Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State: Quick Hits

Toby Bicknell
Texas State Director

PLANO, TX - On Saturday, Jan. 20, some of the top talent in Texas converged on Prestonwood Christian Academy to participate in the Preseason All-State Games. Here are some quick thoughts from Saturday’s showcase.

2019 SS Ismael “Izzy” Lopez (Arlington Heights HS) is a Texas A&M recruit that is currently ranked No. 49 in Texas, No. 241 Overall. Lopez has all the makings of an elite defender with smooth footwork, easy actions, and the ability to throw from different slots. Great tempo, rhythm through the ball, quick exchange, quick release, accurate arm across the diamond, really soft hands and elite glove actions.  He took a solid round of batting practice, barreling up balls with gap power, loose hands, fluid rhythm, and a low hanging leg kick.

2019 3B/RHP Chandler Freeman (Liberty Hill HS) is committed to Dallas Baptist and ranked No. 18 in Texas, No. 123 Overall. Freeman was the Top Prospect from the PBR Texas All-State Games this fall. Yesterday, Freeman once again showed off why he is one of the top players in Texas. His last swing of batting practice was a mamo-tank bomb to left field. He threw 89 mph across the infield and registered an exit velocity of 96 mph. A dynamic two-way prospect, Freeman’s fastball sat 89 mph, while his slider was sharp, with short late break at 77 mph, and his changeup came in at 80 mph.

2020 1B/RHP Gage Boehm (Hutto HS) is a Texas recruit with an advanced frame at 6-foot-4, 240-pounds. A two-way prospect and right-handed hitter, Boehm has high-end bat speed (97 mph) and crushed balls to the pull side during batting practice, including launching two home runs to left field. Showed soft hands and good footwork at first base during the position player workout where he picked numerous balls in the dirt. On the mound, the right-hander works from a ¾ slot with a quick arm back-to-front. His fastball sat 85-86 mph, he shows good feel for a 74-76 mph changeup, and his curveball has depth at 67-68 mph. Boehm is ranked No. 14 in Texas, No. 68 Overall.

2019 C/OF Bo Willis (Magnolia HS) spent the fall on the gridiron for the Bulldogs. Ranked No. 37 in Texas, and No. 182 Overall, Willis is back in the the full swing of baseball season. Standing 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, the Texas Tech recruit has a strong frame with a well defined lower half, broad shoulders and strong forearms. Willis has a strong arm from the crouch at 80 mph and threw strikes down to second base with pop time ranging from 1.97-2.12. At the plate, the right-handed hitter has a short path with real strength at contact and a loose finish of the barrel with an exit velocity of 91 mph off the tee.

2021 RHP Chase Pelter (Kinkaid HS) stands 6-foot-2, 195-pounds with a strong frame and broad shoulders. His fastball sat 84-86 mph on saturday with arm side run. The right-hander has some funk and deception in his delivery with a quick arm. Showed feel for a changeup at 71-73 mph, with a developing curveball at 70-71 mph with lateral break.

2019 C Jimmy Crooks (Trinity HS) is a left-handed hitting catcher with a smooth hack. The uncommitted junior, standing 6-foot, 190-pounds, is ranked No. 108 in Texas, and showed increased bat speed and strength in his hands during batting practice, with an exit velocity of 90 mph off the tee. His pop time was an event- best 1.94-2.04, with a velocity from the crouch of 80 mph. Look for big things from Crooks this spring.

Both Speaker twins took solid rounds of batting practice. 2019 C/RHP Mason Speaker (All-Saints Episcopal) stands 6-foot-3, 205-pounds. Mason not only launched a home run during batting practice (90 mph exit velocity off the tee), but he also topped out at 88 mp on the mound, working mostly 84-86 mph. He has feel for a 74-76 mph changeup and can spin a curveball at 71-73 mph. Flashed a slider that had more cutter action at 75-77 mph and lateral shape. Behind the plate, he posted pop times of 2.14-2.26, with a velocity from the crouch of 78 mph. 2019 SS/RHP Jacob Speaker (All-Saints Episcopal) also stood out, squaring it up during batting practice, showing a loose swing and tons of barrel awareness with an exit velocity of 90 mph off the tee. Jacob has solid footwork at shortstop and his arm works well across the infield.

