Rangers Area Code Team Starts Off With a Win
The Rangers Area Code Team jumped out to an 8-0 lead and held on for a 9-3 victory on the opening day of the Area Code Games. Tanner Witt (2020 Bellaire Episcopal 3B/RHP) had two hits and two RBIs in the game and Dylan Campbell (2020 Houston Strake Jesuit INF) also had 2 hits with a double and an RBI. Leadoff hitter Elijah Nunez (2020 Arlington Martin OF) scored 2 runs and had a stolen base.
Starting Pitcher Travis Sthele (2020 San Antonio Reagan RHP) threw 2 innings giving up only 1 hit, no runs and 1 strikeout. Levi Wells (2020 La Porte RHP) and Ty Fontenot (2020 San Antonio Brandeis LHP) both had 3 K’s in their 2 inning stint.
Monday August 5 Games
White Sox 4
Standings after Day 1
Articles from Baseball America
Hitter Of The Day — Tanner Witt, 3B, Episcopal HS, Bellaire, Texas (Texas Commit)
There’s typically a big, physical slugger on the Rangers squad at Area Codes, which is made up of players from Texas. Witt fits that bill this year, standing 6-foot-6, 198 pounds with more room to fill out as his weight would suggest.
He’s got plenty of present strength and showed that in both batting practice and during the second game of the day against the Reds (Four Corners players). Witt went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, a groundout and a strikeout.
Both of his singles came off of his righthanded bat like a rocket. During his second trip to the plate against righthander Michael Rice (Nevada), Witt swung through a fastball before connecting on an 86 mph heater and driving a hard ground ball through the left side of the infield. The ball left his bat at 101 mph. In his third trip to the plate, Witt again jumped on an 86 mph fastball from Rice and sent the pitch right back up the middle to center field with a 99 mph exit velocity.
Defender Of The Day — Drew Romo, C, The Woodlands (Texas) HS (Louisiana State Commit)
Romo looks to be the best prep catcher out of Texas in at least the last seven years. No prep catcher from the Lone Star State has been drafted earlier than the 16th round during that time span, and you’d have to go back to 2012 to find the most recent Day 1 selection of this particular demographic—Steve Bean (Cardinals’ supplemental first-round pick) and Wyatt Mathisen (Pirates’ second-round pick).
While the prep catching demographic is one of the riskiest in the draft, Romo has the tools to be a first-rounder with extremely advanced defensive ability—as a thrower, a receiver, a blocker and game caller. The switch-hitter also has some sneaky power and a good understanding of the strike zone (he went 1-for-2 with a single and a walk Monday), but it’s his defense that routinely impacts the game.
Romo rarely lets a ball get passed him, and when he does block pitches in the dirt, he does a good job of smothering the pitch to keep it in front of him and limit base stealing opportunities for opponents. Against the Reds, Romo threw out a basestealer at third who got an outstanding jump against the pitcher and would have been safe in most scenarios, but his plus arm strength and rapid exchange were enough to snuff it out.
Perfect Game Scouting Notes
In the afternoon slate, Texas commit Travis Sthele (2020, San Antonio, Texas) ran up his fastball to 96 mph and at times looked unhittable for the Rangers squad. His fastball has solid downward angle to the plate with some arm-side run. What’s exciting about Sthele is his plus off-speed that sits around 86 mph. Although he slightly slows down his hard drop-and-drive actions down the mound on the pitch, he gets a very strong spin rate on it making it hard for hitters to square up. Moreover, he loves and trusts the pitch, going to it in key situations throughout his outing. His short whippy arm action that slings up to an over-the-top slot makes his fastball that much tougher on hitters. His breaking ball is an 11-to-5 shaped curveball that has good depth and bite but isn’t as nearly as effective as the off-speed is when it comes to missing bats. His velocity wavered down into the low-90s later in his outing but his stuff looked elite in stretches.
Another future Longhorn, Dylan Campbell (2020, Houston, Texas) smoked a double that one-hopped the left-center wall showcasing his strong hands on a high fastball that he was able to get the head out on. Campbell has a scrappy feel to his game much like infield teammate Masyn Winn and squared up solid pitching on day one. He has a tall upright and slightly open stance at the plate with a simple load that works itself back over the plate. At times his hands can get around the baseball, but if he’s able to work his knob to the inside half, his hands are able to do great things. Campbell has a solid flat bat path through the zone and stays tall on his back-side throughout. He ended his day going 2-for-3 with his only out coming off hard contact to center field.