Alumni Report: Grayson Rodriguez, Owen Caissie, Braden Montgomery shine bright

As Future Stars Series steamrolls further into 2024, those that have blazed the path in the rearview are starring at the next three levels. In efforts to continue celebrating those players, we spotlight several every week.


Braden Montgomery, OF — Texas A&M
Montgomery, among the top players in the 2024 Draft class, had yet another enormous week for the Aggies, despite a hitless Tuesday versus Houston Christian.

In the three-game set versus Auburn, Montgomery went 7-for-13 with four long balls, two doubles, and seven RBI. The switch hitter is now batting a gaudy .381/.515/.933 with 16 home runs.

Montgomery ranks at No. 4 on Joe Doyle’s latest Draft board.

Blake Burke, 1B — Tennessee
Burke is having a monster season and hit two homers this past week to tie the Tenneeseee career home run record with 40. Burke has eight hits in all to raise his season slash to .410/.482/.870 with 26 extra-base hits (10 HR).

Burke has increased his contact rate a bit this season, having struck out just 16 times in 114 plate appearances (14%) versus 17% a year ago, and his walk rate is up significantly. His production has him in the top three rounds in the draft class despite being a bat-only prospect, because, well, the bat is pretty freaking good.

Burke ranks No. 80 on Doyle’s latest Draft board.

Zion Rose, CF — Louisville
Rose, a true freshman, collected five hits in 18 at-bats this past week, including two doubles, a homer (3), and a 3-hit day in a win versus Cincinnati.

Rose starred in back-to-back Future Stars Series Regional Combines in Chicago, and again at the Pre-Draft Combine in 2022.

Kyle DeBarge, SS — Louisiana
The middle infielder went 5-for-15 for the week with three RBI, a double, a triple, and three bases on balls. He capped off the weekend with back-to-back two-hit efforts at Texas State.

DeBarge is up to .313/.391/.598 with eight homers, a new career high, and ranks No.68 on Joe Doyle’s latest Draft board.

DeBarge was in the NBFSS National Championships in 2021, showing big-time tools at the plate, including some raw power and plus barrel control.

Mac Heuer, RHP — Texas Tech
Heuer, a freshman, picked up his third win for the Red Raiders, striking out four and allowing just one run over 5.2 innings at UCF. Heuerhas compiled a 28-6 K/BB ratio in 30 innings this season.

Heuer progressd through Georgia Bombers Scout Day in 2022 through the National Championship in 2022, showing fastball plane, and breaking ball bite.


Owen Caissie, OF — Chicago Cubs (AAA)
Caissie, who came over in the 2022 trade that sent Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres, is off to a blistering start in Iowa with a 7-for-12 showing, including two doubles.

He started the year with back-to-back three-hit games, spraying line drives all over the field with four balls hit over 100 mph.

Caissie ranks No. 70 in Joe Doyle’s Top 100.

Franco Aleman, RHP — Cleveland Guardians (AAA)
Aleman projected well in our 2017 International Week, showing future velocity and a chance at two big-league secondaries.

He’s into the upper-90s with life and ride and puts hitters away with a plus mid-80s slider.

Drew Gilbert, OF — New York Mets (AAA)
Gilbert’s weekend wasn’t anything about which to write home, but he did homer on opening night in Syracuse, showing he’s got some pop to offer in support of his speed, defense, and projectable hit tool.

Gilbert went from Houston to New York in the Justin Verlander trade last summer and has a shot to end 2024 in the majors.


Grayson Rodriguez, RHP — Baltimore Orioles
Rodriguez was flat-out dominant in his first start of the year over the weekend, punching out nine Los Angeles Angels and allowing just one run in six innings.

He was in control from the very start of the contest, sitting 96-98 mph with his four-seam fastball and dotting with both his curveball and changeup.

Kyle Harrison, LHP — San Francisco Giants
Harrison was strong for six frames for the Giants, allowing a pair of home runs, but piling up six strikeouts and not walking a batter.

He threw 54 of 76 pitches for strikes (71%) and sat 93-95 mph with his fastball.

The southpaw ranks at No. 20 in Joe Doyle’s Top 100 — the second-ranked pitcher and top-ranked left-hander.

Jared Jones, RHP — Pittsburgh Pirates
Jones was electric in his big-league debut, allowing three runs on three hits in 5/2 innings versus the Miami Marlins. He walked two and fanned 10, including two in the first inning.

Jones hit 99 mph or higher three times, and generated 22 whiffs on 48 swings (46%): 11 on the fastball and 10 on the slider.

Back in 2019, Jones attended our IPL Mexico event, hitting 98 mph with two projectable breaking balls. If his first career start was any indication, it’s all come to fruition.

Masyn Winn, SS — St. Louis Cardinals
Winn made the big club out of spring training and went 3-for-9 on opening weekend, incouding a 2-for-3 effort in the middle game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The former two-way star ranked No. 73 on Doyle’s Top 100 and No. 2 on the preseason Cardinals Top 30.

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