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Houston brings the heat

HOUSTON, Tex. -- Two things are for certain when the Texas Rangers host an Area Code Baseball tryout, it is going to be very hot and there is going to be absurd amount of talent on the field. Over the past years the Texas Rangers have assembled star-studded rosters that have included 2011 First round picks Taylor Jungman and Anthony Rendon as well as the MLB all-star Josh Beckett.

The tryout took place this past Tuesday at Baseball USA-The Yard in Houston, Texas. It was a sweltering day with a heat index of 106 degrees for this marathon day of a tryout. In attendance were over 100 MLB scouts and Division 1 coaches to evaluate the premium talent Texas has to offer. They were in luck, as the following players really stood out at the tryout.


Kevin McCanna, The Woodlands (The Woodlands, Texas)

The Woodlands high school has been fortunate enough to produce top tier pitching prospects like Jameson Taillon and Kyle Drabek and it looks as if they have yet another ace in the making. McCanna has a fastball that touches 88-90 and mixes in good off-speed stuff with solid command. He has a strong frame at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds.


Sheldon Neuse, Fossil Ridge (Fort Worth, Texas)

There were few two-way players that displayed what Neuse did at the tryout in Houston. On the mound he was sitting at 88-90 with his fastball. Standing in at 6-foot-0, 170 pounds he does not have the prototypical Texas pitcher build, but his stuff speaks volumes. On the diamond he is a slick fielding up-the-middle player who has good actions and footwork while positioning himself well on his reads off the ball.


Grayson Long, Barbers Hill (Baytown, Texas)

When people think of the typical pitcher build, they think big strong full bodies that can endure the physical stress of pitching every fifth day and hit 200 innings a season. Grayson has that build. Towering in at 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, he looks as if he will be able to put on an added 20-30 pounds and fill out to his height and a few ticks to his already impressive fastball that sits in the low 90's.


Ty Culbreth, Bryan (Bryan, Texas)

There were handfuls of left-handed pitching prospects in attendance but none showed the advanced three-pitch repertoire that Culbreth displayed. Locating all three pitches (fastball, slider, changeup) effectively, he sat around 86-88 with his heater.


Hunter Kopycinski, St. Thomas (Houston, Texas)

Kopycinski made the trip to Long Beach last year and solidified himself as one of the nations top catching prospects in the 2012 class. His top tool is his hitting ability as he consistently squares up the ball and he also obtains a solid arm behind the dish.


Wyatt Mathisen, Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas)

Mathisen has been a big name in the Lone Star state as he committed to Texas back in 2010. He is a super-utility man who can play in the OF, pitch and catch. His strength looks to behind the plate as he has a solid accurate arm.


Leon Byrd, Cypress Ranch (Cypress, Texas)

Byrd is an extremely athletic middle infielder that can cover a ton of ground and throw with a solid arm. Speed is his strength and his 5-foot-8, 165 pound frame is solidly build. At the plate he is a switch hitter that can drive balls in the gap and down the line. He looks like he will grow more pop as he grows, too.


Cavan Biggio, St. Thomas (Houston, Texas)

When one looks at this name, the instant thought is infamous Houston Astro Craig Biggo. Cavan is the son of the former All-Star and standing in two inches taller than his father at 6-foot-1, Cavan looks to be the real deal as well. Being an underclassman at the event (2013 graduate) it's hard to outshine the 2012's, but that is what Cavan did. He had good instincts in the field and has a solid bat. He is one to keep an eye on for next year.

Darryn Sheppard, John Foster Dulles (Sugar Land, Texas)

An ultra-athletic outfielder, Sheppard, like Biggo, is of the 2013 graduating class. With a great body and room to grow down the line, the scouts in attendance will be looking forward to follow this player for the next two years of his prep career. He has a solid bat with good power right now and in the outfield his speed and athleticism really stands out.

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