This past weekend across DFW locations – DBU, TCU, UTA, Weatherford College, and the Depot at Cleburne Station – Five Tool joined forces with the Texas Scouts Association to present an invite-only event featuring many of the top 2023 and 2024 teams and prospects in Texas. To say it was loaded is an understatement, and although we had video teams at all locations, the Five Tool scouting eyes could only be at a couple places at once. Yes, there was some ‘Baseball FOMO’ for this guy.

Unintentionally, some players are going to be left out of this notes section, and as we always say, check the tape to see the highlights and also listen to our latest podcast. With that out of the way, I’m going to take my pen-to-paper notes from each game I saw, add some polish and present them here:

Texas Twelve 2023 Maroon vs. Dulin’s Dodgers Prime 18U

Who says the Five Tool scheduling department doesn’t have a sense of humor? After these two titans created the summer’s best game during the AABC Don Mattingly World Series, they kicked off this past weekend’s event at DBU in front of professional scouts. Some familiar faces stood out.

The pitching matchup of Jakob Schulz (Texas Twelve 2023 Maroon) versus Carson Priebe (Dulin’s Dodgers Prime 18U) had flashes of excellence, but also some bumpy spots of control, which isn’t that uncommon during the fall. Once Schulz, a lefty from Memorial in Houston committed to Vanderbilt, found his quicker tempo, timing and release in the third inning, his strike-throwing and success significantly increased.

Schulz threw his fastball 86-89 MPH and touched 90 MPH while also throwing a 71-74 MPH curveball and an 81-83 MPH changeup. When he was able to stay on time and on top, his curveball showed promising, 12-6/1-7 shape and his fastball played up with a little bit of extra giddyup through the zone. When he didn’t, his control was scattered. Across 4.0 innings, he gave up one run on one out, three walks and struck out four. A physical lefty with a thick, strong lower half, Schulz has the ingredients to eat up a lot of innings at the next level.

As for Priebe, we touched on his performance HERE in our story from the Blue Jays Scout Team game earlier in the week against Weatherford College. During this look, the tall righty’s changeup was his best pitch, which resulted in a strikeout of Brayden Randle.

But Randle would have the last laugh against Dulin’s Dodgers. In the fifth inning, the recently uncommitted 2023 Rockwall infielder ripped a three-run homer high and deep over the right field wall, showcasing his ability to pull a pitch down in the zone and lift it with carry and power. In a limited look, Randle also looked a step quicker and more decisive to the baseball in the infield. Already, there is a very long line of major D1 programs trying to gain his commitment.

Mississippi State commitment and Dulin’s Dodgers outfielder Aidan Smith, who we touched on in our Blue Jays Scout Team story, continued to stand out with the bat, the glove and has been as all-around consistent as any prospect in the state. The Lovejoy prospect brings it every single game no matter the time of year, opponent or situation. Lane Allen, who we also featured in the Blue Jays story, went 2-for-3 with a RBI.

Jaquae Stewart just missed a few pitches, despite taking good swings, for the Dodgers Scout Team earlier in the week and he connected on one for a deep, left-center field double during Saturday’s first game. Smith nearly ran it down to complete a sensational catch. Stewart, committed to HBU, would later add another base hit and although his summer wasn’t as loud statistiaclly as many expected, his combination hand strength and speed, strike zone awareness, and left-handed swing with power remains excellent. There’s no doubt he’s one of the top hitters in the state, which he showed at DBU. Very small sample alert: He finished with a .625/.667/.875 slash line with no strikeouts.

Sam Houston State landed a good one because Blake Brown is a dude. The athletic, twitchy, right-handed hitter went 2-for-3 and has a knack for spraying line drives around the field and into the gaps. Brown is skilled enough to play all over the diamond, especially when considering his athleticism.

Each time I see Drew Markle, he’s faster. He ran 4.19 seconds down the line despite an awkward step when he debated on making a turn. Jack Bell is comfortable working deep into counts consistently and walked twice. Later in the event, both Markle and Bell’s bats came alive; the former scored four runs, drove in four and had a 1.069 OPS while the latter smacked a triple, scored two runs and drove in two more.

They didn’t post impressive statistics, but left-handed hitters Dakota Howard (2023 Oklahoma commitment) and Kendyl Johnson (2024 Texas Tech commitment) continue to look like future top-of-the-order, speedy hitters with all-around impressive athleticism. Older brother was a big-time prospect and 2024 infielder Kyle Branch, another Sooners commitment, is going to be one, too. He ran from home-to-first in 4.25 seconds, handled defensive plays in an advanced manner and it looks like being a standout hitter runs in the family because he swung the bat well, too.

