California and Texas have long been known as hotbeds for amateur talent. In the 2018 Draft, six California high schoolers and eight Texas prepsters were taken in the top five rounds.It stands to reason, then, that the scouting industry would be excited about any event that brings the best talent
California and Texas have long been known as hotbeds for amateur talent. In the 2018 Draft, six California high schoolers and eight Texas prepsters were taken in the top five rounds.
It stands to reason, then, that the scouting industry would be excited about any event that brings the best talent from both of these states together onto one field. Rest assured, scouts will flock to a new tournament created by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball called "States Play."
:: Complete States Play coverage ::
The three-game series, co-hosted by the Texas Rangers, will take place at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, starting on Friday. All three games will be streamed live on MLB.com, and access to the ballpark will be free for the public. The schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):
Friday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. - Watch »
Saturday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m. - Watch »
Sunday, Aug. 26, noon
Many of the players, rising seniors selected by MLB and USA Baseball, were chosen after their participation in other MLB/USA Baseball development-focused efforts, like the Tournament of Stars, Breakthrough Series, Elite Development Invitational, the DREAM Series and the Prospect Development Pipeline. Coaches for the weekend will included Jerry Manuel, Homer Bush, Royce Clayton, Ken Hill, Gerald Laird, Darren Oliver and Andy Stankiewicz, all of whom have ties to the two states.
In addition to the games, all players will have morning workouts at the Rangers MLB Youth Academy in West Dallas and will also get to undergo PDP assessments, which include performance vision screening, swing analysis and precise physical testing. Data from the Athletic Assessment, Sport Vision Screening, Swing Analysis and Ball Flight Analysis will be compiled into reports for each player.
The top player on either roster is clearly Bobby Witt Jr., the shortstop from Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas. The son of former big league pitcher Bobby Witt, Witt Jr. would be at -- or near the top -- of every Draft board if the Draft were being held today. The Oklahoma commit has a full complement of tools, including surprising power he showed off during the High School Home Run Derby during All-Star Weekend in Washington, with the ability to stay at shortstop long-term. He does all of it with a ton of energy, with scouts giving as high grades on his makeup and work ethic as his physical gifts.
Beyond Witt Jr., here are nine other players (five from California and four more from Texas) to keep an eye on this weekend:
Cutter Clawson, LHP, Laguna Beach HS
Committed to BYU, the 6-foot lefty has arm strength and the chance for three at least average pitches. There is a little effort in Clawson's delivery.
Emanuel Dean, OF, Servite HS (Anaheim)
Dean has the chance to fit the corner outfield profile very well. Committed to UCLA, he has serious right-handed power potential to go along with a solid feel to hit and a solid set of secondary tools as well.
Garrett Frechette, 1B/OF, Cathedral Catholic HS (San Diego)
The left-handed hitter (and thrower) has plus raw power that really stands out. Whether the San Diego State commit makes enough contact to tap into that power remains somewhat in question, but the pop would play as a corner outfielder or at first.
Damone Hale, OF, Junipero Serra HS (Gardena)
Hale is athletic with good actions on the field and solid tools across the board. The 6-foot-3 Michigan commit is very projectable and should grow into more power in the future to go along with a skill set that should fit in center field.
Kyren Paris, INF, Freedom HS (Oakley)
A lean and athletic middle infielder, Paris has the chance to stick at shortstop at the next level. Committed to Cal, he has limited power, but has a very good knack for making consistent contact and runs well.
Brett Baty, 3B/1B, Lake Travis HS (Austin)
It's all about the bat for Baty, a Texas commit. He has both power and a feel for contact from the left side, a combination that's up there with any high school bat in the country. It's unclear if Baty can stick at third, but his bat should profile just fine at first.
Logan Britt, OF, Colleyville Heritage HS
Witt Jr.'s teammate, Britt has an athletic body with terrific raw tools. He continues to work on making more contact, but he has plus raw power and a strong arm from the outfield with solid defense.
Sammy Faltine, UTIL/RHP, William B. Travis HS (Austin)
The Texas commit is a talented two-way player, with skills on the mound and at the plate/in the field. Most see Faltine as a position player at the next level, a plus runner with some defensive ability, one with raw offensive tools to grow into.
Jimmy Lewis, RHP, Lake Travis HS (Austin)
Baty's teammate is committed to LSU, and for good reason. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has the body and delivery to be a future starter, with a fastball up to 94 mph and an average slider.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.