Texas/New Mexico JUCO All-Star Game 2022: Quick Hits


By Tad Slowik
PBR Special Asst., Scouting Ops.

As what’s become a staple on the fall JUCO calendar, our PBR JUCO staff was present and accounted for last week at the Texas/New Mexico JUCO All-Star Game, which took place Sept. 23 and 24 at Dallas Baptist University. Tad Slowik, our PBR staffer who has been traveling across the country this fall diligently covering the nation’s best JUCO players, was on the scene in Dallas witnessing some of the most talented JUCO arms in the nation take the mound, and we’ll be breaking down the top performers in this piece.

We published Slowik's scout notes on this event's top pitching prospects on Thursday, which you'll find below. We've since updated it with Slowik's notes on the position players who stood out at this talent-filled event.

TX/NM JUCO ALL-STAR GAME: QUICK HITS

POSITION PLAYERS (Listed Alphabetically)

Edmundo Alanis, 3B, Ranger (TX): Listed at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds; strond, solid build. First-step quickness and actions to continue to project at third base; athleticism and body control to get to tough ground balls, and can throw on the run from all angles, load up when needed with a plus, accurate arm. Confident approach at plate, left-handed hitter; balanced, ability to track pitches. Makes loud contact with the ability to drive the ball out to all fields; noteworthy power potential. A left-handed-hitting third base prospect who can be a major run-producer offensive all while making all the plays at third base at the next level.

Seth Cox, OF, Northeast Texas: Listed at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds; tall/strong, athletic build with room to add even more strength. Advanced approach at the plate, right-handed hitter; balance and ability to track pitches. Gets the barrel in the zone and keeps it there for great extension through impact; makes loud contact to all fields and has big power potential. Solid defender, enough to project in a corner outfield capably. Throws have carry and arm is playable. Big offensive potential with the bat; run-producer, middle-of-the-order kind of hitter. 

Brayden Evans, OF, Wharton (TX): Listed at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds; strong, athletic body with frame to add strength. Advanced left-handed approach at the plate; balance with ability to track pitches, leading to the knack to square it up consistently. Keeps the barrel in the hitting zone for a long time; strong, quick wrists that help handle big velocity, manipulates the barrel to make adjustments to offspeed. All-fields power potential. Defensively, corner outfield project, possibly a first base fit long-term. Evans can hit with power and will be a big run-producer offensively in the middle of the order at the next level.

Ty Johnson, CF, McLennan (TX): Listed at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds; strong, live, athletic body. Tracks down balls in the outfield with instincts, first-step quickness and closing speed. Throws have carry and are accurate. Lead-off type offensive ability, left-handed hitter; able to barrel up the ball consistently. Balanced approach to use all fields, flashes pop. Speed plays on the basepaths; baserunning instincts and a quick first step that projects to steal bases at any level. An everyday, left-handed-hitting center fielder who can occupy the top spot of a next-level lineup.

Brando Leroux, SS, Bossier Parish (LA): Listed at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds; solid build, live/athletic body. First-step quickness with ability to cover ground up the middle of the infield; flashy glove with actions and footwork. Body control and ability to make plays and throw from all arm angles. Plus arm and quick release allows him to make non-routine plays comfortably. Offensively, solid approach at the plate with ability to square it up with pop. Chance to be plus defender in the middle of the infield with ability to contribute at the plate.

Sergio Ortiz, SS, Vernon (TX): Listed at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds; live/athletic body. Very quick footwork helps him create a huge range up the middle of the infield, with shortstop actions. Body control and ability to throw on the run from all angles; arm strength, throws carry from a quick release and are accurate. Right-handed hitter, solid approach at the plate, keeps hands inside and barrels up balls. Ball jumps off his bat with the ability to hit it hard to all fields. Plus defender at shortstop who will be a contributor offensively at the next level.

