Prep Baseball Report

Jupiter Notebook: Houston Banditos

By Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

JUPITER, FL - Prep Baseball Report Texas is working to become your #1 source for high school and travel baseball news and notes. So when teams from Texas, pack up and travel to Florida, we tag along to watch some of the most talented players from our state compete against teams from all over the country. The four day tournament provided our staff the opportunity to lock-in and evaluate nine teams from Texas. Over the next week, we will be posting our team write-ups, as well as player write-ups, be sure to visit our site daily for content. Follow us on twitter @PBR_Texas.

houston banditos


Derrick Cherry, SS/RHP, Goose Creek Memorial HS, 2018
Houston commit. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound, two-way player has a live arm. The young 2018 right-hander utilized a short, quick arm with a fastball that sat 87-91 with late life, and a hard 75-78 slider with tight spin and big break. Cherry got through his slider very well with a short stroke and high ¾ slot. He also added a single in the Banditos exciting, 3-2, victory.

Jordan Groshans, SS, Magnolia HS, 2018
Kansas commit. 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. The slick fielding shortstop has athletic range with long strides, clean arm action with good carry, solid glove action and exchange. The right handed, middle-of-the-order hitter, has good rhythm, advanced bat speed, and solid barrel awareness. He crushed a couple of balls into a stiff breeze on sunday, one for a double, the other was caught in left field.

Drew Minter, OF/RHP, Clear Springs HS, 2017
Houston commit. 6-foot-1, 195-pound athletic frame. Solid set-up at the dish with smooth load and good bat speed. Shows flashes of power taking good swings on fastballs, but expanded the zone on a couple of strikeouts. Entered game in relief working 90-91 mph with fastball from a short, high-¾ slot. Aggressive delivery with a quick arm at foot strike. He threw his curveball 70-72 mph with 11-5 shape.

Chandler Jozwiak, LHP, Brenham HS, 2017
San Jacinto JC commit. 6-foot, 155-pound, came on in relief working 4 scoreless innings eventually recording the win. Works from a ¾ slot with long, loose arm action. He located his fastball on both sides of the plate at 84-86 mph. He shows great command of his offspeed stuff, spinning his slider 72-73 mph with the ability to put it on the back foot of right-handed hitters. His changeup is also a plus pitch at 75-77 mph.

Alex Gregory Ayala, LHP, Moody HS, 2017
The 5-foot-9, 155-pound, Texas A&M Corpus Christi recruit, works from a ¾ slot with long arm-action and athletic delivery. The left-hander works both sides of the plate with his fastball ranging between 83-85 mph. The fastball has some cut to his glove side when throwing inside to right-handed hitters, and arm-side run when going away. His curveball has 2-8 shape that he commands well at 74-76 mph.

Alerick Soularie, OF/IF, Atascocita HS, 2017
At 6-foot, 185-pounds, the Arkansas recruit is an all-around athlete with a live body. The right-handed hitter has great bat speed and presence with a clean path and loose finish. Soulaire, who registered two hits in the Houston Banditos first game of the day, also showed his athleticism on the bases, stealing second and third.


Brad Burckel, OF/IF, Lindale HS, 2018
Listed at 5-foot-9, 160-pound, the uncommitted junior showed off his speed all weekend, reeking havoc on the base paths while going 2-for-4 in the Banditos 3-2 victory. Burckel stole two bases, and showed impressive savvy by initiating an obstruction call against an opposing fielder. The left-handed hitter had impressive home-to-first times (4.17, 4.19), and shows signs of being a pesky leadoff hitter for some lucky school.+ Today he registered home-to-first times of 3.71 (bunt) and 4.19 on a hard hit ground ball to shortstop. The left-handed hitter handles the bat well and has a great feel for stealing bases. Burckel gets to full speed at an elite level, making every ball he puts on the ground a challenge for the defense. Once on base, it is a matter of time before he steals second and/or third base.

Saul Garza, C/1B, Edinburg North HS, 2017
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed has great presence and bat speed. Garza homered in his first at-bat of the day, hammering a fastball well beyond the left field fence. He then followed that up in the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk-off base hit to left field, lifting the Banditos to a victory. Garza, who played first base on day one, went behind the plate on day four. The uncommitted senior has good arm strength and a natural, elbow dominated arm action. His pop times were 2.13-2.16 between innings. He is athletic for his size behind the plate, receives well, clean exchange, and solid footwork. With the frame, athleticism, premium power in the bat, and ability to play multiple positions, I would be surprised if he was uncommitted much longer.

Westley Schields, SS/2B, Cy-Ranch HS, 2018
5-foot-8, 150-pound, athletic frame. This uncommitted, slick fielding, middle infielder has fast twitch actions and sneaky-bat speed. He made a nice play up the middle ranging toward the bag from his second base position and getting the runner by a step at first.

Preston Hoffart, C, Magnolia HS, 2018
5-foot-11, 190-pound frame. Has all around physical strength, well defined lower half, broad shoulders and strong hands. Defensively posted 2.01-2.15 pop times between innings, quick exchange on the transfer, efficient footwork, accurate throws, he also threw out a would-be base stealer on a 2.12 in-game pop time. Hits from a tall stance with a quick leg kick, short hand path with solid contact in the middle of the field.

Reed Spenrath, 1B/OF, El Campo HS, 2018
6-foot-5, 210-pound strong frame. The left-handed hitter starts from a simple stance with a slight bend in the hips. He generates good bat speed with a short, compact swing. Even though he didn't have much to show for it, the uncommitted senior had good at bats all weekend. He hit multiple balls on the barrel and shows the ability to use the middle of the field. A four-sport athlete (Football/Basketball/Baseball/Track), Spenrath is a long stride, athletic runner, his best home-to-first time was a 4.38.

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