Five Tool Scouting Staff Notes (March 3-5)

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 Arizona, 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 is the second installment of Five Tool Scouting Staff Notes.

Arizona

Campo Verde vs. Cactus Shadows (March 3)

Campo Verde’s (AZ) Luke Jones did a little bit of everything on Thursday afternoon. Behind the plate, Jones showcased soft hands, good blocking, and solid throw downs. At the dish, the uncommitted 2023 featured a connected swing with power to the left side. Picked up a big RBI double that propelled Campo Verde to a 6-2 win over Cactus Shadows.

Another notable performance came from Campo Verde’s (AZ) Jackson Reid. The left-handed hitting OF had good bat speed and pop to both sides. Really flew around the base paths and showed off some speed on a leadoff triple that got lost in the sun. The uncommitted 2023 is a good overall athlete and a player to follow as he develops.

Aaron Cable, Five Tool Arizona

California

Vista Murrieta vs. Chaparral (March 3)

Vista Murrieta’s (CA) Lukas Pirko battled on the bump all day. On a chillier day with the wind blowing out, The right handed California Baptist commit settled in after a bit of traffic through his first couple of innings. FB was up to 87 MPH early, but utilized and leaned on his changeup to keep hitters off balance throughout the ball game. Showed confidence using his CH in any count with good fade and same arm speed as his FB. Pirko went the distance and tossed a complete game gem as Vista Murrieta topped Chaparral, 9-3.

Uncommitted 2024 David Ruth looks the part for Vista Murrieta (CA). The RHH is only a sophomore hitting leadoff and playing SS for a talented Bronco squad and should tell you everything you need to know about what type of player this dude is. Put together a couple of good at bats on the day with solid, reliable defense at SS. Adding physicality will help offensively, but it appears Ruth will be able to stay on the left side of the infield in his future.

Freshman superstar Vaughn Neckar is going to be a force for the Vista Murrieta (CA) Broncos over the next four years. The 2025 LSU commit batted cleanup and had an absolute commanding presence in the box. Squared up a couple balls on the day for loud outs, just missing a pull side HR. Simple, quiet load with present bat speed. Swung at good pitches and appeared to be consistently on time. Potential two-way guy although we didn’t see him on the bump. This dude will be a fun name to keep an eye on as he gets stronger and progresses throughout high school.

Tim Arakawa, Five Tool California

Corona vs. Capistrano Valley (March 5)

Corona’s (CA) Ethan Schiefelbein was solid through 4.1 innings of work on the hill. The LHP carried a no-hitter into the 5th. FB was up to 89 MPH early and consistent at 86-88 MPH throughout. Easy velocity from Schiefelbein and didn’t show much off speed as he relied on his fastball up with two strikes to collect six punchouts on the day. The 2024 UCLA commit commanded his FB to both sides of the plate with a Madison Bumgarner-esque type delivery.

’22 Cal Poly signee Troy McCain is a blue-collar glue guy for a very talented Corona (CA) team. McCain shined in the clutch as he made a great diving catch in the top of the 7th of a tie ball game and then followed it up with a walk-off double in the bottom half of the inning. Showed athleticism ranging around in center and picked up another knock earlier in the game.

Josh Springer, ’24 Long Beach State commit out of Corona (CA) looks to do damage each and every time he steps in the box. Crushed a full count mistake pitch out to deep left center for a game tying home run in a back and forth battle. The RHH doesn’t get cheated at the plate. Defensively, Springer showed advanced actions for a 2024 graduate. Behind the plate, he looked to be athletic with strong hands and good receiver of the baseball.

Another notable standout from Saturday’s action was Jaylen White, a 2024 Arizona commit out of Corona (CA). The talented sophomore had a couple of good swings on the day as he put together a nice 2-3 performance at the dish. The RHH featured athletic actions in the box and above average bat speed that can catch up with big time velocity.

The loaded Corona (CA) lineup has no holes as Andrew Walters was another name to watch. The 2022 UCLA signee was hunting for his pitch all day long and absolutely crushed a three-run home run to the pull side. The RHH stayed through the baseball well and showed what his powerful swing can do.

