Prep Baseball Report

Houston Preseason I.D. > Quick Hits

Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

TOMBALL, TX - On Saturday, January 6th, Prep Baseball Report hosted the Houston Preseason I.D. at Premier Baseball in Tomball, TX. The event was open to all 2018-2021 classes. Players were run through a full pro-style workout, including 60-yard dash, batting practice and defensive skill workout. All videos, stats, and measurables will be posted to the website in the next week, with scouting reports posting within several weeks. Here are some Quick Hits of players that stood out.

Uncommitted 2019 SS/OF Cody Akers (Azle HS) had a stellar day, starting with a 6.89 60-yard dash. Akers has a strong, athletic frame at 5-foot-11, 185-pounds. During batting practice, the switch hitter showed solid strength, homering from both sides of the plate, including banging multiple balls off the right field wall from the left side. His athleticism translates well on defense where he threw 91 from the outfield, then showed a quick exchange and release on the infield. College coaches will want to see Akers sooner than later, as he will be a great addition to a recruiting class.

2020 C/OF Ben Dukes (Memorial HS) spent his fall on the gridiron for the Mustangs, but the sophomore hasn’t missed a beat. Smooth swing from the left side with current gap power and more to come, he laced balls through the middle of the field during batting practice. Behind the plate he receives the low pitch with soft hands and has a natural athleticism when blocking balls in the dirt. Good rhythm through the ball in the outfield, with solid arm strength. Currently ranked No. 28 in the Texas 2020 Class, 165 Overall, Dukes is already getting a lot of attention from Division 1 schools.

Uncommitted 2019 C Jared Lopez (Cypress Ranch HS) threw 77 mph from the crouch and posted pop times of 1.97-2.08. He has a loose arm stroke from behind the plate and a strong, sturdy frame at 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. A right-handed hitter, Lopez showed fluid rhythm and a smooth hack during batting practice. Quick hands through the zone with good pop and more to come, ball jumps off his bat. Lopez will not remain uncommitted very long as he will also be catching one of the best pitching staffs in Texas at Cy-Ranch this year. Ranked No. 81 in Texas 2019 Class.

At 5-foot-11, 140-pounds, 2020 OF Noah Smith (Cypress Falls HS) has a young, wiry frame, and is not even close to filling out, but he has life and energy in his hack. The right-handed hitter uses a big leg kick to create rhythm and leverage. Listed as an OF/LHP, Smith did not pitch, but in the outfield, he threw bullets to the dish at 88-89 mph with an ultra-quick arm stroke from a high-¾ slot.

The recruiting process never stops, and there are still a ton of quality players that will add value to recruiting classes. RHP Benjamin Griffin (Langham Creek HS) stands 6-foot-3, 180-pounds. The right-hander pumped strikes from a high slot with a short arm stroke with his fastball sitting 83-85 mph with downward tilt, touching 87 mph ounce. His best pitch is a plus changeup that he threw at 77-78 mph with fastball arm speed and outstanding arm side fade and depth. His curveball has good shape and depth at 71-73 mph. At 6-foot-1, 160-pounds, 2018 RHP Ryan Rusinovich (Cypress Woods HS) has a lean-wiry frame and plenty of room to add strength as he continues to develop. The right-hander works from a high slot with a long, clean arm stroke that creates tilt on his fastball at 80-81 mph. Throws his curveball for a strike with sharpness and depth at 68-69 mph. Also has feel for a changeup at 73 mph with arm side fade. 2018 C Rudy Gonzales (Magnolia HS) has good arm action on the infield and behind the plate, and showed solid bat speed with pull side pop during batting practice. Standing 5-foot-10, 189-pounds, with a strong frame, Gonzales threw strikes to second base at 74 mph with pop times 2.04-2.19. With his overall strength, versatility and current tool set, Gonzales is one of those sleeper players that will blossom at the collegiate level.

2019 SS Zach Wall (Magnolia West HS) is listed at 6-foot-1, 177-pounds with a strong lower half. The uncommitted junior posted an exit velocity of 92 mph off the tee and showed strength at contact during batting practice with the ability to drive the ball. Wall attacks ground balls at shortstop with quick feet. His top velo across the infield was 84 mph, and he threw 87 from the outfield.

2019 SS/2B Dalton Davis (Montgomery HS) made the most of his fall, hitting the weight room hard, adding overall strength. Listed at 5-foot-8, 150-pounds, Davis improved his 60-time from a 7.22 (May 2016) to a 6.96. The right-handed hitter improved his strength at the plate as well, posting an exit velocity of 87 mph off the tee. He showed quick hands at the plate with strength at contact, and homered to left field during batting practice. The junior showed quality actions on the infield with smooth rhythm through the ball, quick feet, fast exchange, and an accurate arm across the diamond at 82 mph.

2019 OF/C Seth Cosme (Angleton HS) showed some juice at the plate, homering during batting practice. He has good energy and rhythm in his hack with bat speed and lift.

2020 C Christopher Wattinger (Bridgeland HS) threw thigh-high strikes to second base at 74 mph with pop times of 2.09-2.14. He has an easy exchange and his arm works well behind the plate with fundamental footwork.

2020 3B/RHP Steven Chapa (Waller HS) has an athletic 5-foot-11, 150-pound frame. The right-handers fastball sat 82-84 mph with a 72-74 mph curveball that had good 11/5 shape and depth.

Keep an eye on a couple of freshman from Oak Ridge High School in Shane Martin and Ty Porter. Both are listed as 3B/RHP’s and both have strong, long-limbed, projectable frames. At 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, Shane Martin has a lot of upside on the mound and at the plate. The right-handed hitter’s swing works well with a balanced setup, loose hands, natural lift, and an exit velocity of 83 mph. On the mound, the right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a short arm stroke at 81-82 mph with life on his fastball. Shows feel for a curveball that 10-4 shape at 69-73 mph. On the infield, he has a quick release and accurate arm at 83 mph across the diamond.

2021 C/2B Jonas Holloway (Kingwood Park HS)  is a young LHH C/2B. His arm works well behind the plate where he posted pop times of 2.11-2.13, flashing one 2.04, and showed solid blocking and receiving skills during the bullpen session.

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