Houston Preseason I.D.: Outfield Analysis


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. Here is the outfield analysis from that event.

Top Performers

Cody Akers, SS/OF, Azle HS, 2019
Akers has a strong, athletic frame at 5-foot-11, 185-pounds. Started the day with a 6.89 60-yard dash. 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.

Ben Dukes, C/OF, Memorial HS, 2020
Dukes 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. Laced balls through the middle of the field during batting practice (exit velocity 82 mph). Good rhythm through the ball in the outfield, throws with carry and accuracy at 83 mph. Currently ranked No. 28 in the Texas 2020 Class, 165 Overall, Dukes is already getting a lot of attention from Division 1 schools.

Noah Smith, OF, Cypress Falls HS, 2020
At 5-foot-11, 140-pounds, Smith still has a young, wiry frame, with plenty of room to add strength in the coming years. The right-handed hitter has life and energy in his hack, uses a big leg kick to create rhythm and leverage. Loose-quick hands, uphill path, current gap power with more to come. 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. Ran a 7.15 60-yard dash.

Kyle Gates, OF/1B, La Vernia HS, 2020  
Gates has a strong, projectable frame at 6-foot-2, 157-pounds. The left-handed hitter starts from a tall stance with relaxed rhythm in his hands. Simple toe-tap load as he triggers his hands back, then strides out, landing easy, creating good separation. He has life in his hack with present strength and an exit velocity of 81 mph. Natural lift on an uphill plane, good barrel awareness, strong top hand, loose finish with line drive power and more to come in the future. In the outfield, Gates has still-developing footwork and throws from a ¾ slot with a long arm stroke at 78 mph.

Zach Wall, SS/RHP, Magnolia West HS, 2019
Wall is listed at 6-foot-1, 177-pounds with a strong lower half. A two-way player and right-handed hitter, Wall posted an exit velocity of 92 mph off the tee and showed strength at contact during batting practice. He starts from a wide base, then uses a reverse leg lift to load back as his hands trigger down and back. Short path to contact, slightly uphill path, strong hands, fluid weight transfer to finish on front foot. In the outfield, Wall has aggressive footwork and clean exchange as he plays through the ball. Accurate thrower with a top velocity of 87 mph.

Seth Cosme, OF/C, Angleton HS, 2019
5-foot-10, 170-pound, lean-strong frame. The right-handed hitter showed juice at the plate, homering during batting practice. He has easy rhythm with good energy, generating leverage and bat speed with loose hands and relative ease. Current gap power with more to come, balanced and explosive lower half transfer, exit velocity of 80 mph. In the outfield, Cosme plays through the ball with quick footwork, soft hands, and throws from a short, high-¾ arm stroke at 85 mph to the plate.

Caden Queck, SS/OF, The Woodlands Christian Academy, 2020
Queck has a long-limbed, high-waisted, athletic frame at 6-foot-1, 168-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from a wide base with his weight shifted toward his back leg. Toe-tap load before he strides out aggressively, engaging his lower half as his hands trigger back. Slight front arm bar, has pull side pop during batting practice with flashes of raw power, including a home run to left field. Hard contact with leverage and an exit velocity of 87 mph off the tee. In the outfield, Queck plays through the ball with smooth footwork, soft hands, and throws from high-¾ slot with a short, quick arm stroke at 78 mph. 

Connor Taylor, OF/RHP, Magnolia HS, 2018
Taylor has a strong, sturdy frame at 5-foot-10, 180-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from an open stance with rhythm in his hands. Loads back smooth as he pinches his knees together, then strides out to land square. Hard contact during batting practice, short path, strength in the barrel with an exit velocity of 86 mph. In the outfield, he plays through the ball with soft hands and throws from an over the top slot at 81 mph.



