SBC Elite Invitational: 15U and 16U Scout Notes

 

The 15U and 16U competition was given a great opportunity this week to stand out a final time as the summer season nears its end. NTX Tournaments’ Select Baseball Championships Elite Invitational was held at the Melissa Sports Complex and featured some of the top teams in Texas. 

 

Rockwall 2023 standout Brayden Randle showed why he was selected to represent the Texas Rangers Area Code team in the Underclass Games. Randle played with excellent energy and effort consistently, which helped his impressive all-around skill set show whether it was in the batter’s box, on the bases or defensively. 

From the left side of the plate, Randle, playing for Stix 2023 Scout, uses strong, quick hands and a quick bat with balance and athleticism present in the batter’s box. Utilizing a leg kick, Randle times pitches well and quickly rotates his hips with a positive attack angle. We’re not going out on a limb here, but Randle, committed to Texas, is clearly one of the top 2023 players in Texas. 

 

Is finishing four games with a 1.951 OPS good? We think so. If Randle wasn’t the best 2023 player in the tournament, perhaps Amarillo’s Jett Johnston was. Playing for United Baseball Club Tompkins, the Texas A&M commitment routinely pounded the ball around the yard, swinging with controlled aggression and utilizing a swing built to drive the ball and lift it to all parts of the field. 

Johnston has the strength and plate coverage skill to handle pitches on the outer half and punished mistakes. He has the look of a future corner infielder with power and hit potential at the next level and has also been up to 88 MPH off the mound. 

 

Tompkins 2023 infielder Drew Markle is finishing his summer on a strong note and was a key contributor for the eventual tournament champions, Texas Twelve Maroon 2023. At around 6-3/6-4, Markle bounced around the field with consistent competitive energy and sprayed liners around the field. He plays the game like someone who always wants the at-bat and always wants the ball. With physical projection remaining, it’ll be interesting to see how he fills out during his senior season and where his glove can profile. Right now, he’s played shortstop at a consistently solid level for his team. 

Texas Twelve Maroon 2023 teammates Kendall George, Sam Myers, Landon West and Samson Pugh stood out as well. Known for his plus-plus speed, especially after a 3.43-second time to first on a drag bunt during the Academy Sports + Outdoors Pudge Rodriguez World Classic powered by The Utter Family Auto Group, George put the ball in play routinely and has a good understanding of how his speed can impact games.

Another speedy outfielder, Myers, again showed his feel for timing in the batter’s box, barrel control and hand-eye coordination and swung the bat better than his statistics. The uncommitted prospect from Cypress Woods profiles as a top-of-the-order bat from the left side. 

West pulled the ball with authority, hammed a double off the center field wall, and consistently created loud contact. The uncommitted prospect from Tompkins also showed a strong arm behind the dish and finished four games hitting .800/.846/.1.100.

As for Pugh, he showed intriguing two-way ability after touching 88 MPH on the mound with a slider that reached 78 MPH and hit .583/.615/.833 across 13 plate appearances. 

Speaking of arms, 5 Star Performance 2024 National right-hander Aiden Sims (Forney) punched out eight across 5.0 scoreless frames. Although his fastball was impressive and up to 86 MPH, the right-hander’s advanced feel for spin led to a curveball that overwhelmed opposing hitters. Sims buckled some knees and created a lot of uncomfortable takes and swings with a big, 73-74 MPH hook. With the bat, Sims hit .455/.571/.909 and looks like a major 2024 prospect in Texas.

Sims’ teammate Timothy Haynes (Lubbock Cooper) treated the event like a personal home run derby. With a quick, powerful and simple swing that includes a short finish, Haynes blasted three homers and finished the event with a slash line of .583/.667/1.333. 

Hayne wasn’t the only 5 Star Performance 2024 National hitter to go deep. Jack Sharp (Rockwall Heath) blasted a deep bomb over the left field wall. Unlike Haynes, who looks like he could put football pads on and toss some people around in the trenches, Sharp is very lean and projects to fill out substantially more over time. He’s able to tap into some power currently because he whips the bat through the zone with noticeable speed after creating some hand separation and rhythm in the batter’s box. 

Stix 2024 Scout’s Cody Cashon consistently generated loud contact from the right side and hit .545/.538/1.091 with a homer. The Southlake Carroll prospect showed bat-to-ball skill and plate coverage with strong hands and noticeable bat speed. 

 

For Stix 2023 Scout, Dylan Schlaegel (Mansfield Legacy) blasted a homer to dead center and finished with a 1.825 OPS across 10 plate appearances. The right-handed hitter recognized pitches well, timed them with rhythm and showed some leverage in his swing. 

Finally, we’ll end with a 2025 prospect – Stix 2024 Scout’s Matthew Boughton (Covenant Christian). Playing against older competition, there were times when the right-handed hitter was a tad overwhelmed in the batter’s box. However, his natural, instinctive feel for the game and promising glovework in the middle of the infield suggest he’s going to be really, really good in the future and playing up a year should help accelerate that development. 

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

Five Tool’s Drew Bishop contributed to this report

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