2019 SS Ryan Thompson (Legacy Christian Academy) is going to be a quality commit for someone. Thompson has a projectable, high-waisted, long-limbed frame at 6-foot-2, 180-pounds. The junior showed smooth actions on the infield with athletic footwork and can throw from different arm slots with a max velocity of 84 mph across the diamond. At the plate, his barrel stays in the zone a long time and he has strong hands with an exit velocity of 90 mph.  

2019 LHP/1B Jack Hattrup (Plano West HS) was his normal self on Saturday. The 6-foot-4, 184-pound uncommitted junior is primed to make a velocity jump in the coming year. His fastball topped out at 83 mph, and he continued to show plus feel for three pitches with deception.

2019 3B/C Carlos Abello (Kinkaid HS) has the look of a strong corner bat at the next level. He stands 6-foot, 190-pounds with broad shoulders. The left-handed hitter registered an exit velocity of 88 mph and showed good feel play two positions primary positions.

Keep an eye on several freshman, including 2021 LHP Robert Fortenberry (Frisco Wakeland HS) who topped out at 82 mph and flashed a plus changeup at 75-76. 2021 C/3B Jaggar Hebeisen (Colleyville Heritage HS) has a strong frame at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds. The freshman has good overall strength and posted an exit velocity of 91 mph off the tee. 2021 LHP/OF Jaxon Weber (Hebron HS) has an athletic, high-waisted frame at 5-foot-9, 160-pounds, with broad shoulders and long arms. Weber is an athletic two-way player with energy in a loose hack with natural lift from the left side, and an exit velocity of 85 mph off the tee. He has a loose arm swing from the outfield (83 mph) and his fastball comes out clean and easy on the mound, topping out at 80 mph. Shows good feel for a solid changeup at 70-73 mph with an athletic lower half delivery.

2020 C Nathaniel Price (Mansfield Legacy HS) is listed at 5-foot-9, 165-pounds, and is ranked No. 72 in Texas. Price is a gritty, athletic, fast-twitch player and posted some of the most consistent pop times of the day (2.04-2.11) with a quick exchange, ultra-quick footwork, and velocity from the crouch of 75 mph. He has solid strength for his size and makes hard contact on the barrel with gap power and an exit velocity of 90 mph.

Several seniors stood out, including Weatherford JC commit 2018 C/3B Joey Bettencourt (Keller HS). Bettencourt has a projectable, athletic frame at 6-foot, 196-pounds with a lean, muscular build. Bettencourt fired thigh-high strikes to second base at 75 mph with pop times ranging from 2.18-2.26. At the plate, the right-handed hitter posted an exit velocity of 88 mph and showed a loose hack and good barrel awareness during batting practice. Uncommitted 2018 SS Wyatt Bell (Denton Ryan HS) is going to be a nice sign for a college program that is still looking for a middle infielder. Bell stands 5-foot-8, 160-pounds, with a strong frame for his size. The shortstop gets better every time we see him, and works through the ball with rhythm, soft hands, and fundamental footwork that should transition well to the next level. The right-handed hitter also showed a loose hack and was on the barrel with gap power and back spin during batting practice. Ran a 6.96 60-yard dash. 2018 SS/2B Angel Suarez (Trinity HS) has a chance to hit at a high level. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder threw the barrel around during batting practice, showing a loose hack from a tall open stance and pull side power. On the infield, he has slick glove action and an accurate arm across the diamond. For schools looking for an offensive infielder, Suarez may be the guy you’re looking for. 2018 C/OF Jayden Drake (Centennial HS) has a fast-twitch frame at 5-foot-11, 175-pounds. Drake threw strikes to second base at 76 mph from the crouch with pop times ranging from 2.01-2.12, and showed an accurate arm from the outfield at 83 mph. A switch hitter, Drake has good feel for the barrel from both sides of the plate, and was on time and on the barrel from the left side.


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