Prep Baseball Report

June 12 Athens Wood Bat Showcase Scout Analysis: Catchers

PBR Alabama Staff

June 12 Athens Wood Bat Showcase Positional Scout Analysis: Catchers

 There were 11 catchers that went through the workout on June 12 at Athens High School and the collection of talent on hand at the position was rather impressive. There are some definite guys to follow among this group as evidenced by their numbers and actions behind the plate. Over the next few days we will take a look at the outfielders and infielders that were present at the event, but today let’s take an individual look at each catcher present.

Dylan Johnston (2020, C/RHP, Athens) 6’2 185 lbs.- Really impressed on the day defensively and at the plate. Showed very solid actions behind the plate with a very quick transfer and the arm strength to match (event best 1.87 pop). Really quick feet and flexibility in the hips. Recovers very well after the block. Love the mentality and plays the game with confidence. At the plate, started with an even stance and showed no wasted actions in the swing. The hands get back in plenty of time and he shows solid lower half strength. Had slight tilt in the bat path with a middle of the field approach. Shows nice balance in the swing.

Tucker Stockman (2022, C/RHP, Athens) 6’2 220 lbs.- Physical ‘22 catcher that has big time projectability. Started with a slightly open stance and did a nice job of getting his weight back to begin the swing. Has some tilt in the swing and some juice off of the barrel to all fields. Solid lower half and finishes high with the barrel. Solid setup behind the plate and nice natural reactions. The flexibility in the hips is there and he showed a nice transfer. Did a nice job on balls in the dirt and  was quick to recover. Physical ‘22 to follow.

Austin Brewer (2020, C/OF, Gadsden City) 6’0 185 lbs.- Fundamental actions and a nice feel to the game. At the plate, he started with an open stance with the hands set high and he did a nice job of staying connected throughout the swing and really did a nice job getting backside through. The swing path had some tilt in it and he showed legit power to both gaps. Defensively, the actions are solid and very athletic. Showed nice footwork making throws to 2B and the arm worked and throws stayed on line. Consistent low 2.0’s on throws to the bag. Quick recovery on the block. Very athletic ‘20 catcher.

Lawson Stricklin (2022, C/3B, Decatur) 5’11 180 lbs.- Impressive young catcher that showed a solid set up at the plate with an even stance and a short toe tap approach with slight tilt in the bat path. Showed a pull side approach with strength in the hands.Strong lower half in the swing. Defensively he turned in steady pop times in the 2.0’s with big time accuracy (best of the day). Simple, athletic actions with nice carry on the throws and flexible hips. Nice block and recovery skills on balls in the dirt.  

Caleb Campbell (2022, C/3B, Brooks) 5’8 160 lbs.- Even stance at the plate with a leg kick approach that resulted in some power off of bat. Did a nice job getting the hands back and showed the ability to handle both sides of the plate and use the whole field. Showed nice extension through the ball at contact. Athletic, low  set up behind the plate with. Did a nice job with a short jab step with the left foot as the mitt met the ball. The transfer is quick and the feet showed athleticism. Solid skill set for theis ‘22.

John Allen Blaxton (2020, C/OF, Austin) 5’7 160 lbs.- Nice athlete that ran a 7.10 60 yard dash in the morning. At the plate, he was very slightly open and showed a very short, compact swing and did a nice job of slotting the back elbow as part of the swing. Simple, short swing with a consistent middle of the field approach. Defensively, the transfer was quick with short arm action and the throw stayed on line. Solid fundamentals on balls in the dirt and and a quick recovery to make throws to the bag.

Kaden Edwards (2021, RHP/C, Lawrence County) 6’0 165 lbs.- Slightly open stance from the right side and he showed a nice job of getting his weight back to launch the swing. Showed the ability to stay inside the ball and worked the RCF gap well with some tit in the bat path. Solid actions behind the plate and did a nice job of recovering blocked balls in the dirt. The arm strength will increase as he fills out. Hip flexibility is nice and the actions are solid. Long, lean build from this ‘21 grad.

Drew Gates (2021, C/OF, Priceville) 5’11 155 lbs.- ‘21 catcher that has shown nice gains since we last saw him and has started to fill out physically. Has a wide, even stance at the plate and really gets his hands back in a timely matter to begin the swing. The swing finishes high with some tilt in the path showing some pull side pop. Behind the plate, the actions are solid and throws stayed on plane to the bag with a quick transfer. The arm strength has shown improvement and will continue as he physically matures but the fundamentals are there. Solid player.

Randael Kelley (2021, C/1B, East Limestone) 5’10 160 lbs.- Has the bat sitting low in the stance and the weight is set back. Toe tap approach with the front side creates some pop to the pul side and did a nice job keeping the barrel through the hitting zone. The back elbow stated slotted. Very impressed with the quick transfer, showing the ability to get rid of the ball quickly. Throws were on target and the ball stayed on line to the bag. The arm strength should improve as he continues to mature physically but showed solid fundamentals.

Brent Honaker (2022, C/1B, Oxford) 6’0 180 lbs.- Physical 2022 grad that did some nice things at the event. As a switch hitter, showed the same event feet setup from both sides of the plate and was more gap to gap from the left side and seemed to have more pop from the right side. Really liked the barrel staying in the zone and the slight tilt in the swing path. Defensively, he set up athletically and had a super quick transfer. Could keep the arm slot up a bit but don’t think the arm strength will be an issue as he matures over the next few years. Knees replace the feet well on balls in the dirt and showed quick recovery skills.

Will Shotts (2022, C/RHP, Hamilton) 5’11 215 lbs.- Narrow, even stance at the plate with a short approach with the hands and barrel that consistently showed a middle to oppo approach off the bat. Sets fairly high in his stance and did a nice job keeping his momentum moving through his throws to 2B. As a young ‘22 grad, he should see improvement in the arm strength over time. Solid fundamental actions that should progress in years to come.

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