Prep Baseball Report

Texas All-State Games: Quick Hits (Two-Way Players)

Toby Bicknell
Texas Scouting Director

WACO, TX - The PBR Texas All-State Games was a huge success on Sunday, November 4. The top talent in from the 2020-2022 classes converged on the campus of Baylor University to compete against players from all over our great state. Over the past couple of days, we have covered Pitching, and Hitting standouts. Today we bring you some of the two-way players that stood out. 


We mentioned 2021 SS/RHP Drake Varnado (Monsignor Kelly HS) in Part 1 of the Quick Hits on Tuesday. The South Carolina commit has an athletic 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame with plenty of room to add strength over the next couple of years. Offensively, Varnado is starting to come into his own with added rhythm in his hands providing for good lag through the zone, to go with a balanced, leveraged hack. He posted an exit velocity of 90 mph off the tee, and showed gap power during BP, as well a quality at-bat during the game where he scorched a deep fly ball to centerfield. Varnado plays light on his feet at shorstop, and has plenty of arm strength across the diamond at 89 mph. The exchange is quick and he can throw from different slots with plenty of juice to get the ball over to first. On the mound, he pitched at 86-88 and showed great feel for his changeup at 78-82 mph. Got around his curveball a bit from the stretch, but during can still throw it for a strike at 71-77 with good depth and downer shape.

2021 RHP/3B Evan Johnson (Frenship HS) stands 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, with a lean-strong frame. The two-way talent started the day with a 7.04 60-yard dash time, then posted an exit velocity of 90 mph. The right-handed hitter has a short, quick, upward hack with a strong top hand that allows him to get the barrel through contact with gap power and more to come. He moves easy at third base with natural feel for the position and can throw from different slots. On the mound, his fastball was 82-85 mph flashing arm side fade.  He works from a natural ¾ slot with an athletic lower half. Got around his curveball at times, but the pitch has good shape and flashes depth at 70-73 mph. His changeup has heavy fade at 77-78 mph. With his size, strength, and athleticism, Johnson has a high ceiling and a bright future.

2020 RHP/1B Dylan Russo (Keller HS) has started to add strength to an already large frame at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, and it has certainly helped his velocity climb a tick this fall. Working from a high slot, the right-handers fastball has good down angle at 83-85 mph. He can locate his curveball with downer 12/6 shape at 70-71 mph. Originally, we first saw Russo as a hitter, and that tool is still one of our favorites as he is a projectable corner bat with rhythm, feel for the barrel, and low effort power. Relaxed setup and load allows him to repeat his hack and give him lots of room for error. Good barrel lag through the zone with the ability to hit spin. He posted an exit velocity of 87 mph, but there is easy juice during BP with a short, loose stroke. What stands out overall is that Russo does everything in a relaxed manner with poise, he is never in a hurry, so he rerely gets sped up by the game.

Another player we already mentioned was 2021 RHP/SS Alec Grossman (Lake Travis HS), who is listed at 5-foot-10, 160-pounds with a quick twitch, athletic frame. Started the day with the fastes 60-yard dash time of the event at 6.74-seconds. The right-hander works from a ¾ slot and will occasionally drop a tick lower just to mess with the hitter. His fastball has good arm side sink, topping out at 88 mph, and pitching at 82-86 mph. Shows good feel for his curveball at 73 mph, and he can spin it from both slots.

2020 OF/LHP Braden Olson (Lake Travis HS) has a smooth delivery with a clean arm swing from a high-¾ slot with all three pitches coming out of the same tunnel. The left-handers fastball sat 83-85 flashing sink to right-handed hitters. Does a nice job of staying on top of his curveball, creating good rotation and 1/7 shape at 70-73 mph. Good feel for the changeup at 77 mph. Pitching is not all that he is good at, the two-way player and right-handed hitter posted an exit velocity of 93 mph and has pull side power with a short, simple path and great extension through contact. For good measure, Olson also ran a 7.05 60-yard dash, and plays through the ball with athleticism in the outfield.

2020 OF/LHP Matt Scannell (St. Mary’s Hall) has a strong, broad shouldered frame at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds. The left-handed hitter has a leveraged hack with snap in his hands, and was on the barrel all day. Starting from a tall, relaxed stance, he loads up easy before striding forward, landing with good separation that allows for natural lift and pull side pop with a 92 mph exit velocity. Hard contact during BP with the ability to elevate the ball to the pull side. On the mound, the left-hander has a loose arm stroke and smooth delivery as he gets down the mound with an athletic lower half. Fastball was 81-83 mph, flashing arm side sink. Varied release point at times between ¾ and high-¾ but there is feel for spin with a 66-70 mph. When he stays on top of the ball it has tighter spin with short 2/8 break. Threw his changeup at 79 mph.

2020 RHP/1B Oscar Zepeda (Incarnate Word Academy) is an interesting prospect for college coaches to follow closely during the high school season. The right-hander topped out at 87 mph, pitching mostly 84-86 mph. Working from a high-¾ slot with a short arm swing, he has an athletic lower half and a deceptive delivery. Scattered command at this event, but hitters dont pick the breaking ball up very well out of his hand, and the pitch has good depth at 71-72 mph. Because he started game one, he did not do the first base workout but we already know he has soft hands on picks and moves well around the bag at first base. The right-handed hitter posted an exit velocity of 86 mph and took some quality aggressive hacks on foul balls during the game.

2021 RHP/OF Jacob Guzman (Alice HS) is already committed to Texas-Rio Grande Valley that stands 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, and is an athletic, all-around player. After running a 7.1 60-yard dash, he posted a 91 mph exit velocity off the tee. The right-handed hitter has loose hands with an inside-out short path to contact that allowed him to make hard contact through the middle of the field during BP. Good athlete in the outfield as he plays through the ball with easy rhythm and a clean exchange. Arm works well from the outfield with a top velocity of 85 mph. On the bump, the right-hander sat 82-83 mph and showed feel for both of his offspeed offerings, a 72 mph curveball, and a 76-77 mph changeup.

Although 2022 SS/RHP Jordan Medellin (Bay Area Christian) was not able to take BP or hit during the game due to a wrist injury suffered earlier in the week, it is easy to see the natural athleticism from this talented freshman. At 6-feet, 140-pounds, he is not even close to filling out his lean, athletic frame. Really like his footwork on the infield and the way his hands work out front as he plays low through the baseball. Clean exchange in the mid-line as he separates his early. Arm works well from different slot, he can play on the run, and he threw 84 mph across the diamond with good carry. On the mound, the right-hander sat 80-81 with a long arm swing from a ¾ slot. Maintains hand speed on his changeup at 70 mph, and he spun his curveball at 63-65 mph.

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