Lonestar Baseball Club versus Stix Scout 2023

After a morning at DBU, I made the trip over to UTA in order to get eyes on Lonestar Baseball Club and Stix Scout 2023. I arrived in the second inning and saw 2024 right-handed pitcher Jack Brady do what he typically does – spin the baseball really well. Brady, who will participate with Five Tool in the Arizona Fall Classic, is a thin, tall pitcher with a quick arm who will fill out more in the future and has some present pitchability.

He should play a key role for Westlake High School next season and is a good bet to throw strikes with multiple pitches. In 3.0 innings, he gave up two earned runs on five hits, two walks and struck out five.

Barrett Johnson, a 2023 UTSA commitment from Johnson High School in San Antonio, stood out with the bat. Deep in the count, the right-handed hitter sat on a breaking ball and lined a hard base hit the opposite way. A gamer who is a two-way contributor for his high school, Johnson has shown he figures out ways to impact the game positively for his team.

Lonestar pitchers in the event benefited from pitching to recent Houston commitment AJ Herrera, who works hard behind the dish and helps neutralize the opposition’s running game with a quick transfer.

Overall, this game was a quiet one for Lonestar offensively, which was partially because of the work of right-handed starter Zach Kirkpatrick (Flower Mound Marcus) on the mound. He featured a fastball, sinker, curveball, slider and changeup and gave up two runs on three hits, one walk and struck out four in 3.1 innings. A tall, slender prospect, Kirkpatrick touched 85 MPH with his fastball and showed signs of being a strike-thrower.

Behind Kirkpatrick was right-hander Peyton Martin, who struggled to repeat his release point and battled his control, but did show some intriguing stuff – fastball up to 86 MPH with some natural cut occasionally; a 74-75 MPH curveball with quality shape; and a usable changeup. Martin, a 2023 prospect from Rockwall, is like Kirkpatrick in that he has some filling out to do physically and some growth that could occur there.

Offensively for the Stix, recent Midland College commitment Parker Ibrahimi packs some punch from the right side and looked like a good bet to hit with some power at the next level. Levi Risenhoover, an uncommitted 2023 prospect from Euless Trinity, stood out during the Five Tool World Series and his bat again caught my eye during this game. He’s a confident, skilled player who can do a bit of everything – including run, play defense and throw – to impact the game and there is some impact in his right-handed bat.

Playing against many prospects a year older, Oklahoma commitment and 2024 South Grand Prairie third baseman Austin Phillips looked right at home, showing the confident actions and soft hands we’re used to seeing defensively and advanced at-bats in the batter’s box.

Marucci Elite Texas 2023 – Thames versus 5 Star Performance 2023 National

This was my first look at left-handed hitter Ace Reese and it took one at-bat before I put myself in the camp of, “this dude can really, really hit.” Listed at 6-3, 190 pounds, Reese has a frame that should fill out with more mass and strength and add power to a very promising hit tool. In a tough left-on-left matchup against Keevyn Goss, Reese smashed a fastball hard up the middle that made Goss duck out of the way. The Houston commitment covered the plate and smacked a quality slider hard for a base knock in the earlier at-bat, and you can tell from his takes he’s one of those types of hitters that sees the ball a little differently and better than his peers.

After seeing Reese move at 4.50 seconds down the line, I think he has a chance to stick in a corner outfield spot with first base being a potential fallback depending on where his body goes. Regardless, he quickly established himself, at least in my eyes, as one of the best bets to really hit in the 2023 class.

It has been a long time since I’ve seen Micah Kendrick. Like his teammate Reese, he quickly won me over. The word I’d used for Kendrick is “solid” because the game comes naturally and easily to him in the batter’s box and on the infield dirt, where he proved capable of handling shortstop on the grass because of his ability to calmly make the routine play consistently thanks to his instincts and hands.

The switch-hitting infielder makes contact at a high rate – zero strikeouts in 10 plate appearances – and should grow into some more impact off the bat in the future. Kendrick looked like an average yet athletic runner who is also a player who plays faster than his run times.

Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet game offensively for 5 Star Performance 2023 National. JM Long, a Texas Tech commitment, showed some noticeable raw power and bat speed from the left side, but also some present swing-and-miss as well. If he can tap into his power consistently with a swing geared to drive the ball in the air, he could put up huge numbers in college.

