IA Preseason All-State: Catching Analysis

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Iowa

The IA Preseason All-State was an unbelievable opportunity for 2016 and 2017 prospects from all reaches of Iowa to showcase themselves and begin preparations for the Iowa high school summer season. There were many breakout performances, opportunities to see new players, and create an extensive follow list of prospects to see over the course of the Spring and Summer. Many individuals placed themselves into the fray for our 2016 and 2017 state-wide player rankings which will be released soon.

The Prep Baseball Report Iowa's Preseason All-State event took place on Sunday March 15th at Sportsplex West in Waukee, IA. The showcase featured over 65 prospects from the 2016 and 2017 class who showcased their talents in front of our scouting staff, college coaches, and professional scouts.

Today we will be taking a look at the catchers who attended the event. Our top prospect from this event was Waukee's Jake Lemar. Lemar, a 2016 graduate, is well-rounded behind the plate and shows the ability to perform at a high level. Right on his heels is 2016 Davenport West catcher, Nathan Hoth, who continues to improve each time we see him. 2017 Nick Tarney places himself towards the top of the list with his ability to hit and grinder approach behind the plate. Iowa City's Brett McCleary will be a player that programs will begin following with interest; with projection to his game and present physical strength. Greg Anderberg from Ankeny is one to watch with his athleticism and ability to switch-hit.

Here are our top catching prospects from the IA Preseason All-State:

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Top Catching Prospects

1. Jake Lemar, C, Waukee, 2016
5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed hitting catcher who ran a 7.25 60. Has improved running speed over ½ second since October. Hard worker who continues to improve. Works to stay on top of the ball with line drive swing plane and quick hands. Gap to gap approach with solid contact. 78 mph exit velocity off tee. Has above average arm strength at 78 mph and pop times in 1.87-1.9 range. Some hesitation in release but is accurate and on the bag. Throws have good carry. Strong student. High Follow in 2016 class with ability to receive, block, and catch & throw.

2. Nathan Hoth, C, Davenport West, 2016
5-foot-9, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher who ran a 7.25 60. Hoth continues to improve and impress after each event. Solid runner. Performed very well behind the dish. Improved his pop times to the 1.85-1.97 range with 77 mph arm strength. Every throw was knee high and on the bag. 2-hole or 8/9 hole hitter who moves the ball around with solid contact and approach. Does little things well at plate. High Follow for 2016 class with ability to catch and throw consistently.

3. Nick Tarney, C, Harlan, 2017
5-foot-10, 210-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.21 60. Physical. Shows cleaner rhythm in load. Consistent hard contact. Shows plus pop to the gaps with line drive swing plane. 93 mph exit velocity off tee. Has ability behind the plate. Is able to receive, blocking has improved along with better numbers in arm strength and lowered pop time to 2.0. High Follow for 2017 class with upper echelon ability with the bat and continues to improve behind the dish.

4. Brett McCleary, C/RHP, Iowa City, 2017
6-foot-1, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher/right-handed pitcher who ran a 8.00 60. Physical 2017 grad. Shows bat speed and strength. Gap to gap approach. Shows above average power. Hands will drift down into swing causing uphill swing plane. Quality job of staying inside ball at contact. Produces hard fly balls and line drives. 89 mph exit velocity off tee. Solid receiving ability. Flexible lower half. Blocking stance is wide; effects quickness. Clean exchanges. Exchange is low creating length to release. Above average arm strength for age. 77 mph arm strength with 2.00 pop time. Good direction to plate. Arm is clean. Falls down the mound at times. Moderate effort in delivery. Fastball has life; gains velocity towards plate. Fastball is straight with occasional run at 81-84 mph. Flashes of above average breaking ball with tight rotation, 11/5 shape, and late break at 69-70 mph. Firm changeup with feel for strike zone and fade at 75-77 mph. Strong Follow for 2017 class.

5. Greg Anderberg, C, Ankeny, 2016
5-foot-10, 150-pound switch-hitting catcher. Shows ability to hit from both sides. Gap to gap approach. Shows good feet and exchange behind the dish. Improved his top pop time to 2.03 at this event. 71 mph arm strength to second base. Continues to make strides as a player. Follow catcher who has also shown ability to play infield and be versatile.

Best Of The Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Noah Catron, C, Martensdale St. Mary’s, 2016
5-foot-10, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher who ran a 8.2 60. Upright stance. Solid contact with gap to gap approach. Would inside/out pitches the other way. Average pop in bat. 74 mph exit velocity. Showed 64 mph arm strength to second base with pop times in the 2.4-2.5 range.

Brady Harpenau, C, Remsen St. Mary’s, 2016
5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed hitting catcher who ran a 7.47 60. Has some strength in bat. Singles and doubles type power. Has a middle-away approach with solid contact. Lower half is stiff; no stride mechanics with rotational upper half. Would benefit from short stride and transferring weight through swing. Improved his pop time since August from 2.25 to 2.1. Most throws were near/ on bag. Shows quicker release with 71 mph arm strength to second base.

Jon Henessee, C, Wilton, 2016
6-foot-4, 180-pound right-handed hitting catcher who ran a 7.72 60. Tall upright stance. Good set-up. In-line direction to pitcher. Short to contact with flashes of double power. Gap to gap approach with leverage in swing. Lower half is stiff with straight legs through contact. 82 mph exit velocity off tee. Average receiver. Late at times to blocking position. Feet are ok. Clean exchanges. Winds up to throw with long arm circle. 2.18-2.29 pop times with 70 mph arm strength.

Mason Huntley, C, Marshalltown, 2017
6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher who ran a 7.56 60. Slightly closed stance. Small heel turn trigger to swing. Some length to contact with arm bar and in-direct path to baseball. 74 mph exit velocity off tee. Ok receiver with present glove strength. Proper blocking mechanics on balls in dirt. Low ¾ release with hitchy arm action. 60 mph arm strength with pop times ranging 2.34-2.38.

Sergei Swart, C, Bettendorf, 2016
6-foot-1, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher who ran a 7.32 60, had a 78 mph exit velocity, and was 70 mph to second base. Improved his pop times since December; at this event was consistently 2.06-2.13. Knee to knee trigger with small leg kick to contact. Was out early in swing at times with ok pop. Stayed in middle of field with quality gap to gap approach. Some length to load but hands and barrel are direct to contact.

Jordan Wendel, C, Alta-Aurelia, 2017
6-foot, 200-pound left-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.82 60. Closed stance. Dives into plate. Was off time offensively at this event. Made improvements in many areas since last event in August 2014. Has gained 20 pounds since then and continues to make strides in his development. Showed better carry and improved pop time significantly. Solid accuracy to bag with pop times ranging 2.09-2.10.

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