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The Five Tool Five (1/3/23)

As much as I’d love to think about hanging out in Hawaii forever, today’s edition of the Five Tool Five leaves paradise for the first time and explores some of our coverage from other states during the fall. Each player on the list is currently uncommitted and while they’re all different types of prospects, they’re all talented enough to continue playing at the next level. 

What is the Five Tool Five? The short, succinct definition: it’s simply a look at five players who recently caught our attention. The long-winded, more detailed explanation: showcasing our coverage from around the United States and highlighting noteworthy baseball talent, skill, performances, news, uncommitted players who colleges should pay attention to and more. We plan to deliver a fresh Five Tool Five every Monday through Friday to help satisfy baseball fans’ hunger for coverage at the amateur level and welcome you to the home of what we believe is the best amateur baseball coverage you’ll find -

Let’s start with one of the best names and hitters from the Hawaii Sandlot Classic…

Ridge Choy doesn’t get cheated in the batter’s box

An uncommitted 2023 infielder from James Campbell High School (Hawaii), Choy swung the bat well during the Hawaii Sandlot Classic, especially from the left side. A switch-hitter, Choy’s swing looks to do more lifting and extra-base damage from the left side while the right side is a little more likely to hit liners into the gaps. 

Choy uses a high leg kick to add some leverage to his swing from both sides and is an intriguing bat-first player who profiles as a second baseman at the next level. As Jeff Kahn posted during the Sandlot, he should be on the radar of Hawaii and West Coast JUCOs. 

Standout catcher gets it done on the field and in the classroom

I don’t know what kind of schools have contacted Liberty (Nevada) 2023 catcher Lauren Binney, but I’m a bit surprised he’s currently uncommitted. The right-handed hitting catcher made the Academic Showcase Game at the Arizona Fall Classic and proceeded to throw out two runners trying to steal second, including one from his knees. 

I appreciate how Binney isn't even impressed with what he just did; it's just another out to him. An agile mover behind the dish, Binney bounces around athletically and had a 1.94 in-game pop time thanks to his quick transfer. He boasts an accurate arm confidently, and his right-handed swing can create some impact, too. Throw in the very strong academic standing, and he should be a great get for someone. 

Uncommitted 2024 pitcher from California showed a lot of promise this fall

There’s a lot to like about Ray Olivas (Lincoln; California) - present pitchabililty; a breaking ball that can get whiffs; promising feel for a changeup that is a true third offering. He’s high-waisted with some projection remaining to his frame and I think there is more velocity in the tank in addition to the MPH he’ll add by simply maturing. At times, Olivas’ breaking ball has looked more like a short curve, but in the fall it showed major promise with more of a true slider shape.

Based on his delivery, I think he’s a solid candidate to fire strikes from a low three-quarters slot. In the summer, Olivas touched 85 MPH and sat comfortably around that range in the fall, too. 

Another 2024 California righty to track closely… 

Pitcher of his year in his division and another uncommitted 2024 arm from California, Nate Wedderburn (Monterey; California) showed advanced feel for spinning a true curveball with depth and also a distinct, tight, sharp slider. The righty keeps a steady head in his delivery and shows the type of athleticism and delivery that should be easy to repeat. I think he checks a lot of boxes as a future D1 commitment and his quick, clean arm on the mound should continue to add velocity. Plus, he's already proven to be a top performer in high school and with his fall/summer team. 

A very intriguing 2026 prospect with big-time potential

We’re always, regardless of the sport, in search of the answer to one question: who is next? Well, 2026 two-way talent Savion Sims (Sante Fe; Oklahoma) made a strong case this fall he’s an answer to that question. A long, lanky athlete who is listed at 6-5, 160 pounds, Sims showed some very intriguing hitting potential this fall when he hit a towering homer and showed the type of swing that’s certainly worth betting on. 

What’s so impressive about this clip is he had to pull his hands inside the pitch, adjusted the path of his barrel and was still able to hit the ball out despite not getting his best swing on the pitch. In addition to his talent as a hitter, Sims is also a very exciting pitching prospect with a quick arm, athleticism in his delivery and the makings of a lot of physical gifts to tap into. I’d be very surprised if Sims isn’t a major D1 prospect sooner than later. 

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor