Unsigned Senior Showcase: Catching Analysis



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

The Prep Baseball Report’s final Unsigned Senior Showcase for the 2015 class took place on Sunday January 11th at the Max in McCook, IL. 91 prospects strutted their stuff in front of over 40 collegiate programs in attendance. Over the next several days the PBR Scouting staff will roll out position-by-position rankings of the event, culminating with the Top Ten Overall Prospects from the showcase.

Click Here to view the article on top statistical performers from the event.

We also broke down the Top Tools of the event. Click Here to view the Top Tools based on various commonly used scouting criteria for analyzing prospects.

Lincoln-Way West’s Bailey Magruder proved to be the top combination of glove, arm and bat out of the catching prospects. Magruder consistently showed low 2.0 pop times with accuracy.

Arrowhead’s Mike Bauer showed some of the best receiving skills of the event during bullpens and impressed with his up the middle approach during batting practice.

Batavia’s Matt Musielak was the most projectable catcher in our top five, impressing with his large 6-foot-3 frame and well above average bat speed (92 mph exit velocity). Musielak has plenty of power projection in his bat, and being able to catch adds to his prospect value.

Oswego East’s Tyler Linna impressed registering the lowest pop time of the event at 2.0. Linna has quick twitch athleticism and can play the outfield, providing value from multiple positions.

Like Linna, Barrington’s Jake Petersen shows ability both in the outfield and behind the plate. Peterson tied for the second lowest pop time of the event at 2.03.

Let’s take a look at the top catching prospects from this January’s Unsigned Senior Showcase.

Top Catching Prospects

1. Bailey Magruder, C, Lincoln-Way West, 2015
5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed hitting catcher, strong lower half, hits from crouched, open setup, fluid rhythm, hands load back, gets foot down early, long, slightly uphill bat path, 81 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.03-2.15, short, over-the-top arm slot, consistent accuracy on the bag, soft hands receiving, feet work well coming out of the chute, one of the top defensive backstops at the Unsigned Senior Showcase. Ran a 7.61 60. 

2. Mike Bauer, C, Arrowhead, 2015
Strong stocky build, typical catchers’ body, looks the part behind the plate, 5-foot-11, 180-pound catcher. Defensively showed above average catch and throw abilities. Arm played at 74 mph out of the crouch, short over the top arm action, typical of a catchers arm action, arm played well, accurate on the bag multiple times. Received with softer hands, exchange is fluid and clean, athletic actions behind the dish. Sound blocking mechanics. Pop times ranged from 2.12-2.32, can improve with quicker feet out of the crouch. Ran the 60 with effort, 7.85 runner laser timed. Offensively hits from a slightly taller and open stance, short stride, smooth loading action, overall athletic setup. Maintained balance, lower half worked. Bat speed present for the next level, mostly worked up the middle of the field, gap to gap type hitter, occasionally casts barrel, 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Bauer will be a solid receiver at the next level with the ability to swing the bat, strong follow at Arrowhead HS this spring.

3. Matt Musielak, C, Batavia, 2015
Long lean frame, long torso, projects well, 6-foot-3, 195-pound catcher. Defensively sets up well, good low target, worked well behind the plate receiving bullpens. Athletic receiver, catchers actions, posted pop times at 2.13-2.17, arm played at 70 mph out of the crouch. Offensively hits from the right side, wide setup, slightly crouched, minimal stride, little lower half involvement, good balance through contact. Loose swing, hands work, keeps it simple and quiet, repeats, like his upside at the plate. 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Ran a 7.75 in the 60.  

4. Tyler Linna, C/OF, Oswego East, 2015
5-foot-9, 170-pound strong and athletic right-handed hitting C/OF hits from a tall, narrow setup, short leg kick stride, hands drop to load, short level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with 84 mph exit velocity. Defensively, impressed behind the plate with pop times ranging from 2.00-2.07 seconds, 79 mph out of the crouch from short, quick arm action with consistent accuracy on the bag. Solid athlete for a catcher, running a 7.17 60. Also impressed in the outfield, aggressively attacking the baseball and throwing 82 mph from the outfield.