-Tim Arakawa, Five Tool California 

Texas

Episcopal vs. Lamar (March 3)

’25 uncommitted OF/1B Jackson Cotton from Episcopal (TX) is one to keep an eye out for. The 6-0 left-handed hitter showed solid plate awareness and a smooth clean stroke in Thursday’s games. Cotton was able to work deep into several counts in his at-bats drawing a pair of walks. The big highlight was Cotton’s solo bomb to deep left-center off of USC commit Douglas Bauer. Also had a 4.28s to first on one of his at-bats. Throughout the day, Cotton showcased his ability to play both corner outfield positions and a few innings at first base. In the outfield, Cotton took a good first step and established clean angles to track down balls to both sides of him. Even though he’s just a freshman, we foresee Cotton to continue to excel on the diamond.

’22 USC signee Douglas Bauer impressed on Thursday at Fireman’s Park. The RHP sat 88-92 and touched 93 MPH with his fastball in four innings of work. The Lamar (TX) senior featured a high 3/4 arm slot and was able to get a lot of swings and misses with his fastball up in the zone. Bauer had eight strikeouts in his outing and showcased a curveball that he was able to throw in all counts at 71-72 MPH. Worked both ahead in the count and  quick throughout his whole outing. Bauer’s stuff will most certainly play as he transitions to the next level next fall.

Parker Wayne, Five Tool Texas

Keller vs. El Paso Eastlake (March 3)

Julian Aguero is 2023 graduate from Eastlake (TX) with a smaller frame but is very physical in the batter’s box. The uncommitted RHH hit an absolute bomb off the scoreboard in the first inning to give his team a three-run lead. Looks to have a relaxed upper half at the plate and was always trying to do damage with a quick, violent swing.

Keller’s (TX) Brayden Simmons is tall, lean and projectable center fielder with a compact sweet left-handed swing. The uncommitted 2023 hit a double to deep RCF in the bottom of the 7th to put himself in scoring position as the tying run. The junior has a very strong arm in the outfield and will be an interesting name to keep an eye on this spring.

– Mark Green, Five Tool Texas

Marcus vs. Arlington Martin & Amarillo (March 3)

There may not be a better right-handed slider in the state than the one that came out of the hand of ’22 University of Texas signee Max Grubbs. The Arlington Martin (TX) product spun the 77-79 MPH breaking ball in all counts over and over again for strikes. Slider had tight spin with sharp frisbee action moving both downward and across the zone which made it very difficult to hit. Can throw any pitch in any count for strikes. Creates natural deception with a consistent arm slot on all pitches working from a 3/4 angle generating swings and misses. Started the game with a walk, but then struck out three straight. Worked a perfect 2nd inning. Struck out the leadoff batter in the third, but next batter reach on a dropped 3rd strike who ended up working around the bases to score. Lost some feel in the 5th inning where he exited the game down two runs. Pitch count up to 91. Fastball has noticeable above average run inside with average sinking life up to 88 MPH. Picked up nine strikeouts in this outing.

Just like Grubbs’ slider, there may not be a better change up from a right-handed pitcher in the state than the one that came from ’22 Yale University signee Tate Evans. The Marcus (TX) product went all seven innings striking out eight on 66 pitches in his outing. Just like his counterpart, Evans threw his change up in every count at 75-76 MPH. Looks to have an elite level of feel with the changeup. Works over the top with some mild cross body action. Ball has late downward movement and missed just once which resulted in a pop out to center. Fastball sat 86-88 MPH and maintained mid 80’s velocity throughout the entirety of the game. Was 86 MPH in the 7th. Rarely threw the curveball at 71 MPH as the FB/CH combo was deadly.

It was just another day for ’22 TCU signee Jake Duer of Marcus (TX) as the LHH collected two hits in his first game (2-for-3 with 2 runs) and three in his second (3-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3R). Out of the leadoff spot, Duer starts with hands near his helmet getting them back as the pitch comes with an opposite-field approach. Seems to look away on offspeed and react on the fastball. Successful at this by keeping weight back and getting foot down on time with pitches. Swiped two bags on the day and looks to generate runs every time on base. Won some very tough at-bats against Grubbs in Game 1.

’22 Northeast Texas CC signee Nathan Harmon was 2-for-6 on the day and took advantage of a missed pitch going to left for a grand slam in a key point to bust the first game wide open. The RHH out of Marcus (TX) generates his bat speed from his back leg with it near perpendicular on contact. Has a two-handed finish after above average bat speed. Hits out of the 4-hole with easy launch to pull side. Made a nice play at third showing some athleticism, doesn’t look like the type to let many balls eat him up.

’23 Texas A&M commit Caden Sorrell is mostly a middle-away hitter. Does a great job of letting the ball travel using solid above average bat speed. The Marcus (TX) product has more of an attack approach to the baseball as well with a two-handed finish. Gains rhythm with hand movement out of a slightly open stance using a high leg kick for timing. Also can shorten up, including leg kick, when needing to get a job done. Was 1-for-3 in his first game with two runs batted in and one run scored. Went 2-for-3 in Game 2 with a home run, four runs batted in and two runs scored.

