Did you hear about Jeric Curtis’ 60-yard dash? If you didn’t, here’s a hint: it was really, really fast; it was so fast some of his teammates then tried to wear his track shoes to run their 60-yard dashes. But you’ll want to hear about other players from Hunter Pence Baseball Academy’s Scout Day too. Some observations, focusing mostly on the scrimmages, from two sun-soaked and beautiful days at Woodlands Christian Academy:

 

2025 CLASS

 

Obviously, these players are just freshmen and have so many important years of baseball and physical and mental growth ahead of them. That said, the 2025 group didn’t lack athleticism, including outfielder Quentin Beyer (The Woodlands), who ran a 4.7 down the line (6.9-second 60-yard dash) after showing an interesting, promising left-handed swing.

And add middle infielder and right-handed pitcher Sam Tritico (Nederland) in that mix too. An athletic runner with some skill on the dirt and talent in the batter’s box, Tritico also showed his athleticism and quick arm on the mound with some feel for spin. Speaking of middle infielders, Gavin Gonzalez (Cypress Ranch) made one of the best plays of the day when he made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle and showed enough athleticism and arm strength to complete the tough throw.

The headliner of the day for the 2025 class was left-handed pitcher Isaiah Salas (The Woodlands). Salas showed some arm-side command and ability to execute his 77-80 MPH fastball that played up. With a smooth delivery, he also spun some impressive 63-67 MPH overhand curves with promising shape and bite. It’s pretty rare to find a freshman who can execute fastball command and also consistently spin a breaking ball like Salas did.

 

2024 CLASS

 

I’m a sucker for slick, confident glovework at shortstop especially when paired with athleticism. That’s what Trenton Buckley (Magnolia West) showed routinely. Major ‘ballplayer’ vibes with a real chance to stick at short and play it at a high level, and the right-hander showed some intrigue on the mound too. Buckley wasn’t the only shortstop who stood out. Cason Pool (Jasper) flashed the leather when he made a really difficult backhand play look easy.

Listed at 6-3, 230 pounds, Ray Rose (Home School) doesn’t get cheated in the batter’s box. However, his quick bat showed some controlled aggression and he’s definitely an intriguing, bat-first player moving forward.

Kenneth Brock Miller (Lake Creek), Zach White (Robert E Lee), Jackson Priesmeyer (Strake Jesuit) and Aiden Taylor (Cypress Woods) all stood out offensively. Taylor, who ran a 6.80-second 60-yard dash, smoked a triple off the right-center wall on the fly and has particularly intriguing upside long-term.

On the mound, Hunter Pence Academy showcased a very deep and strong collection of pitchers who truly have potential to be major dudes down the road. Tall right-hander Cooper Schwank (Foster) touched 84 MPH with a fastball that showed some angle and life down in the zone and a short curveball.

Another hard-throwing right-haner, Orlando Balderas (College Park), touched 85 MPH and flashed a promising 65-67 MPH hook. Luke Pickett (George Ranch), another righty, touched 81 MPH with an 11/5 curveball that showed depth and swing-and-miss potential. From the left side, McClane Helton (Cypress Woods) is a tall, long, athletic pitcher who touched 83 MPH and doesn’t lack projection.

Catchers Chase Fuentes (The Woodlands Christian Academy) and Connor Cramer (Oak Ridge) both stood out with the bat and defensively; the former showed a strong arm and quick bat that created loud contact while the latter possessed more physicality, impacted the baseball and played with impressive energy. Fuentes, who registered a 2.1 pop time during Saturday’s testing, was also up to 85 MPH on the mound and struck out four batters with an overpowering heater.

 

2023 CLASS

 

Hey, why not open another section with a shortstop? HP didn’t lack talented ones. Camdyn Wootan (Cypress Woods) showed quick, confident defensive actions during in-and-out and it translated to game action too, which also included a strong arm with carry on his throws. Wootan also hit a hard single up the middle.