TJ Pound, SS, DC-Richland (TX): Listed at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds; strong build, live/athletic body. Quick first step with big range; actions and footwork get him in the best position to make the non-routine look routine. Body control and ability to throw on the run from all angles; plus arm and quick release when needed. Offensively, quality approach at the plate; balanced, tracks the ball well. Ability to barrel ball up consistently with plus raw power potential. Athletic player with the abilities to stay at a premium position at the next level with upside offensively.    

+ Barrett Riebock, CF, Paris JC (TX): Listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds; left/left athlete with strong stature. On defense, takes efficient routes and gets quick jumps to track down balls well; instincts and closing speed. Throws are accurate with carry. A center field prospect at the next level. Advanced approach from the left side; balanced, barrel feel. Drives the ball to all fields with power. Speed plays on the bases; first-step quickness with ability to steal bases. A true center field prospect with a follow left-handed-hitting profile.

Armani Sanchez, SS, San Jacinto (TX): Listed at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds; strong build, live/athletic body. On defense, very quick first step that create a wide range up the middle. Quality shortstop actions with the footwork to get in position and make all the plays with body control and an athletic arm; plus arm that will keep him at short. Right-handed hitter, quality approach at the plate with bat speed and a short, compact stroke to find the barrel. During gameplay, turned around a 95 mph fastball for a home run over left-center fence. Made adjustments and improvements since last year. Just scratching the surface of his high ceiling abilities. A plus defensive shortstop who can produce offensively at the next level.

+ Gilberto Torres, OF, Ranger (TX): Listed at 6-foot, 170 pounds; strong, athletic body. Quality approach at the plate; quick, strong wrists that generate bat speed. Gets the barrel in the zone and the ball really jumps off his bat. Can drive it to all fields with plus power potential. Solid outfield defender, demonstrated instincts; strong and accurate throwing arm. Projects as a corner outfielder who can produce offensively while bringing back some defensive value, too.

PITCHERS (Listed Alphabetically)

+ Devin Bennett, RHP, McLennan (TX): Listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds; athletic, quick arm speed. Ball comes out of his hand easily, gets on hitters quickly; fastball sat 94-96 mph with late life. Quality spin on downer-type slider, 80-83 mph, with late bite. Has feel for a changeup, 84 mph, with deception and sink. Potential power-type stuff with ability to repeat his delivery and throw strikes with all three pitches. 

Below is an outing from Sept. 28:

+ Gage Boehm, RHP, San Jacinto (TX): Physical presence (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) with fast arm produces 93-95 mph FB with tail and sink. Slider, at 79-81 mph, has good spin with deception and late diving action. Power sinker-slider-type guy. Needs to develop change. Pounds the strike zone with two quality pitches and stuff that misses barrels. 

+ Paul Coppinger, RHP, New Mexico JC: Listed at 6-foot-8, 270 pounds; a big, athletic build with a strong/durable physique. Loose, quick arm; smooth delivery, ball comes out of his hand easily. Huge height gives creates leverage against hitters. Fastball sat 91-93 mph with late life; throws quality fastballs in the zone. Tight spin on a deceptive slider, 83-84 mph, late diving action. Demonstrated pitchability and the indications of developing a useful changeup. A strike-thrower with an advanced arsenal that may be enhanced by future plus command. Exhibits a great mound presence; competes with poise and confidence.

+ Dylan Crooks, RHP, Paris JC (TX): Listed at 6-foot; 175 pounds; a loose, live body with arm speed. Fastball was 90-93 mph with late tail. Tight slider, 79-81 mph, with sharp, late break. Flashed a plus change with excellent arm speed; deception and sink, 79-80 mph. Competes well with a three-pitch mix, strikes. Showed a feel for pitching and possible plus future command.

+ Titan Hayes, RHP, San Jacinto (TX): Listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds; strong/durable stature and a prototypical pitcher’s build. Quick arm speed; ball comes out of his hand easily. Fastball was 92-96 mph, tail and sink; throws quality fastballs in the zone. Tight spin on sharp, late-breaking slider, 82-85 mph, flashed plus action. Very live stuff with a power sinker-slider combo that will miss barrels. Aggressive and competitive demeanor; throws strikes with both offerings. 

