Future Stars Series Fast Five Alumni Update: College Spotlight (3/14)

Anyone who’s been to one of the jewel events of the Future Stars Series over the past year or two knows that Daylan Pena can hit the ball far. Really, really far.

The LB21 alum and 2020 International Week standout picked up right where he left off with the FSS now that he’s at Texas State, as he hit a mammoth grand slam last Tuesday against Texas in their memorable home-and-home series against one of their biggest rivals. It was a five-RBI game in all for the freshman, establishing a new career-high. He’s since put together a three-game hitting streak in helping the Bobcats to a clean sweep over Southern this past weekend.

Pena is joined by quite a few FSS alums on the Texas State roster, including Levi Wells, Chris Bernal and Damien Whitfield. Wells in particular is off to a good start, posting a 2-0 record and 1.37 ERA in his first five outings, including four starts.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always good news to be shared. All of us at the Future Stars Series wish the best to 2018 International Week alum Will Frisch, who, according to multiple published reports, is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Frisch, who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2019, but instead elected to honor his commitment to Oregon State, was set to enter his junior season having considerably upped his stock to big league teams. He was named to the All-Pac 12 First Team after posting a 3-0 record and 2.38 ERA in 56 2/3 innings of work last year, striking out 54 batters while holding opponents to a .222 batting average.

Roc Riggio has provided plenty of good news of late, however. The Oklahoma State freshman — he was also drafted, picked by the Milwaukee Brewers just last year, but he honored his college commitment as well — turned in his best series to date, collecting hits in all three games against BYU this past weekend. He upped his average 41 points with a 4-for-13 showing in which he homered, drove in two runs, scored three and also drew three walks.

Riggio was one of the top performers at 2020 International Week, earning his way there after an injury-shortened showing at the National Combine in Lake Charles that summer.

Riggio’s teammate at Oklahoma State, Nolan McLean, has likely received more attention as one of the top prospects available for the upcoming 2022 MLB Draft. A standout back at the 2019 National Tournaments as a member of the Dirtbags, McLean has continued to show he’s a legitimate two-way threat at the collegiate level.

He’s already made two appearances on the mound for the Cowboys, striking out four batters in two innings of work, but his future at the next level likely lies at the plate. He’s already produced five multi-hit games thus far this season, including three straight between March 1-4, and has three homers under his belt in his 2022 sophomore campaign.

Speaking of two-way talents, however, Braden Montgomery might just be one of the best in the country.

Although he had a bit of a hiccup in last outing against Oregon, the Stanford freshman has made a huge impact both on the mound and at the plate. He’s already racked up seven strikeouts in just 5 1/3 innings out of the back end of the bullpen en route to his first two NCAA saves, but has really stood out at the plate. He’s carrying a four-game hitting streak into the Cardinal’s next series, and is hitting .303 with three homers and 10 RBI while establishing himself as one of the top freshmen in the country.

Mike Ashmore

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