Friday Five Tool Five (Jan. 28)

In today’s installment of the Friday Five Tool Five, we recap this week’s episodes of the Five Tool Podcast, dream up a potential third team of players for the Five Tool 55 HS Draft, talk about the spring schedule, and announce the areas headlined in regional previews for the Texas high school season.

1. Episode 39 of the Five Tool Podcast: The first-ever Five Tool 55 HS Draft

Dustin and I put together a draft format for what we hope will turn into an annual event. This year, #teambish had the first pick, and we alternated selections until our 21-player roster was complete. You can find our roster breakdown and pick-by-pick thoughts on each selection HERE. I opted for 2023 LSU commit Blake Mitchell to kick things off to get an elite catcher, pitcher, and bat all in one pick. As a bonus, he stars for the Sinton Pirates, who are coached by one of my college teammates and Sinton hometown hero, Adrian Alaniz. Mitchell wouldn’t be the only Pirate on #teambish as one of the state’s best teams brought me my 1B, 2023 power-hitting HBU commit, Jaquae Stewart.

 The theme for #teambish was versatility as we acquired multiple two-way standouts. Along with Mitchell, I was able to grab MJ Seo (2023 LSU commit-John Paul II), TJ Pompey (2023 Texas Tech commit-Coppell), Trenton Shaw (2022 OSU signee-Prestonwood), Cade McGarrh (2022 Texas Tech commit-Frisco Liberty), and Brayden Sharp (2023 Baylor commit-The Woodlands), and Mac Rose (2023 uncommitted-Rockwall). Once the dust settled and a lineup was created, I felt really good about my athleticism, power, and depth on the mound.

A loaded #teamdustin has some serious star power led by Travis Sykora (2023 Texas commit-Round Rock), Jett Williams (2022 MSU signee-Rockwall-Heath), and Jeric Curtis (2022 Texas Tech signee-Tomball Memorial. Backed by a loaded infield of Williams, Justin Vossos (2022 TAMU signee-Ridge Point), Jared Thomas (2022 Texas signee-Waxahachie) and Jayson Jones (2022 Arkansas signee-Denton Braswell), #teamdustin would look to one of my favorites in the 2023 class, Noah Bentley (OU commit-Celina), to take the mound against Justin Lamkin (2022 TAMU signee-CC Calallen) for me.

After looking through the teams, one thing stood out to me that I think shows our backgrounds. With most of my experience coming at the D1 level, I tended to side more with production, while Dustin, who has more experience with the pro side, took some chances on some major projection guys. That is just a loose generality because both teams have a mix of both, but it probably serves as further reasoning for my anguish of losing Longhorn commits Jared Thomas and Brayden Randle.

Overall, this was an extremely fun exercise, and we hope to make this an annual tradition. It also served as a pretty good reminder of how loaded the state of Texas is. You could probably make a third team with guys that were left off the list (which I do below) that could compete with most states’ top team.

2. Episode 40 of the Five Tool Podcast: Recapping HS Player Draft, Hall of Fame discussion

On Thursday’s episode, Dustin and I talked through the draft and voting results, as well as gave our opinions on the Hall of Fame snubs of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

In relation to the draft, we talked about our pick-by-pick breakdown and our Q&A PIECE. We will continue to reiterate how loaded this state is talent-wise. I won the Twitter poll (official result, think Electoral College) and Dustin won the Instagram poll (think popular vote) and we concluded the only way we could choose would be to decide it on the field. We have gotten quite a bit of feedback from players anxious to make this happen. Should we do it? Can we do it? Should we, YES! Can we, that is TBD. In our opinion, the draft date and some agents may have something to say about that but we feel pretty confident that the event would be wildly popular and well attended.

On the subject of the Hall of Fame, Dustin and I touched on some of our thoughts in regards to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens not being voted in while David Ortiz was the lone inductee. There is no need to beat a dead horse or get into the alleged reasons for them not being voted in here, but there is no denying that you cannot tell the full story and history of baseball without those two in the Hall. That is one of my main barometers for any sport when it comes to who should be inducted into their respective sport’s Hall of Fame.

