Preseason All-State: Catcher Analysis


By Illinois Staff

On March 20, the PBR Illinois team hosted its annual Preseason All-State showcase, bringing together a collection of the state’s best juniors in one place, Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports Dome in Lockport, Ill.

We began our post-event breakdown in the days that followed, detailing the prospects who exited the event with their prospect arrows pointed way up inside of this Quick Hits post. We highlighted the showcase’s biggest takeaways, focusing on the high-follow uncommitted juniors in the class, accompanied by written analysis and video. Later on, with the help of our TrackMan unit and Blast Motion devices, we published the TrackMan Files and the Blast Motion Board stories, as well as the highlights from the traditional statistics measured inside of our Statistical Analysis story.

Today, we’re beginning to roll out the position-by-position analysis from this event, starting with the showcase’s catchers.

A pair of committed players headline this top-10 below: Kansas State recruit Jayden Lobliner (St. Charles North, 2022) and Mizzou recruit Charlie Marisca (Grayslake Central, 2022). Lobliner is continuing to build off his excellent 2020, by producing a quality, well-rounded showing at this prestigious event. Here, Lobliner averaged some of the firmest batted-ball contact in attendance while showcasing quick and athletic actions from behind the plate. Marisca, meanwhile, swings a loose and fast left-handed bat, with similarly athletic actions from behind the plate, and he’s a quiet and capable receiver.

Matthew Tarr (West Aurora, 2022) is the top uncommitted player on this list, and he was also one of the top two-way performers in attendance. He’s a sub-7.00 runner with strength and athleticism that lends itself to quick catch-and-throw actions attached to premium arm strength. And from the right-handed batter’s box, Tarr generates pull-side power potential, and he was one of just four players to hit a ball during batting practice to hit a ball 100.0 mph – and another member of the list below reached that same mark: Will Plattner (Glenwood, 2022; uncommitted), with a max exit speed measured at 100.3.

For the full reports on this group, continue reading below.

TOP CATCHer PROSPECTS

1. Jayden Lobliner, St. Charles North (IL), 2022; Kansas State
Positional Profile: C/3B. Continues to establish himself as one of the top catchers in the class.
Body: 5-9, 180-pounds. Athletic frame with strength.
Hit: RHH. Crouched setup, short leg-lift timing trigger, maintains balance throughout contact. Quick hands, Fast bat, consistently on the barrel, short and uphill through the zone, pull-side tendencies.
Power: 97.21 max exit velocity, averaged 91.13 mph. 362’ max distance. Above-average pull-side power.
Arm: RH. C - 83 mph. INF - 94 mph. Clean arm action, plays short and over-the-top from the crouch, flashed carry. Also, showed one of the strongest infield arms of the day, playing with life and carry across the diamond.
Defense: 1.94-2.04 pop times. Worked out behind the plate and also on the infield. Showed equally as well at both positions. Behind the plate, athletic, quick footwork, quick/clean out of the crouch and hands play soft. On the infield, fluid defender, plays with bounce, light on his feet, soft hands, plays through the baseball, natural infield actions.
Run: 7.17 runner in the 60. 

2. Charlie Marisca, Grayslake Central (IL), 2022; Missouri
Positional Profile: C. One of the top left-handed hitting catchers in the state.
Body: 6-0, 180-pounds. Compact, strong build, developed lower-half.
Hit: LHH. Balanced, slightly open, short leg-lift timing trigger, hangs foot. Quick hands, works gap to gap, natural lift and fluid rhythm
Power: 94.7 max exit velocity, averaged 88.61 mph. 340’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 82 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot, throws flashed carry.
Defense: 1.99-2.08 pop times. Steady hands, quiet receiver of the baseball, works to present pitches in and around the zone, quick out of the crouch.
Run: 7.10 runner in the 60.

3. Matthew Tarr, West Aurora (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/RHP. Was one of the biggest two-way winners coming out of the event.
Body: 6-1, 195-pounds. Strong, athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Athletic, slightly open, short leg-lift timing trigger, hangs foot, maintains balance through contact. Fluid rhythm, compact swing, hands work directly to the ball, made consistent hard contact, especially to the pull-side.
Power: 100 max exit velocity, averaged 94.48 mph. 374’ max distance. Present pull-side power.
Arm: RH. C - 84 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, throws flashed carry.
Defense: 1.97-2.18 pop times. Sure-handed, works to present pitches in and around the zone, quick out of the crouch.
Run: 6.91 runner in the 60. Athletic runner.