Speaking of getting a job done, that’s what Hank Harp seems to be all about at the end of this Marcus (TX) lineup. The ’23 RHH does a good job of keeping his hands back and going with the pitch. After previously getting beat on Grubbs’ slider, Harp figured it out in the 5th to help get a rally going. Moves the knees with the bat for rhythm and will be a tough out late in any lineup. Really solid, dependable glove at shortstop. Should see some noticeable jumps from all facets of his game as he gains some strength.

Only saw three innings out of ’23 RHP Logan Boertje myself, but there was still a lot to like. Worked from a 3/4 arm slot with some slight overthrow on four-seam at 84-85 MPH — heavy fastball. Two-seam fastball was 80-82 MPH with good downward movement. Pitched backwards to some batters inducing weak contact. Also worked a changeup (72-74 MPH) with run inside to RHH and a curveball that he primarily kept low at 67-69 MPH. Showed good feel and command of offspeed stuff. Ended up striking out eight in his outing with one walk.

– Jeffrey Kahn, Five Tool Texas

Nacogdoches vs. Orangefield (March 3)

Ole Miss signee Will Furniss hit a home run well over the scoreboard and continues to show he’s a big, physical left-handed hitter. The ’22 Nacogdoches (TX) first baseman had a couple very loud outs as well and is very athletic for his size. Strength shows in the swing as he has a massive plate presence and is very confident in the box. Covers the plate, knows the zone and fins the barrel a high percentage of the time.

Texas A&M commit Jason Bodin has an intimidating presence on the mound. The 2023 RHP out of Orangefield (TX) has a mechanically sound base and a strong/physical appearance. Despite the home run given up, Bodin is good with runners on. Fastball was up to 91 MPH with huge potential for more velo; constant low to mid-90s through the start. Had a curveball at 75-76 MPH and slider at 81-82 MPH which was was a plus pitch, but needs to use it more to setup or finish. Needs to work on controlling the inside part of the plate with all pitches. Still showed some resiliency in 6.1 innings of work striking out four.

Lake Creek vs. Episcopal (March 3)

’22 Texas A&M commit Shane Sdao out of Lake Creek (TX) was dominate through five innings on Thursday. The LHP sat 86-89 MPH with his fastball and featured good command to both sides of the plate. He also had a curveball (72-75 MPH) that he was able to throw in all counts and created a lot of weak contact. The future Aggie showed that he could field his position well and showed his ability as a leader in the dugout. Sdao worked quick and had a presence on the bump. We expect nothing less of the same from the lefty from Lake Creek throughout the rest of the spring.

’23 uncommitted 3B Samson Pugh was on fire this weekend in Brenham. Pugh batted fourth in a loaded Lake Creek (TX)  lineup and fit the calling. In Game 1 of the doubleheader, Pugh had three hits including a two-run home run, a three-run double and five runs batted in. The RHH starts from an athletic stance and has good bat speed through the zone. Pugh also showcased some speed getting down the line in 4.42s on an infield single. In the field, Pugh had quick actions to both his glove side and backhand at 3B where he will probably stick long term. He also had a strong accurate arm across the infield. The third baseman made an exceptional play coming in on a ball to get the runner out at first. Pugh may be uncommitted for now but it won’t be long before he the schools start calling. Get on this one!

Parker Wayne, Five Tool Texas

Kingwood Park vs. Hutto (March 3)

’23 uncommitted SS Marshall Burke from Kingwood Park (TX) had a huge day at the plate Thursday. The Junior batted third in the double header and tallied three hits in the win against Hutto. At the dish, Burke has a wide setup and simple load with quick hands through the zone. The righty showed his ability to hit to all parts of the field and also showcased some speed as well, legging out a triple and having a 4.57s home to first time. As a defender, Burke made every play look easy. His ability to cover ground will keep him up the middle at the next level. Though Kingwood Park may be a young team, this dude is one to look out for this season.

’23 Texas Tech commit Garet Boehm continues to prove himself. The 6’3 SS out of Hutto (TX) seems to get stronger and more physical every time we see him. Boehm has a small toe tap followed by a violent swing through the zone. He hit a towering solo home run to deep center field in his first at-bat of the weekend, but didn’t get much to hit the rest of the game, as he reached base after getting hit twice in his next two at-bats. Boehm looks to be a big time leader in the dugout for the Hippos. Looking forward to watching him the rest of the spring.

