Preseason All-State Games: Catcher Analysis

Brett Thorney
State Scouting Director

Today, we take a break from our high school season coverage to bring you some analysis on some of our past events. Here's a look at the backstops from the Preseason All-State Games that took place on January 26th at Arizona State University. One of the better positional groups of the event, there was talent across the board. Here are reports from the afternoon, listed in alphabetical order. 

Stay tuned the rest of the week into early next week for additional positional analysis from this invite only event. 

Henry Chabot C / 3B / Brophy, AZ / 2022

Large 5-foot-11 185-pound build, strong body with big legs. Starts from a strong medium base, shifting weight to back leg with small toe tap. Gets stuck on the backside at times. Natural strength throughout swing. Opened up front shoulder, turning barrel early. Pull side heavy approach with hard GB contact. Quick direct exchanges behind the plate. Popped up during pitch. Side shuffles to 2nd base with average direction, missing to SS side of the bag. Pop times of 1.9-2.1. Some natural arm strength at 76mph. On the mound, he showed short arm action from H3/4 slot with some quickness. Threw a flat FB at 80-82mph. Mixed in a sharp SL at 72-73 with inconsistent control.


Wyatt Halvorson C / RHP / Chaparral , AZ / 2023

Large 5-foot-11 185-pound build, limited strength with durability to work with, slow-twitch movements. Tall runner with short strides, running a 9.30 60-yard dash. Starts from a slightly open stance with some weight starting in the back leg. Upper body dominant swing. Consistently barreled up baseball with soft contact. Used the whole field. Stands up on throws to 2nd base with 2.2-2.3 pop times. 65mph arm strength with minimal follow through. 


Caleb Herd C / OF / Cienega, AZ / 2022

Medium 5-foot-8 160-pound build, short limbs with strength in lower half. Wide based runner, 7.53 60-yard dash. Hits from squared base, rocking into back leg with small leg kick. Short to the baseball with average separation & rhythm. Quick out of the hitting zone. Solid contact to all fields, 82mph exit velocity. Low center of gravity with quick movements behind the plate. Low target. Elbow slightly above wrist when receiving, stabbing at baseball at times. Short whippy arm action with 1.86-1.90 pop times. 78 mph arm strength. Solid follow. 


Cooper Jackson C / OF / Chaparral , AZ / 2022

Large 5-foot-10 170-pound build, balanced frame with some strength. Starts from a squared base with weight 50/50. Uses leg lift with some forward movement to create leverage. Tights hips with more rotation available. Stands up in swing at times. Long swing with varying path to the baseball. 78mph exit velocity. Showed some mobility behind the plate. Ability to get low in stance. Stiff arms & hands when receiving. Solid footwork behind the plate with some direction towards 2nd. Short over-top arm action with high release & minimal extension, 2.1-2.2 pop times with 73mph arm strength. 


Giovanni Melchione C / OF / Desert Ridge, AZ / 2023

Large 5-foot-11 182-pound build, proportional strength and some length to frame, athleticism improving. Was battling some back issues on the day. Ran a 8.26 60-yard dash. Hits from a squared base, lowering his body with bent knees. Uses forward move landing with foot and knee open. Turns barrel early creating a pull approach. Showed some power to the LF gap when he stayed through the baseball. Some stiffness to mobility & flexibility behind the plate. Some extra movement, swaying while receiving. 2.09-2.2 pop times with 68mph arm strength. Development should be followed. 


Tanner Nelson C / RHP / Saguaro , AZ / 2023

Large 6-foot-1 165-pound build, long limbs with above average strength & athleticism, body stands out for age. Ran a 7.27 60-yard dash. Starts from a squared upright base, rocking into the back leg. Short forward move landing square. Long uphill swing with mid approach. 82 mph exit velocity. Relaxed approach catching. Ball takes glove out of the zone at times. Short arm action with tight glove side. Transfers to the side of the body, deep at times. Pop times of 2.1-2.2 with 70mph arm strength. More arm strength there with a little more separation. Tools combined with body/ athleticism make him a follow in class.


Derek Smith C / 3B / Horizon, AZ / 2022

Large 6-foot-2 180-pound build, long limbs with loose hips, high ceiling with plenty of room to add more strength in his athletic frame. Multi-sport athlete that was still in basketball season during this event. Hits from an athletic balanced base, controlling back leg through a small leg lift. Hands start shoulder height, loading to back foot with vertical barrel. Controlled gap to gap approach with hard contact at 87mph. Power potential as he gets stronger. Stays in control of his movements and moves quickly behind the plate. Wide stance and loose hips. Soft hands receiving with long limbs gave him the ability to get around pitches more efficiently. Arm will build up as the season moves forward. Currently, makes transfers deep with 2.0-2.16 pop times, getting tall in his follow through. 76mph arm strength. Should improve a ton as he transfers back onto the baseball field. Strong follow as a power-hitting catching prospect.


Ryan Spier C / Arcadia, AZ / 2022

Large 6-foot-1 180-pound build, proportional strength & athleticism. Ran a 7.31 60-yard dash with head swaying side to side some. Hits from an athletic setup with a squared base. Uses a small knee turn trigger to gather more energy in the back leg. Small separation of hands and forward movement. Level swing plane. Mid/pull approach with solid contact at 86mph exit velocity. Minimal extra movement behind plate. Relax’s glove before sticking the baseball. True crouch with quick transfers on the side of the body. Down-hill tilt to shoulders as he comes up to throw, creating one hops to 2B. Pop times of 1.99-2.16 with 76mph arm strength. Solid catching prospect to follow.


Steven Stewart C / RHP / Ironwood, AZ / 2021

Large 6-foot 150-pound frame, Uncommitted, extra long frame with a ton of room to hold more strength, versatile athlete. Switch hitter. Showed similar approaches from both sides this time out. Changed right side from a toe tap to small knee turn leg lift. Showed ability to barrel up baseball from both sides. Right side had a little more pop to LF. Left side was clean but a little slower. Pull approach from both sides of the plate with 82mph exit velocity. Solid overall arm strength with some quickness to transfer & release. Long arms give him the ability to get around & underneath balls. Pop times of 1.90-2.10 with some natural whippy arm strength at 75mph.

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