Houston Underclass Trials: Infield Analysis



By Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

Twitter: @PBR_Texas

The Houston Underclass Trials took place on Sunday, May 21 at Alvin Junior College. The event was open to all 2019, 2020, and 2021 high school graduates. Here is the breakdown of all the infielders that were in attendance.

top performers

Drake Varnado RHP / C / Port Neches, TX / 2021

At 6-foot-2, 155-pounds, the rising freshman not only looks the part with a projectable frame, but he also impressed with a 7.0-second 60-yard dash time, running with an easy stride. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a clean, easy, effortless arm stroke. Throws a straight, four-seam fastball at 82-83 mph. The freshman repeats his delivery and arm swing for his off speed pitches, his curveball was 65 mph with 11-5 shape, while his changeup was 66 mph. The right-handed hitter has a balanced stance with his weight slightly shifted to his back leg. He has a smooth load and uses a short, direct hand path make consistently hard contact during batting practice with a gap-to-gap approach. His exit velocity was 87 mph off the tee. At shortstop, Varnado has fluid footwork and solid glove action, clean exchanges in the mid-line of his body, and throw with an easy, quick release. Overall, Varnado is a high level prospect.

 

 

 

Rhett Trlicek 2B / C / Hallettsville, TX / 2019

The 5-foot-8, 170-pound sophomore flashed pop times of 1.97-2.05-seconds with a velocity of 78 mph. On the infield, he took good angles with fluid footwork, and can field and throw on the run with clean arm action and quick transfers at 81 mph across the diamond. The right-handed hitter has an open stance, gets started with a big leg-kick and showed some pop to the pull side with extension through contact. He has a short hand path, barrel awareness and the ability to throw the head. Ran a 7.31 60-yard dash. With his ability to play multiple positions and hit, look for Trlicek to garner the attention of college coaches.

 

 

 

 

Kyle Reece SS / OF / Cy-Fair, TX / 2019

Reece has a projectable, long-limbed, high-waisted frame at 6-feet, 165-pounds. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a long arm stroke. He shows good feel for the strike zone with both his fastball and slider. His fastball ranged from 77-79 mph with heavy action to his arm side as he turns the ball over. His slider has a short, sharp downward 11-5 break at 66-68 mph. The right-handed hitter has a tall setup and gets started with as smooth load and easy leg-kick, landing with his hands back and ready to hit. Although his exit velocity was only 84 mph, Reece transfers his weight through contact with good balance and showed strength at contact and power to the pull side during batting practice. Positionally, Reece threw 85 mph from the outfield with rhythm and athleticism coming through the ball. On the infield, Reece showed athleticism and the ability to play the left side of the field. With his projectable, strong frame and ability to play multiple positions, look for big things from Reece this summer.


 

 

 

 

Bryce Montemayor SS / RHP / Santa Fe, TX / 2019

5-foot-10, 180-pound, lean-muscular frame with well defined lower half. The right-handed hitter showcased some power to the pull side with a wood bat and exit velocity of 92 mph. He starts from tall, closed stance with his hands high over his back shoulder. Slight inward rotation and fluid rhythm to load with a short stride. Balanced swing with swagger and explosive bat speed and strength at contact. At shortstop, he has longer actions as he winds up the throw 83 mph with carry across the diamond. He also ran a 6.97-second 60-yard dash.

 

 

 

Jared Chambers SS / 2B / Lutheran South, TX / 2019

5-foot-11, 150-pound frame. Chambers, a left-handed hitter, took a solid round of batting practice. He starts with a balanced, athletic setup, works into a smooth load with a short stride. He has a natural left-handed swing with the barrel working on plane with the baseball, quick hands produce hard contact on the barrel. Exit velocity of 83 mph off the tee. At shortstop, he throws from a short, over the top slot at 73 mph across the diamond. Although Chambers is young and still developing, he has athleticism, soft hands and a quick exchange. Ran a 7.35 60-yard dash.

 

 

 

 

Reginald Brown 3B / RHP / Houston Lamar, TX / 2020

At 6-foot-2, 230-pounds, Brown already has a strong frame for a rising sophomore. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a long, quick arm stroke. His fastball shows life to his arm side, ranging from 77-79 mph. His curveball 11-5 shape with downward action at 70 mph. His changeup was 74-75 mph. Brown, a two-way player and right-handed hitter, Brown took an outstanding round of batting practice with a natural, fluid swing, barrel awareness and strength at contact. He starts from a tall relaxed stance and angles the bat into a strong launch position as he loads with natural rhythm and an athletic leg kick into a short stride. He uncoils his lower half with a strong lower half, short hand path, and explosive bat speed. Brown has already present power with balance and strength at contact, driving balls deep into the gaps during batting practice. The rising sophomore does an outstanding job of finishing the barrel with his top hand and maintaining leverage throughout his swing. Although he has slower feet on the infield, he is an accurate arm at 77 mph across the infield. Look for Browns foot-speed to increase as he continues to develop. Brown is an exciting bat to follow in the 2020 class.


 
BEST OF THE REST (Alphabetical)

Tate Ardoin OF / 2B / Friendswood, TX / 2021

5-foot-7, 125-pound, still developing, young frame. The right-handed hitter has a closed stance and uses a leg kick to get started and partially transfers his weight through contact. The rising freshman has a fair approach with and inside-out path to the opposite field with average bat speed for his class and an exit velocity of 74 mph off the tee. In the outfield he threw 66 mph from a high slot with a short arm stroke and long exchange. On the infield he threw 66 mph across the diamond. Ran 7.69 60-yard dash.