4. Will Plattner, Glenwood (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/CIF. Continues to show one of the more polished right-handed bats in the class.
Body: 6-0, 195-pounds. Compact frame, strong lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, quiet setup, slight leg-kick into short stride, maintains balance throughout contact. Quick/strong hands, fast bat (75.4 mph max bat speed according to Blast), short through the zone, uses the entire field.
Power: 100.34 max exit velocity, averaged 96.7 mph. 317’ max distance. Highest max exit velo for catchers.
Arm: RH. C - 81 mph. INF - 87 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, throws flashed carry.
Defense: 2.01-2.15 pop times. Worked out behind the plate and also on the infield. Behind the plate showed steady hands, ability to present pitches in and around the zone, directional out of the crouch. On the infield, soft hands, quick transfer, showed body control on slow-roller play.
Run: 7.26 runner in the 60.

5. Colin Horneman, Mount Carmel (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C. Athletic catcher with upside to all parts of his game.
Body: 6-0, 175-pounds. Wiry, athletic frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly open, toe-taps into stride, maintains balance throughout contact. Fluid rhythm, compact swing, hands work directly to the baseball, consistent hard-contact.
Power: 95.02 max exit velocity, averaged 89.32 mph. 323’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 78 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, throws showed carry.
Defense: 2.01-2.09 pop times. Steady hands, presents pitches in and around the zone, quick and clean out of the crouch.
Run: 6.97 runner in the 60. Athletic runner.

6. Ryan Kelly, Huntley (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 6-0, 195-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, toe-tap stride, maintains balance through contact. Aggressive swing, quick hands, fast bat (72.5 mph max bat speed according to Blast), short through the zone. Flashes power potential.
Power: 95.14 max exit velocity, averaged 84.73 mph. 337’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 80 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, flashed carry.
Defense: 1.96-2.04 pop times. Sure-handed, presents pitches in and around the zone, clean out of the chute.
Run: 7.52 runner in the 60. 

7. Jacob Filip, Lakes Community (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 6-0, 180-pounds. Athletic build, strong lower-half.
Hit: LHH. Balanced, slightly open, high leg-kick, hangs foot, maintains balance throughout contact. Fluid rhythm, quick hands, line-drive hitter, consistently on the barrel, works to all fields.
Power: 94.67 max exit velocity, averaged 91.68 mph. 232’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 80 mph. Long, high 3/4 arm action, throws flashed carry.
Defense: 2.10-2.18 pop times. Frames pitches in and around the zone, gets thumb under pitches at the bottom of the zone, closes shoulders out of the crouch, quick and direct transfer.
Run: 6.98 runner in the 60. Athletic runner.

8. Brandon Hanley, Huntley (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-0, 180-pounds. Athletic build, well proportioned strength.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, smooth pre-pitch loading action, short-stride, gets off backside. Long level bat path, line-drive approach, works gap-to-gap.
Power: 92.5 max exit velocity, averaged 81.95 mph. 357’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, throws flashed carry.
Defense: 2.00-2.07 pop times. Flashed natural catcher actions, soft sure-hands, presents pitches in and around the zone, active/willing blocker, bounce, clean glove-to-hand exchange.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60. 

9. Matthew Merk, Lockport (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-11, 190-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Open setup, short-stride, maintains balance through contact. Strong hands, present bat strength, natural lift, uphill path, compact swing, finishes on backside.
Power: 97.59 max exit velocity, averaged 91.71 mph. 351’ max distance. Above-average pull-side power.
Arm: RH. C - 78 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, throws flashed carry.
Defense: 2.01-2.10 pop times. Sure-handed, athletic blocker, quick and direct footwork out of the crouch.
Run: 7.04 runner in the 60. 

T-10. Kyle Odeshoo, Prospect (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-11, 185-pounds. Compact build, strong lower-half
Hit: RHH. Open setup, short-stride, maintains balance through contact. Quick bat, works gap-to-gap, natural lift.
Power: 94.66 max exit velocity, averaged 92.32 mph. 367’ max distance. Above-average pull-side power.
Arm: RH. C - 77 mph. Loose, over-the-top arm action.
Defense: 2.01-2.19 pop times. Steady hands, active blocker, clean and directional out of the crouch.
Run: 7.49 runner in the 60. 

T-10. Lorenzo Rios, Joliet Catholic (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 6-1, 195-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: LHH. Balanced, short-stride, quiet setup, maintains balance through contact.  Fluid rhythm, natural lift through the zone, consistently on the barrel.
Power: 95.57 max exit velocity, averaged 88.59 mph. 339’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 79 mph. Long 3/4 arm action.
Defense: 2.01-2.19 pop times. Sure-handed, quiet receiver, direct footwork out of the crouch.
Run: 7.35 runner in the 60. 

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Keegan Connors, Jacobs (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-7, 155-pounds. Smaller, athletic frame.
Hit: LHH. Crouched setup, minimal load, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Quick hands, fast bat (74.7 mph max bat speed according to Blast), short and uphill through the zone, natural lift and fluid rhythm.
Power: 89.19 max exit velocity, averaged 81.14 mph. 321’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 78 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 to over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.07-2.22 pop times. Sure-handed, ability to get underneath the pitch at the bottom of the zone, steady hands and directional out of the crouch.
Run: 6.54 runner in the 60. Highly-athletic runner; advanced run time for his position.

Nathan Cooley, Illinois Valley Central (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-10, 170-pounds. Athletic build, strong lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Upright stance, front foot open, brings foot back to center with long stride, maintains balance throughout contact. Quick hands, fast bat (led all catchers with 78.3 mph max bat speed according to Blast), works to all fields.
Power: 93.85 max exit velocity, averaged 85.96 mph. 322’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Short, compact over-the-top arm action.
Defense: 2.05-2.18 pop times. Frames pitches in and around the zone, quick, clean out of the crouch.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60. 

Ivan Dahlberg, Minooka (IL), 2022; Illinois-Springfield
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-11, 200-pounds. Strong build, developed lower-half.
Hit: LHH. Crouched setup, slightly open, maintains balance through contact. Strong hands, bat-strength, fluid rhythm, short through the zone, uphill path, works gap-to-gap.
Power: 97.65 max exit velocity, averaged 85.84 mph. 374’ max distance. Above-average pull-side power.
Arm: RH. C - 77 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, flashed carry.
Defense: 2.10-2.18 pop times. Soft hands, works to present pitches.
Run: 7.62 runner in the 60. 

Logan Gregorio, Waubonsie Valley (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-11, 185-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: LHH. Balanced, smooth load, short-stride. Fluid rhythm, quick bat, works gap-to-gap, natural lift.
Power: 95.82 max exit velocity, averaged 86.29 mph. 334’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Long, high 3/4 arm action.
Defense: 2.10-2.23 pop times. Steady hands, quiet receiver, solid blocker, direct footwork out of the crouch.
Run: 7.74 runner in the 60. 

Kyle Jannenga, Hinsdale South (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 6-0, 205-pounds. Compact, strong frame, developed lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, short stride, maintains balance throughout contact.  Compact swing, stayed on top of the ball, short through the zone.
Power: 90.64 max exit velocity, averaged 79.49 mph. 258’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 81 mph. Short, 3/4 arm action, flashed carry.
Defense: 2.13-2.29 pop times. Steady hands, quiet receiver, works to present pitches in and around the zone, feet work in line out of the crouch.
Run: 6.83 runner in the 60. Athletic runner.

Tristan Kerr, Lake Forest (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 6-1, 200-pounds. Compact build, strong lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Tall, open setup, short stride, maintains balance throughout contact. Line-drive hitter, short through the zone, fluid rhythm, works gap-to-gap.
Power: 94.62 max exit velocity, averaged 89.34 mph. 336’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Loose, 3/4 arm action, flashed carry.
Defense: 2.01-2.09 pop times. Steady hands, works to present pitches in and around the zone, able to get thumb under pitches at the bottom of the zone, quick and directional out of the crouch.
Run: 7.39 runner in the 60. 

Jack McNamara, Lyons Township (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-0, 200-pounds. Athletic, projectable build.
Hit: LHH. Balanced, open-stance, short-stride, maintains balance throughout contact. Quick bat, fluid rhythm, works gap-to-gap, short through the zone.
Power: 91.83 max exit velocity, averaged 85.77 mph. 331’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, flashed carry.
Defense: 2.00-2.18 pop times. Steady, hands, presents pitches in and around the zone, direct footwork out of the crouch.
Run: 7.27 runner in the 60. 

Aidan O'Connell, St. Charles North (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 5-8, 155-pounds. Compact, strong build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, slightly open, quiet setup, short stride and maintains balance through contact. Fluid rhythm, compact swing, consistently on the barrel, uphill path and works gap-to-gap.
Power: 91.52 max exit velocity, averaged 83.85 mph. 336’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short, compact arm action, over-the-top slot, quick out front.
Defense: 2.15-2.28 pop times. Steady hands, works to present pitches in and around the zone, active blocker; quick feet gets around the baseball and deadens blocks out front. Clean and directional out of the crouch.
Run: 7.65 runner in the 60. 

Alexander Tagler, Lemont (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-8, 180-pounds. Strong build, developed lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, short-stride, maintains balance throughout contact. Fluid rhythm, works gap-to-gap, short through the zone.
Power: 95.34 max exit velocity, averaged 85.47 mph. 338’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Short, over-the-top arm action, flashed carry.
Defense: 2.09-2.24 pop times. Works to present pitches in and around the zone, quick transfer, quick and directional out of the crouch.
Run: 7.04 runner in the 60. 

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