Best of the Rest (Alphabetical)

Jackson Appel, C/SS, Memorial HS, 2019
5-foot-10, 165-pound, lean frame. Appel has a strong arm behind the plate (80 mph), and in the outfield (87 mph). In the outfield, he plays through the ball with quick footwork, soft hands, big crow hop to generate momentum and arm speed. Accurate throws to the plate from a high-¾ slot with a short arm stroke. Behind the plate he threw 80 mph from the crouch with pop times of 1.97-2.2. Quick exchange, gains ground with in-line footwork. A switch-hitter, from the left side he starts from a slightly open stance with relaxed hands. Smooth early load back as he triggers his hands back and up, then strides forward, landing square. Short, flat path through the zone with a loose finish and exit velocity of 80 mph off the tee. From the right side, starts from a tall, open stance, triggers hands back, strides closed. Slight front arm bar and a flat path produced mostly ground balls. Ran a 7.1 60-yard dash.

Owen Archer, RHP/OF, Liberty HS, 2021 .
6-foot, 165-pounds. A two way player and right-handed hitter, Archer starts from an open, slightly crouched stance, with rhythm in his hands. Quick load back as he lowers his hands back and down, then strides forward, landing with his hands back and good separation. Transfers lower half through contact, drove the ball well during batting practice with strength at contact, a slightly uphill path, and an exit velocity of 80 mph. In the outfield, Archer has quick footwork, soft hands,  and a smooth transition through the catch. Throws from a high slot with an accurate arm at 75 mph. Ran a 7.82 60-yard dash.

Levy Hammack, OF/RHP, Magnolia HS, 2020
5-foot-10, 145-pounds. A two-way player, Hammack is an aggressive player. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall, open stance with his shoulders tilted down and forward. Uses a big leg kick to load, aggressive and balanced weight transfer, loose-strong hands, uphill path creates leverage with an exit velocity of 83 mph. In the outfield, Hammack attacks ground balls, has quick footwork, soft hands, athletic crow hop and threw bullets to the plate at 81 mph.

Colton Harris, 2B/OF, Houston Christian, 2020
5-foot-9, 150-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from a balanced stance with loose, relaxed hands. Simple push back to load and trigger his hands as he gets into his front side at footstrike. Athletic first move, quick-loose hands through the zone, throws the barrel around, aggressive and balanced weight transfer, stays in his legs as he finishes through the ball with leverage. In the outfield, Harris has quick footwork, soft hands, and throws from a high-¾ slot with a clean, elbow dominant arm stroke at 76 mph. On the infield, Harris has has a quick first step, smooth footwork and soft hands out front from a fundamental fielding position. Good sense of timing as he plays through the ball, picks the right hop, nose stays over his glove on back handed plays, can throw on the run. Accurate arm at 65 mph across the diamond.

Braylon Hurd, OF/RHP, Cypress Ranch HS, 2019
Hurd has an athletic frame at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds. A two-way player and right-handed hitter, Hurd starts from an open, balanced stance. Early rhythm as he loads back, then strides out, landing in line with his hands over is back shoulder. Long path through the zone with strength at contact and an exit velocity of 88 mph off the tee. In the outfield, Hurd plays through the ball with quick footwork, soft hands, clean exchange. Threw accurately to the plate at 74 mph.

Adalberto Jaimes, OF 2019, Pflugerville HS
5-foot-5, 135-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall, slightly open stance with his weight set on his back leg. Rotates inward to load as he pinches his knees together before he strides forward, landing square. Slight front arm bar, flat path, simple weight transfer, stays in his legs as he extends through contact with an exit velocity of 81 mph. In the outfield, Jaimes plays through the ball with rhythm as he creates momentum with aggressive footwork and quick exchange. Throws from an over the top slot with accuracy and a top velocity of 77 mph.

William Lee, RHP/OF, Klein HS, 2020
Lee has a projectable frame at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds.  A two-way player and switch-hitter, Lee starts from a tall, open stance from the right side. Simple load back with a reverse leg-lift as he triggers his hands back. Transfers weight easy with good energy in his hack, hard contact, strong top hand, gap power, natural lift, loose finish and an exit velocity of 81 mph. On the left side, he has a similar setup, leg lift, and load. More rotational upper body, and line drive contact. In the outfield, Lee plays through the ball with soft hands, quickish footwork, clean exchange and topped out at 88 mph.

Harry Main, RHP/OF, Sealy HS, 2020
5-foot-8, 120-pound, still developing frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall, slightly open stance. Early load back as he triggers his hands down and back, then strides out toward the mound. Slight front arm bar with a flat path and an exit velocity of 68 mph. In the outfield, Main plays through the ball with rhythm and athleticism. Accurate thrower with a clean, projectable arm stroke and a top velocity of 69 mph. Ran 7.68 60-yard dash.

