Prep Baseball Report

Prep Baseball Texas JC Notebook #1

Brandon Gowins
Texas Scouting Director

WEATHERFORD, TX - The Junior College regular season got underway last weekend in Texas, and we headed out to Weatherford to see the #6 Coyotes host Northeast Texas. We saw a marquee pitching matchup, with Schoneboom and Fortenberry getting the opening day starts for their teams. In our first JC notebook of the spring, we take a look at some of the standouts from Saturday’s doubleheader

FR. Tanner Wiggins - RHP -  Weatherford JC - Uncommitted 

The talented freshman came out of the pen on opening day, and showed some big time stuff for the Coyotes.  The 6’2 RHP came out aggressively with a 2 pitch mix that was borderline dominant. The fastball sat 94-95 the entire outing and he bumped a couple 96’s. It is a quick arm, and he moves really well down the mound.  He showed quality glove side command with the offering, and as we get deeper into the season I could see the velo ticking up even more. He also threw a mid 80’s slider that looked sharper than when I saw him in the fall. He got some bad swings out of the zone with the pitch, and it looks to be his put away offering. He flashed one changeup to a LHH and got a swing and a miss for a strikeout. It has flashed avg. when he has thrown it and will become useful if he is to start some games this spring. Overall, a very impressive College debut for Wiggins.

SO. Kevin Schoneboom - RHP - Northeast Texas - UCF signee

Schoneboom got the opening day start for NTCC and showed a high end 2 pitch mix. The 6’2 RHP threw a heavy fastball that ranged in the 92-94 range and should continue to tick up as it warms up.  He starts with his shoulders really closed off, with part of his back looking at the plate, adding some deception. He then has a longer arm swing than we are used to seeing these days, but he hides it well and his fastball played up in the zone and also showed some feel to sink it when it was down. He also threw a slider in the mid to upper 70’s. It was more of a sweeper, and had big horizontal movement.  He showed the ability to throw it for a strike or bury it when ahead in the count.  It was impressive stuff from the righty, and I am excited to see him later in the spring. 

SO. Robert Fortenberry - LHP -  Weatherford JC - Mississippi St. signee

The LHP got the opening day start for the Coyotes, and helped them secure their first win of the season.  The Mississippi State commit has always really been able to pitch, and he pitches predominantly with the fastball. He sits in the 90-91 mph range most of the time, and he has big ASR on his fastball. He sometimes runs into command issues with the pitch, but when he is getting glove side with the fastball, he is really tough to square up. He throws two different breaking pitches, with the slider being the better of the two. He throws it in the upper 70’s and it tunnels well off the fastball. He can get s/m in and out of the zone with the pitch. He throws a low 70’s curveball that he uses to steal strikes as well.  Fortenberry has pitched a lot of big innings for Weatherford, and I expect he will be one of the catalysts as the year plays out. 

FR. Trace Mazon &  FR. Ryan Beaty - Infielders - Weatherford - Uncommitted 

The two freshman infielders both had quality college debuts. They both display some bat speed in the box and the ability to really impact the baseball. They both have shorter swings and are more geared for hard contact over loft.  They each had good ab’s that led to their first collegiate hits.  Defensively, Mazon can handle both spots on the left side of the infield and second, while Beaty looks to be more suited for 2nd/3rd.  Weatherford has a lot of returning firepower in their lineup, but I expect these two freshmen to be big contributors as the year plays on. 

SO. Carson Lorch - INF - NTCC - Uncommitted

The star of the day offensively for Northeast was Lorch.  The soph. Infielder had multiple extra base hits on the day, including NTCC’s first homerun of the spring. Lorch isn’t the tallest, but he is strong and has great body control in the box. He has good balance and is always in a position to damage. He has good bat speed and had no issue handling velocity.  On top of that, Lorch showed a good approach at the plate as well. He swung at strikes and didn’t expand the zone.  Lorch was a 2nd team all conference performer last season, and he is off to another good start this spring. 

FR. Jonathan Gonzales - RHP/1B - NTCC - Uncommitted

Gonzales showed some tools on both sides of the ball on opening day. The freshman from Austin came on to pitch out of the pen in game 1. While it wasn’t his sharpest outing, he showed a feel for spin and threw a really quality slider. He threw it in the 78-80 range and could really spin it, topping out north of 2,700 rpm’s.  The fastball was in the 89-91 range, and if he can get better command of that, he has a chance at a quality 2 pitch mix. In game 2, Gonzales showed some pop from the left side of the plate. He had a couple hits, including a 2B to the RC gap. He has some physicality to him, and I could see him making some noise as the spring plays out.