5. Jake Petersen, C/OF, Barrington, 2015
5-foot-8, 175-pound strong right-handed hitting catcher/outfielder hits from a balanced setup, slight crouch, short leg lift stride, short, level bat path with occasional extension, feel for the barrel, line drives during batting practice up the middle, 87 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 81 mph from the outfield from long loose, high ¾ arm slot with accuracy and carry. Behind the plate, pop times ranged from 2.03-2.14, 74 mph out of the crouch from shorter arm slot than in the outfield, accurate and on the bag, quick feet on transfer, stays low out of the chute. Ran a 7.21 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Kevin Bonnett, OF/C Havana, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting OF/C hits from a balanced setup, high back elbow setup, hands drop to load, long leg kick stride, uphill bat path, up the middle/right-center approach during batting practice with above average 84 mph exit velocity. In the outfield, threw 80 mph from long, over-the-top arm slot with some accuracy, average hands fielding. Behind the plate pop times ranged from 2.19-2.55 seconds, 74 mph throwing from the crouch. Ran a 7.21 60.

Homero Chavero, C, Joliet West, 2015
5-foot-10, 250-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Showed softer hands receiving the baseball, worked well within his framework. Arm played at 67 mph out of the crouch, posted pop times at 2.44-2.62 down to second. Balanced setup, short stride, lower half partially involved. Path is simple, not many moving parts, 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Nathan Given, OF/C, Naperville North, 2015
5-foot-11, 185-pound strong, athletically built left-handed hitting OF/C hits from a balanced setup, hands load smoothly, no stride approach, lifts front heel as a trigger, short, level bat path produced line drives from gap-to-gap with power potential to his pull side. Defensively, impressed more in the outfield throwing 81 mph from long over the top arm slot, wraps ball in back of arm swing. Behind the plate, showed arm strength at 80 mph from the crouch, pop times ranging from 2.07-2.16, but struggled with accuracy. Ran a 7.34 60.

Houston Kruse, C, Breese Central, 2015
5-foot-11, 185-pound left-handed hitting C hits from a crouched setup, hands drop to load, short stride, long, uphill bat path, 70 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.04-2.19 to second, 74 mph from the crouch from short, over the top arm slot with some accuracy. Ran a 7.43 60.

Joey Marras, C, Vernon Hills, 2015
6-foot, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher with a strong lower half hits from a balanced setup, short stride, hands load back smoothly, uphill bat path, high finish, right-center field approach with line drives during batting practice, 79 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.15-2.33, 71 mph out of the crouch from short, over-the-top arm slot with some accuracy. Impressed with blocking skills during bullpen sessions. Ran an 8.66 60.

Tyler Moua, MIF/C, La Crosse Logan (WI), 2015
5-foot-9, 160-pound right-handed hitting MIF/C hit from a narrow setup, short stride, dives slightly, up the middle tendencies with 77 mph exit velocity. Defensively, threw 73 mph across the infield from a short, high ¾ arm slot with some accuracy. Showed average hands fielding, stays back on the baseball. Behind the plate, pop times registered between 2.30-2.41, 77 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.65 60.

Jacob Petraitis, C, Brother Rice, 2015
5-foot-10, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher hits from a wide base, open setup, short stride, dives slightly, right-center approach, long, level bat path, 78 mph exit velocity off the tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.22-2.37, 66 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.57 60.

Dakota Slagle, C, Romeoville, 2015
6-foot-1, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher hits from a balanced setup, back elbow starts raised up, long, step over stride, long, level bat path, up the middle tendencies during batting practice, 76 mph exit velocity. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.17-2.36, 73 mph from the crouch from long, loose, over-the-top arm slot with accuracy. Ran an 8.23 60.

Phillip VanZale, OF/C, Jones College Prep, 2015
5-foot-11, 195-pound strong right-handed hitting OF/C hits from an open stance, hands load back smoothly, well above average bat speed, gap-to-gap tendencies with power potential, 91 mph exit velocity off the tee, the second highest recorded exit velocity of the event. Defensively, profiles as a corner outfielder, threw 84 mph from the outfield. Behind the plate, pop times ranged from 2.25-2.26, 77 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.24 60 yard dash.

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