Prep Baseball Report

The Rise of the Texas Shortstop

Shooter Hunt
Vice President, Scouting

Weatherford, TX-- Forever known for its stocked arsenal of premium power arms, a recent string of mighty middle infielders in the state has catapulted “The Rise of the Texan Shortstop”. Led by burgeoning superstar, Bobby Witt Jr. (Colleyville Heritage HS, TX), who electrified the national circuit en route to being selected second overall by the Kansas City Royals in 2019, the Lone Star State has quickly emerged as a must-stop-spot to catch elite middle infield talent. After BWJ, dynamic 2020 SS Masyn Winn (Kingwood HS, TX) was a second round selection of the St. Louis Cardinals, and 2021 SS Jordan Lawlar (Jesuit HS, TX) was selected sixth overall by the Diamondbacks the following year along with SS Cam Cauley (Barbers Hill HS, TX) who went 73rd overall. This past year, 2022 SS Jett Williams (Heath HS, TX) was selected by the New York Mets with the 14th overall selection.

It is a Golden Age of middle infielders in the state. But is this just the start?

Beyond Williams, the ‘22 class also featured a trio of Top 100 prospects at the shortstop position. Jalin Flores (Brandeis HS, TX) is on campus at Texas, Travis Sanders (Copperas Cove HS, TX) is at Texas Tech, and Anthony Silva (Clark HS, TX) is at TCU. Then there is SS Cole Foster (Plano HS, TX) at Auburn who enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign in ‘22, and is eyeing a huge draft year in ‘23.

Meanwhile, a group of prep studs is ready to be uncovered. The Texas State Games provided a great look at the next wave of Texan shortstops. Hosted on the campus of legendary junior college program, Weatherford College, the event spanned three days and brought together the finest talent from all around the state. Six teams were present including players from every class with a mix of both committed and uncommitted talent.


Leading this year’s draft talent is SS TJ Pompey (Coppell HS, TX). The long-limbed, wiry athlete has added substantial strength to a 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame, and it has helped boost the outputs in all phases. A consummate defender with silky smooth actions that allow him to glide around the infield, the Texas Tech recruit is in an elite category with regards to that tool, and looked the part of top 5 defensive shortstop in the class in this look. Everything comes easy to him on the infield with soft hands and advanced glove-to-hand capabilities, and his long strides provide easy coverage side-to-side with eye-opening instincts. That all is combined with a plus-arm that flicked accurate throws up to 93 mph across the diamond during workouts to present the look of a prospect that can stick at the position long term. Pompey made the play of the event, ranging deep in the hole before sliding and picking with the back hand, and popping to his feet to deliver a strike to first base for an out. A 6.5-runner, Pompey checks all the athleticism boxes and is equipped with a low-pulse that allows him to slow the game down. The bat is what will likely decide his ceiling with regards to the draft. There have been some inconsistencies in the past, but the State Games saw Pompey take a big step forward. Posting exit velocities up to 102.5 mph during workouts along with bat and hand speeds (per Blast Motion) that stood out as elite. The added physicality has paired well with Pompey’s natural athleticism, and he worked rhythmically in producing a mature round of batting practice that provided a glimpse at future power production. The right-handed hitter gets exceptional rotational acceleration, creating quickness in a short window while looking to do damage in the air, especially to the pull side. The workout showing carried over to game play where the big shortstop blasted a triple off the left field wall. In closing, the uptick that the bat showed is sure to bring plenty of attention for Pompey in the spring as the strong likelihood of him sticking at shortstop long term places premium value on his prospect status.

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