 

 

Joel Azua RHP / 2B / Hutto, TX / 2019

5-foot-9, 130-pound, long-limbed, wiry frame. The right-hander works from a high slot with a long arm stroke. His fastball ranged from 73-76 mph at the top of the strike zone. He throws a 12-6 curveball at 54-58 mph. He throws his changeup for strikes at 65-68 mph. A two way player, Azua ran a 7.19 60-yard dash and runs with long, athletic strides. Offensively, the right-handed hitter has a tall setup and smooth rhythm as he lands in a balanced launch position. He has a gap-to-gap approach and back-spun the ball in the middle of the field, keeping his head still, while finishing the barrel with an easy finish. At shortstop, Azua showed an accurate arm with fundamental, choppy footwork, average hands and exchange for his class.


 

 

 

Drew Baggerley 1B / RHP / Deer Park, TX / 2019

6-foot-1, 180-pound, sturdy frame. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a long arm swing. Throws a straight fastball at 76-78 mph. His curveball has gradual break at 64-65 mph with 11-5 shape, while his changeup was 67 mph. A two-way player and right-handed hitter, Baggerley has a tall setup, slightly rocks back into his load, and uses a flat path to drive the ball to the pull side with strength at contact. His exit velocity was 80 mph off the tee. At first base, Baggerley plays low as he attacks ground balls with his nose over his toes into a good fielding position, and throws with a long arm motion at 72 mph.

 

 

Cole Grimes 3B / RHP / Cypress Woods, TX / 2019

5-foot-11, 150-pound, lean frame. The right-hander works from a high slot a long arm swing and repeatable, directional, tall-and-fall delivery. He has good command of a four-seam fastball that ranged from 71-75 mph. His curveball was 60-63 mph with 11-5 downward action, while his changeup was 70 mph. As a right-handed hitter, Grimes starts from a slightly open stance before loads with a low, knee-to-knee leg kick as he dives toward the plate with average balance. He showed a contact-gap approach during batting practice with a short path to contact. At shortstop, Grimes gets the ball out of his glove with clean exchanges and threw 73 mph across the diamond.


 

 

 

Tyler Kelly 3B / RHP / Hutto, TX / 2020

5-foot-10, 170-pound, sturdy frame. The right-hander works from a high slot with a medium arm stroke. His fastball ranged from 73-77 mph. He throws a 12-6 curveball at 62-65 mph, and a 69 mph changeup. Kelly, a two way player and right-handed hitter, has an athletic setup with quick rhythm. He loads into his back leg, raising his hands as he lands with a short stride. Gap-to-gap approach produced line drives during batting practice, stayed on top of balls at the top of the zone. Exit velocity of 78 mph off the tee. On the infield, he has some rhythm in his footwork, does a nice job shuffling to get online with his target, and made accurate throws 75 mph.


 

 

 

Dylan Pettit RHP / 3B / Round Rock, TX / 2020

5-foot-9, 150-pound, still developing frame. The right-hander works from a ¾ slot with a long arm stroke that works well from back to front with a drop and drive delivery. His fastball has heavy run and sink at 74-76 mph as he turns the ball over at release. He throws a 10-4 shaped breaking ball at 63-65 mph with a feel for spin. His changeup flashes depth at 69 mph. A two-way player and right-handed hitter, Pettit starts from an open stance, using a limited load and longer stride, with an inside-out, opposite field approach. At shortstop, Pettit has a clean exchange into a longer throwing motion at 67 mph across the diamond with accuracy. He ran a 7.41 60-yard dash.

 

 

Antonio Matamoros 2B / SS / Cedar Ridge, TX / 2020

5-foot-10, 140-pound, still developing frame. The right-hander works from a high-¾ slot with a short, compact arm stroke and repeatable delivery. His fastball ranged from 69-73 mph with good feel for the strike zone. Throws a slurve at 59-62 mph with 10-4 shape, and a sinking changeup at 57-61 mph. As a two-way player, the right-handed hitter starts from a balanced setup, working into a slightly crouched stance with a short toe-tap stride. Currently a contact approach, Matamoros hit line drives in the middle to opposite side of the field during batting practice. At shortstop, the freshman has soft hands from a fundamental fielding position, gathering the ball with rhythm to the mid-line of his body. He throws accurately across the diamond at 70 mph. Matamoros ran a 7.72 60-yard dash.

 

 

Christopher Wattinger C / 3B / Bridgeland, TX / 2020

The 5-foot-9, 145-pound Wattinger, has a still developing frame and a young face, but the freshman has elite receiving skills for his class, while his pop times ranged from 1.97-2.08 with a clean exchange and accuracy. The right-handed hitter has a balanced setup, easy rhythm with a leg kick into a short stride, flat swing and easy hand path as he finishes the barrel. Wattinger took one of the better rounds of batting practice, driving the ball through the middle of the field with the ability to back-spin the baseball to the backside of the field. On the infield, he handles the ball in the midline of his body and throws with accuracy at 77 mph. With Wattingers fundamentals and all around feel for the game, look for big things from him in the future.


 

 

 

 

 

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