The 2023 Texas Five Tool 55 “Just Missed” List

 

The toughest part about building the 2023 Five Tool 55 wasn’t positioning 55 players in order. That wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as difficult as leaving some of the players below off the list because there are a lot of really good, talented, exciting players listed here. Obviously, it wouldn’t be a surprise if any of these players push their way onto the list, especially considering they have two high school seasons ahead of them. 

Here’s the “just missed” Five Tool 55 list in alphabetical order with some thoughts:

Ace Reese – OF – Canton (Houston commitment)
Aidan Coleman – RHP/INF – Reagan (Pittsburgh commitment)
Alex Petrovic – RHP – Concordia Lutheran (Auburn commitment)
Alexander Solis – RHP – Weslaco East (Houston commitment)
Ben Tryon – 3B – Southlake Carroll (Dallas Baptist commitment)
Blake Brown – MIF – Lake Creek (Sam Houston State commitment)
Blake Julius – RHP/CIF – Mansfield Legacy (Oklahoma State)
Blake Peterson – OF – Westlake (Texas commitment)
Brad Pruett – RHP/CIF – Denton Guyer (Texas State commitment)

A recent commitment to Houston, Reese has a chance to be an impact hitter from the left side with his loose hands/wrists and athletic rotation in the batter’s box. He moves well, too. Coleman has present arm strength and has shown a feel for manipulating his breaking stuff. Although he’s a two-way talent, he profiles on the mound with the type of skill set that could profile as a starter or backend reliever. Physical with a high waist and long limbs, Petrovic should be a very hard-thrower eventually and doesn’t lack upside. 

Tryon has yet to mature physically, which is a good thing, especially because he’s already showing some natural hitting feel and is driving the ball out of the park. With soft hands defensively at third base, don’t count him out as one of the best corner infielders in the state. Brown seems like the ideal Sam Houston State player – major “ballplayer” vibes and gets the most out of his tools with a promising right-handed swing. Pruett enjoyed a successful fall on the mound and a healthy Peterson is among the best outfielders in the state. 

Brady Sullivan – OF – Cy Woods (Texas A&M commitment)
Brennan Greer – RHP/CIF – Reagan
Caden Ferraro – LHP/OF/1B – Pearland
Cam Johnson – SS/INF – Boerne (Wichita State commitment)
Carson Priebe – RHP/1B – Wakeland
Cash Glaze – SS – Silsbee (Houston commitment)
Colin Robson – OF – Southlake Carroll (Duke commitment)
Colton Cross – RHP – Arp (Texas Tech commitment)

Texas A&M recently grabbed a commitment from Sullivan, and with a promising, easy left-handed swing and feel for hitting, it’s easy to see why. If he grows into some more power, look out. Ferraro exudes a lot of winning, baseball instincts and can flat out pitch. Scout with the radar gun only, and you’ll miss him because he currently sits around 82-85 from the left side. However, more velocity is on the way and the present three-pitch mix is strong; plus, the high-waisted athlete with a strong base can swing the stick, too. 

A talented two-sport athlete who stars as a receiver, Johnson’s athleticism and speed show up on the bases and in the batter’s box with a short swing and bat-to-ball ability. In addition to having an 80-grade name, Glaze has an athletic, projectable frame with confident, quick defensive actions at shortstop. He has a real chance to stick up the middle with a right-handed swing that appears like it should translate to the next level. A program that continues to leave Texas with at least one really interesting player each year is Duke. This time, the Blue Devils gained a commitment from Robson, a high-waisted, athlete with projection and a true feel for hitting with an all-fields approach. Don’t be surprised if this young man emerges as one of the top bats in the state. 

