Friday Five Tool Five (Mar. 4)
In today’s installment of the Friday Five Tool Five, we recap this week’s episode of the Five Tool Podcast, highlight standouts from early season tournaments in North Texas, rate some of the early Five Tool Foodie stops, and update the Five Tool 55 viewing tracker.
1. Recapping Episodes 47 and 48
On Monday’s episode 47, Dustin and I recapped the games we saw since we last recorded including Rock Hill vs. Vista Ridge, Prosper vs. Lovejoy, SA Johnson vs. Keller, Copperas Cove vs. LASA, and Brandeis vs. CC Carroll. Standouts from the action included RHP Hank Howard, Vista Ridge (TX) 2023, RHP Lucas Davenport, Prosper (TX) 2022, Texas A&M signee, RHP Jack Livingstone, Lovejoy (TX) 2022, Tyler JC signee, SS Ryne Farber, SA Johnson (TX) 2022, IF Kayson Cunningham, SA Johnson (TX) 2025, SS Travis Sanders, Copperas Cove (TX) 2022, Texas Tech signee, and Jalin Flores, Brandeis (TX) 2022, Texas signee.
On Wednesday’s episode 48, we recapped Monday and Tuesday action pitting McKinney Boyd vs. Rock Hill and SA Johnson vs. SA Clark. I got my first look at LHP Ben Abeldt, McKinney Boyd (TX) 2022, TCU signee, and saw RHP Nolan Foster, McKinney Boyd (TX) 2022, Texas Tech signee, both get roughly 30 pitches in as Boyd run-ruled Rock Hill. Rock Hill threw multiple bullpen guys in advance of their weekend tournament. Both Abeldt and Foster are as advertised, flashing D1 stuff as well as showing a plan of attack once they toed the rubber. There are more notes below on their outings but it was good to get eyes on those guys and see that both have made jumps since the summer. Dustin got a firsthand look at our #3 ranked played for the 2023 #FiveTool55, Mason Bixby. The junior RHP did not disappoint throwing a complete game one-hitter as SA Johnson got the win.
2.) Friday Standouts and Notes
Rock Hill vs. Vista Ridge
2022 OF/RHP Brenner Cox-Texas signee-super athletic OF has a presence in the box
2022 RHP Brett Foss-athletic, competed in the zone, good pace
2023 IF Uriah Walters-DBU commit-athletic, had a double late in the game
2023 RHP Hank Howard-up to 87 on a cold day, good curve ball, high academic kid
2023 C Jake Wagoner-Seattle commit-athletic behind the plate, can catch and throw, athletic swing with some bat speed
In a miserably cold game, the group above stood out. Really impressed by Howard and his ability to move the ball around. I see a lot more velocity in the tank. He has a chance to make a big jump this spring and hit the radars of major D1 programs. I have seen Jake Wagoner before and like his demeanor and competitiveness. Seattle U got a good one there.
Not much action in the game overall, but Cox’s athleticism and presence in the box stood out. There are some definite gains from the weight room between Cox and Walters since the summer. I love Rock Hill’s field with the ivy padding on the wall.
Prosper vs. Lovejoy
2022 RHP Lucas Davenport-TAMU signee-64 pitches in 5 innings, up to 94 MPH, competed, dominant outing
2022 C Easton Carmichael-OU signee-RBI groundout, did his job at the plate and behind it, good receiver
2025 OF/C/RHP Luke Billings-had a shaky inning but dug in and got out of a huge jam in a big spot, showed a lot of grit to turn it around
2022 LHP Brandt Corley-ULM signee-physical lefty that threw strikes and competed
2022 RHP Dominic Dechant-SAU signee-up to 87 with a really good CB, repeated delivery
2022 RHP Jack Livingstone-Temple JC signee-very impressive, nothing straight, up to 91 with room for more, good, late breaking SL
2023 OF Aidan Smith-MSU commit-hits everything hard, athletic OF, big fan of this kid
2024 3B/C Matthew Mainord-strong and athletic, moves well for his build
In another brutally cold game, I got a chance to see some standout performances. After a shaky first, Livingstone settled in and showed some major stuff. Nothing he threw was straight, leading to some uncomfortable at bats. Davenport attacked and dominated from the start, touching 94 MPH in the first. His ability to command the fastball was all he needed that day going 5 innings in just 64 pitches. I really like Lovejoy’s depth on the mound. They are going to have a chance to do some damage this year in 5A. Aidan Smith hits everything hard and is extremely athletic in the outfield.
A look at Lucas Davenport (@LucasDavenport_) from the 2nd inning on today. The RHP topped 94 MPH in the first and struck out six in 5 shutout innings.
— Five Tool Baseball (@FiveTool) February 25, 2022
3.) Monday Notes: McKinney Boyd vs. Rock Hill
2022 LHP Ben Abeldt-TCU signee-87-89 with a good breaking ball, repeated delivery and was in control
2022 RHP Nolan Foster-Texas Tech signee-up to 91 with a wipeout slider, attacked and pitched with intent
In what seemed to be a tune-up game for tournament play, I got my first look at Abeldt who was on a pitch count along with Foster. Both threw roughly 30 pitches and got some quality work in. Both were as advertised and didn’t allow much traffic. Abeldt provides an uncomfortable at bat with the angles he creates and Foster is just in your face with his attacking pace and stuff.
4. Five Tool Foodies
As we get going on our travels for the spring Dustin and I are going to start highlighting some spots that we seek out to eat on the road. We will be doing reviews on an 80 scouting scale as we go, but here is a list of some of the spots we have hit so far:
Andrea’s Tacos-Brenham-45 (Dustin)
Arlington Martin Concession Stand-60-went with the famous Warrior dog. Solid sausage wrap. Simple but awesome. (Drew)
Hruska’s-Ellinger-60-Dustin went with the burger at the famous kolache hot spot (Dustin)
Tuxedo Cat Coffee (Dustin)-grade coming soon-half iced latte/half iced coffee
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:
*-Seen team but not pitcher throw live