Five Tool Texas Championships: Sunday 16U, 15U Scouting Notes

 

TOMBALL – The Five Tool Texas 15U/16U Championships concluded Sunday in thrilling fashion with highly competitive, closely contested championship games. It was a fitting way to end an exciting week and helped showcase some of the best 15U and 16U talent in Texas. Some notes on the 16U National action and tidbits on 15U players from throughout the event:

 

Vanderbilt commitment and two-way player Jakob Schulz helped set the tone for eventual champions Texas Twelve Maroon 2023 by opening the semifinal matchup with 2.0 scoreless frames. Schulz, a lefty, finished the event with 5.0 scoreless innings and gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out seven. Best known for his work on the mound, Schulz made loud contact during both Sunday’s games with a very simple approach and swing. 

The Most Valuable Pitcher of the Pudge Rodriguez World Classic, Schulz, who attends Memorial High School, has been remarkably consistent and continued to make a strong case as one of the top players in Texas and the nation for 2023. Landon West, an uncommitted 2023 prospect from Tompkins, caught the semifinal game, showed a 2.0 pop time during warmups with a strong arm and made hard contact frequently during Sunday’s action. Although he’s a better fit at third base, West showed his baseball skill and athleticism by working behind the dish. 

Following Schulz out of the Texas Twelve Maroon 2023 bullpen was right-hander Ethan Coronel. An uncommitted arm from The Woodlands, Coronel displayed a clean delivery and arm action with a fastball up to 82 MPH, although Five Tool saw the righty up to 84 MPH during the Pudge Rodriguez World Classic. 

Coronel, attacking Houston Athletics 16U Gold hitters almost exclusively with his fastball-curveball combination, efficiently tossed 4.0 innings and gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out two; he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings during the event and showed some feel for a changeup too. Coronel’s hook settled in around 63-66 MPH, showing big break and feel for both spin and control. Considering the arm action and delivery with some hints at command, the 2023 right-hander looks like one to follow. 

 

A good case can be made that no team competed as well and as consistently as the Houston Athletics 16U Gold did. Even in the semifinal when it came up short, it put the ball in play, made all the plays defensively and put pressure on Texas Twelve Maroon 2023. 

Undersized switch-hitting shortstop Omar Montemayor (Milby) routinely put the ball in play, making solid contact; he also played shortstop confidently and made all the routine plays. Art Perez (Milby) covered the plate well in the batter’s box and competed very well on the mound. Earlier in the event against Marucci Elite Texas 2023 – Hardin, Tommy Willis (Second Baptist) struck out 10 and gave up just one hit and one walk across 6.0 innings. Willis threw 62 of his 87 pitches for strike and although he didn’t light up the radar gun, he repeatedly threw his breaking ball for a strike. 

 

In the 16U National title game, Texas Twelve Maroon handed the ball to right-handed Brayden Gilley (Deer Park – uncommitted). Up to 85 MPH with his fastball, the righty sat 80-84 MPH and occasionally put some unintentional cut on his heater. Gilley showed a slider (mostly in warmups) and changeup (74-78 MPH). However, the standout pitch was a curveball sitting 66-70 MPH with advanced feel for spin and big, tight 12-6 break. In the future, Gilley projects to become even more physical on the mound and although he reaches back for velocity with a little more effort, there’s a solid understanding for pitching present. 

Marucci Elite Texas 2023 – Holle finally got to Gilley during his final inning on the mound, the fifth inning. Already advanced physically, Parker Lewis (Cy Fair – uncommitted) created some of the loudest contact of the game. And in a long at-bat when he fouled off a bunch of pitches, the right fielder showed a willingness to change his swing to spoil pitches and put the bat on the baseball. 

Teammate Kolvin Davis, who manned center field, used strong hands and a pretty simple approach in the batter’s box to barrel the ball twice up the middle. With an athletic frame with some length and projection, Davis whipped the barrel through the zone on occasion when he tried to do damage to his pull-side. 

There’s a noticeable gap between where shortstop Tobias Motley (Cy Ranch – 2023) is currently and what he could become because his potential is high. And his future defensive position is probably away from the dirt. That said, the tools grab your attention and so does the projection. He finished the event with a slash line of .417/.529/.833 and his hand quickness and strength really showed against fastballs up in the zone. Intriguing talent. 

