Friday Five Tool Five (Feb. 25)

In today’s installment of the Friday Five Tool Five, we recap this week’s episode of the Five Tool Podcast, highlight standouts from scrimmages in North Texas, discuss takeaways from college baseball’s opening weekend, detail our scouting benchmarks and outline the weekly schedule as well as update the Five Tool 55 viewing tracker.

1. Recapping Episode 46 of the Five Tool Podcast

Dustin and I recapped some final scrimmages we saw before the real games get going for the public schools with me seeing Benbrook vs. Alvarado and Dustin seeing Grand Oaks vs. Tompkins and Lake Travis vs. Georgetown. I cover some of the standouts from my game below but Dustin went into depth about two of the most loaded teams in the state talent-wise with double-digit D1 commits between Tompkins and Lake Travis. Between those two there are SEVEN (!!!) #FiveTool55 members. RHP Hudson Hamilton, Grand Oaks (TX) 2023, Texas commit had a good showing as he faced one of the toughest lineups in the state. Jackson Baker, Lake Travis (TX) 2023, Alabama commit showed off his power sinker on the mound for the Cavs.

We then covered some of the college action from the weekend and talked about the importance of command over velocity when it comes to winning baseball. There was also some discussion about the difficulty of daycares being shutdown and getting work done with little ones at home. A theme that I got to/had to experience late this week.

2. Friday and Monday Notes

Uncommitted MIF Dee Kennedy, Benbrook (TX) 2023, looked the part in the game I saw him. He plays under control with an easy swing. On the bases, he is a baseball player running the bases, not simply an athlete. He showed good reactions and timing as a runner. He didn’t have much action defensively but you can tell he has a good feel for what he is doing at shortstop. It will be interesting to see where he ends up long term in the field. I think he is definitely a middle of the field player and can play short at the next level. He reminds me of Baylor’s Tre Richardson, which is a big plus.

Hebron
2023 OF-Lane Haworth-plus defender, knows what he is doing and trying to do in the box, nice oppo double
2023 OF-Aden Howard-athletic switch-hitter, good baserunner, good arm in the OF, exciting player
2023 IF-Ian McCracken-good at-bats, has some bat speed
2025 RHP-Ethan Hunt-promising freshman, changed speeds, ball comes out easy
2025 RHP-Marcos Paz-BIG TIME potential, touched 90, plus slider, easy velocity with more on the way

Prosper
2022 OF-NCTC signee-Austin Wallace-hit his second home run this spring
2024 OF/C/RHP-Luke Billings-crushed a double, threw well behind the plate, showed instincts on the bases
2024 IF-Cole Giametta-several good at bats, once he adds strength will be a big time player, calm in the box

3. College Notes

I got to get out and see OU take on Auburn and Texas play Rice this weekend. It was exciting to get out and see some college baseball with something on the line. OU has some big time arms and should pitch well with Skip calling the shots for the Sooners. Auburn didn’t impress me much early but they then went on to win the final two games over Texas Tech and Kansas State.

Texas looked the part in all phases of the game this weekend with dominant pitching, defense, and a solid effort at the plate. If Texas can solidify bullpen roles they are going to be tough for anyone to beat in a three game series. Douglas Hodo and Eric Kennedy set the table all weekend for Ivan Melendez and Silas Ardoin to rack up RBIs. Trey Faltine and Mitchell Daly up the middle is as good of a double play duo as you will find in the country.

Obviously it is too early to make too many meaningful conclusions but below are a few things that stood out:

-95 MPH is the new 90. There were too many guys touching 95 in February to keep track of.
-LSU can hit.
-Texas can pitch.
-Louisiana Tech looks like they’re going to make some noise this year.
-Oklahoma State went to Nashville and made a statement.
-Ivan Melendez hits balls far.
-NCSU came out of the gates hot and freshman slugger Tommy White put the country on home run watch with 5 roundtrippers.
-Every year a West Coast small ball team goes into some big dogs house and takes a series early. This year it was Long Beach State in Starkville.

4. Scouting Lists and Benchmarks

As we start to get out to high school games this spring, we have expanded our scouting eyes for the season. We will have a number of people tasked with watching, filming, and scouting games for Five Tool. The main things we are going to be looking for are standout at-bats, defensive plays, pitcher velocity/stuff, and home to first times.

For those of you that are not familiar with home to first times, we will be viewing anything under 4.4s from the right side and 4.2s from the left side as standout. Thus, if you run hard on a ball you might be out on, you can still impress and give us or any college or pro scouts something to leave the ballpark with. Run hard, play hard, and compete the right way.

5. Schedule and Five Tool 55 Tracker

I am going to keep count of the 2022 and 2023 Five Tool 55 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 (18)
Blake Binderup
Easton Carmichael
Jeric Curtis
Jalin Flores
Will Furniss
Pierce George*
Max Grubbs
Luke Jackson*
Kaeden Kent
Jace Laviolette
Jack Little
Zachary Mazoch
Cole Phillips
Christian Salazar
Anthony Silva
Jared Thomas
Kasen Wells
Jett Williams

2023 (7)
Hank Benny
Hudson Hamilton
Dee Kennedy
Drew Markle
Logan Myers
TJ Pompey
Travis Sykora

*-Seen team but not pitcher throw

Drew Bishop
Five Tool Baseball
National Scouting Director

@drewhbishop
drew@fivetool.org

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