Finally, we previewed the upcoming college draft with special guest and hater of all teams, Kendall Rogers. Each of us will draft a 15-player team using only college players from Texas and states that touch it. Adding New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana will definitely add some intriguing options to each of our teams.

3.) Drafting a 3rd Team in Texas

I got my mind spinning after going back and forth on the draft’s biggest snubs, and as I mentioned above, I have the theory that a third team in Texas would likely be capable of beating the majority of top teams from any state. That said, here is what I came up with using the same draft parameters.

C: Easton Carmichael, Prosper (TX) 2022, OU signee
C: Rylan Galvan, Sinton (TX) 2022, Texas signee
1B: Will Furniss, Nacogdoches (TX) 2022, Ole Miss signee
2B: Dee Kennedy, Benbrook (TX) 2022, uncommitted
3B: JM Long, Pleasant Grove (TX) 2023, Texas Tech commit
SS: Uriah Walters, Rock Hill (TX) 2023, DBU commit
OF: Tavion Vaughns, Cedar Hill (TX) 2022, Oklahoma signee
OF: Caden Sorrell, Marcus (TX) 2023, Texas A&M commit
OF: Aidan Smith, Lovejoy (TX) 2023, Mississippi State commit
OF: Logan Myers, Arlington Martin (TX) 2023, UT-Arlington commit
DH: Anthony Silva, Clark (TX) 2022, TCU signee
UTL: Jack Little, Tompkins (TX) 2022, Wichita State signee
UTL: Drew Markle, Tompkins (TX) 2023, Ole Miss commit
UTL: Chase Mora, Tomball (TX) 2022, Texas State signee
UTL: Micah Dean, Travis (TX) 2023, Kansas State commit
P: JD Thompson, Rusk (TX) 2022, Vanderbilt signee
P: Jakob Schulz, Memorial (TX) 2023, Vanderbilt commit
P: Brandon Arvidson, Dripping Springs (TX) 2022, Texas A&M signee
P: Jason Bodin, Orangefield (TX) 2023, Texas A&M commit
Just Missed: Landon West, Tompkins (TX) 2022, Rice signee
Follow: Cole Johnson, Lake Travis (TX) 2023, Oklahoma State commit

This team, as expected, is loaded as well. Two veteran catchers with a track record. Elite infield defense. Power and projection in the outfield. Versatility and athleticism in my utility spots. Stud DH in Anthony Silva. Have a lefty flavor on the mound with stuff and pitchability. Really flexible Just Missed list guy in Landon West and recent OSU commit Cole Johnson who has a chance to start at 1B against a LHP. If you assume the move to the SEC for Texas and OU, that puts this list at 10 SEC, four Big 12, two DBU, one Rice, one UTA, one Texas State, and one Wichita State commit, plus uncommitted stud Dee Kennedy. That is SALTY.

4. Spring Schedule

As Dustin and I continue to whittle down our spring viewing lists, here are a couple matchups I have penciled in, barring weather, pitching matchups, etc. We are trying to find a way to see all 110 players on our 2022 and 2023 #FiveTool55 lists, so we will be juggling as we go, but here’s a sample of what I plan to hit at this point:

February 26: Denton Guyer vs. VR Eaton
March 3: Wylie vs. Bridgeland
March 10: Rock Hill vs. Austin Westlake
March 11: Rock Hill vs. Heath
March 15: Rockwall vs. Heath
March 18: Rockwall vs. Heath
March 22: JPII vs. PCA
March 25: JPII vs. PCA

5. Five Tool News

Dustin and I will be rolling out some more preseason content on the podcast and for your reading pleasure as we approach the high school season. For now, we plan to do regional previews highlighting some teams to watch as well as players from each of the following regions:

Central Texas (Waco and Austin)
East Texas
DFW
Houston
San Antonio
South Texas
West Texas

Drew Bishop
Five Tool Baseball
National Scouting Director

@drewhbishop
drew@fivetool.org

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