Friday Five Tool Five (Feb. 18)

In today’s installment of the Friday Five Tool Five, we recap this week’s two episodes of the Five Tool Podcast, highlight standouts from the scrimmages in North Texas and East Texas and outline the weekly schedule as well as begin the Five Tool 55 viewing tracker.

1. Recapping Episode 44 of the Five Tool Podcast

Dustin and I spent some time going over Valentine’s plans and past failures on my part, including getting taken advantage of in a floral store from the pricing side. Hit on a few ways that Valentine’s Day plans can look a little different with young kids in the picture. We then talked some Super Bowl to break down our thoughts and how things played out in Los Angeles on Sunday.

On to the good stuff, we broke down scrimmages we saw over the weekend including Dustin seeing Round Rock 2023 RHP Travis Sykora (Texas signee) hitting 99 against a talented, young Westlake team featuring stud 2024 SS Theo Gillen, me seeing 2022 Rockwall-Heath SS Jett Williams (MSU signee) and then 2022 Waxahachie 1B/OF/LHP Jared Thomas. You can find the notes and standouts from the games I saw below.

One thing that has really stuck out to both of us is the amount of talent on some of these teams across all different classes. Several teams that we have seen already will have a chance to do some damage in the playoffs. I could see Prosper making a deep run, Heath is talented again with returning talent on the mound, and if some young guys step up, I could see Arlington Martin doing some damage in the postseason.

One thing that does show up early in the season is the experience factor. You can tell the guys who have been through it before. For example, guys like 2022 Arlington Martin RHP Max Grubbs (Texas signee) threw a very professional tune-up inning in miserable conditions. Some of the younger kids I have seen definitely seem out to prove their spot and their velocity while some veterans understand they are getting their reps and work in as they move closer to the season. So far it has been fun to see the marked improvement in quality from scrimmage one to scrimmage two. There is definitely a higher level of play and comfort with where to go, where to be, etc. We are both excited to get the season going for real next week on the public school side.

2. Recapping Episode 45 of the Five Tool Podcast

On episode 45, we spent some time going over what we saw at scrimmages Tuesday. We broke down prospects from scrimmages we saw with some of the headliners being 2022 Five Tool 55 members Will Furniss (Ole Miss), Cole Phillips (Arkansas), Kasen Wells (TAMU), and Jalin Flores (Texas). The depth and number of players outside of those guys in the scrimmages was strong as mentioned later in the article. Cole Phillips had another 99 mph day for Boerne while Wells and Flores showed off their athleticism with good run times down the line. Furniss showed why he is not only a power hitter but just a good hitter overall with his performance against Henderson. What stuck out to me with Furniss is that he still looks really young and his body looks noticeably better just since the summer, which tells me there is some time before that body is done developing. He is the epitome of what a middle of the lineup first baseman in the SEC looks like.

I really enjoyed going out to East Texas and getting my eyes on some kids from the 2022 all the way down to the 2025 class. There is definitely no shortage of athletes #bEASTexas. Whitehouse has a collection of young talent that appears to have a bright future with a potential run at Round Rock over the next couple years. Coach Branch had his boys playing a clean brand of baseball with some energy for the Tuesday scrimmage. First year Henderson Coach Pyle has some exciting young players to build with over the next few years and Nacogdoches mainstay Coach Greer has some arms and athletes that could make some noise in the playoffs this year.

We closed today’s podcast touching on the importance of strength and conditioning in development and then made a 180 degree turn to talk about food leading us to this week’s poll question. Do you prefer your sandwiches HOT or COLD?

3. Friday and Saturday Notes

Besides the obvious headliners of Jett Williams and Jared Thomas, there was a pretty significant list of guys that caught my attention between the two scrimmages:

Rockwall Heath (TX)
’22 RHP Baylor Baumann, Houston Baptist signee: Attacked with a well-located FB, good tempo, moved the ball around and pitched with swagger

’22 RHP Jonny Lowe, McLennan signee: Tone-setter, attacked with FB up to 89 and a swing and miss CB

’23 LHP/OF Collin Adams, uncommitted: Good 2-way athlete move-in from California, crafty on the mound and I had him at 3.96 down the line on a bunt
’24 1B Caleb Hoover, uncommitted: Big LH bat that will be counted on to protect Jett Williams. MASSIVE power potential.

