Team TX Position Spotlight - INF

Phil Haig
Texas Scouting Director

TEXAS - Team Texas showed up to the 2021 Future Games featuring a deep roster full of arms, athleticism, hitters and talent throughout. The players let their tools and talent shine and walked away with three wins in its three games. There were big offensive innings, clutch defensive plays and shutdown innings by the pitchers. Today, we spotlight the Infielders from the roster.


Ethan Mendoza - MIF - 2023

Standing 5-foot-9, 165-pounds, Mendoza steps to the plate to do damage and do damage early, He hit atop the Texas lineup at the Future Games and got the whole weekend started with a bang by driving the first pitch of the game for a double to right center field. Don't be fooled by the frame, Mendoza swings a 34 inch bat and turns the barrel with ease and has always shown natural hitter instincts. To go along with his hit tool, he showed very well in multiple positions on the infield over the three games, but is likely to stay on the dirt in the middle of the field at the next level. He played second base at powerhouse Southlake Carroll but has played shortstop plenty this summer and is more than capable at both positions. Mendoza moves well in both directions and showed that on a hard hit ball to his left where his hands and feet worked well around the ball and made a difficult play look easy. Mendoza is a name on many radars, and he will keep proving that he belongs in recruiting conversations on both sides of the ball. 

Wyatt Sanford
- SS - 2024

Wyatt Sanford, the lone 2024 position player on the team, gave all who watched, an early look at the talented player he will become.  Sanford stands 5-foot-11, 150-pounds and is still just starting to develop physically. He displays natural athleticism in all of his movements, bouncing around the field at multiple infield positions at the Future Games. Sanford made multiple nice plays on the infield, highlighted by completing a double play while at second base, by changing directions of the ball quickly and delivering a strike to first base. At the plate, Sanford shows a smooth left handed stroke with the ability to hit the ball hard to left field as well as catch the ball out front and hit it hard to the pull side. There is a natural buggy whip in the swing and shows a lot to like at the plate moving forward. Sanford’s offensive game doesn’t stop with the swing, he has bounce in his step as his long strides glide around the bases when given the chance to run. There is a ton to like moving forward about the young left handed hitting shortstop. 

Jace Martinez
- SS - 2023

The lean, high waisted, athletic infielder first came on our radar as the two hole hitter and left fielder for the Barbers Hill State Championship team. He found his way to the infield at an event held early in the summer at the University of Houston, and we couldn’t invite him to the Future Games fast enough. During his round of BP on the workout day, he peppered hard line drives over the second baseman's head with a balanced stroke and bat speed through the baseball showing plenty of power now and more down the road. Martinez’s tools dont stop with the bat. On one of his hard hit balls to deep centerfield, he got the chance to open up his stride and glide around the bases, safely making it into third base, showcasing his 6.7- 6.8-sixty yard dash.  In the field, Martinez was able to show his versatility and athleticism at multiple spots and make a couple high level plays. His defense was highlighted by a hard hit ball to his left (while at 2B), the bases were loaded, and Martinez ranged three steps to his left, slides to field the ball cleanly,  pop up and deliver a strike to second base to start the double play. Martinez is still just scratching the surface as to who he will become as a ball player, and we look forward to seeing him reach his potential as he continues to develop. 

Micah Dean
- SS - 2023

Standing 6-foot, 165-pounds, Dean stole the show with every opportunity he was presented with. Dean was another player that rolled out to an early event at University of Houston, and we couldn’t invite him fast enough. At the Future Games, Dean showed off his compact strong stroke multiple times, capped off with a no doubt grand slam in game three against Louisiana. He had 3 base hits all with an exit velocity over 96 mph. Dean was equally impressive with every defensive opportunity thrown his way as well. He was a part of two double plays over the course of three games. One was a hard hit line drive to him at 3B, where he snagged the line drive and threw the runner out at 1B, the other was him making a quality read on the ground ball, catching it on the right hop and giving a perfect feed for the second baseman to complete the play. Dean shows a natural feel for the game, and plays the game right. He brings much more to the table than just his 60 time (6.74), bat, and glove. Look for Deans name to come off the board soon and make that college quite happy. 

