As the high school season winds down, many colleges of all levels are still looking to add final pieces to their 2023 recruiting classes. Obviously, a true, top-tier talent hanging out uncommitted this time of year is very rare, but there are still some out there. And there are still plenty of prospects capable of playing at the top JUCO levels and certainly for D2/D3 programs. Plus, it’s not uncommon for lesser-known, under-the-radar recruits to show up to a top program as a walk-on, turn heads in the fall and make the roster.
The Five Tool staff worked together to come up with a collection of 2023 players we’ve seen in person this season who are uncommitted but talented and skilled enough to continue playing at the next level.
Note: each player’s profile is tagged at the bottom of the page and includes the video we’ve recorded of performances we’ve covered this season.
Jackson Duffin - Alamo Heights
Everyone is always asking about finding a shortstop. Well, there’s a good one at Alamo Heights. We’ve seen Jackson Duffin in person over six times the last two seasons, and he’s defended at a high level each time. We’ve timed him down the line in 4.2 seconds and hardly ever see him whiff from the right side. Yeah, his arm is probably 45, but the way his feet and hands work, it gives him just enough arm strength to play the position at the next level. The game comes easy to him, and that includes ranging out to shallow outfield to make a running catch, getting in the hole with a backhand, calmly charging a slow roller and getting to balls behind the second base bag.
Corbin Gunter - Alamo Heights
Selected to participate in the THSCA All-Star Game, Duffin has over 100 hits at Alamo Heights and will leave the school as one of its most productive hitters in program history. A two-sport athlete who stood out on the football field, part of the reason Gunter might be flying under-the-radar is he dealt with a significant injury earlier in his career. A good athlete who can run, Gunter patrols center field well enough to have a chance to stick there at the next level and showed bat-to-ball skill when we saw him in person.
Chase Lovick - Tomball Memorial
Lovick is a physical athlete who can really run. In our recent live look, he smacked a 91 MPH fastball off Cy Woods ace Mason Green into the right-center gap, showcasing his bat speed and ability to time good velocity. Lovick is probably more of a corner outfielder than center fielder in the future, but he also could see his defense improve with focus on one sport and constant reps. Regardless, he’s been a standout performer and is a hitter someone should take a chance on.
Johnathon Canter - George Ranch
Each year, there seems to be a few lefties in Texas who sit around 81-84 MPH but get outs over and over and over again. Canter is that type of pitcher. Yes, he’s not going to wow with his stuff and he’s not going to win over anyone with radar gun readings. But he can pitch. A Five Tool All-Summer Honorable Mention selection after finishing with a 1.49 ERA across 42.1 innings with 34 strikeouts and just eight walks, Canter carried a very productive summer into a very strong senior season. He again threw a ton of strikes, limited hard contact and posted very impressive numbers. Canter loves to pitch and is looking for any opportunity he can find to stay in the game.
Thomas Smith - Lake County Christian School
Smith’s bat-to-ball skill caught our attention during a recent look and his long, skinny frame suggests there is physical projection remaining. His swing from the left side is a promising one that handles the barrel well and gets it through the zone with a good plane to impact the baseball. With added strength could come more extra-base hits.
Andrew Ermis - Reagan
A very physically impressive catcher, Ermis has some of the best catch-and-throw skill we’ve seen this season. At our recent live look, Ermis threw out three runners in a playoff game against Round Rock and also timed a Travis Sykora fastball for a hard base hit. It’s rare to find a catcher this talented still uncommitted. Although Ermis’ father is the head coach at St. Mary’s, his recruitment is still open.
Alex Berndlmaier - Vista Ridge
A four-year starter at Vista Ridge beloved by his coaching staff, Berndlmaier’s status is similar to Gunter’s. He’s also a two-sport athlete whose physicality on the gridiron impacted his health for baseball. And he can really run and play center field, too. Berndlmaier is short with a compact frame that does carry some muscle. We’ve timed Berndlmaier routinely in the 4.1s down the line and his contact-over-impact hitting approach results in a low whiff rate and an annoying at-bat for opposing pitches because he can spoil pitcher’s pitches and competes well.
