Dodgers Scout Team vs. Galveston Notes

 

COLLEGE STATION – As the cooler air moved in Tuesday night and a pleasant breeze greeted a packed scout section at Blue Bell Park, the Dodgers Scout Team, made up of some of the top 2022 and 2023 players from south and central Texas, played a fall exhibition game against Galveston College. A few players took advantage of the opportunity and turned some heads with their performances. Tomball Memorial outfielder and Texas Tech commitment Jeric Curtis led that list.

 

Each time I see Curtis, he’s a little bit better than the previous time; his arrow is pointing up and that was obvious at Texas A&M. Curtis, ranked No. 23 in the Five Tool 55, pulled a hard double down the left field line, hit a triple towards the right field line, and beat out an infield chopper by flying down the line in 4.03 seconds. Onlookers needed a calculator to add up his stolen bases, and Curtis showed how his game-changing speed can create runs for his team when he swiped two bags and scored on a passed ball.

Defensively, the right-handed hitting center fielder didn’t see much action, but it’s easy to watch him move around and throw and project a possible plus defender at a premium position. Curtis bounces around on the diamond with an infectious fun and competitive energy. He’s the type of player who loves every chance he gets to get on the diamond and try to make something happen. As Drew Bishop and I stated on a recent Five Tool Baseball Podcast, the sky’s the limit for Curtis and he’s undoubtedly a prime candidate to move up the rankings list and compete for the top outfielder position in Texas.

 

If Tuesday night at their future home park was a sign of things to come for two Aggie left-handed pitchers, the Texas A&M staff is going to be thrilled. Dripping Springs lefty Brandon Arvidson started the game for the Dodgers and if scouts in attendance didn’t know much about him before the outing, they certainly added him to their list. A tall lefty with length and athleticism, Arvidson routinely touched 88 MPH with his fastball and his changeup flashed brightly; at one point, Arvidson threw an 86 MPH fastball in to a righty, who took the pitch surprisingly like it was 96 MPH because of the way Arvidson’s changeup was playing off his heater.

 

Routinely, Arvidson racked up swings and misses with his changeup (78-80 MPH) and showed feel for commanding the pitch down with fastball arm action and finish. The lefty’s breaking ball remains a work in progress. He again showed two different shapes and velocities and as he develops, he’d benefit from working towards mastering the feel for one. Regardless, the projection on the mound remains very interesting and the fastball-changeup duo, with some added deception out of the delivery and arm action, strongly suggests Arvidson is poised for a huge senior season.

Like Arvidson, Shane Sdao (Lake Creek) looked like the guy we saw routinely throw well in July Five Tool events, including the AABC Mattingly World Series. Despite being around 150 pounds, Sdao carries himself like he’s 6-4, 240 pounds on the mound and is a great example of a pitcher dictating the game’s tempo and rhythm and being on the attack against defensive hitters. And like his future college teammate Arvidson, Sdao’s fastball played up at 87-90 MPH.

But unlike Arvidson, Sdao didn’t have to go to the changeup much at all because he was able to move the fastball around the strike zone and blew it by hitters up in the zone. Across 2.0 perfect innings, Sdao punched out four Galveston College hitters, and when he needed it, he flashed a swing and miss changeup at 81 MPH down in the strike zone. Combine his confident, quick-working approach on the mound with his loose, quick and clean arm action and Sdao remains one of the more intriguing projectable arms in Texas.

 

MORE NOTES
— Anthony Silva continues to fit the “solid” label perfectly. Under control in all areas on the diamond, the TCU commitment put the ball in play routinely, made the plays defensively, and showed the promising all-around skill set we saw this summer.

 

— I think Jayden Duplantier is extremely likely to end up at the University of Texas, but he looked the part of an intriguing shortstop against Galveston College. The speedy shortstop smacked a hard double into the right-center gap, barreled another pitch he hit right at the third baseman, and displayed good footwork defensively, particularly when making turns at second base. If Texas manages to get Jalin Flores on campus too, it’s going to again have its pick of big-time shortstops like it currently does with Trey Faltine and Mitchell Daly.

 

— A challenge for high school hitters, in addition to facing JUCO arms, is being able to get on time without a traditional batting practice round before the game. By the end of Tuesday night, Travis Sanders, a product of Copperas Cove and Texas Tech commitment, was getting on time, which resulted in a RBI single.

I was particularly interested in what his glove looked like – Dodgers players rotated around the diamond with infielders filling in some innings in left field – and I didn’t leave disappointed. He handled a tough hop well in the infield and moved like a taller athlete capable of playing shortstop.

 

— Smithson Valley outfielder and Texas A&M commitment Kasen Wells smacked a hard single up the middle and made it down the line in 4.02 seconds on a slow chopper in the infield. Wells’ throws from the outfield were accompanied by some carry towards home plate.

 

— Texas Tech commitment Jacob Rogers, who the Red Raiders added to the commitment list just days after showing strong stuff at the Five Tool Houston College Championships, touched 92 MPH on the moun, threw strikes, competed well and generated a couple swings and misses with his hard, sharp 76-78 MPH curve. A good athlete on the mound with the makings of a clean delivery and quick arm, Rogers remains better fastball shape away from unlocking even more potential on the mound and is definitely an arm to follow during the high school season.

 

— Sinton two-way standout Blake Mitchell had a 2.05 pop time and showed a strong, accurate arm from the catcher position. He didn’t have anything to show for his trips to the batter’s box, but it’s obvious he possesses some big-time tools. Easily the favorite to top our initial 2023 Five Tool 55.

 

— Aldine MacArthur right-handed pitcher Ryan Dollar, a University of Houston commitment, sat 91-93 MPH with his fastball and touched 94 MPH. The physical righty who challenges hitters with intent and effort in the delivery also showed a 76 MPH curve and hard, firm 83-85 MPH slider. Dollar’s stuff played down a little bit as Galveston hitters didn’t have an issue timing his fastball. Regardless, Dollar’s stuff profiles well.

 

— Blanco catcher and recent Houston Baptist commitment Dylan LaRue hit a hard single later in the game and his ability to handle the bat and manipulate the barrel showed as the game went on.

 

— Diboll left-handed pitcher Ty Roman showed up to Tuesday’s game uncommitted, but I suspect that won’t last long. With an easy delivery and promising velocity projection, Roman worked 84-86 MPH with more in the tank; it’s easy to project Roman to sit in the low 90’s wherever he plays after high school. Roman also showed a 71-73 MPH sharp curve with two-plane break, which occasionally flashed a late, hard turn towards right-handers.

Dustin McComas – Follow me on Twitter
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

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