Max Matheson, RHP/OF, Cypress Woods, 2021
Matheson has a projectable frame at 6-foot-1, 168-pounds. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a long arm stroke. Simple, balanced delivery with a strong lower half. His fastball ranged from 64-70 mph. His curveball was 54-58 mph with developing 12/6 shape. A two-way player an right-handed hitter, Matheson starts from a balanced, wide base. Smooth load back, short stride as his hands move over his back shoulder. Showed strength at contact and feel for the barrel during batting practice with an exit velocity of 71 mph off the tee. In the outfield, Matheson plays through the ball with soft hands and developing footwork. Threw 67 mph to the dish from an over the top slot with a long arm swing.

Jaxson Pierce, C/OF, The Woodlands HS, 2022
5-foot-8, 175-pound, strong frame for an eighth grader. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall stance with relaxed hands. Lowers himself into his legs as his hands trigger down and back, then lifts his front foot as he strides forward. Present hand strength and bat speed, short path, hard contact during batting practice. Does a nice job of creating simple separation and weight shift. Exit velocity of 70 mph off the tee. In the outfield, Pierce is an accurate thrower with a smooth arm swing and top velocity of 73 mph. Behind the plate, he threw 72 mph from the crouch with pop times ranging from 2.35-2.61. Ran a 7.61 60-yard dash.

Carson Queck, OF/RHP, The Woodlands Christian Academy, 2022  
Queck has a strong frame for an eighth grader at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds. The right-handed hitter has raw strength and bat speed at the plate with an exit velocity of 87 mph off the tee. Starting from a tall, neutral stance, Queck loads back with a reverse knee-to-knee leg lift, then lands balanced as he walks away from his hands. Explosive lower half transfer, quick-strong hands, barrel gets on plane early then finishes on an uphill plane creating lift and leverage. In the outfield, Queck has an accurate arm from a high-¾ slot at 76 mph. On the infield, he shows soft hands, fundamental footwork and a strong arm for his class across the diamond at 70 mph.  

Chase Richter, OF/LHP, Cypress Woods HS, 2020
6-foot, 180-pound, athletic frame. A two-way player and left-handed hitter, Richter starts from a crouched, neutral strance with his hands set low. Simple swing, short stride, barrel gets on plane early. Hands work on uphill plane through the zone with natural lift, high finish and exit velocity of 83 mph. In the outfield, Richter plays through the ball with quick footwork, athletic crow hop into a smooth, short arm swing at 82 mph.

Mason Shockey, OF, Fulshear HS, 2019  
5-foot-9, 140-pound, athletic frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a slightly open, crouched stance. Loads back as he triggers his hands down and back, then lands with his weight back when his front foot hits the ground. Uphill path with quick wrists through contact, exit velocity of 80 mph, weight shift forward to his front foot, flashes some lift to the pull side. In the outfield, Shockey has smooth footwork, soft hands and throws from a short arm stroke with a top velocity of 77 mph.

Ryne Sterns, OF/3B, Cypress Woods, 2021
6-foot, 173 pounds. A right-handed hitter, Sterns starts from an open, wide stance. Slight toe tap load, triggers hands back and down, uphill path with good extension through contact and an exit velocity of 79 mph. In the outfield, Sterns plays through the ball with smooth footwork in his crow hop. Throws from a high-¾ slot with a short arm stroke and top velocity of 76 mph. On the infield, Sterns has still-developing footwork, soft hands, and throws from a ¾ slot at 70 mph across the diamond.

Jackson Ware, OF/C, Houston Stratford, 2020
6-foot, 160-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from a wide base with his hands set high in a relaxed position. Simple gather back to load, short, balanced stride, short path to contact on a slightly uphill plane. Shows barrel awareness and the ability to use the whole field, strong top hand, good extension through contact with an exit velocity of 87 mph. In the outfield, Ware plays through the ball with rhythm and soft hands, throws from an over the top slot with a long arm stroke and top velocity of 79 mph. Ran a 7.27 60-yard dash.

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