Chicago Preseason I.D.: Catcher Analysis

By Illinois Staff

On Feb. 28, the PBR Illinois team hosted the third annual Chicago Preseason I.D. at the Pullman Community Center in Chicago, Ill. The event featured nearly 50 players from high school graduates in classes 2022-25, from across the Chicagoland area, including a handful of prospects from across the Indiana state line.

Previously, our staff collaborated to highlight the biggest takeaways and highlights from this showcase, and published them within our Quick Hits piece. We also shared the event's traditional leaderboards, published inside this Statistical Analysis. Later on, with the help of the state-of-the-art technology we had on-site, we dove a little deeper into the data to see what we could find within our TrackMan Files and Blast Motion Board stories.

Today, we’re beginning to roll out our position-by-position analysis, starting with the day’s catchers.

Angel Tapia Jr. (Oak Lawn, 2023) was arguably the top catcher on the day. Defensively, he showed an extremely quick release and athletic actions behind the plate. At the plate the 5-foot-10, 180-pound, right-handed hitter looks the part in the box, takes an aggressive swing and hits with fluid rhythm throughout. 2023 catcher to follow moving forward.

One of the top bats, when it comes to catchers, belonged to left-handed hitter John Wubben (Galena, 2023). Wubben has a 5-foot-10, 165-pound frame and made consistent hard contact up the middle of the field with easy effort throughout. The bat is short and level through the zone resulting in a lot of line-drive contact. 

Read on below for a look at all seven catchers in attendance.

ALL CATCHERS (Listed Alphabetically)

Nicholaus Asiyanbi, Kenwood (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-7, 143-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide setup, short stride, simple pre-pitch actions. Balanced throughout, long path, peak hand speed of 21.6 MPH, line drive approach.
Power: 78.01 max exit velocity, averaged 65.71 mph. 196’ max distance.
Arm: RHH. C - 75 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, throws flash carry, best velocity from catchers at event.
Defense: 2.11-2.26 pop times. Athletic actions behind the plate, quick feet, steady hands.
Run: 7.69 runner in the 60. 

Marco Luna, Gwendolyn Brooks (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-7, 144-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, weight starts shifted to backside, small, smooth load, short stride. Simple swing, short bat path, flashed barrel control, line drive approach.
Power: 80.71 max exit velocity, averaged 72.39 mph. 230’ max distance.
Arm: L/R. C - 68 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.19-2.34 pop times. Agile behind plate, advanced blocker, shows strong hand in receiving, quick feet/exchange on throwdowns.
Run: 8.23 runner in the 60. 

Preston Lund, Homewood-Flossmoor (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-7, 150-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, quick toe-tap trigger. Strong, level swing, level bat path, peak hand speed of 24.1 MPH, solid contact on barrel, pull-side tendencies.
Power: 89.94 max exit velocity, averaged 81.29 mph. 303’ max distance.
Arm: RHH. C - 73 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
Defense: 2.23-2.36 pop times. Sticks pitches, deadens baseball when blocking, clean exchanges.
Run: 7.40 runner in the 60. 

Roberto Maldonado II, Lane Tech (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-11, 200-pounds. Strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Tall, balanced setup, slightly open, short stride. Level bat path, max bat speed of 67.6MPH, intent to make contact out front, ball jumps off barrel at times, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 87.76 max exit velocity, averaged 74.1 mph. 268’ max distance.
Arm: RHH. C - 69 mph. OF - 73 mph. Catcher: short arm action, over-the-top arm slot. Outfield: long arm action.
Defense: 2.25-2.34 pop times. Catcher: funnels the ball toward center when receiving, clean transfer on throwdowns. Outfield: plays through the baseball.
Run: 7.33 runner in the 60. 

Alijah Rainey, Homewood Flossmoor (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-8, 195-pounds. Strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Open setup, short stride, easy pre-pitch actions. Easy strength in swing, max bat speed of 72.5 MPH, short, level path, hard contact through extension, gap-to-gap approach, line drives.
Power: 91.93 max exit velocity, averaged 73.84 mph. 296’ max distance. Best max exit velocity among catchers at event.
Arm: RHH. C - 68 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
Defense: 2.26-2.41 pop times. Often receives from one knee, low target, footwork works around plate on throwdowns.
Run: 7.86 runner in the 60. 

Angel Tapia Jr., Oak Lawn (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-10, 180-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, athletic setup, smooth load, small leg lift, short stride, advanced pre-pitch actions Fluid, aggressive swing, path works slightly uphill, gap-to-gap approach, some pull-side tendencies.
Power: 87.85 max exit velocity, averaged 81.74 mph. 332’ max distance.
Arm: RHH. C - 73 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, accuracy in throws.
Defense: 2.01-2.03 pop times. Soft hands, advanced release, quick feet, clean exchange, best pop times at event.
Run: 7.99 runner in the 60. 

John Wubben, Galena  (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-10, 165-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, smooth load, toe-tap, short stride. Short, easy swing, level bat path, consistent hard contact up middle, line drives.
Power: 87.21 max exit velocity, averaged 80.29 mph. 306’ max distance.
Arm: L/R. C - 67 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.28-2.37 pop times. Steady hands, feet work around plate, clean exchanges.
Run: 7.89 runner in the 60.