Prep Baseball Report

Waco Preseason ID: Quick Hits

Brandon Gowins
Texas Scouting Director

TEXAS - On January 13th, we continued our 2024 Preseason with the Waco Preseason ID at McLennan CC. The day started off by the players running a 60, then taking batting practice and throwing from defensive positions. Following defense, Pitchers threw bullpens, where TrackMan data was recorded. Today, we take a look at some of the standouts from the day



Tanner Carson 3B / SS / Southlake Carroll, TX / 2025

Carson had a good 2023, and he really showed well at our State Games in September, but he showed up Saturday at McLennan and he has taken his game to the next level. Noticeably stronger and more physical, Carson put on a show during BP. He hit 8 balls over 100 mph and topped out at 106.1.  The barrel stays in the zone for a long time, and he can impact the baseball from foul pole to foul pole.  Carson also shows versatility in the field, as I think he could play 3 positions on the dirt at the next level. Even at 6’3 220,  he has good feet and can throw from different platforms. Carson is one of the top uncommitted hitters in the state, and I have a feeling he will be a hot commodity this spring.

Patrick Ellison Jr OF / Mansfield Lake Ridge, TX / 2026

This was my first time getting to watch Ellison, and he made quite the first impression. The talented sophomore outfielder from Mansfield Lake Ridge started his day by running an event best 6.65 60, giving him the necessary speed to project to center field. And then Ellison got to the plate, and showed electric bat speed. He had an event best 84 mph best bat speed per Blast Motion, which is elite at any level.  And it translated to the batted ball data, as he had a best exit velo of 101.6 and he hit the farthest ball on the day, traveling 400 ft. He can get a little long in his swing, but the overall skill set was very impressive. Lake Ridge continues to turn out new players every year, and I am excited to get down to Mansfield this spring and see them.

Rylan Alaniz SS / 3B / Trinity, TX / 2026

Alaniz is another one that has really made a jump heading into the ‘24 season. The sophomore showed well in all facets on Saturday. Alaniz has the ability to play all over, and has a plus arm that gives him even more position flexibility. He was 89 from the infield and 88 from the outfield, and all his throws were clean and accurate. At the plate, Alaniz shows good bat speed and had a max exit velo of 94.9.  He has some loft in his swing, and with his ability to turn on the ball, Alaniz could see his fair share of extra bases, with Trinity being his home field. There is some length in the swing still, but as he continues to get stronger and tighten it up, Alaniz has a chance to open some eyes this year. 

Cade Julius RHP / OF / Mansfield, TX / 2025

The 6’5 Jr. from Mansfield Legacy showed up on Saturday and showed a velo jump from the last time we saw him. He sat 88-89 in his pen on a chilly day in Waco.  It is a simple operation that he repeats well, and he showed good command of the fastball. He has a lower release height, which at that size could make the fastball play up even more.  He really showed confidence in the changeup, and he threw it with conviction. Good hand speed, and out of the same tunnel as his fastball, Julius’ change has a chance to get righties and lefties out.  The slider shape has the makings of a swing and miss pitch, with over 20’’ of horizontal movement. He needs to get it in the zone more, but all the ingredients are there. Julius has a super projectable frame, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sitting in the low 90’s this spring as it warms up.

Hayden O RHP / OF / Frisco Centennial, TX / 2026

A 2022 JFG member, we have been big fans of O for a while.  He had a big time freshman campaign for Coach Summerlin at Frisco Centennial last year, and he showed up on Saturday looking more physical, ready to take it to another level.  The RHP/OF has good feel and baseball IQ and has a plan with everything he does. While a legit 2 way high school prospect, O’s highest ceiling is on the mound. The RHP sat 86-87 with a low effort delivery. He can get to all 4 quads of the zone. He also throws a changeup and curve ball. The change has good tumbling action, as he is able to kill the spin on the pitch well. He also commanded his breaking ball really well in his pen. It has your traditional curveball shape, and showed good depth to the pitch. He can drop it in for a strike or bury it in the dirt to put a hitter away.  O will be a must stop for me this spring.

