Hunter Pence Scout Day: 2019 Standouts


Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

CROSBY, TX - The rain broke open just in time for the third annual Hunter Pence Baseball Scout Day on Sunday at Crosby High School. At first thought, this was going to be one article, but this organization has so much talent in the 2019 and 2020 class, we decided to break it up into two pieces of content. Here are the 2019 standouts, committed and uncommitted. 

Committed Standouts

2019 RHP Justin Barnes (Klein Oak HS) has been committed to Louisiana-Lafayette for a year now and is currently ranked No. 33 in TX. The right-hander works from a ¾ slot with a long arm swing. Athletic, repeatable, tall-and-fall delivery, the ball comes out clean on his fastball and has good arm side life at 86-89, mostly 88-89. Slider has short, tight, late break at 75-76. Worth noting, Barnes also threw 96 from the outfield and he is a two-way player. With the natural athleticism, amount of strikes, and ability to spin it, Barnes should be an impact arm right away at the collegiate level.

2019 LHP Evan Godwin (John Cooper) sat 84-87 with his fastball in one of his first outings on the mound this fall. The Texas Tech commit has physically matured since we saw him last, but the natural arm speed is still there and he is likely to throw even harder by the time he gets to Tech next fall. Drop-and-drive delivery with an athletic finish and loose arm swing. Throws a 1/7 shaped curveball at 73-74.  

2019 RHP Reed Smith (John Cooper) recently committed to Northwestern. Smith was able to record a couple of punchouts in one inning of work. His fastball was 84-86 with good sink, but it’s the tight rotation on his breaking ball at (76-79 mph) that gives hitters fits. Carrying the torch for all the PO’s out there, Smith homered to left field during the game.

2019 RHP Ryan Peters (Cypress Ranch HS) has a lean, wiry, projectable pitchers frame at 6-foot-2, 170-pounds. The Sam Houston State commit works from a ¾ slot with a short arm circle and quick hand out front. On Sunday, his fastball had good arm side run and sink at 82-85. His slider has 10/4 shape with short break at 76 mph. Really like the ceiling here for Peters as he is likely not done growing, and once he develops more strength and fills out, watch out.

+ 2019 OF J.T. Mounce (Cypress Christian) is a fast-twitch, athletic left-handed hitter that is committed to Oklahoma State. After running a 6.69 to start the day, Mounce tripled during the game and ran a 4.26 on the turn at first. He gets to full speed as quick as anyone I have seen in recent history and can find another gear when needed.

+ McLennan JC keeps racking up quality commitments, including 2019 C Alexander Lopez (Lamar HS). The left-handed hitter took an outstanding round of batting practice, showcase fluid rhythm and easy pop. Starting from a tall, slightly open stance, Lopez loads early, using a toe-tap timing mechanism then triggering his hands to engage the barrel as he strides forward. There is both energy and balance in his lower half, with quick hands and natural lift that created a top exit velocity of 95 mph. Behind the plate, Lopez has threw with a top velocity from the crouch of 76 mph, but most importantly, he threw strikes to second base with pop times of 1.93, 1.93, 1.93, and 2.01.

+ Northwestern State might have gotten one of the biggest sleepers in the 2019 class with SS Duante Stuart (The Woodlands HS). Starting the day with a 6.88 60-yard dash, Stuart has a fast-twitch, lean-muscular, athletic frame at 6-foot, 170-pounds. The right-handed hitter has the natural ability to barrel it up at the plate. Showed fluid rhythm and loose-quick hands during batting practice. During the game, he singled to left field on a curveball, then swiped a bag. Demolished a deep fly ball to centerfield in his second AB, then singled in the six on a rollover ground ball.


Uncommitted Standouts

+ There were a number of uncommitted arms that have made recent velocity jumps, including 2019 RHP Jared Barta (Cuero HS). The right-hander has a projectable, durable frame at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds. Working from a high-¾ slot with a clen arm swing, his fastball was 85-88. Also threw a sharp breaking slider at 76-77 with short, late 11/5 shape. Mixed in a changeup with fastball arm speed at 76-78.

+ 2019 RHP/1B Conor Gleeson (The Woodlands HS) has a strong, durable frame at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds. The right handed hitter showed pop during batting practice and later doubled to left-centerfield off a curveball during the game. On the mound, his fastball jumped out of his hand at 85-86, and although he did not locate his curveball in the zone, the pitch had good 11/5 shape and sharp break at 74 mph. With Gleeson’s young face and present strength, I would expect that there is more to come as he continues to mature physically and add strength.

+ 2019 OF/LHP James Grantland (Calhoun HS) has an already strong frame at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds. A two-way player and left-handed hitter, Grantland has loose hands at the plate with solid bat speed (95 mph) and strength at contact. Took some really good swings during the game, getting his best hack off on multiple pitches, including a double he blistered to right field. On the mound, the left-hander works from a high slot with a shorter arm circle, drop-and-drive delivery, long stride, lands across his body, athletic back side with some effort and head whack as he falls off to his glove side. Turns his fastball over as he pronates at release and the pitch comes in at 81-83 mph. Throws what he calls a slider at 74-78, but the pitch has more lateral, cutter action to it. Also mixed in a 71-74 changeup.

+ 2019 LHP/OF Dylan Bourgeois (Cypress Woods HS) is an intriguing two-way prospect with an athletic, 5-foot-11, 170-pound frame. On the mound, the left-hander pounded the strike zone with a three pitch mix, working mostly off his FB/CB. Working from a high slot with a tall-and-fall delivery, he gets down the mound with good drive off his back leg and regular effort. His fastball sat 79-81, topping out at 82. Can locate his curveball in - and out of the zone with tight rotation, 1/7 shape and depth at 69 mph. Also threw a 76 mph changeup for good measure. Bourgeois ran a 7.13 60-yard dash and posted an exit velocity of 87 mph. The left-handed hitter has a balanced approach and quick hands, and the barrel stays in the zone a long time. In the outfield, he plays through the ball with athletic footwork and good tempo.

+ 2019 RHP Matthew DeLaGarza (Victoria West HS) was mostly 80-84 on the bump, touching 85 - and 86 once a piece. The right-hander works from a ¾ slot with a long arm stroke, tall-and-fall delivery, and short stride down the mound. Hasn’t quite figured out the breaking ball yet, as it had loose spin at 65-66 mph, but he did flash a changeup during warmups with heavy arm side fade. There is natural arm strength as he threw 89 mph across the infield.

+ 2019 OF Kyle Bearden (Klein Oak HS) may only be 5-foot-6, 140-pounds, but he produced the “WOW” moment of the day when he tracked down a sure extra base hit, diving full extension on the warning track to make the catch (it was one of the better plays I have seen in a long time). The right-handed hitter has a balanced, fluid swing, line drive approach, and loose-quick hands that produced an exit velocity of 89 mph off the tee, threw 89 from the outfield, and flew out on the barrel to left field in the game. With his natural baseball instincts and speed (6.72 60-yard dash) Bearden would certainly add value to a recruiting class.

+ 2019 OF/RHP Kyle Reece (Cypress Fair HS) has really improved arm strength in the outfield, where he threw with a top velocity of 95 mph. It’s a fast arm and athletic lower half with smooth footwork. If Reece can translate that same athleticism to the mound, he will be sure to catch the eye of college recruiters. On Sunday, he was 82-83 from a high-¾ slot with a tall-and-fall delivery. Threw his curveball 67-71 with 11/5 shape, including one for a punchout. The right-handed hitter also posted an exit velocity of 91 mph.

+ Couple of strong, uncommitted catchers are still available, including 2019 C Austin Barry (Langham Creek HS), who is a solid receiver behind the dish, exchanges the ball quick and clean, and posted pops of 1.99-2.08 with a top velocity from the crouch of 76 mph. Also threw 89 from the outfield and posted a 91 mph exit velocity. Tuffy Dornburg posted an exit velocity of 93 mph off the tee, threw 76 mph from the crouch with pop times ranging from 2.03-2.13, and gunned down a runner during the game with a 2.12 on the bag.

UP NEXT: 2020 & 2021 Standouts

 

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