My stops around the Greater Houston area this past weekend included Cotton Ranch in Katy, which allowed an opportunity to watch a couple of scrimmages at Twelve Baseball’s Scout Day. I saw some familiar 2023 faces, who will become the focus of colleges and pro scouts as well as a glimpse into future 2024 and 2025 Five Tool 55 members. However, while one familiar face swung the bat as well as I’ve ever seen him, I left thinking most about a very intriguing 2023 two-way talent who was dynamite on the mound. And he was also the only pitcher to get that previously mentioned hitter out.

Twelve Scout Day Notes

North Lamar two-way 2023 standout and Rice commitment Jackson Brasseux is poised to really, really take off this summer. The switch-hitter stood out with the bat from the left side and should continue to this summer, too. That said, I was especially intrigued with his potential on the mound, which included a sinking fastball that touched 92 MPH with up to 17 inches of horizontal movement and a short, hard slider at 77-78 MPH. I watched Kendall George take seven at-bats. He hit rockets in five of them, walked in the other and struck out against Brasseux’s slider.

In a setting where some pitchers struggled to throw strikes, Brasseux filled up the zone. With a muscular build and present athleticism, Brasseux repeated a simple delivery easily while showing a strong lead leg. He shows his big chest out in front with an upright position at foot plant and is able to repeat an arm action with a visible arm swing in the back because of his shoulder flexibility/rotation. What’s even more exciting about this lefty is his slider can tighten up and is already generating whiffs despite a clear opportunity to improve its shape. The low three-quarters, nearly sidearm slot fits his arsenal well. Don’t be surprised if this guy emerges as one of the top prospects in Texas this summer.

While we’re on the subject of left-handed pitchers, college coaches need to add Andrew Del Hierro to the evaluation list. The 5-11 left-handed pitcher from Brazoswood threw a lively fastball (83-87 MPH) that gave hitters trouble, showed a 64-67 MPH curve with big, two-plane break and had an intriguing feel for a changeup, too.

As for George, he looked a little stronger and more muscular since I saw him during the high school season. He also swung the bat much better, too, which included a couple hard liners up the middle and a shot that burned the center fielder. Uncharacteristically, the 2023 Arkansas commitment looked like he was guessing, struck out and was completely out of sorts offensively in April. This looked more like the George I’m used to seeing – standout hand-eye coordination and bat control; plate coverage; competitiveness; tracking the baseball deep into the zone. If this past weekend was a sign of what’s to come, pro scouts are going to spend some quality time watching his at-bats.

QUICK HITTER NOTES

– My first in-person look at Corpus Christi Ray shortstop and 2023 Arizona State commitment Jack Bell was a fun one. The glove and defensive instincts are as strong as advertised and he has a real chance to stick at shortstop at the next level. I liked the left-handed swing, although it’s more geared for contact than impact right now; but as the strength comes, and it will, the increased impact should show.

– I left Katy a fan of uncommitted 2023 right-hander Clayton Freshcorn. At 5-11, 145 pounds, Freshcorn showed a very quick, loose arm on the mound with an athletic delivery, which matched his defensive profile as a middle infielder. He touched 88 MPH with his fastball that had some carry and explosive action through the hitting zone, and Freshcorn’s 74-76 MPH slider recorded swings and misses when commanded down and away from righties. Given his athleticism, arm speed, room to fill out and how his shoulder rotates, it’s only a matter of time before Freshcorn throws really, really hard. Maybe that time is after high school, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t get into the mid-90s at some point in his career.

– Another uncommitted 2023 arm to keep an eye on is 6-4, 210-pound righty Brayden Gilley. Known for his competitiveness and track record for performing, Gilley, who is a big, physical and mature pitcher, touched 87 MPH, flashed a 76 MPH slider that had swing and miss potential when it had true shape instead of a slurve-like look and used an 82 MPH changeup with sinker-like action. There’s some untapped velocity in the arm path, which would benefit from more flexibility and looks stiff presently.

– Ole Miss 2023 commitment and Katy Tompkins standout Drew Markle took some of the best swings I’ve seen him take, which included timing velocity and sending a rocket into the left-center gap. As Markle matures and fills out, I think a corner outfield slot might be where he can profile best because his arm strength would be plus in the outfield. However, his defensive skill in the infield is trending positively, and he should get a lot of reps at third base, shortstop and even some second base this summer.

– Lufkin 2023 catcher and right-handed hitter Charlie Deaton performed very well and didn’t look at all overmatched in anything he did on the diamond. At 5-9, 195 pounds, Deaton has a strong, compact frame and his short arms lead to barrel feel and control with some quickness through the hitting zone. He looked like he has potential to stick behind the dish at the next level and hit some, too. Mid-major D1 and JUCO coaches need to add him to their lists. Speaking of catchers, Bryan’s Kyle Kubichek hammered the ball multiple times and took some promising swings from the right side.

– Brady Henke, a 2023 middle infielder from Weimar, exuded gamer-like vibes and competed with a slow heartbeat. The game came naturally to him. Joe Jefferson, a standout 2023 quarterback during the fall, is an infield prospect colleges should track closely. At 6-3, 180 pounds, he’s a more lean and athletic player than last summer and I think his skill has improved, too. I’d like to see what he looks like on the mound because he has a loose, quick arm at shortstop and his athleticism strongly suggests he’d repeat a delivery, too. Regardless, I’m looking forward to tracking his progress this summer.

– I have no idea where Milano, Texas is. But college coaches might want to figure that out soon because 2024 right-hander Cadyn Shaw looked like a mini-Tanner Houck on the mound. Yeah, I have questions about whether he’s a reliever or starter long-term and what the strike-throwing will look like because of the delivery and control. But the stuff is already very strong. Nothing Shaw threw was straight, which included a fastball that touched 88 MPH, a mid-70s slider with some sweeping action and a 75 MPH changeup that had some sharp bite late in the zone. The arm slot and delivery present an uncomfortable look for hitters.

– Second Baptist outfielder JD Crisp showed loud, all-around major D1 tools and left-handed hitting center fielder Braylon Payne (Elkins) looked like a future dude at the top of the order. Payne created more impact off the bat than I anticipated and although he has a thin, lean frame, there’s some strength hidden in there that should grow along with the potential for plus speed.

Another guy with big-time all-around tools: 2024 catcher and TCU commitment Nolan Treager. His bat speed and hitting potential really stood out when I saw him during the high school season and this time I was impressed with his catch-and-throw skill behind the plate.

– Pearland do-it-all two-way talent Isiah Castaneda has especially intriguing upside. He started in the outfield for Pearland, played third base in the scrimmage I saw and was up to 86 MPH on the mound, showing arm strength and a raw package of interesting potential as a right-handed pitcher. Ultimately, he looked like a position player long-term and pulled quick hands inside of a heater to hit a hard liner deep in left field.

Keeping with the Pearland theme, 2024 right-handed pitcher Daniel Ontiveros looked like a future strike-throwing machine. Although his fastball settled in at 82-84 MPH, it had up to a 2300-RPM spin rate, up to 22 inches of induced vertical break, and often had near 12:15 tilt. And it showed because the fastball played up and harder than the velocity reading. Ontiveros, who is uncommitted, also snapped off an average slider at 76 MPH and looked like he had a real feel for how to pitch and get outs.

Dustin McComas
Senior Editor
Five Tool Baseball

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