Preseason All-State Showcase Catcher Analysis: Class of 2014

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

Landis2The depth of talent in the pool of catchers at the Preseason All-State Showcase bordered on being silly. It was very difficult to evaluate a group this deep while trying to find some benchmarks to separate the field. Each catcher brings his own unique skill set and at least one tool that he can point to as his best. We have given you our top five out of the group of 17 catchers from the Class of 2014 who showcased their skills. Many of the remaining 12 will be making major jumps in the class rankings as a result of their performances.

  1. Drew Landis, C/3B, Red Lion Area HS

    Landis separated himself from the field because of his pop times. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior threw five throws to second base with 1.97 being his slowest. His top two times were a 1.88 and 1.89. Landis has an exceptionally quick transfer and gains ground effectively. Offensively he had one of the better batting practice rounds of the day. Landis used a short, compact line-drive stroke to consistently square baseballs throughout his round. He wore out the middle and opposite sides of the field while staying inside the baseball.

  2. Aaron Fritz, C/3B, Minersville HS

    Fritz is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound backstop who also showed a lightning quick transfer on his throws. His 1.92-2.03 pop times were evidence of his technique. Fritz was also showed athletic actions receiving and blocking the baseball. Offensively, Fritz hits out of a slightly open stance and uses a solid hip turn to generate barrel whip. His swing is rhythmic throughout and he does a solid job of getting through the baseball and to extension on a regular basis.

  3. Ben Snyder, C/3B, Red Land HS

    Snyder has prototypical size for the position at 5-foot-10, 205-pounds. His 90 mph bat exit velocity was second to Porterfield among the catchers. Snyder showed pop times of 1.97-2.06 on throws of 77 mph out of the crouch. Offensively he uses a toe tap trigger and a compact swing to generate significant pop in his bat. Snyder routinely drove baseballs back up the middle in a quality round of batting practice. To round out his skill set, Snyder showed excellent foot speed for a catcher turning in a 4.13 home-to-first time.

  4. Christian Porterfield, C/3B, West Middlesex HS

    Porterfield lags behind the others in this group defensively, but is closing the gap quickly. He showed pop times of 2.03-2.10 on throws of 76 mph out of the crouch. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior showed significant foot-speed for a catcher with a 4.15 home-to-first time. His best tool is a power stroke that is impressive. Porterfield uses a flat bat path through the hitting zone and excellent hip rotation to generate significant pop in his bat. His 92 mph bat exit velocity was tops among catchers and 2nd best in the entire event.

  5. Brandyn Smith, C/OF, Cedar Cliff HS

    Smith is a 5-foot-11, 170-pound prospect who showcased the top arm strength among all catchers at 79 mph. With his arm strength his 2.03-2.08 pop times will only continue to improve. Smith uses a leg lift trigger in his swing and has an explosive weight shift that creates barrel whip. His 85 mph bat exit velocity resulted in balls jumping off his barrel when he squared the baseball. As Smith becomes more consistent in getting to the hitting zone on time his results will become even more impressive.

Best of the Rest:

  • Kole Aumiller, C, Cumberland Valley HS

    Aumiller is a 6-foot, 190-pound backstop who showcased improved 2.12-2.19 pop times on throws of 74 mph out of the crouch. He receives the baseball well and has a dynamic personality that pitchers will respond to. Aumiller has a quiet set up in his swing and gets his hips cleared well leading to barrel whip and an 85 mph bat exit velocity. He showed the ability to consistently square the baseball during his round of batting practice.

  • Sean Becker, C/1B, Lansdale Catholic HS

    Becker is a 6-foot, 180-pound junior who showcased 2.10-2.20 pop times on throws of 74 mph out of the crouch. He uses a slightly open stance and strides to the baseball to create an 87 mph bat exit velocity. He relies on weight shift and timing to generate bat whip, which led to good pop in his bat when he squared the baseball.

