IA Preseason All-State: Catching Evaluations

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Iowa

Prep Baseball Report's IA Preseason All-State event took place on Sunday, March 13, 2016. The event was held at the SportsPlex West Facility in Waukee, IA. The event featured prospects from the 2017 and 2018 classes from Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska who showcased their talents in front of our scouting staff. Thank you to the players, parents, my staff and SportsPlex West and the Iowa Sticks for such a great event.

There were a number of great individual performances this year at the IA Preseason All-State. Also of note is the fact that official high school practices don't start in Minnesota for another week; and Iowa players aren't near their peak performance with their season beginning in May. Look for many of these player's numbers to continue to improve as they get closer to actually playing.

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Below we have highlighted the top prospects at their respective positions with evaluations.

top catching Prospects

1. Joel Thompson, C, Council Bluffs Lewis Central, 2017
6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Tall build with present strength- frame will handle 20 pounds easily. 7.41 60 time. Open stance with front heel turn trigger. Pull approach. Short to contact. Clean bat path. Repeats swing well. Flashes strength and pop in bat. 93 mph exit velocity off tee. Good flexibility and rhythm behind plate. Hands are soft and sure. Light on his feet and repeats release well. Above avg. accuracy to bag. Well above avg. arm strength with 1.91 pop time.

2. Nicholas Juaire, C, Lakeville North (MN), 2018
5-foot-10, 185-pound switch-hitting catcher. 7.32 60 time. Similar swing mechanics from both sides of plate. Left-handed shows an aggressive swing. Consistent solid contact with solid pop in bat. Uses whole field. Right-handed shows better power with mid/pull approach. Stays inside ball well at contact. Exit velo (90-LHH/94-RHH). Shows above avg. feet with very quick release. Well above avg. arm strength at 82 mph. Receives ball deep occasionally. Shows ability to receive/handle above avg. pitching. 1.95 pop time to second base with carry.

3. Tony Barreca, C/OF, North Scott, 2018
5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting catcher/outfielder. 7.18 60 time. Square stance with smaller inverted C load. Strength in bat has increased. Occasionally barrel leaves zone early. Shows gap to gap approach. 86 mph exit velocity off tee. Quick feet with clean exchanges behind the plate. Compact movements and repeats well. Shows ability to receive. Has solid flexibility. Solid carry, very accurate to bag, with a 2.03 pop time and 72 mph arm strength.

catching (follow list)

Nick Hagen, C, Burlington, 2017
5-foot-11, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.37 60 time. Shows above avg. bat for IA 2017 class. Creates bat speed with short leg kick trigger. Mid/pull approach with above avg. power. Stays short to contact with good extension through baseball. 87 mph exit velocity off tee. Shows raw ability behind plate. Right mentality. Has strength in hands. Should continue to develop and improve behind dish. 2.23 pop time with 71 mph arm strength.

Brayden Logan, C, Sioux City Heelan, 2017
5-foot-8, 155-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.12 60 time. Smaller fast twitch build. Open stance. Leg kick trigger and strides to square. Clean repeatable swing. Consistent solid contact with flashes of pull pop in bat. Mid/pull approach. 77 mph exit velocity. Flexible lower half. Some strength in holding pitches in zone. Clean exchanges with short clean release. Longer arm load effects pop time. 2.28 pop time with 72 mph arm strength.

Brett McCleary, C, Iowa City, 2017
6-foot-2, 205-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Physical build with strength. 7.8 60 time. Open stance with knee to knee trigger. Longer stride into contact. Deeper load but works hands back into a slot allowing short contact to baseball. Flashes pop in bat to pull side of field with mid/pull approach. Above avg. extension through contact. 90 mph exit velocity. Decent flexibility behind plate. Receives with thumb down occasionally. Needs to improve footwork on throws to second. Lower arm slot producing 2.15 pop time with 72 mph arm strength.

Ryan Morrissey, C/3B, Pleasant Valley, 2017
5-foot-10, 195-pound right-handed hitting catcher/infielder. Physical build with strong lower half. 7.28 60 time. Shows strength in bat. Square stance with small leg kick trigger. Stays connected well and generates bat speed. Hard contact to middle/pull side of field. Stays on and through baseball. 91 mph exit velocity off tee. New to catching. Has good durable frame for position. Should continue to improve and polish skills behind plate with reps and experience. 72 mph arm strength with 2.18 pop time.

Will Rodruck, C/3B/RHP, WDM Valley, 2017
6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitting utility player. 7.24 60 time. Arm bar to start. Minimal rhythm. Slightly open stance- strides to square. Inverted swing plane. Middle/away contact. Flashes of pop in bat. Consistent solid contact. 87 mph exit velocity. New to catching. Solid skill set and should be good option for him with polish and reps. Quick feet and clean exchanges. Receiving will improve with experience. Avg./ok footwork- tends to throw uphill. 2.16 pop time with 75 mph arm strength.

Jordan Wendel, C, Alta-Aurelia, 2017
6-foot-1, 205-pound left-handed hitting catcher. Wide strong build. 7.47 60 time. Solid present strength. Leg kick trigger. Flashes pop to pull side of field. Above avg. bat that should improve with greater extension through hitting zone. Pull approach. 90 mph exit velocity. Solid receiver to glove side. Needs to increase mobility across body. Longer exchange but makes up for it with above avg. arm. Avg. accuracy to bag. 2.07 pop time with 80 mph arm strength. Overall very good raw tool set. Should continue to improve with game action and competition.

catching Prospects

Carson Behrens, C, Davenport North, 2017
6-foot, 170-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.5 60 time. High hand set in box with longer stride. Aggressive swings. Inconsistent contact. Needs to improve rhythm and balance in box. 77 mph exit velocity off tee. Shows strong hands receiving. Late blocking position. Clean exchanges with quicker feet. Low exchange creates length and time on release. 2.25 pop time with 71 mph arm strength.

Matthew Karnes, C, Norwalk, 2017
6-foot, 215-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 8.72 60 time. Sq               uare stance with shoulder load. Length to contact. Simple swing. Avg. pop in bat with pull approach. 81 mph exit velocity. Some flexibility. Solid low target and set-up behind plate. Tends to receive with thumb down. Appropriate footwork on throws. Longer release effecting pop time. 72 mph arm strength with 2.25 pop time.

Kyle Kliever, OF/C, Lemars, 2017
5-foot-11, 175-pound left-handed hitting outfielder/catcher. 7.25 runner. Solid build. Deeper load with flashes of above avg. pop in bat. Elevates baseball at contact. Middle/pull approach. Loses weight shift behind locked front leg. 77 mph exit velocity. Avg. actions in outfield. Shows soft glove with appropriate routes to ball. Avg. quickness. 80 mph throws from outfield. Solid/avg. behind the plate. Good blocking mechanics. Needs to improve receiving skills. 2.22 pop time with 72 mph arm strength.

Mason Leinbach, C, Burlington, 2018
5-foot-8, 150-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.68 60 time. Good set-up in box. Occasionally out front at contact. Clean bat path with line drive swing. 77 mph exit velocity. Shows proper mechanics behind plate. Should continue to improve with additional growth and strength gains. 2.35 pop time at this event with 70 mph arm strength.

Treye Rinehart, C, Centerville, 2017
5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 8.06 60 time. Upright stance in box. Avg. balance in swing. Short finish after contact. Needs to settle into legs more and loosen up swing. Has present strength. 87 mph exit velocity off tee. Avg. receiver. Occasional high set-up- late to blocking position. Some length to exchange with quicker release. Fairly accurate to bag. 2.06 pop time with 72 mph arm strength.


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