Caden Stambolis RHP / Katy Taylor, TX / 2026

Stambolis is another sophomore arm who continues to elevate his game. He pitched in State Games in the fall for us, and was good. He topped out at 85 back in Sept.  He showed up on Saturday on a chilly day, and topped out at 87 and has much more coming. Caden has a physical lower half that should allow him to continue to see velo jumps. He also threw a curve that showed good depth and lite bite to it. His changeup had good arm side run and will be a weapon to left handed hitters. Stambolis is part of a talented stable of Soph. arms at Katy Taylor

Luke Sandefur 3B / RHP / Aledo, TX / 2026

Another talented Sophomore at McLennan was Sandefur. The two way prospect from Aledo showed a lot of tools, but really stood out on the bump. The Aledo Bearcat topped out at 86 mph and it plays up even more than that. Sandefur has good life on his fastball with IVB topping at 20’’, allowing him to pitch at the top of the zone.  He also showed a high spin breaking ball that plays well off the elevated fastball. It showed a lot of depth late, and has a chance to be a real put away pitch for him.  He also mixed in a changeup that he threw with good arm speed.  Sandefur has a lot of interesting metrics, and I am excited to see him this spring.

Drew Wells 1B / LHP / Vista Ridge, TX / 2027

Wells had a really good Saturday in all facets. The freshman from Austin showed good feel for the barrel during his BP. He has plus bat speed for any HS kid, but especially for a freshman, as he had a max bat speed of 84.9 mph.  That translated to his exit velo numbers as he had the 3rd highest max at 95.2 mph. He showed the ability to drive the ball to the Left Center gap with authority as well.  Wells can also play 1st or one of the Corner Outfield spots. On the mound, Wells has a clean arm, and as he gains more arm strength his velo numbers will continue to rise.  Excited to see Wells progress over the year.

Ryan Steele OF / OF / VICTORIA EAST H S, TX / 2026

Another player I saw for the first time that really stood out was Steele. The Outfielder from Houston started his day by running a 6.71 60 on a chilly day, showing the athleticism to handle center field. He showed an accurate arm with enough velo to handle center at the next level.  Steele also impressed in the box, showing off a strong swing that he repeated well. His blast numbers stood out with a max bat speed of 74.4 mph and a rotational acceleration max of 25.1 G’s which are both above average. He had a max exit velo of 93.1 mph. Just another talented 2026, which has a chance to be a special class in Texas.

Jackson Ritz 3B / SS / Clifton, TX / 2027

Ritz was part of a talented freshman class that showed up on Saturday. The infielder from Clifton started his day by running a 6.86 60 showing high end athleticism. He showed good actions on the infield, moving well laterally and coming in on the ball. He showed an avg. arm that should continue to get better as he gets stronger.  At the plate, Ritz showed really good rotational acceleration at the plate, topping out at 23.8 G’s allowing him to really impact the baseball. Ritz has a great foundation of tools heading into his freshman year, and it will be fun to follow.

Ethan Minjarez OF / RHP / Pflugerville, TX / 2025

Minjarez showed well in all phases on Saturday. The athletic outfielder from Pflugerville started his day by running a 6.85 60. He followed that up with a max outfield velo of 84 mph, giving him the chance to stick in center field long term. Offensively, Minjarez showed a short, strong swing from the left side of the plate. He had a max exit velocity of 95 mph and sprayed line drives to all parts of the field. Minjarez does a lot of things well, and he could help out a lot of college programs. 

Hunter Fryman C / RHP / Troy, TX / 2027

Another freshman that really showed out on Saturday was Fryman. The talented two way player from Troy did a little bit of everything, and did it well. He really stood out behind the plate, where he had the best pop time on the day. He had a 1.95 best pop and showed an above average arm for his age.  At the plate, Fryman showed a direct swing geared for line drives.  As he gains more strength, he should develop into some power. Fryman also showed well on the mound, with a low 80’s fastball that he paired with 2 different breaking balls. There is some arm strength there, and it will be interesting to see if catching or pitching becomes his primary position. Definitely one to follow moving forward.




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