  • Garett Blank, C/3B, St. James School (MD)

    Blank is a polished receiver and blocker of the baseball. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect has a very athletic build and does not appear to be done maturing physically. He showcased pop times of 2.05-2.15 on throws of 76 mph out of the crouch. Blank squared the baseball consistently in a solid round of batting practice. His 85 mph bat exit velocity and athleticism at the plate give the impression that legitimate power is a tool that Blank will likely carry with him to the next level.

  • Shane Emrich, C/RHP, Spring-Ford HS

    Emrich showcased 2.15-2.19 pop times on throws of 72 mph out of the crouch. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound two-way prospect had a solid round of batting practice in which he consistently barreled the baseball. Emrich uses a very wide base and a toe-tap trigger to generate barrel whip in his swing. He showed an 84 mph bat exit velocity and the ability to use all fields.

  • Gavin O'Donnell, C/OF, Manheim Township HS

    O'Donnell showed promise behind the plate with pop times of 2.10-2.15 on throws of 71 mph out of the crouch. Although his arm was not as strong as some others, his clean exchange and quick footwork more than make up the difference. Offensively, the 5-foot-9, 165-pound junior showcased a short swing path and some life in his bat. His 84 mph bat exit velocity is generated with good hand speed and solid hip rotation.

  • Trey Reese, C, Penn Hills HS

    Reese is a physical catcher with raw athleticism who has the potential to really develop. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior turned in an event best 3.91 home-to-first time and improved pop times of 2.10-2.24 on throws of 75 mph out of the crouch. With some minor adjustments to his exchange he could easily see those times drop to the 2.0 range. Offensively he uses a lot of upper body to create an 84 mph bat exit velocity. He had a solid round of batting practice using quick hands and athleticism to produce consistent line drives.

  • Matt Roberts, C/3B, Tamaqua HS

    Roberts has hit well every time we have seen him and he did so again. Using a strong lower half and an 82 mph bat exit velocity, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound prospect barreled the baseball consistently and used all fields in the process. Roberts showcased pop times of 2.19-2.35 on throws of 68 mph out of the crouch.

  • Alex Salesky, C/3B, Wilson Area HS

    Salesky is a talented defender behind the plate and at third base. He has shown continual improvement as a catcher leading to pop times of 2.09-2.15 on throws of 73 mph out of the crouch. Salesky is a consistent left-handed hitter who showed an 83 mph bat exit velocity and the ability to barrel the baseball to all fields. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound junior has a drive to get better and continues to show improvements every time out.

  • Jack Seibert, C/1B, Holy Ghost Prep HS

    Seibert showcased very well turning in pop times of 1.97-2.06 on throws of 77 mph from the crouch. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound prospect has broad shoulders and an ideal frame for a backstop. Seibert hits out of a slightly crouched, square stance and uses a strong upper body to create a bat exit velocity of 81 mph. With work to add lower half rotation in his swing, Seibert could increase his power production.

  • James Shank, C, Pleasant Valley HS

    Shank is a 6-foot, 170-pound prospect that showed promise in all facets of the game. Defensively he turned in pop times of 2.06-2.18 on throws of 70 mph out of the crouch. Shank showed quick hands and a clean exchange that resulted in similar times as catchers with greater arm strength. Offensively Shank hits out of a slightly open stance and closes to contact. He displayed a bat exit velocity of 80 mph that would be maximized with better extension to his swing.

  • Dan Trettel, C/3B, North Allegheny HS

    Trettel showed improved pop times of 2.06-2.15 on throws of 71 mph from the crouch. Trettel showed athletic actions behind the plate and turned in a very quick 4.09 home-to-first time for a catcher. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound backstop turned in a very solid round of batting practice, barreling nearly every pitch and showing the ability to use all fields. Trettel used quick hands and hips to generate an 82 mph bat exit velocity.

  • Sean Williamson, C, Pope John Paul II HS

    Williamson should be one of the biggest movers in the Class of 2014 rankings after he showed significant improvements behind the plate from last summer. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior showcased pop times of 1.97-2.10 on throws of 79 mph out of the crouch. Williamson had a solid round of batting practice squaring most pitches and showing some pop to the pull side. He turned in an impressive 4.13 home-to-first time and displayed an 80 mph bat exit velocity.

Additional PA NEws: