Friday Five Tool Five (Feb. 11)

In today’s installment of the Friday Five Tool Five, we recap this week’s episode of the Five Tool Podcast, highlight standouts from the Prosper vs. Coppell scrimmage, discuss what we look for when scouting, how to stay in shape during the season, and outline the weekly schedule as well as begin the Five Tool 55 viewing tracker.

1. Five Tool Podcast Episode 43: Recapping Scrimmages

Dustin and I talked through three scrimmages that we had seen in the previous days including:

Coppell vs. Prosper
Cy Ranch vs. Tomball Memorial
Cy-Fair vs. College Station

I was in attendance for the Coppell vs. Prosper game and came away thinking both teams are going to have a chance to make some noise this year.  Prosper is deep at the plate with guys like Easton Carmichael (Oklahoma signee), Jacob Nelson, Cole Giametta, and Austin Wallace (North Central Texas College signee). On the mound, they are led by Lucas Davenport (Texas A&M signee) and Dane Burns (Mississippi State commit). A wildcard for Prosper will be heralded freshman Luke Billings. His development could be a major plus for the Eagles both at the plate and on the mound as they make a run towards Round Rock.

On the Coppell side, there is a lot to like about this year’s Cowboy team. With a good core returning on offense led by Walker Polk (Baylor signee), Tanner Sever, Bradley Castillo and TJ Pompey (Texas Tech commit), they should have the ability to score some runs. If this group can solidify itself on the mound by adding to known commodities such as Will Boylan and Pompey, they will have a chance to make some noise come playoff time.

Dustin and I also debated over the best concession stand food between hot dogs and nachos which later became our poll question. In the end, hot dogs came out victorious by a slim margin.

2. Prosper vs. Coppell Standouts

C: Easton Carmichael, Prosper (TX) 2022, Oklahoma signee -Solid presence behind the plate with several good at bats, consistency under 2.1 on throws to 2B
RHP: Lucas Davenport, Prosper (TX) 2022, Texas A&M signee -Struck out four in two innings of work and was up to 93 MPH
OF: Austin Wallace, Prosper (TX) 2022, North Central Texas College signee -Hit a massive HR over the green monster in LF
IF/RHP: TJ Pompey, Coppell (TX) 2023, Texas Tech commit -Worked a dominant inning on the mound and was up to 92 MPH with a devastating 83 MPH slider
IF/RHP: Andrew Schultz, Coppell (TX) 2023, uncommitted -Good contact in multiple at bats and worked a competitive inning on the mound
IF: Tanner Sever, Coppell (TX) 2023, uncommitted -Showed some physical gains and an advanced feel for 3B
IF: Michael Russell, Coppell (TX) 2024, uncommitted -Multiple good at bats and looks to be able to man SS with Pompey on the mound
C/RHP: Luke Billings, Prosper (TX) 2025, uncommitted -Smoked a ball to CF and was up to 88 MPH and flashed an advanced changeup

3. Scouting Thoughts: What we are looking for

As Dustin and I start to get out and see scrimmages and games, I thought I would provide somewhat of a primer for a few things we are looking for when we are out scouting.

1. Talent
This is obvious. We obviously want to see talent in the form of speed, power, velocity, and athleticism. Does a player and his abilities play to the next levels?

2. Effort
This SHOULD be obvious, but often it is not. Baseball is a hard game and there are quite a few things you cannot control. Effort is something that you can and should at all times be able to put forth. Not running hard on a ball put in play is one of my biggest pet peeves when scouting. For one, it’s lazy and selfish not to and second, you miss a great opportunity to showcase your speed even if the result of the at-bat ends in an out. Way too many times in my short time in this role have I seen kids waste a chance to give a scout something to take away.

3. Body Language
Do you pout when you get out or give up a hit? Do you dog it down the line on a pop-up or fail to back up a base when you give up a hit to the outfield? Those things can all matter in a close game, and not doing them says a lot about a player to me. Are you a guy that carries an at-bat with them to the defensive side? If you are an upperclassman or a leader for your team, what signals are you giving your teammates with the way you carry yourself?

4. How you are as a teammate
Are you a leader? Are you more concerned with how you do or how your team does? Will you be pouting after a win? Being competitive and upset is one thing, but if you can’t find a way to celebrate your team’s successes on a bad personal day, what does that tell your teammates and coaches?

There is a lot of talent in this state at all levels of baseball. Finding ways to separate yourself in other areas can often be what determines your future in this game. In your high school season, one thing should outweigh all others, and that is winning. If you do all the things that go into winning baseball, the rest will take care of itself. Pitch to get outs, swing to create offense for your team, and play smart defense. Throwing hard without strikes is not winning baseball. Swinging for the fences when you just need to move the runner is not winning baseball. Launching a ball from the outfield over the cutoff man to show off your arm is not winning baseball. Scouts are paying attention to these things.

4. Staying in Shape During the Season

One area that has gotten significantly better in our game is how people take care of their bodies. There are all kinds of ways to improve velocity, gain muscle mass, and just take care of your body by managing your recovery. One thing that young players often neglect is that you need to continue to do these things once the season starts. Will your strength and conditioning resemble what you did in the offseason? Probably not, but there is a level of maintenance required to keep all those gains from going away. There are a few easy things you can control and do easily to make sure your body is getting the proper recovery it needs: SLEEP and HYDRATE. We touched on some of this in our podcast with Dr. Katie McInnis back in the fall, and the Twitter thread below is a great reminder of how impactful hydrating can be on keeping your arm healthy as well.

5. Schedule and Five Tool 55 Tracker

I am going to keep count of the 2022 and 2023 Five Tool Members that Dustin and I have seen throughout the spring as we try to get all 110. So far we have seen the following live:

2022: 5
Blake Binderup, College Station (TX) 2022, Texas A&M signee
Easton Carmichael, Prosper (TX) 2022, Oklahoma signee
Jeric Curtis, Tomball Memorial (TX) 2022, Texas Tech signee
Christian Salazar, Cy Ranch (TX) 2022, Rice signee
Anthony Silva, Clark (TX) 2022, TCU signee

2023: 1
TJ Pompey, Coppell (TX) 2023, Texas Tech commit

Scrimmages I plan to make this weekend include:

Friday: Heath vs. Plano
Saturday: Arlington Martin vs. Ennis vs. Waxahachie

Drew Bishop
Five Tool Baseball
National Scouting Director

@drewhbishop
drew@fivetool.org

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