Plano (TX)
’23 LHP Kyle Bade, uncommitted: Competitive LHP that attacked with a FB up to 86 and a good SL, flashed a CB as well

Arlington Martin (TX)
’22 RHP Max Grubbs, Texas signee: Flashed a good BB, easy delivery, composed and threw a low effort tune-up inning

’22 2B Cade Weihrich uncommitted: Good actions, carries himself like a leader
’23 IF/OF Logan Myers, UTA commit: Didn’t have much action in the game, but there is power there and a good arm
2024 OF Tristan Bittle, Texas A&M commit: Athletic, can run, reminds me of a young Calvin Murray physically

Waxahachie (TX)
’22 IF/OF/LHP Jared Thomas, Texas signee: Possibly the best hitter in the state, advanced feel and instincts, getting faster, can play anywhere they allow lefties

’24 LHP Zach Pearrow, uncommitted: Like what I have seen from him on the mound, strong for his age, has a chance to really help the Indians this year

4. Tuesday Notes

I got to spend some time out in #bEASTexas Tuesday seeing Whitehouse vs. Bullard and Nacogdoches vs. Henderson. Bullard employed a split squad and had several players playing back at home but one guy stood out and will be counted on heavily by Coach Ellis. Whitehouse will have a chance to make some noise if their young guns make a jump. There is some major talent mixed in with some gamers highlighted by a lot of athleticism.

Bullard
’24 C Reed Overbeek, uncommitted: Normally a catcher, played all over the field Tuesday, good looking physical specimen who has leaned up

Whitehouse
’23 OF Jermod McCoy, uncommitted: Toolsy OF with some pop at the plate, talented WR in football with D1 interest
’23 MIF Collin McLemore, uncommitted: Scrappy MIF that can pick it, good actions and swing at the plate, aggressive on the bases
’23 RHP Ethan Stone, UT-Tyler commit: Fills up the zone with quality strikes, experience and confidence show on the mound
’24 RHP/IF Peyton Blackmon, uncommitted: DNP with a hamstring injury, was on varsity as a FR last year
’24 RHP/UT, Michael Dudolski, Texas A&M commit: DNP due to ankle injury but has a track record of success on varsity and on the summer circuit
’24 C Keegan McCord, uncommitted: Handled the pitchers, threw well to second between innings, simple swing
’25 OF J.J. Idrogo, uncommitted: plus runner, strong for his age, aggressive on the bases

Henderson
’22 1B/LHP Chrisitan Brown, uncommitted: Solid two-way player, has fun playing baseball, threw some good BB on the mound
’22 OF Tobias Johnson, uncommitted: DNP due to basketball
’24 SS Dashawn Jackson, uncommitted: really good defensive actions, reminds me of former Longhorn David Hamilton the way he moves

Nacogdoches
’22 SS/RHP Reid Bowyer, SFA signee: Didn’t see him pitch but you can tell the kid is a baseball player, hit a HR late
’22 1B Will Furniss, Ole Miss signee: Massive power, has a feel for hitting, looks young and might turn into an absolute monster down the road

’22 RHP Kaden Koonce, NMJC signee: Good frame and some potential for big velocity down the road, flashed a couple good BB
’23 OF Cermodrick Bland, uncommitted: Standout FB player, can really run, strong kid with some juice in the bat. great student
’23 LHP Justin Bradford, uncommitted: Got in a groove after the first and started getting some ugly swings, room for growth and velocity in the tank, big fan
’23 IF Isaac Jones, uncommitted: Can really run, biggest job will be protecting Furniss in the lineup, got him down the line at a 4.25

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 (12)
Blake Binderup
Easton Carmichael
Jeric Curtis
Jalin Flores
Will Furniss
Max Grubbs
Cole Phillips
Christian Salazar
Anthony Silva
Jared Thomas
Kasen Wells
Jett Williams

2023 (3)
Logan Myers
TJ Pompey
Travis Sykora

Scrimmages I plan to make this weekend include:

Friday:
Chisholm Trail vs. Mansfield Summit
Benbrook vs. Alvarado

Drew Bishop
Five Tool Baseball
National Scouting Director

@drewhbishop
drew@fivetool.org

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