughout his start with a 79 MPH slider. The RHP struck out six in five innings of work with five hits and three earned. Didn’t issue a walk showing his ability to command the fastball. A 2024 who should continue to develop as he’ll get the ball to start in more big games over the next couple of years. Had a bright moment at the plate tying the game in the 6th with an RBI double to left center. Helped cap off a 4-run 6th for Lake Ridge (TX) which helped him get the no-decision.

– Jeffrey Kahn, Five Tool Texas

New Braunfels Canyon vs. Boerne Champion (April 5)

New Braunfels Canyon’s (TX) Isaac Yruretagoyena had only one hit in this one but it proved to be a big one. The uncommitted 2023 ripped a  two-run triple off the wall in left center. The junior had great at bats every plate appearance in which he showcased a simple swing with a lot of pop and his barrel stays in the zone. The center fielder has a good body frame and was in control throughout the game.

Boerne Champion’s (TX) Aidan Pickett led off and went 2-for-3 with two hard singles. Patient at the plate and hit his pitch and hit it hard. The uncommitted senior forced the pitcher to think about him every time he was on the bases. The LHH is quick on the bases and speedy in the outfield. A good ’22 that needs more eyes on him.

Boerne Champion’s (TX) Jordan Ballin is very smooth in the infield with an accurate arm and good footwork which allowed him to be in the right position for ground balls. This dude has a high baseball IQ and moved his teammates around to get them in the right position to make a play. Seems to be a team-first guy as he watched the pitcher on deck for tendencies and shared with teammates what he saw. The sophomore has some pop at the dish and had an RBI double and long fly ball to left center. Looks confident at the plate and had a great approach with knowledge for the strike zone. The uncommitted 2024 looked calm at all times and made plays in the big moments. He has a chance to grow into a very good ball player in the next year a two that will attract lots of college recruiters.

– Tracy Warren, Five Tool South Texas

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