Marucci Elite Texas 2023 – Holle starter Jack Ward showed much, much better control than his foul walks suggest, which were the product of a bad strike zone. Ward got into some trouble because he had to reach back to find 82 MPH and his fastball couldn’t beat a talented lineup consistently around 77-80 MPH. 

 

However, Ward’s changeup showed a lot of promise, creating a rare swing-and-miss strikeout against talented slugger Jacquae Stewart. Also, Ward showed a promising curve too thanks to his advanced feel for spin. With a fairly clean high school delivery, if Ward’s velocity takes a big jump, there are going to be a lot of colleges should pay close attention. 

 

At the top of the Texas Twelve Maroon 2023 lineup, Sam Myers created problems for the opposition and scored two runs. With a short, quick, athletic swing with feel for the barrel, Myers (Cy Woods) can hit the ball to all fields and showed off his wheels by getting down the line in 4.10 seconds. From the left side, the outfielder, who played some center field, didn’t strike out once in six games and probably won’t remain uncommitted much longer. 

Shortstop Drew Markle made hard contact and West drove in two. Kendall George’s very patient approach in the batter’s box was on display, and he registered 4.15 seconds down the line after being a tad slow out of the box. However, the Arkansas commitment was a bit frustrated with the bat, seemingly just missing pitches in multiple plate appearances. 

 

Standout hitter Jaquae Stewart was up to 87 MPH off the mound, showed some athleticism in his delivery, and closed out the championship game. Behind pitchers, Blake Brown repeatedly made nice plays at second base. 

 

15U NOTES…

Aidan Goude (Cy Lakes – 2023) blasted a decisive grand slam in the 15U National title game, which his team, Texas Camo, ended up winning. Goude was also up to 86 MPH earlier in the week off the mound with natural sink thanks to his arm slot; currently, he’s definitely more arm strength than pitcher on the mound, and looked like a position player first patrolling center field and taking very confident hacks in the batter’s box with some juice. His body projects to fill out substantially. 

Teammate Jorge Gil (Cy Springs – 2024) played the game with confident actions defensively and in the batter’s box, showing some bat speed and a chance to impact the ball well off the barrel. 

Texas Twelve 2024 Black lefty Rylan Hill touched 85 MPH, held low 80’s velocity, and showed a promising three-pitch mix with a repeatable delivery and arm action. He went the distance with a complete game effort earlier in the event with eight strikeouts, four walks and just one hit across 7.0 scoreless frames. 

Another pitcher who had the look of a big-time arm in the 2024 class was Premier Baseball 2024 – Moore right-hander Caylon Dygert. He touched 86 MPH multiple times, held 82-85 MPH in the early innings, and showed some fastball command with a 72-74 MPH slurve thrown down in the zone with success. The righty’s changeup, which featured some late fade, was a promising secondary pitch he threw with advanced feel and the Magnolia West product also threw fastballs with late sink occasionally. 

 

Nathan Hodge, one of the few Texas Twelve 2024 Black hitters to look very comfortable against Dygert, possessed bat speed in the batter’s box with a flat swing showing positive attack angle towards the end, resulting in a homer during the event. The A&M Consolidated standout’s power plays most to his pull-side. Teammate Carson Luna, another hitter from the right side, had some of the best ability to impact and drive the baseball on the team. 

Premier Baseball 2024 – Moore had arguably the most physical 15U lineup in the event. Adrian Garcia (Pearland), built like a standout linebacker or running back with some impressive athletic burst, struggled to make contact. However, when he did put the barrel on the ball, it flew off the bat and he also showcased some noteworthy speed down the line from the left side. Teammate Carson Phillips took some of the most natural, confident at-bats of any 15U player and like Garcia, he’s already a physically impressive, strong player.

Campbell Martin (Frisco Wakeland) was a consistent force in the batter’s box for Canes Southwest – Young 2024. From an upright stance, Martin is an athletic hitter who strides towards the baseball and rotates his hips well. He made a lot of things happen for his team along with Carson Kimball (Allen), who showed a strong arm from right field and quickness. 

Lynx Rutter’s Neil Mallik (The John Cooper School – 2024) has a really pretty swing with the left side with a loop in its path but enough control to impact the ball and lift it. Mallik hit two homers, has a very projectable frame and possesses the type of hitting profile that could make him a really intriguing bat in the future. 

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

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