Matthew Welsh - Coppell
Another player we saw flying around center field is Matthew Welsh, a twitchy athlete with an athletic bounce to his quick step. He flew down the line, around the outfield and although we didn’t see him pitch, he’s regarded as a skilled two-way player, too.
Chase Irby - Rock Hill
During the Five Tool Festival, Irby was a hitting machine from the right side whose added physicality and strength showed in impact off the bat. His bat speed has improved and his hand quickness helps him get to pitches in different parts of the hitting zone. At the next level, he should profile as a second baseman.
Nathan Duvall - Westlake
Ask people close to the Westlake program about Duvall and they’ll sing his praises. Westlake recently set a school record, already, for wins in a season and Duvall is a huge reason why because he’s hit at the top of the lineup, provided steady defense in the infield and is a true two-way talent with a projectable three-pitch mix he can throw for strikes. There have been some whispers his velocity has really ticked up recently. We saw him earlier this season around 82-85 MPH but it was obvious there was more velocity on the way.
Jake Melvin - Anderson
A longtime DBU commitment, Melvin recently re-opened his recruitment and returned to the mound following an injury. For a couple of years now, it’s been a struggle to get on the mound and stay there because of various injuries, but Melvin showed a fastball up to 94 MPH when we saw him in April and he has intriguing physical projection with signs in his delivery he’s going to throw harder - perhaps significantly harder - in the near future.
Noah Morris - Mater Dei
At this time of year, coaches are usually texting people in search of three things: pitching, shortstops and catchers. Morris stood out during the Five Tool Festival. Here is our report from the loaded event:
“Often catching Mater Dei’s loaded pitching staff is uncommitted 2023 prospect Noah Morris. His hitting profile includes bat-to-ball skill and is geared more for contact and pesky at-bats than impact and power. Defensively, he had a 2.03-second in-game pop time with impressive catch-and-throw and receiving skill. An agile mover for the position with some physical projection remaining, Morris should get a look from college staffs still searching for catching. He's afforded a rare opportunity for high school catchers: a chance each game to catch the quality of stuff he's going to see at the next level.”
Derek Gonzales - Mater Dei
After playing in the Five Tool Festival, Boras Classic and as a member of the loaded Trinity League, a good case can be made Mater Dei played one of the toughest schedules in the country. And Gonzales was a big part of the Mater Dei offense. We weren’t surprised to see he was one of the tough run scorers in the league because his strike zone awareness and pitch recognition really stood out during the Five Tool Festival. A physical, strong, right-handed hitting outfielder with some raw power and catching background, Gonzales is the type of prospect who ends up at a JUCO, hammers the ball and opens a lot of baseball doors.
Derek Pham - Franklin
Pham’s all-around skill comes to life between the lines and the confident defender with solid infielder actions performed well with the bat in front of Five Tool California. Although undersized, Pham gets the most out of his physical tools and his quick bat can create some surprising impact. His status as a good performer for a really good team shouldn’t go overlooked.
Tanner McDonell - Elk Grove
A physical, right-handed hitting outfielder who can also catch, McDonnell smacked loud hits when we saw him this season. His strength definitely shows in his ability to impact the ball off the bat and he could leverage some more of that strength to tap into his raw power at the next level.
Jacob Rabb - Novato
A two-way player, Rabb recently showed an uptick in velocity and reportedly touched 89 MPH. He’s caught the attention of Five Tool California during summer and high school viewings. Currently, Rabb’s delivery is a bit, for lack of a better word, raw, but he could be growing into more velocity at the right time with more to come in the future.
Brady Ranallo - Roseville
Ranallo was a vacuum at shortstop during our recent look, gobbling up grounders on a grass surface with ease before flipping to first base without breaking a sweat. At the plate, his approach is contact-over-impact but he has noticeable bat speed and creates the type of swing and approach that should help minimize whiffs at the next level. When we saw him in the summer, he ripped line drives all over the field. He moves well and although he’s a short middle infielder, he has some strength packed onto his frame with twitchy actions.
Tyler Allen - Whitney
Earlier this spring, we watched Allen blast a homer over the center field fence and as of early May, he led the Sierra Foothills League’s senior class in OPS with 25 steals, too. Allen can play infield and outfield, has a 4.0 GPA and his frame suggests there is some more strength to add. There’s a lot to like about the competitiveness, and the way his hands and swing work.
Matt Moses - Del Campo
Moses is a two-way prospect but caught our attention during March with his bat speed, physicality and hitting ability. In the future, he should add even more strength to his frame, moves well for his size and his combination of future raw power and bat speed makes him an intriguing hitter for a D2 or JUCO program to take a chance on.
Parker Warner - Granada
A Five Tool favorite from 2022 Area Code, Warner pitched 8.0 innings in the league championship before his team ultimately fell short, 3-2 in extra innings. His strike-throwing, feel for spin, and easy delivery caught our attention and he's undoubtedly a D1 prospect on the mound who also smacked the ball around the yard as a hitter this season.
Ryan Jenkins - Norco
At the Boras Classic, Jenkins threw a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts and only gave up four hits. The fastball velocity (around 84 MPH consistently) won’t wow viewers, but Jenkins can really, really pitch. A big reason for that ability is a repeatable delivery that does include some effort, but is supported by present strength in his lower half, some athleticism and a relatively steady head. Despite coming at hitters with a bit of a crossfire look, Jenkins can command his fastball, which appeared to have shape to help the pitch play up, to both parts of the plate and has no problem spinning a tight breaking ball to his glove side.
Noah Scott - Broomfield
We featured Scott in a recent Five Tool Five and Broomfield just completed a 22-1 regular season. Scott remains a top two-way performer and one of the best seniors in the state.
Zach Blatter - Douglas County
A top performer for one of the best teams in the state, Blatter hit from the right side each time Five Tool Colorado saw him. He utilizes a short swing from the right side with bat-to-ball skill and can create some surprising, gap-to-gap impact that occasionally results in a pulled fly ball for a home run. A 6-1 infielder who also plays basketball, Blatter has an athletic bounce to his step and has the skill and athleticism to continue playing at the next level.
Andrew Grenert - Horizon
Each time we see Grenert or follow coverage of him online, he’s smacking pitches hard all over the yard with a pretty, good left-handed swing that looks like a good bet to translate to the next level. He’s around 6-2, 170 pounds, runs a 6.7 60-yard dash, has a true chance to stick at shortstop and impact the game defensively and has some room to fill into his frame with added strength. Based on our looks this year and what we’ve seen online, Grenert looks like a no-doubt D1 prospect who consistently creates good bat paths, making him a good bet to hit at the next level as pitching improves.
Juan Carlos Kalemera - Pinnacle
Recently in the first round of the 6A playoffs, Kalemera blasted two homers in the same game. After the regular season, he was named second team All-Region. A two-way prospect, we like the physical, explosive athlete (his football background shows) as an outfielder and impact right-handed hitter with notable bat speed. In addition to possessing some intriguing tools and promising physical outlook, Kalemera had production this season, too.
Carson Miller - Bixby
After finishing the Five Tool Festival by drilling three homers in the same game, Miller kept hitting for power throughout the playoffs for the eventual 6A state champs. Miller doesn’t have a true defensive home, but can play in the infield and the outfield. His calling card is his ability to hit and create some surprising power and carry with his right-handed swing.
Colby Mann - Moore
Mann first caught our attention the summer during the AABC Don Mattingly World Series when he punched out six batters in 6.1 innings and allowed just two hits. From a near sidearm slot, Mann shows a lot of strike-throwing characteristics in his delivery and spins a quality, two-plane breaking ball that plays off his fastball well and can create whiffs. Recently, Mann was selected to participate in the Oklahoma City Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game. A true two-way talent, Mann stood out as an infielder and hitter this season, too.