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TX-NM JUCO ALL STAR: 5 North vs. 14 South

DALLAS – Just days after hosting some of the top high school talent in the state, Dallas Baptist University hosted the Texas-New Mexico JCBCA 2021 All Star Weekend. The event, which spanned two days September 24-25, featured four teams and boasted, without question, some of the best junior college baseball talent in the region. Five Tool Baseball covered the event with live social media coverage (Twitter) and continues its coverage this week with multiple installments of our scout notes, highlighting some of the standouts among the nearly 100 players who participated.

TX-NM JUCO All Star Weekend: Region 5 North vs. Region 14 South

Friday’s nightcap didn’t waste any time grabbing the attention of numerous college coaches, a handful of professional scouts and fans. Weatherford right-hander Adrian Siravo, a LSU commitment, came out firing with a four-pitch mix that featured a fastball up to 95 MPH. But the hard-throwing righty made the mistake of leaving a two-strike mistake changeup where San Jacinto third baseman Sabin Ceballos could go down and hammer it over the left-center wall for a two-run homer. 

Ceballos, a physical and imposing figure in the batter’s box, is able to leverage some of his strong lower half into his swing, which features some length, and tracked pitches well. Defensively, Ceballows, who also catches some for San Jacinto, showed a plus arm from third base and played the hot corner with confidence. While the game in these settings can sometimes speed up for players, the freshman’s baseball mind looked totally at ease on the diamond.

The big third baseman wasn’t the only San Jacinto hitter to smack a bomb. Shortstop Harold Coll showed some of the most impressive bat speed and hand quickness/strength during the event. With a compact, strong, athletic build and a short-levered, quick swing with a powerful, short finish, Coll timed 94 MPH well his first at-bat before hammering 92 MPH over the left-center wall for a homer. Later, Coll added a line drive single up the middle, pulled another base hit and finished with four knocks. 

Defensively at shortstop, Coll’s throws had some carry across the diamond and he played the position with clean, confident actions. A list of top middle infielders during All Star weekend probably needs to start with Coll and his present strength and athleticism show in his swing. He looks like an impact player day one at a big-time D1 program and with each ball he sends flying over the fence, he becomes more of a must-follow player for professional scouts. Keep an eye on teammate Alan Shibley too. The left-handed hitter was 4.29 down the line. 

Getting back to Siravo, who was the only pitcher to keep Coll’s bat quiet, he pounded the strike zone with his full arsenal with a slider that flashed as a swing-and-miss offering 81-83 MPH and feel for two different breaking balls. While he did make a mistake that ended up over the fence, it was obvious he has weekend starter potential at LSU, especially if he continues to move his hard four-seamer up and down the hitting zone. 

While he didn’t feature the velocity Siravo did, San Jacinto right-hander Matthew Tieding did make a strong case for featuring the best pitchability and ability to execute of any pitcher. Tieding featured a fastball (89-91 MPH), slurve-like breaking ball (79 MPH) and changeup (82-83 MPH). He was able to locate his fastball to both sides of the plate, and struck out a left-handed batter looking with a fastball inside and was also able to use his breaking ball as a backfoot pitch ahead in the count. A physical starting pitcher, Tieding looked like he could carry his stuff and execution deep into outings. 

Sticking with the pitching theme, McLennan right-handed sophomore and Oklahoma commit Will Carsten’s three-pitch mix suggested he’s going to be able to miss bats at the D1 level. Although Carsten’s control went in-and-out on occasion, he was able to locate his fastball (89-92, T93 MPH) to his gloveside, showed a 83 MPH changeup and a 78 MPH curve with depth and good shape. 

Teammate and right-hander Gray Harrison touched 92 MPH with some late life, arm-side command and showed a promising 76-77 MPH swing-and-miss hook. Listed at 6-1, 165 pounds with some length and wiry strength present, Harrison looked like he has some projection remaining and athleticism. 

Blinn lefty Colten Drake used a four-pitch mix, featuring a fastball (85-87 MPH), curve (74 MPH), slider (80 MPH) and changeup (80 MPH); the changeup was the best-executed secondary offering and can neutralize right-handers. In a very limited look, Drake couldn’t quite get to his breaking stuff routinely, but appeared to be figuring it out at the end of his outing. 

Alvin lefty Oscar Cuello showed a unique look to hitters with his numbers facing home plate while pausing in his legkick. Across a scoreless frame, he struck out two batters showing both some sink and a cutter with a 78 MPH slider featuring downward break.

Coastal Bend College’s Preston Allen is a skinny right-hander with a very active delivery and showed an arsenal of fastball (89-91 MPH), slider (79-81 MPH), changeup (83 MPH) and a hint of manipulating his breaking stuff for different shape. Allen competed well and was unafraid to challenge hitters.

Those who enjoyed the pleasant evening weather and watched the game in its entirety were able to watch one of the most intriguing arms of the JUCO event because Grayson right-hander Dax Dathe looked the part of an impact pitcher. Dathe, listed at 6-3, 200 pounds with a prototypical starter’s physique, sat 92-93 MPH with his fastball; he located the heater to his arm-side, elevated it for a strikeout and it appeared to play up thanks to some deception in the arm path. The sophomore righty showed a swing-and-miss slider 81-83 MPH and utilized a simple delivery from the stretch with the ability to finish out front. 

Tune in later this week as we continue our coverage with notes from Saturday’s games, including a pitcher from Japan who touched 95 MPH. Junior College baseball in this region truly is a worldwide game.

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