Parker Wayne, Five Tool Texas

Lake Travis vs. Round Rock (March 4)

2023 Texas commit Travis Sykora has lit up radar guns each time he has toed the rubber in the early stages of the high school season, but showed the other components of his game against Lake Travis Friday morning. While he did not take the mound, the superstar from Round Rock (TX) looked very smooth in the infield and was able to get low and feature good footwork for accurate throws across the diamond. The RHH also showed off his pure power at the plate and ripped a one-hop double to the fence in right into a heavy cross wind with an under control, two strike approach swing. There is so much to love about this one as he is a true five tool player.

2023 OJ Gonzalez from Lake Travis (TX) stole the show on Friday morning. From the very first pitch, the RHP was locked in, pounding the zone and using every part of the plate. The uncommitted junior featured a FB that sat 86-87 MPH in the first two innings and seemed like he never slowed down or tired. Really fed off the trash talk from the opposing team and fans in a positive way as he provided energy and showed passion on the bump. Also used a slurve that was 73-74 MPH and knew how to get ahead with, waste it and put hitters away with it. Gonzalez even attacked the big hitters for Round Rock (TX)  with his fastball and made mid to upper 80s look like low 90s by the frequent late swings. This dude will be someone to keep an eye on throughout the spring.

’22 Texas A&M signee Kaeden Kent just keeps on hitting. The sweet swinging lefty from Lake Travis (TX) has a very simple stance and great rhythm between hands and feet. Kent had two hard line drive hits that just flew off his bat. Always seems to be on time with his load and ready to hit as he steps in the box. The Five Tool 55 member is a big time leader for a loaded Cavalier team that looks to make a deep run in the playoffs this spring.

Tracy Warren, Five Tool South Texas

Coppell vs. Colleyville Heritage & Frisco Memorial (March 4)

Uncommitted 2022 Will Boylan turned out a stellar outing on the bump Friday morning. The RHP from Coppell (TX) gets good extension to the plate while coming across his body a little. Featured an explosive FB that sat 85-87 MPH and touched 88 MPH with some arm-side run. Boylan also mixed in a tight breaking ball on an 11-5 plane that played well off his FB and flashed a CH that was 78-79 MPH. This dude should not be uncommitted for long.

Andrew Schutlz, an uncommitted 2023 from Coppell (TX), came out of the gates hot Friday morning. The RHP hides the ball well in his delivery, creates good deception and has a short arm action. Threw both a 2-Seam that sat 82-84 MPH with a lot of arm side run and a 4-Seam that was 85-87 MPH and topped at 89 MPH once for a strikeout looking on the black. Breaking ball sat 73-74 MPH and had impressive bite. The shape of this pitch is somewhat reminiscent to former Coppell Cowboy Corey Kluber’s, although had a little more vertical break. This is definitely a guy that will have some eyes on him this spring.

’23 Texas Tech commit, TJ Pompey had a great showing at the dish and in the field. The SS is very athletic and will become even more so as his frame fills out. The righty showed advanced feel for the strike zone and hit a long home run to LF. Has both plus power and hit tools. Made several nice plays at SS, showed impressive range, quick hands and very good arm strength. It is easy to see why he’s committed to one of the current Top 25-ranked programs in the country.

Uncommitted 2022 Landry Fee plays as a big, physical RHP with a clean and very repetitive delivery. In his first start back from an arm injury, the Coppell (TX) senior sat 80-84 MPH with his fastball which has a ton of life and natural cut. Fee only spun a couple breaking balls the whole game but they were 72-73 MPH with great horizontal movement. Struck out four through five innings using almost all fastballs. Will be very interesting to follow the rest of the season as he becomes further removed from surgery. At the plate, Fields also swung it well (3-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 2R). The RHH has some twitch, made hard contact and caught several barrels.

Mark Green, Five Tool Texas

Cedar Ridge vs. Round Rock (March 4)

Uncommitted ’22 Matthew Brooks was impressive out of the leadoff spot for Cedar Ridge (TX) on Friday afternoon. The RHH ripped a 93 MPH line drive to left field, saw a lot of pitches for his teammates in the lead off spot and had competitive at bats. The senior definitely had a plan each time in the box as his approach was consistent each at bat. This one will be a name  to watch throughout the rest of the spring as he can certainly play at the next level and make an impact both at the plate and in the outfield.

Tracy Warren, Five Tool South Texas

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