Dillon Lester, who recently decommmitted from Oklahoma, caught some of the final innings of this game and caught a runner stealing with a 1.94 pop time, showcasing a strong arm. The right-handed hitter’s bat speed has always stood out and that was again the case at UTA. A fiery competitor, Lester shouldn’t lack suitors for his next commitment.

A main reason for 5 Star Performance 2023 National’s quiet game at the plate was Goss, who punched out six across 3.0 impressive frames and gave up just one unearned run on two hits and two walks. The HBU commitment touched 90 MPH with his fastball and threw his 82-83 MPH changeup with a similar look to his fastball. However, the lefty’s slider was the moneymaker, and repeatedly racked up whiffs or uncomfortable takes. At 79-82 MPH, Goss’ slider had true, tight, short shape and he executed it against both righties and lefties.

Thanks to a short, horizontal takeaway, Goss adds some deception because of his arm path, which helps his stuff play up. With a strong, thick lower half, short arms, a physical frame and an easy delivery with a fairly quiet head, Goss is an excellent bet to fill a workhorse starter’s role in college and showed good elbow flexion and shoulder rotation.

I don’t know who is involved in his recruitment, but D1 programs in need of an outfielder need to pay attention to Marucci Elite Texas 2023 Thames’ Tre’ Broussard. A standout during the AABC Don Mattingly World Series, Broussard, who attends Shadow Creek, again showed his impressive athleticism, bat speed, pretty left-handed swing, plus outfield arm and 4.2 speed down the line from the left side (can be a bit slow out of the box at times and runs better than 4.2). Again, all of these samples are small, but his .375/.444/.500 line is a true indicator of his talent and there’s still projection remaining.

The Rice 2023 commitment duo of Larry Drake and Tobias Motley both had bright moments. Drake made handling the weekend’s pitching look easy and was in total control to the tune of hitting .500/.600/.500 by smacking liners through the infield. As for Motley, he just missed hitting a homer to dead-center field at UTA, a place where the ball went to die every time it was in the air. Motley’s power/impact off the bat increases each time I see him, likely the result of filling out his frame with more strength and more consistently finding feel for the barrel.

Matthew Tellez, a 2024 infielder from Lake Ridge who is uncommitted, was very productive with the bat and used impressive hand-eye coordination, pitch recognition and contact ability to record base hits to left field, up the middle and also to right field. He has some natural hitting feel and can really play the game. On a big turn at first base, he ran 4.62 seconds from home.

On the mound for 5 Star Performance 2023 National, Colton Cross started and tossed 2.2 innings and gave up two unearned runs on one hit, three walks and he struck out three. A Texas Tech commitment, Cross featured a fastball up to 89 MPH, a changeup with a lot of circle-like run and a hard slider capable of missing bats up to 80 MPH. With a noticeable head whack and some effort to get to the velocity, Cross looked like he might profile best at the next level in the bullpen, but the stuff and velocity are going to continue to trend positively.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see two pitchers I would have liked to have seen, including left-handed starter and Alvin College commitment Austin Baker, who earned a strong reputation as a competitive winner with good pitchability. He struck out 10 across 6.0 innings and gave up just three hits and one unearned run. Baker has the look of a strike-throwing machine with his fastball and curveball with command of both.

The other arm I didn’t see was Houston commitment and Silsbee prospect Logan Simmons, although Drew Bishop did see him and had very complimentary things to say. Another guy who looked like a strike-throwing machine with multiple pitches, Simmons, a physical and strong righty with an easily repeatable delivery, gave up two earned runs in 5.0 innings on seven hits, one walk and struck out eight. Simmons possesses advanced feel for spinning a slider and what also looked like a curveball; both are capable of missing bats.

5 Star Performance 2024 National vs. Arlington A’s Yankees

To be candid, the energy of this game was very blah. That didn’t apply to each player, but I definitely was hoping for a little more. What I saw was a group of 2024 Arlington A’s Yankees players who brought energy, exciting talent and competitiveness to TCU on a warm September evening.

Harrison Christiana played a solid third base, competed very well in the batter’s box with some impact ability off the bat, and ended the game with an athletic, leaping grab to snare a screaming liner out of the air. The Timber Creek High School prospect also caught in a Sunday game I saw at TCU and showed intriguing skill behind the dish, which included throwing out three runners in the same game. Extremely impressive. Listed at 6-0, 175 pounds, Christiana looked like he’s going to grow into a physical, strong right-handed hitter with a chance to be recruited as a catcher who could play third base, too.

