Prep Baseball Report

Plenty of Talented Catchers Slated to Appear at Preseason All-State

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

The Preseason All-State Showcase is less than two weeks away and the buzz about the talented crop of prospects that will be in attendance is beginning to grow. The group of 24 catchers who will participate is full of highly ranked backstops that should put on a show for those in attendance. Following are a few of the top catchers who will be competing for the top catching prospect designation when the event takes place on February 23 at B2B Baseball Academy in Manheim, Pennsylvania. CLICK HERE for a roster of those prospects who will be in attendance.

Class of 2014:

FritzAaron Fritz, Minersville HS
Fritz is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound catcher with excellent blocking and receiving abilities. Fritz also has the ability to play both corner infield positions. As a member of Team Pennsylvania at the Midwest Future Games last summer, he displayed 1.95 pop times and a solid approach at the plate. He is currently ranked No. 12 in the PA Class of 2014 & No. 80 in the PBR combined rankings.

Drew Landis, Red Lion HS
Landis is a 5-foot-9, 185 pound catcher with projectable size. He is 73 mph out of the crouch with pop times from 2.03-2.09. He is currently ranked No. 19 in the PA Class of 2014 and No. 134 in the PBR combined rankings.

Ben Snyder, Red Land HS
The 5-foot-10, 205-pound catcher is a strong defensive backstop who can swing it. He hit .400 for his high school team in 2012. Snyder is currently ranked No. 26 in the PA Class of 2014.

Brandyn Smith, Cedar Cliff HS
Smith is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound C/OF who has shown pop times of 2.04-2.10 on throws of 81 mph out of the crouch. He is a good athlete who has shown some power potential at the plate. Smith is currently ranked No. 27 in the PA Class of 2014.

Christian Porterfield, West Middlesex HS
Porterfield was named the Region Player of the Year in his sophomore season and represented Team Pennsylvania at the 2012 Midwest Future Games. Porterfield went 5-for-5, with a double, 2 RBI and a tape measure homerun to left field on the final day of the PA Underclass games in September. His stalk continued to rise when he showcased a 96 mph bat exit velocity at a recent event. Porterfield is currently ranked No. 29 in the PA Class of 2014.

Class of 2015:

Ryan Sloniger, Punxsutawney HS
Sloniger is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound catcher from Punxsutawney HS. He has shown consistent pop times of 2.00-2.05 on throws of 78 mph from the crouch. He hails from Punxsutawney which has already produced two MLB catchers. Sloniger is currently ranked No. 8 in the PA Class of 2015 and No. 53 in the PBR combined rankings.

Willie Burger, Lancaster Catholic HS
Burger is a 6-foot, 210-pound C/3B who recently moved to Pennsylvania from Connecticut. He was the top catcher at the Eastern PA Open ID Showcase in January. Burger showcased pop times of 1.97-2.05 on throws of 76 mph from the crouch. Offensively he used an 88 mph bat exit velocity to drive baseballs to the pull side. Burger used an explosive lower half to display legitimate power potential when he squared the baseball. He is currently ranked No. 14 in the PA Class of 2015.

Class of 2016:

Jake Jessell, Woodland Hills HS
Jessell is a 6-0, 220-pound C/RHP from Woodland Hills HS who was selected to the WWBA 14U Nationals All-Tournament Team in 2012. He shined as the top position player at the Western PA Open ID Showcase in January. Jessell displayed 1.97-2.05 pop times on throws of 77 mph from the crouch. He went on to show a power stroke at the plate, using an 89 mph bat exit velocity and a strong lower half to drive baseballs consistently to all fields. Jessell solidified a spot as one of the top prospects in the PA Class of 2016.

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