Connor Clark – MIF – Sherman
Connor Cuff – RHP/INF – Carthage
Dakota Howard – OF – Van Alstyne (Oklahoma commitment)
Daniel Garcia – RHP/OF – Grand Oaks
David Heefner – CIF/RHP – Homeschool (Dallas Baptist commitment)
David Ray De Hoyos – UTIL – Smithson Valley (Texas Tech commitment)
Diego Luzardo – RHP/IF/OF – La Porte (Houston commitment)
Drew Kirby – RHP – Cypress Woods (Louisiana commitment)
Easton Tumis – RHP – Friendswood (Houston commitment)

Sign me up as a believer in Clark. A member of the Five Tool All-Summer Team, the two-sport athlete (standout receiver) packs some loud tools into a small/medium frame and creates some surprisingly loud pull-side juice with his quick bat. There’s a chance he’s a plus runner with a plus arm, too. Cuff is QB1 at Carthage and an intriguing 6-4 athlete who hits and pitches. From an over-the-top slot, Garcia creates some natural run to his stuff and touched 89 MPH at one of our events. He uses an efficient delivery to throw strikes and possesses intriguing upside. 

A big-time performer on the gridiron and a young man with a track background, Howard is a very, very intriguing athlete. If he proves capable of really hitting from the left side, it could match above-average or better defense, running and plus athleticism. Heefner, the son of DBU’s head coach, is rapidly improving, especially as a hitter. At this rate, he’ll soon emerge as one of the best left-handed bats in the class and is already a physical infielder with quality baseball instincts. 

With a simple, compact delivery that reminds me of Zack Greinke’s movements on the mound, Kirby is already touching the upper 80s with more in the tank. He played with the senior age group this fall with strong performances and an intriguing curve with depth. Tumis is an attractive piece of pitching clay with the potential to be molded into a hard-throwing starter with a plus curve. 

Ethan Gonzalez – C/CIF – Smithson Valley (Texas Tech commitment)
Ethan Mendoza – MIF – Southlake Carroll
Garet Boehm – CIF/RHP – Hutto (Texas Tech commitment)
Holden Harris – RHP – Tom Glenn (TCU commitment)
Jace Martinez – SS/INF – Barbers Hill (Sam Houston State commitment)
Jackson Baker – RHP – Lake Travis (Alabama commitment)
Jackson Brasseux – LHP – North Lamar (Rice commitment)
Jackson Wilkerson – LHP/OF – Lake Creek (Baylor commitment)

Gonzalez is a physical right-handed hitting catcher showing some pull-side juice and has a chance to stick behind the plate at the next level. There are a lot of moving parts in Mendoza’s swing, but the ball really jumps his bat and more strength is coming. Speaking of strength, Boehm has impressive bat speed and torque. In addition to an intriguing bat, Boehm is showing noteworthy arm strength on the mound and at third base. 

With lean, athletic frame, Martinez profiles as an infielder who could play all over the diamond with quality baseball skills and a promising right-handed swing. A recent Alabama commitment, Baker is a tall, physical, plus athlete with a very interesting sinker-slider profile. Upside. One of the best bets on potential in the class is Brasseux. Everything looks good at foot plant during an athletic delivery, and the three-pitch mix projects well for quality strikes and execution. Baylor made the move to secure Wilkerson’s commitment last week after a strong fall. The lefty utilities and uptempo delivery with effort to fire upper 80s heaters at hitters with a sharp slider that plays well off the fastball path. 

Jake Melvin – RHP – Anderson (Dallas Baptist commitment)
Jeremiah Arnett – RHP – Waco Midway (Wichita State commitment)
Jhett Creel – C/INF – Sachse
JJ Kennett – C – Ridge Point (Dallas Baptist commitment)
Justin Blancaflor – OF – John Paul II
Keevyn Goss – LHP – Corpus Christi Ray (Houston Baptist commitment)
Landon Hunt – MIF/RHP – Clear Brook (Arizona State commitment)
Landon West – C/UTIL – Tompkins (Rice commitment)

Melvin is among my favorite bets on the pitching side for potential. With a loose, whippy arm and projectable 6-2/6-3 frame, you don’t have to spend long dreaming to envision easy gas to accompany some feel for spin; already, his heater jumps on hitters and as the control improves so will his claim to being one of the top right-handed pitchers in the state. Arnett performed well at Five Tool events – 2.50 ERA and 27 strikeouts across 25.0 innings – thanks to his strike-throwing ability and hook, which features spin, depth and some late bite. 

