Central Illinois Open: Catchers



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Central Illinois Open took place this year on August 5th, at Normal West High School in Normal, Illinois. The event consisted of prospects from all over the state of Illinois. Below we take a look at  the catchers that were in attendance.

CATCHERS (Listed Alphabetically)

Brad Autin, C, Decatur Lutheran, 2017
5-foot-8, 195-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, closed setup, can get more out of lower half, short stride. Opposite field contact, uphill plane, showed bat strength, quick in and out of the zone, 75 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 60 mph out of the chute, 2.35-2.54 pop times. Ran the 60 at 7.91.

Dylan Baker, C, Fisher, 2019
5-foot-8, 150-pound catcher, solid build. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, slight loading action, leg kick stride, can get more from lower half. Shorter path, 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 60 mph out of the crouch, over the top slot, short arm action. 2.22-2.37 pop times.

Nathan Garard, C, Gibson City, 2019
5-foot-10, 160-pound catcher, strong build for age. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, toe tap stride. Path works slightly uphill, has some lift, 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively posted pop times at 2.22-2.27. Arm plays at 64 mph, short firm over the top slot. 7.94 runner in the 60.

Sam Heaton, SS/C, Central Catholic, 2017
Switch hitting 5-foot-9, 150-pound athletic build shortstop and catcher. Offensively, keeps it very simple and quiet from both sides of the plate. Athletic, wide setup from the left side, hands in a powerful pre-pitch position. Short stride, linear lower half, uphill bat path, loose hands and good balance throughout contact. 83 mph exit velocity off of a tee from the left side. As a right-handed hitter, short, level, compact swing. Balanced setup, short stride and good balance. Lower half isn’t as involved from the right side of the plate compared to the left. Exit velocity, 78 mph from the right side. Defensively, from the middle infield quick, clean exchange with fluid feet. Short arm action, over-the-top slot, true four-seam flight on his throws across the infield clocked at 75 mph. Also, worked out behind the plate as a catcher. Pop times ranged from 2.2-2.38 and 72 mph velocity on his throws.

Garrett Latoz, C, Georgetown, 2019
5-foot-11, 144-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, smooth loading action, short stride. Level path, rigid finish, 80 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 62 mph out of the crouch, high ¾ slot. Posted pop times at 2.05-2.26.

Bill Pospisil, RHP/3B/C, Pomona, 2019
Athletic and versatile 5-foot-8, 170-pound right-handed hitter and pitcher. Ran one of the better 60 yard dashes at the event, 7.26. Offensively, incorporates his lower half into his swing. Closed, tall setup and a short, toe-tap trigger. Flattens bat during his pre-pitch load. Long, uphill bat path through the zone. Exit velocity registered 78 mph. Defensively, worked out as an infielder and a catcher. On the infield, flashed clean transfer and good feet on the play in the hole. High ¾ arm slot with average hands. Clocked at 71 mph across the infield. As a catcher recorded pop times ranging from 2.29-2.36. Velocity from behind the plate was clocked at 71 mph. On the mound the 2019 graduate sat 76-78 mph with his fastball, flashing slight run and thrown for strikes. Curveball featured 10/4 shape, sitting 66-68 mph. Also, mixed in a change-up, near fastball arm speed, ranging between 64-67 mph.

Storm Simmons, C, Normal Community, 2017
6-foot, 180-pound catcher, strong lean build. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, a lot of movement in load, average balance. Path works on uphill plane, pull side contact. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. 2.19-2.39 pop times, short over the top arm action, 70 mph from the crouch. Ran the 60 at 7.48, laser timed.

Ben Smith, C, Normal West, 2018
6-foot-1, 180-pound catcher, large build. Hits from the right side, tall, slightly closed setup, minimal load, short stride, lower half collapse. Path has length, opposite field contact, 75 mph exit velocity from the tee. Pop times ranged from 2.42-2.48. Arm played at 64 mph from the crouch, over the top slot.

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