2019 Top Prospect Games: Catcher Analysis

By Steve Nielsen
Illinois/Wisconsin Scouting Supervisor

The 2019 Top Prospect Games featured some of the top 2019 graduates in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. Historically this event has served as an unveiling of sorts for the next in line high follow prospects.

Our event analysis starts with the catching prospects, usually a position of strength in the two states over the last several years. Here’s a peek at what’s to come for front line receivers.

Top Catching Prospects

1. Nate Stevens, C, Waunakee (WI), 2019
Arkansas commit. 5-foot-11, 160-pound catcher, lean athlete, loose live body. Left-handed hitter, leg kick stride, good balance. Loose fast hands, quick twitch at the plate, fast bat hits off back side. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm carries well, 77 mph out of the crouch, short over the top slot. Pop times ranged 2.01-2.11, quick clean exchange, flashed soft hands, athletic receiver. 4.54 runner down the line.

2. Dylan Post, C, Lincoln-Way Central (IL), 2019
6-foot-2, 185-pounds, strong physical build, advanced physically for his age, left handed hitting catcher. Hits from a slightly open stance, arm bar load, minimal stride. Has bat strength, longer uphill path, power potential bat. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played short and over the top, misses were arm side, 75 mph out of the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.05-2.11. 4.47 runner down the line.

3. Drake Baldwin, C, Madison West (WI), 2019
Physically advanced 6-foot, 186-pound left-handed hitting catcher, strong sturdy build. Offensively stance is open, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains strong balance. Hard contact, ball jumped off the barrel, showed some barrel control. Mostly pull side contact, path works around the ball some with raw bat speed and strength. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. 4.43 runner down the line, well above average athlete. Showed easy arm strength, short high ¾ slot, 76 mph out of the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.12-2.31, raw athlete out of the crouch.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Jake Goodman, C, Nicolet (WI), 2019
5-foot-10, 180-pound catcher, strong build for his age, should continue to add strength. Right-handed hitter, open stance, slightly wider base, short lifted stride, lower half can get more aggressive, average balance. Path works slightly uphill, flashed bat speed and pop. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. 4.61 runner down the line. Went 1-for-4 with two RBI in game play. Defensively arm plays short and over the top flashed accuracy out of the crouch, 72 mph. Pop times ranged 2.19-2.29.

Connor Handel, C, Edgewood (WI), 2019
5-foot-11, 182-pound catcher, solid frame, above average build. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, loads hands back, slight arm bar, leg kick stride, average balance. Showed bat speed, level path with length. 90 mph exit velocity. Defensively blocks well, solid actions, gets out of the crouch well, active defender. Arm played short and over the top, 73 mph. Pop times ranged 2.08-2.11. 4.89 runner down the line.

Luke Hansel, C, Union Grove (WI), 2019
5-foot-10, 165-pound catcher, solid build, projects strength. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, maintains balance. Simple setup and approach, showed ability to backspin the baseball, path stays on top of the baseball, 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Two hits in game play. Defensively showed well above average catching actions, short over the top slot, average arm strength, 74 mph out of the crouch. Clean exchange, strong blocker, active and agile feet, 2.11-2.19 pop times.

Grant Leader, RHP/C, Lyons Township (IL), 2019
5-foot-9, 145-pound two-way player, slight lean frame. Projects best on the mound, advanced arm strength for his age, high ¾ slot, short quick arm action. Fastball sat 84-86 mph in the first, 80-83 mph in the second, slight arm side run. Curveball has 11/5 shape, gradual action, 67-70 mph. Slider has 10/4 shape, tighter action 70-74 mph. Changeup has fading action 70 mph. Right-handed hitter, slightly open stance, arm bar load. Long level path, linear approach, simple flat swing producing line drives. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action plays short from a high ¾ slot out of the crouch, 78  mph. Pop times ranged 2.04-2.15.