Prep Baseball Report

MN Preseason All-State: Catcher Evaluations

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Minnesota

Prep Baseball Report's MN Preseason All-State event took place on Sunday, March 20, 2016. The event was held at the Vadnais Sports Center in Vadnais Heights, MN. The event featured prospects from the 2017 class from Minnesota and North Dakota who showcased their talents in front of our scouting staff. Thank you to the players, parents, my staff and the Vadnais Sports Center for such a great event.

There were a number of great individual performances this year at the MN Preseason All-State. Also of note is the fact that official high school practices didn't start in Minnesota until the day after the event. Look for many of these player's numbers to continue to improve as they start playing and working into mid-season form.

As we drill down into the statistics:

 + 15 catchers recorded 70+ mph throws to second base
+ 8 catchers recorded sub-2.1 pop times

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Below are the catching evaluations from the Preseason All-State event with prospects listed alphabetically in each category.

top catching Prospects

Connor Hogan, C, Elk River, 2017
6-foot, 180-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.34 runner. Solid build with defined stronger lower half. Square stance, body load, good connection, short to contact, short extension/finish after contact. Solid contact, stays in middle of field, with solid pop in bat. 86 mph exit velocity. Narrow feet and open stance, avg. lateral mobility, above avg. receiver with soft glove, quick feet, quick exchange, good arm path with quick release. Accuracy and carry to bag with 1.98 pop time and 75 mph arm strength.

Brock Boltmann, C/3B, Edina, 2017
6-foot-1, 190-pound right-handed hitting catcher. #39 in MN 2017 class. 7.13 runner. Solid/strong build. Athletic high hand set-up. Square stance with leg kick trigger. Clean line-drive swing plane, bat speed, and uses hands in swing. Stiffer lower half. Good pop to pull side of field. 92 mph exit velocity. Open receiving stance, avg. glove, good low set-up and target, quick feet, long arm path, hitch in release, good arm strength. 76 mph velocity with 2.09 pop time. Multi-sport player with enough athleticism to develop and make big strides in college playing one sport.

Morgan Holmes, C, Hopkins, 2017
5-foot-10, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.5 runner. Solid build. One of better B.P.’s at event. Square stance, short balanced stride, stays connected in load and stride, short to contact, clean bat path, consistent hard contact with middle/pull approach. 83 mph exit velocity. Good balance and fluid movements behind plate. Solid receiver. Fast twitch actions. Occasional hitch in exchange/release. Quick arm path. Above avg. carry and accuracy to bag. 2.03 pop time with 76 mph arm strength. Will make significant jump into 2017 rankings.

Jack Kelly, C, St. Michael-Albertville, 2017
6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting catcher. #6 ranked in MN 2017 class; #268 in Overall. Northwestern commit. 7.25 runner. Projectable lean frame- will continue to add wiry strength. Square stance, small leg kick trigger. Aggressive swing, line drive swing plane, gap to gap approach with above avg. hard contact. 86 mph exit velocity. Athletic low set-up, keeps weight on inside of feet, above avg. receiver, fluid movements, strong underneath and up through baseball. Comes out low to throw, clean exchanges, some hitch in release, great carry on throws- online to bag- with above avg. accuracy. 2.01 pop time with 78 mph arm strength.

Zach Smith, C/RHP, Rochester John Marshall, 2017
5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed hitting 2-way player. #26 ranked in MN 2017 class. Strong durable frame. 7.72 runner. Square stance, simple stride, stays connected in load and stride, controlled aggressive swing, short to contact, good extension through contact. Gap to gap approach with consistent hard contact and flashes of pull power. 86 mph exit velocity. Above avg. thrower to second. 78 mph arm strength with 1.95 pop time. Low set-up, flexible bottom half, solid receiver, some extra glove movement, good footwork with quickness, clean exchanges, clean arm path. Good carry and accuracy to bag with on-line throws.


catching Prospects

Aaron Brush, C/OF, Minnetonka, 2017
6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed hitting catcher. #41 ranked in MN 2017 class. 7.47 runner. Physical build with strong lower half for position. Square stance with leg kick trigger. Uphill swing plane- out front at contact. Above avg. strength in bat with 86 mph exit velocity. Quiet set-up, moves side to side well, stays under pitches, soft hands, handles velocity. Good direction with feet, slight hitch in arm path with 73 mph arm strength and 2.16 pop time.

Ignacio Charles, C/IF, Henry Sibley, 2017
6-foot, 170-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.41 runner. Lean build. Deep load with long stride to contact. Spray to all fields. 73 mph exit velocity. Flexible lower half, solid athlete, raw mechanics, blocks ball well, short arm path, solid accuracy. 71 mph arm strength with 2.38 pop time.

Cole Birch, C, Fargo Davies (ND), 2017
5-foot-9, 190-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.5 runner. Compact physical build. Open stance, strides to square, arm bar load, lift in swing plane, strong contact, stiffer lower half. 83 mph exit velocity with gap to gap approach. Strong glove hand, centers ball with body, lateral mobility, flexibile lower half, deadens blocked ball well, longer arm path on throws. 2.13 pop time with 68 mph arm strength.

