2022 Area Code Games: Wednesday's Five Best

Nathan Rode
Director, Multimedia & Scouting

SAN DIEGO -- The 2022 Area Code Games are underway, in their second year at San Diego’s Fowler Park and Cunningham Field. Many of the nation’s top 2023 prospects are in attendance, split up on eight regional teams: Athletics (NorCal), Brewers (SoCal), Nationals (Southeast), Rangers (Texas), Reds (Four Corners), Royals (Pacific Northwest), White Sox (Midwest) and Yankees (Northeast). As usual, we’ll have plenty of in-depth coverage after the event, but here are some highlights from Wednesday’s action…

McGonigle’s Web Gem

The offensive ability of SS Kevin McGonigle (Bonner-Prendergast HS, PA) is well documented at this point. He is a hitting machine and was one of our daily best entries for his first-pitch home run Monday that sparked a big game from the Yankees. On Wednesday, he was in the field at the start of the game and made a dazzling play at shortstop, ranging up the middle, making a quick transfer and throwing on the move for the first out of the game. The perfect way to start the day.

Barczi’s Blast

There was a lot to pull from the White Sox vs. Nationals game, but C Colin Barczi (Naperville Central HS, IL) turned around one of the best pitchers in the country for a home run just left of the batter’s eye with a quick, compact swing and tremendous strength at impact.

Duce's Triple

Depending on which list you look at, OF Duce Robinson (Pinnacle HS, AZ) is a four- for five-star tight end and when you see him in person, it’s not a surprise, as he stands at an imposing 6-foot-6, 235 pounds. He put on a huge power display during BP Saturday night, smoked a double Sunday and drove a triple in the left-center gap Wednesday. I wonder if this is what Giancarlo Stanton looked like at the 2006 Area Code Games.

Texas’ Heat

As the Rangers took the field in the third game of the day, the stands fell silent with everyone locked in on RHP Travis Sykora (Round Rock HS, TX). The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Texas recruit didn’t disappoint, sitting 99-100 in the first inning before settling in at 94-98 for the next two. He used his 85-87 slider heavily at first, then went to an 84-87 splitter that the bottom drops out of. This is my 10th Area Code Games. The only other time I’ve seen 100 at the event was Chase Petty in 2020. In three innings, Sykora allowed one hit and struck out five. Relieving Sykora was RHP Barrett Kent (Pottsboro HS, TX), who also struck out five in three innings while hitting one batter. He stands at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds and ranged from 90-95 with an effortless delivery. 

Colorado’s Hitter

SS Walker Martin (Eaton HS, CO) stands at an athletic and projectable 6-foot-2, 185 pounds. He put together strong rounds of BP Saturday and outside of a tough Monday, it has translated to game play. He smoked a ball off the right field wall so hard that he only got a single out of it. In a later at-bat, he stayed back and poked a single through the left side for another knock.

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