Inside the 2023 Rankings - Risers & Newcomers


Phil Haig
Texas Scouting Director

TEXAS - Our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff is constantly on the road evaluating talent throughout the entire year. From the high school season, travel ball in the summer, fall league games, or PBR events, we aim to be your number one source for amateur baseball scouting news. Our multimedia platforms and events work in tandem, ultimately creating the most powerful source of high school baseball promotion in Texas. Yesterday, we released the updated Player Rankings for the 2023 TX Class. Today, we take a look at some of the Risers and Newcomers in the class.


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+ Top 5 Breakdown

 

 

Risers

Mason Bixby (up 55 spots)RHP / SA Johnson, TX / 2023

Standing 6-foot-6, Bixby is another physically imposing presence on the mound. Bixby burst on to the scene in early spring and has only continued to get better each and every time out this summer. Bixby's summer was capped off at the Underclass Area Code Games as well where he was more than impressive sitting 91-93 mph with up to 2567 RPM on the FB, as well as flashing a couple small breaking balls at 78-79 mph. With his natural size and long limbs, Bixby creates tough angles on hitters and an uncomfortable at bat. There is still plenty more to come from the long and lean right hander and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon with his development. 

 

Kendall George (up 18 spots)OF / Atascocita, TX / 2023

George is the fastest player in the state and arguably in the country, running a 6.20 and 6.22 60 yard dash earlier this summer at Twelve Scout Day. Over the past year, George has put on about 20-25 pounds and it has shown in his development at the plate. He’s shown the ability to backspin balls into the gaps and become a more well-rounded hitter. 

 

Brayden Randle (UP 32 spots)SS / C / Rockwall, TX / 2023

Standing 5-foot-9, 160-pounds, the undersized infielder plays a lot bigger than the roster says. The offensive second baseman/ shortstop gets in the box ready to hit and do damage. Presently Randle processes plenty of pull side pop as well as the ability to fight off tough pitches to work himself into a plus count. Look for Randle to continue to develop and be a pest (in a good way) everywhere he goes on the field. 

 

Brayden Buchanan (up 32 spots)C / RHP / Vandegrift , TX / 2023

Buchanan might have the best pure arm behind the plate in the state. The physical Vandergrift backstop is a quality defender behind the plate with plenty of upside as a power bat down the road. Standing 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, there is plenty to like about the frame and ability to stick behind the dish at the next level. Look for Buchanan to continue to make jumps and open eyes this fall/spring.  

 

Hudson Hamilton (up 12 spots)3B / RHP / Grand Oaks, TX / 2023

Hamilton took a velocity jump this past season up to 90 sitting upper 80’s with strikes to both side, showing arm-side run into righties while mixing in a 76-79 CB with sharp action getting swing and miss as well as landing for strikes. Hamilton showed up against big opponents and during the playoffs in a win or go home game. 

 

JJ Kennett (up 70 spots)C / 3B / Ridge Point , TX / 2023

Kennett was impressive behind the dish during the 2021 Future Games. None of the back-picks resulted in outs, but it kept the runners in check and showed off the quick feet, transfer, and arm of the young catcher. At the plate, he put multiple good swings on the ball over the weekend resulting in 3 hits on 3 hard hit balls to all parts of the field.  Kennett’s frame doesn't make you say wow but he does everything you could ask for in a catcher. He is going to make a coach and pitching staff happy when he shows up to campus in a couple years. In the 7 innings he caught, his pitchers only gave up 1 unearned run, and he has a lot to do with that. Kennett is a guy you want on your team and he makes those around him better. 

 

Carson Garrett OF / SS / Barbers Hill, TX / 2023

Fresh off ACL surgery in the spring, Garrett was inserted back into a state championship winning lineup in center field the day he was given the “OK” from doctors. Garretts game is speed and athleticism and he is still working his way back to being the same explosive athlete that he truly is. He was able to show off some of that speed in game three at the 2021 Future Games when he hit a hard line drive back up the middle and followed that swing up with two stolen bases in the same at bat. The swing shows plenty to like with a flat stroke and bat speed through the zone. He also shows plenty of juice in the bat, when he hit a home run earlier in the summer on a college field in front of our staff. Garrett is still just scratching the surface of who he will become at the end of the day, and he will be a quality player in the middle of the field for years to come. 

 

 




Newcomers

Aidan Smith OF / Lovejoy, TX / 2023

Smith has always been able to hit but a recent growth spurt, height and weight, has allowed him to blossom into the prospect he is now. Smith flat out hit all summer long. He showed the ability to drive the ball to the pull side as well as to the opposite field. There is a lot to like about the lean outfielder now, and even more to like down the road. 