A receiver for Sachse’s football team, Creel was selected to the Five Tool All-Summer Team after hammering the ball repeatedly from the left side. He uses a quick, interesting left-handed stroke and is an athlete to follow. Kennett is an energetic, athletic catcher with catch-and-throw skill who works very hard for his pitchers. As he adds his strength, his swing, which does a good job of getting on the right path, should perform better. 

Blacnaflor was one of the toughest players to keep off the Five Tool 55. A two-sport athlete and All-Summer Team selection, the right-handed hitter has performed well everywhere and is a high-waisted, quick twitch athlete who competes well. When he gets out of the box, he hunts extra bases. Arizona State recently received Hunt’s commitment and he’s hit well from the right side with strong hands/wrists and a knack for making hard contact. Speaking of hard contact, West created it repeatedly when I saw him this summer. He might outgrow catcher, but his bat profiles fine in a corner spot. 

Lane Allen – INF – Deton Guyer (Texas commitment)
Lane Sparks – OF/LHP – Brenham
Lathan Van Ausdall – INF – Allen (Oklahoma commitment)
Louis Alonzo – RHP/CIF/C – Cedar Park
Mason Krahn – RHP/INF – Johnson
Michael Mayhugh – OF/CIF – Central Caltholic
Parker Hutyra – RHP – Birdville (Oklahoma commitment)
Regan Carter – RHP – Fulshear (Pacific commitment)

A physically impressive player, Allen’s bat flashes major potential from the right side. He performed well this fall and his picturesque swing showed improved balance with more leverage. College programs need to have Sparks on their evaluation lists. He’s an interesting two-way player with an athletic, Clayton Kershaw-like left-handed delivery on the mound and some feel for hitting from the left side. Across the board, it looks like Sparks has solid tools as a position player and a chance to be a starter on the mound. 

Quarterback for the decorated Allen program, Van Ausdall shows that athleticism on the diamond in the batter’s box, on the bases and defensively. Krahn, who lists himself at 6-4, 200 pounds, is yet another two-way player and is getting better rapidly. I think I like him a little more on the mound, but he could develop into a position player first. A two-time Area Code participant, Mayhugh is unafraid to unleash a swing that wants to pull and lift the ball out of the yard. He also plays receiver in football. 

Hutyra shows some effort in his delivery, but he gets his arm into a good position when he plants and unleashes a fastball that touched 91 MPH and breaking stuff that can miss bats. The right-hander was a big-time performer at our events. 

Ryan Rusk – RHP/CIF – Kingwood
Seve Martinez – LHP/UTIL – Johnson (Texas Tech commitment)
Sterling Bigley – RHP/OF – Braswell (Texas Tech commitment)
Thomas Williamson – RHP – Tomball
Tobias Motley – SS – Cypress Ranch (Rice commitment)
Trevor Tranberg – RHP – Rockwall-Heath
Tyler Sunseri – RHP/UTIL – The Woodlands
Will Canalichio – 1B/OF/LHP – Canyon

Rusk is a physical right-hander with loud stuff and arm strength. The delivery can be too inconsistent on occasion, but he’s a young arm who misses bats from a low three-quarters slot. A skinny left-handed pitcher and right-handed hitter, Martinez was among the toughest cuts from the end of the Five Tool 55 because of his promising right-handed swing and strike-throwing from the left side. 

Bigley is true to his name – he’s 6-5, very projectable and throws hard. After a strong summer, Texas Tech secured his commitment. With a quick arm through the finish and an arm path/delivery that reminds me some of Griffin Canning, Williamson fires heat at opposing hitters and is one of the few pitchers in the state with a legit splitter. 

I might kick myself for not pushing Motley into the backend of the Five Tool 55 because I believe in his potential with complete conviction. He can really run; his build screams projection; he’s a loose athlete; he’s already shown some surprising pull-side impact and I think there’s enough in the glove to stick on the dirt. In a year, we could be discussing a special player. It’s fitting he’s next to Tranberg on the list because he probably has the best chance, among pitchers on this list, of becoming a major DUDE. A physical righty, he has bat-missing stuff and can naturally spin the baseball. His high school is so loaded he might not throw a ton of innings this season, but the college who secures his commitment could land a future monster.

Tune in later this week for the 2023 Five Tool 55 Follow List.

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

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