+ Francisco Hernandez, RHP, San Jacinto (TX): Listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds; tall, strong, durable frame; quick arm speed. Fastball was 91-93 mph with late tail and hard sink. Slider, 80-81 mph, had late, downer bite. Attacks the strike zone with swing-and-miss stuff that misses the sweet spot. Throws strikes with an advanced two-pitch combo; likes to compete.

+ Matthew Howell, LHP, Northeast Texas: Listed at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds; tall stature with long arms and legs and room add viable strength. Loose, live, quick arm. Fastball was 88-92 mph, with late tailing action; very intriguing offering on its own. Changeup, 82-84 mph, thrown at arm speed to create deception, fading action. Slider, 84-85 mph, with short, cut-type action. Left-hander with a follow arsenal with a substantial amount of room to mature and develop, enhancing what’s already a quality pitch profile.

+ Michael Lindsey, RHP, Midland (TX): Listed at 6-foot-7, 245 pounds; tall, strong pitcher’s build; quick arm speed. Creates leverage from size and release height that helps the ball get on hitters quickly. Fastball was 91-94 mph with some tail, sinks it. Tight, deceptive slider with late downer action, 80-81 mph. Has a feel for pitching and should grow into a changeup. An athletic delivery with the ability to throw strikes. Aggressive and competitive demeanor on the mound.

+ Alfredo Martinez, RHP, DC-Richland (TX): Listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds; tall/strong stature in a pitcher’s body attached to a loose, live, quick arm. Fastball was 89-93 mph with late tail and sink. Slider has tight spin, sharp late-breaking action, 82-83 mph. Throws strikes with quality two-pitch combo and is aggressive with his stuff. Ball comes out of his hand well already and there’s still room for development.

+ Kyler Mentzel, RHP, Alvin (TX): Listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds; live-bodied athlete with a quick arm. Fastball was 93-96 with late life through the zone; quality pitch on its own. Tight spin on sharp, late, downer breaking ball, 79-82 mph. Arm speed and deception on changeup, 86 mph, with sink/fade. Aggressive competitor who throws strikes. Athletic to repeat delivery; makes adjustments and commands stuff.

+ Cobe Reeves, LHP, Coastal Bend (TX): Listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds; strong, durable pitcher's body with arm speed. Heavy fastball, 92-94 mph, with late tail and sink. Maintains arm speed to create deceptive changeup, 85-86 mph, tail and sink; threw some plus. Slider, 78 mph, is deceptive with tight, late break. Has the feel to change speeds and keep hitters off balance. Impressive left-handed stuff with the ability to miss barrels.

+ Max Swenson, RHP, New Mexico JC: Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds; projectable stature that can support more strength. Live, loose, quick arm; ball gets on hitters quickly. Fastball, 93-94 mph, late life. Effective spin on a tight, downer slider, 79-81 mph. Changeup, 85-86 mph, thrown at arm speed to create deception, sinking action. Throws strikes with all three offerings to generate next-level upside.

+ Matthew Tippie, RHP, Angelina (TX): Listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds; tall pitcher’s frame and the room to add more strength; present arm speed. Fastball was 89-92 mph with late tail. Tight spin on a sharp, downer curveball, 77-79 mph, with hard, late bite. Arm speed and strength gain should increase velocity. Repeats delivery and throws strikes; an upside JUCO prospect.

+ Blaise Wilcenski, RHP, Wharton (TX): Listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds; strong/durable pitcher’s build. Arm speed works alongside an efficient delivery. Fastball, 90-93 mph, has tail and hard sink. Throws quality sinking fastballs in the zone, avoiding barrels, getting easy outs in play. Slider, 79-82 mph, has tight spin, downer break, and late bite. Changeup, 85-86 mph, has deception and sink. Two quality pitches in his sinker-slider combo. Pounds the zone and pitches to contact from an aggressive and competitive mentality.

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