BOOTH: Scouting Texas, Arizona

This past weekend, the crew hit the road again for stops in Arizona and North Texas. Each of these areas has a different flow, and those distinctions were without question on display.

Arizona is an interesting place. Thousands of professional baseball players have descended on the area, and there’s an innate understanding of the skills required to succeed at the highest level. With that thinking engrained, the repetition, intensity, and focused nature of professional sports is evident in each player and the region.


BOOTH: Scouting Alabama, Toronto


Arizona

Benton Hickman, RHP — Brophy College Prep (2025)
This kid reminds me of either Tim Hudson or Huston Street, and whichever you think he is depends on whether you believe in the long-term starter upside.

Either way, he’s comfortably up to 92 mph, with a breaking ball and actual command of three pitches, which means he’s tough to hit and has the markers for future success.

Mike Nicolini Jr., LHP/OF — Paradise High School (2025)
He’s a two-way guy in college with contributions ahead for both. He’s a performer and plays the game aggressively with confidence. The moment isn’t too big for him at any point.

At the plate, Nicolini is a line-drive bat with gap power and consistent contact, and on the mound, he’s a strike thrower with average fastball velocity that hitters don’t square up.

Jaxon Baptist, RHP — Coronado High School (2025)
Athlete, and driven. This kid is an upside play with plenty more to come. He’s driven to achieve with makeup and mound presence.

He’s right where he should be to limit stress on the arm and be able to post every time asked while controlling three pitches for strikes when all is said and done.

Jaxen Maxey, CF — Corona del Sol High School (2026)
It’s a projection frame, loose swing, athlete, runner, and a playable 60-grade arm. He has an all-fields approach and barrel control through the zone, which will improve with time and added strength.

Maxey is a potential two-way player in college with a fastball that plays up and is average now. The body suggests he can play every day as he matures, but the bat is real and he should have every chance to do that.

Tucker Klingshei, 1B — Paradise Honors (2025)
Klingshei is a corner profile with power projecting as plus; Down to flat approach working to match plane, and is beginning to show an ability to use the whole field.

He’s better around the bag than some may expect, and the type of player who’s appreciated the more you watch him. His feet are live and can help save runs, and he’s athletic enough to avoid being a liability on the bases.


Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, and tools are the calling card: ‘Throw hard and hit them far’ is the mantra, but there are some good skill-type developers in the amateur space and Texas Edge has a long track record.

The question of plus tools in Texas is simple: they’re everywhere, and the skills serve as separators.

Ethan Jackson, LHP/OF — Colleyville Heritage High School (2027)
Jackson is a legitimate two-way prospect at this level but ultimately picks one the longer he plays. He has length to the frame with loose athletic actions, a future plus fastball with playable heavy arm side life, and his bag includes a feel for effective and complimentary off-speed stuff.

Jackson has a sound approach in the box with easy home-run pop in BP. He can run with long strides and projects for easy top-of-the-scale speed. He’s a future impact player in college and beyond.

Sebastian Castillo, IF — Byron Nelson High School  (2027)
Castillo can really throw from SS and it’s an above-average arm now. He’s athletic with footwork and can make the routine play. He can get long in approach but gets the barrel through the zone, to the ball on time with opposite-field present strength.

Jaxson Philpot, IF — Joshua High School (2027)
Philpot is very athletic with a quick bat and pop to pull side. The ball jumps off the bat when barreling, and projects for extra-base power. Defensively, it’s easy carry to the ball out of his hand with real-world average arm potential in his future.

Andrew Young, IF — San Angelo Lincoln (2029)
Young reminds me of former big leaguer Mike Kelly. He has the makings of actions at shortstop and a projected average arm. He can run and will get faster with age and natural time. The swing has length but the ability to square it up in BP, and is where he should be for time and growth without forcing it.

Easton Allred, SS — Clyde High School (2028)
Allred is going be able to hit. He has a present understanding of what he’s doing, and at this age it’s instinctual. He’s already built with a rhythmic load and balance, he squared the ball up all day and didn’t waste swings. Actions work in the infield and he can stay on the dirt. He’s athletic enough to hit at the top of the order and create havoc on the basepaths.

Jeremy Booth

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