Against a hard-throwing right-hander, left-handed hitting center fielder Owen Branch opened the game with a smooth swing and a double the opposite way. Still growing into his frame, Branch came up empty on occasion with the bat, but his swing looked like it should translate to a lot of success at Byron Nelson High School. Plus, he covered ground in center field.

These two players did their work on Sunday when I watched the Arlington A’s Yankees again at TCU: Cohl McCoy played shortstop with good actions and a ton of confidence; outfielder Rodney Haywood was one of the most exciting and fun players I watched. Haywood has impressive tools (can run, throw, play defense and is an intriguing hitter), an infectious competitive spirit and is the type of player who impacts winning. Watching him was a treat.

On the mound during Saturday’s game against 5 Star Performance 2024 National, Keller Central 2025 prospect Michael Dobbins established himself as a sophomore to follow. Skinny with long arms, Dobbins tossed 3.0 shutout innings and gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out four. The right-hander confidently and calmly threw strikes with all three pitches – fastball, curveball, changeup – and showed advanced pitchability along with control and command. Dobbins touched 84 MPH with his fastball and the way his arm works suggests more velocity is coming, especially as he matures physically.

Another Arlington A’s Yankees pitcher who stood out, this time in Sunday’s game, was North Crowley’s Michael Bell. A high-waisted athlete with very long arms and a lot of physical projection remaining, Bell touched 90 MPH with his fastball and threw a firm changeup with conviction and a short curveball. He’s just scratching the surface of what he could become down the road, but possesses a lot of special traits that can’t be taught.

On the 5 Star Performance 2024 National side, big, hard-throwing right-hander Grant Origer (Plano East) touched 90 MPH with impressive spin and a 73-76 MPH slider that created whiffs when it came out of his hand the right way. In 3.0 innings, Origer gave up one earned run on four hits, three walks and struck out five. I could see him in a few years throwing important innings in the backend of a D1 bullpen because his fastball is likely going to improve.

Right-handed hitting infielder Brady Coe went 3-for-4 and took some of the best plate appearances of the night and although he had a quiet box score, right-handed hitter Ashton Hartwig from Deer Creek High School in Oklahoma also took impressive at-bats. Rockwall-Heath outfielder Drew Smith stood out during the Pudge Rodriguez World Classic and his bat speed and athleticism were again attention-grabbing.

(Editor’s note: My Sunday didn’t quite go as planned. I knew a sinus infection was happening when I woke up Saturday and figured it could wait until an appointment a couple days later. But that turned into a sinus infection, ear infection and ruptured eardrum in the very early hours of Sunday morning. So, part of my day was spent in urgent care and waiting for medicine, but I did catch some innings at TCU.)

Trosky Texas 2023: Liked the way Exavier Mendez competed in a very deep at-bat before lining a hard base hit. An uncommitted prospect from North Shore, I’d be surprised if Mendez doesn’t play a key role for his high school team this upcoming season, along with select and high school teammate Jacob Tanguma.

Stix 2025 Scout: Marcos Paz did what Marcos Paz does, breezing through 2.0 scoreless, no-hit innings with one walk and three strikeouts. He touched 90 MPH and threw his fastball, slider and changeup for strikes. Behind him, right-hander Brody Kahnle (Homeschool) also dominated with 2.0 perfect innings and five strikeouts. From a low slot, Kahnle touched 89 MPH with his fastball and racked up a ton of whiffs with his slider that was up to 79 MPH. He has the makings of a physical, hard-throwing pitching prospect who could be a heavily recruited one in the 2025 class.

At the plate, Cayden Mitchell (Mansfield Timberview) hit a rocket and timed good velocity well. Hudson Knight showed promising barrel feel, bad speed and has some athletic twitch in his game. And Braxton Van Cleave continued to look like one of the most intriguing left-handed hitters in his class with a promising power-speed combo developing.

The FOMO List (players, in addition to ones already mentioned, I didn’t get to see in person but heard good things about)

5 Star Performance 2024 National left-handed pitcher Ryler Smart

United Baseball Club right-handed pitcher Carson Wiggins

Dallas Tigers – Bergman left-handed pitcher Park Prater

Texas Twelve 2023 Maroon right-handed pitcher Ian Carlson

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

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