Left-handed hitting middle infielder Zach Thibodeaux began the game with a loud double to the wall in right-center. His short, quick swing played well during the game and he showed some promise defensively too. Landon Bailey (Vidor), Sammy York (The Woodlands) TJ Peters (Magnolia), Ian McCraray (Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy), and Luke Ekdall (Lake Creek) all created very hard contact at least once and stood out with the bat. Keep an eye on outfielder Kolvin Davis (Cypress Woods), who showed relaxed, quick hands in the batter’s box with some bat speed, a strong arm with carry and 6.6-second 60-yard dash speed.

However, York stood out the most thanks to his home run, an absolute bomb, to left-center. A physical right-handed hitter with some juice, York did a good job of making hard contact out front to drive it in the air.

On the mound, Tyler Sunseri (The Woodlands) announced his presence with a fastball that bumped 90 MPH and a power slurve (73-76 MPH) with sharp break. From a low 3/4 slot, Sunseri was able to move the fastball some up-and-down the zone with some life in the bottom third. Already a physical, strong prospect, as Sunseri matures and gains more reps on the mound even more velocity will arrive. Oh, he’s a legitimate two-way talent too and recorded a 100 MPH exit velocity off the tee.

Right-hander Gage Driskell ran a 6.8 60-yard dash, looked the part of a solid right-handed hitter in the batter’s box and bumped 84 MPH on the mound with a promising 71-73 MPH curve. Brayden Vickery touched 85 MPH and threw two distinctly different breaking balls – a slider around 76 MPH and a curve at 68 MPH. Both breaking pitches featured good spin and the advanced pitcher also changed his delivery on the mound occasionally to mess with hitters’ timing.

Grayson Lincecum (Memorial), a 6-4, 220-pound two-way talent, is the definition of “physical.” The leading tackler for his football district, Lincecum touched 86 MPH from the right side with some arm-side run and was able to manipulate the shape of his breaking ball. He also hammered a double down the left field line.

Keep an eye on Ben Blanchard (The Woodlands College Park) and Brandon Seidmeyer (Magnolia West) behind the plate. Both showed some catch-and-throw skill, athleticism, some surprising quickness on the bases and put the ball in play hard (each had multiple extra-base hits).

 

2022 CLASS

 

I’ll preface this final section by saying so many players are already committed heading into their senior seasons and we’ve covered many of them extensively already. Fortunately for many of these guys, the recruiting process is behind them and many, if not all, signed today.

 

We know Weatherford College commitment Kayden Voelkel (Mansfield Legacy), who hit a ball 100 MPH off the tee during testing, can hit the ball hard and is an intriguing pitcher on the mound. We know Texas State commitment Chase Mora (Tomball) is showing more impact ability with the bat and has a big-time arm across the diamond and on the mound. We know Kansas State commitment Carson Queck (The Woodlands Christian Academy) can run (6.56 seconds in the 60-yard dash), throw (95 MPH from the outfield and 90 MPH off the mound), and hit. We know New Mexico State commitment Steven Thompson can run it up to 90 MPH from the right side off the mound, ACU commitment Holden Rook can cover a ton of ground in the outfield, and Houston Baptist commitment Trent Baker can drive the ball out of the yard.

That said, we didn’t know Jeric Curtis’ 80-grade speed was this fast. Folks, this is a rarely amazing 60-yard dash time, and if you’re wondering about the stopwatches, they agreed with the lasers. Imagine being this fast:

Wow. Oh, Curtis also homered during the scrimmage portion, too.

On the uncommitted side, right-handers Amar Tsengeg (86 MPH) and Joshua Pena (85 MPH) both threw and spun the ball well and have a track record of performing. Ryan Saunders (Clear Lake) put the ball in play very hard multiple times and is an impressive looking player physically. From the left side, Lance Caantrell (Tomball Memorial) continued to look like one of the top uncommitted bats in the 2022 class.

 

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

 

 

 

 

 

 

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