Dawson Degnan, 3B/C/RHP, Cretin-Derham Hall, 2017
6-foot, 175-pound left-handed hitting player with versatility. #48 ranked player in MN 2017 class. 7.5 runner. Square stance, deeper load, double tap trigger, hitterish, bat stays through zone, line-drive swing plane with ability to drive baseball to opposite field. 85 mph exit velocity. High set-up, clean exchanges, quick clean arm action, solid carry on throws, needs better direction through plate. 72 mph arm strength with 2.03 pop time- accurate to bag.

Benjamin Friebel, SS/C, Jamestown (ND), 2017
5-foot-10, 135-pound switch-hitting infielder. 7.56 runner. Open stance, body load, good direction, longer stride, stays inside baseball at contact, gap to gap approach. 77 mph exit velocity. Wide base, great flexibility, low target, soft glove hand, light on feet with quickness, clean exchange with fluid arm path. 72 mph arm strength with 2.15 pop time. Good present ability that should continue to improve with added strength and maturity.

Jake Hendel, C, Buffalo, 2017
5-foot-9, 172-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.53 runner. Square stance, body load with leg kick trigger, solid contact, uphill path, gap to gap approach. 78 mph exit velocity. Narrow stance, extra movement with body and glove receiving, long exchange. 64 mph arm strength with 2.47 pop time.

Kaylan Legred, C/OF/RHP, Blue Earth, 2017
5-foot-9, 145-pound switch-hitting utility player. 7.25 runner. Switch-hitter with similar mechanics from each side. Pre-set load, uncontrolled stride, aggressive swing, slashy flat swing plane. Mid/away approach LH; Pull approach RH. 77 mph exit velocity. Quick twitch, good flexibility, raw receiving at times, clean crisp exchanges, quick release, solid accuracy to bag. 71 mph throws to second with 2.13 pop time.

Nathan Lindberg, C, Bloomington Jefferson, 2017
6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Solid frame that should hold additional weight well. 7.57 runner. Gap to gap approach Flashes pop in bat. Short through zone with limited extension. Line drive swing plane with late lift. 88 mph exit velocity. Soft hands receiving, length to exchange, clean arm path, requires better use of lower half and improved footwork. 71 mph arm strength with 2.4 pop times.

Ty Okada, C, East Ridge, 2017
5-foot-10, 150-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Small frame with wiry strength. 7.53 runner. Solid set-up in box, square stance, short to contact, line-drive swing plane, gap to gap approach with consistent solid contact middle/away. 80 mph exit velocity. Good flexibility, low set-up, holds pitches in zone, fast feet, quick release with good accuracy to bag. 70 mph arm strength with 2.00 pop time.

Maxwell Ploof, 3B/C/RHP, Anoka, 2017
6-foot-3, 200-pound right-handed hitting player. 8.1 runner. Tall projectable build that will handle considerable weight and strength. Square stance, athletic set-up, short to contact, stays connected to well, good extension through contact, stays in middle of field with gap to gap approach, above avg. leverage and strength. 91 mph exit velocity. Minimal experience behind plate, solid athletic actions, strength in receiving, very flexible for size, good hands with clean exchanges, long release on throws, 76 mph arm strength behind plate with 2.12 pop time. Accurate to bag with carry. Will make significant jump into 2017 rankings.

Noah Sanders, C, Apple Valley, 2017
6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Tall strong build- solid frame. 7.41 runner. 93 mph exit velocity. Pre-set hands. Slight arm bar. Strong to contact. Gap to gap approach. Some leverage at point of contact. Good extension. Low set-up, decent flexibility, receives with thumb underneath, strong enough to hold pitches in zone. Did not throw at this event.

Benjamin Weaver, C, Bismarck Century (ND), 2017
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Lean flexible frame. Good set-up behind dish with ability to receive high velo pitching. Wide base with balance. Works underneath and up through baseball well. Quiet actions behind plate. Shows quickness to block and deaden ball in front. Easy effort on throws with solid accuracy to bag. 71 mph arm strength with 2.0 pop time. 7.34 runner.  Tall set-up with open stance, strides slightly across, hands drop in stride, flat swing plane with middle field approach. Bat should improve with strength gains. 77 mph exit velocity.

Trevor Weidt, C, St. Francis, 2017
5-foot-10, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher. 7.81 runner. Slightly closed stance, short balanced stride, easy line drive swing path, shows loose hands to baseball, ability to drive oppo, good barrel control and consistent solid contact. 82 mph exit velocity. Staggered open stance, medium base, wider/even base should improve cross-body receiving, good rhythm and footwork on throws, direction to target, clean exchange, some length/hitch in release. Solid carry to bag with 72 mph arm strength and 2.06 pop time.

Miles Williams, C, South St. Paul, 2017
6-foot-2, 170-pound left-handed hitting catcher. Tall lanky build. 7.35 runner. Square stance, pre-set hands, rotational bat path and lower half, minimal weight shift through contact. Mid/pull approach. 72 mph exit velocity. Narrow base. Flexible lower half. Low set-up. Strides open to throw. One-piece arm action with 2.38 pop time and 65 mph arm strength.


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