Drew Markle
- INF/OF - 2023

When you walk up to the field, Markle tends to be one of the first people you notice standing 6-foot-3, 175-pounds. His frame shows plenty of room to add quality weight and strength down the road. The versatile infielder/outfielder can play all over the field at the drop of a hat. At a previous workout, he has been up to 95 mph from the outfield with accurate throws and a quick release. He played much more on the infield at the Future Games, and allowed his strong arm to complete a tough double play. His arm might have been the only arm that could complete that play from Team Texas. At the plate, Markle is still just regaining his timing back from an injury in early summer but he didnt act like it on the weekend. Markle tallied four hits, two of them went for triples and he came up with game tying hits twice. Markle keeps the common theme going of mesmerizing us with his long strides as he glides around the bases with ease showing his natural athleticism and speed. The upside of Markle is through the roof, and look for his versatility and athleticism to fit right in on whatever college campus he chooses. 

J.M. Long - 3B - 2023

Long came into the Future Games as a bat that many wanted to see against high end competition and figure out if he can stay at third base in the future. Not only did he prove he was a big time bat, he also proved he can stay at the hot corner and be an immediate impact player wherever he ends up. Standing 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, Long has a physical presence to him when in the box. He sets up balanced with quiet hands, with a small load, and shows one of the prettier/sound swings from the left side youll see in the country. There are minimal moving parts to the swing, which allows him to get on plane early, get the bat in the zone early, and keep it in the zone a long time. His offensive production matched his pretty swing at the Future Games. He wound up with four hits on the weekend, with one home run to deep right center field, and a double to left center. In the field, he showed more than enough ability to stay at third base in the future. He ran a 7.1- sixty yard dash at the workout and showed sound footwork moving in both directions as well as a strong arm from a couple different slots. Long was 5 for 5 on opportunities at 3B, including a hot shot line drive that he snagged on a tough hop, a high hop on a chopper as well as 3 routine plays where his hands and feet worked well around the ball. Long has a chance to be ready to play day one on campus and impact the game on both sides of the ball early in his college career. 

Carter Groen
- 1B/OF - 2023

Groen is one of the guys you want to walk off the bus first. Standing 6-foot-4, 215-pound, Groen has a physical presence to him when walking around. On the workout day, he took one of the better, more mature, rounds of BP from the entire group. Groen stayed in the middle of the field and sprayed line drives to both gaps with a balanced, yet powerful stroke. Groen's patience in the box didn't go unnoticed over the course of the three games, where he worked 6 free passes and didn't get himself out on tough pitches. Groen has shown plenty of pull side power and surely will continue to add more as he continues to develop. In the field, Groen has shown the ability to play the corner outfield spots as well as first base. He showed sound hands on a couple of pick opportunities at first base as well. Groen will be interesting to follow along with and see where he ends up as a versatile corner guy at the next level. 

Trey Craig
- 1B - 2024

Craig is going to occupy first base and hit balls hard for years to come. The results weren’t there on the weekend, but Craig shows a lot to like moving forward about the young first baseman. During his BP round, he rocketed balls off the bat up to 102 mph exit velocity, with multiple others over 100 mph. He possesses a ton of bat speed from his strong frame. There are a few things to clean up with the swing to make it a bit more consistent but the sheer raw power is fun to watch. Craig also got to show some of his athleticism around the bag on a throw from the catcher. There was a blocked third strike, where the catcher went to the outside lane to throw to first, the throw wound up taking the young first baseman back inside the baseline. Craig flipped his feet, avoided the runner, and secured the throw. Plays like that make you think he will be just fine defensively as he continues to develop over there. Craig was a treat to have on the team.


related content