J.M. Long SS / 3B / Pleasant Grove, TX / 2023

Long came into the Future Games as a bat that many wanted to see against high end competition and figure out if he can stay at third base in the future. Not only did he prove he was a big time bat, he also proved he can stay at the hot corner and be an immediate impact player wherever he ends up. Standing 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, Long has a physical presence to him when in the box. He sets up balanced with quiet hands, with a small load, and shows one of the prettier/sound swings from the left side youll see in the country. There are minimal moving parts to the swing, which allows him to get on plane early, get the bat in the zone early, and keep it in the zone a long time. His offensive production matched his pretty swing at the Future Games. He wound up with four hits on the weekend, with one home run to deep right center field, and a double to left center. In the field, he showed more than enough ability to stay at third base in the future. He ran a 7.1- sixty yard dash at the workout and showed sound footwork moving in both directions as well as a strong arm from a couple different slots. Long was 5 for 5 on opportunities at 3B, including a hot shot line drive that he snagged on a tough hop, a high hop on a chopper as well as 3 routine plays where his hands and feet worked well around the ball. Long has a chance to be ready to play day one on campus and impact the game on both sides of the ball early in his college career. 


 

Drew Markle SS / OF / Obra D. Tompkins, TX / 2023

When you walk up to the field, Markle tends to be one of the first people you notice standing 6-foot-3, 175-pounds. His frame shows plenty of room to add quality weight and strength down the road. The versatile infielder/outfielder can play all over the field at the drop of a hat. At a previous workout, he has been up to 95 mph from the outfield with accurate throws and a quick release. He played much more on the infield at the Future Games, and allowed his strong arm to complete a tough double play. His arm might have been the only arm that could complete that play from Team Texas. At the plate, Markle is still just regaining his timing back from an injury in early summer but he didnt act like it on the weekend. Markle tallied four hits, two of them went for triples and he came up with game tying hits twice. Markle keeps the common theme going of mesmerizing us with his long strides as he glides around the bases with ease showing his natural athleticism and speed. The upside of Markle is through the roof, and look for his versatility and athleticism to fit right in on whatever college campus he chooses. 

 

Jace Martinez SS / OF / Barbers Hill, TX / 2023

The lean, high waisted, athletic infielder first came on our radar as the two hole hitter and left fielder for the Barbers Hill State Championship team. He found his way to the infield at an event held early in the summer at the University of Houston, and we couldn’t invite him to the Future Games fast enough. During his round of BP on the workout day, he peppered hard line drives over the second baseman's head with a balanced stroke and bat speed through the baseball showing plenty of power now and more down the road. Martinez’s tools don't stop with the bat. On one of his hard hit balls to deep centerfield, he got the chance to open up his stride and glide around the bases, safely making it into third base, showcasing his 6.7- 6.8-sixty yard dash.  In the field, Martinez was able to show his versatility and athleticism at multiple spots and make a couple high level plays. His defense was highlighted by a hard hit ball to his left (while at 2B), the bases were loaded, and Martinez ranged three steps to his left, slides to field the ball cleanly,  pop up and deliver a strike to second base to start the double play. Martinez is still just scratching the surface as to who he will become as a ball player, and we look forward to seeing him reach his potential as he continues to develop. 

 

Caden Sorrell OF / FM Marcus, TX / 2023

Sorrell is still a tick under the radar with his smooth easy left handed swing. An injury deterred him from playing across the travel circuit for the entire summer but the bat speed and ability to hit is nothing to slouch at. Sorrel shows an advanced hit tool with present bat speed. Look for Sorrell to make jumps when he gets healthy and can get a full high school/summer season under his belt.

 

Aidan Coleman RHP / SS / Reagan, TX / 2023

Coleman did a little of everything during his time at the 2021 Future Games, showcasing his natural athleticism both at the plate and on the mound. Coleman put a great swing on the ball for a double to left center field, then followed it up with 3 strong  innings, while striking out two. Coleman attacks the zone with three quality pitches while showing the ability to repeat his compact athletic delivery. The fastball worked 87-90 mph with some arm side run and also showed the ability to move it to all parts of the strike zone. The breaking ball showed curveball shape resulting in a couple swings and misses, coming in at 73-76 mph. Coleman also showed good feel and arm speed on the changeup that he used mainly to left handed hitters, coming in at 81-82 mph.  There is a lot to like about Coleman and his athleticism moving forward. 

 

Colton Cross RHP / SS / Arp, TX / 2023

Cross has been fun to follow along with as he has continued to develop over the last few years into the arm he is now and shows no sign of him slowing down. At 6-foot-1, 165-pounds, Cross has always shown a quick arm which has allowed him to spin the breaking ball with confidence, but is just now getting the fastball velocity to catch up. The fastball worked 84-88 mph with 2400+RPM getting plenty of swings and misses with it in the zone. Cross showcases two different breaking balls with two different shapes and speeds both resulting in swings and misses. One having true curveball shape at 70-72 mph with 2550+RPM, while the other is more of a slurve/power curveball shape still with some depth at 76-77 mph with 2500+RPM. Cross punched out 5 over the last three innings of the game to close out the victory.

 



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