Preseason All-State: Catching Analysis From Feb. 15th



Dan Cevette
Director, New York

It's been a eight-days since the MEGA All-State Showcase held at beautiful Accelerate Sports in Whitesboro, NY. The dust has settled, the smoke has cleared out, and the catching reports are in. A very special thanks to the players, families, and coaches that braved the winter-weather and witnessed a truly special event. Here's a look at the catchers who attended Feb. 15th and what we saw.

DJ Berry, C, Aquinas Institute, NY (2017) stands a lean, athletic 5-foot-10, 150-pounds oozing projection. Behind the plate his footwork is lightning fast, arm strength (82 mph) way above average, consistent pop-time at 1.85 - 1.94. He also showed very well from SS and in the OF showing off his versatile game. With the bat he shows a relaxed approach, athletic swing with gap-gap contact. Hands go back on the pitch, slight leg lift with short stride. Short path to the ball, slightly inclined plane, brings his hands high through contact, plus extension, high finish.

Austin O'Shei, C, Hamburg HS, NY (2016)
O'Shei stands 5-foot-10, 154-pounds with a solid frame, athletic build. Behind the plate there was no one faster glove-to-hand-to-release than O'Shei. He showed consistently a 1.92 to second with one of our clocks getting him as low as an unreal 1.81. Regardless, his hands are lightning fast giving opposing runners almost no chance. He shows athletic blocking ability moving well side to side. At the plate he starts with his weight pushed back, hands back load up on the pitch. Barrel drops some on his path forward, plane is uphill with long extension out in front.

Benjamin Closson, C, Lancaster HS, NY (2016) stands 6-foot-1, 165-pounds with a lean, athletic build. Behind the plate his glove-to-hand-release was fast and accurate producing above average pop times at 1.85-1.94. His body alone projects well behind the plate if he can add some extra weight to that frame. At the plate he shows a relaxed set up with his hands low and an open stance. Begins his swing with a long stride and loads hands back.  He has a longer swing with a slightly inclined bat plane through the zone, finishing with good extension.  Lots of movement, signs of gap-gap power.  At the plate his exit velocity was 80 mph.

Matthew Cross, C, Starpoint HS, NY (2016)
Cross stands a strong, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds with a plus catching body. At the plate he starts slightly open front side, hands back on the pitch. Hands power inside the ball, short path, barrel is slightly inclined, hips get through the ball, short stride with great extension, high finish. Next-level bat. From behind the plate he receives with soft hands, wide body. Throws to second show him gaining ground, high-3/4 slot with 2.03 accurate pop times. Expect some big things from Cross.

Ben Monti, C, Lancaster HS, NY (2016)
Monti stands 5-foot-11, 160-pounds with a lean athletic frame. At the plate he stands tall with his hands high, athletic actions. He starts his swing by loading his hands back, slightly wrapping his bat behind his head. He uses a short stride on the pitch a long swing to the ball, smooth balanced. Gets top hand to the ball well. His bat plane is slightly inclined through the zone finishing high, good extension. Next-level bat. From behind the dish he receives the ball well behind the plate and displays good ball blocking ability. He shows good footwork during his transfer and an over the top arm slot. He cuts his follow through short and recoils his arm, pop time at 2.0 an improvement from Sept.

Matthew Cerrillo, C, St. Francis HS, NY (2016)
Cerrillo stands 5-foot-9, 148-pounds with a slender build. At the plate his setup is even, hands start near his shoulders. Short stride on the pitch, back load that creates an arm bar. Hands cast over the plate as he powers forward, plane is slightly uphill, finish is even with his shoulders. Contact type hitter.  Behind the dish he shows ball blocking ability both sides of the plate, receives ball out in front, short arm action, clean release. Pop time was 2.2 to second. He ran a 7.1 60 yard dash, 80 mph exit velocity.

Antonio Fisher, C, Hudson HS, NY (2017)
At the plate hands start near his shoulders, short stride on the pitch, back load creates arm bar. Cast his hands over the plate before contact, level bat plane, below his shoulders finish. Contact hitter.  Behind the dish he receives the ball well, steps open on his throws to second, over-the-top slot with 2.07 pop time. Shows ability to block balls laterally. 7.5 60 yard dash, 79 mph bat speed. 

Matthew Miller, C, Bethlehem HS, NY (2016)
Miller stands 6-foot-1, 165-pounds with a projectable body type. At the plate he starts with hands high, short stride on the pitch. Bat path is short, plane is level through contact, some extension after contact, finishes even with shoulders. Rolls over on his front leg during finish. Contact hitter, 79 mph exit velocity off a tee. Behind the plate he receives the ball well and shows good ball blocking ability.  He was a high-¾ arm delivery. Transfer will only get better, showed 2.0 pop time.

Jacob Sisto, C, Liverpool HS, NY (2017)
Sisto stands 5-foot-10, 165-pounds with a catchers build. Receives clean, wide stance, fluid exchange. He has above average blocking skills. His glove to hand transfer is very good, clean and fast. Throws from a high-3/4 slot with 70 mph arm strength. Pop time was 2.16 and only getting better. At the plate his setup is athletic. He uses a leg kick on the pitch, hands stay inside the playing field, barrel level through the zone, with slight extension after contact, shoulder height finish. 82 mph exit velocity off a tee up 4 mph from Dec. 21st.

Troy Hattala, C, Orchard Park HS, NY (2017)
Hattala stands a stocky 5-foot-9, 175-pounds with a strong frame. At the plate he starts relaxed, hands high. On the pitch he loads back, short stride. Path is short to the ball, barrel slightly uphill, some extension, rolls over on front side after contact, shoulder height finish. Behind the plate he receives the ball with an open stance, target down. Clean exchange on his throws to second, high-3/4 slot 2.0 pop time to second. Ran a 7.45 60 yard dash.

Matt Carroll, C, Aquinas Institute, NY (2016)
Carroll stands 5-foot-9, 175-pounds with good size behind the dish. At the plate he shows a relaxed, comfortable approach, even stance. Hands moving before load, strides to slightly open, path is short, barrel is mostly level through the ball. Back side pushes through well, finish is shoulder level, 78 mph bat speed. From behind the plate he receives slightly open, smooth exchange, quick hands. Pop times at 2.0 to second, fast release from an over-the-top slot.

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