Prep Baseball Report

Sept. 29 Deep South Invite Scout Analysis: Catchers

PBR Alabama Staff

Sept. 29 Deep South Invite Scout Analysis: Catchers

There were seven catchers from the Yellowhammer state that showed up at Auburn University to participate in the Deep South Invite. All of the catchers present were young as they ranged from the 2021 to the 2023 classes. Even so, it was an impressive group that went through the morning workout and played in a game in the afternoon. Let's look at those catchers.

Ryan Revera (2022, C/OF, Bob Jones) Narrow stance at the plate with a quick toe tap approach makes for a short approach with the barrel to the hitting zone. Has some pop off of the barrel and does a nice job of creating backspin from a slightly tilted swing plane. Was middle of the field heavy during BP. Catch and throw skills behind the plate are very solid which culminated in an Alabama event best pop time of 2.0. Moves extremely well behind the plate and handles the pitch down in the zone very well. Like the look of this ‘22 catcher. 

Alex Johnson (2022, C/1B, Albertville) Our first time seeing Johnson after hearing about him through various sources. Good looking physical backstop that has some definite strength in the hands at the plate. Open stance with the feet and he shows a nice slow load of the hands. The swing plane has some tilt in it and he showed a mostly gap to gap approach during BP with plenty of juice to both gaps. There is some violence in the swing from a very simple approach. Nice catch and throw guy behind the plate as well. Very quick transfer and throws were on the bag as low as 2.01. Blocking skills are plus. One of several young impressive catchers at the event. 

Lawson Stricklin (2022, C/3B, Decatur) Another good looking ‘22 catcher in the state that we have seen several times but this was his most impressive showing. Does a nice job using his strong lower half in his swing as he starts from an open stance. Nice load of the hands to the launch position and showed a much better gap to gap approach at this event. Has some present strength now and some tilt in his bat path. The offensive approach has improved. Very solid defensively and is a very nice catch and throw backstop.  Athletic movements behind the plate and does a nice job extending the plate. Shows very nice block and recovery skills on balls in the dirt. Love the demeanor as he simply just goes about his business on the field. 

Brooks Bryan (2022, C/OF, Opelika) Big time LH bat that has serious strength in the hands. Slightly open stance but has a very simple approach with no problems creating juice to all fields. Does a nice job keeping the barrel through the hitting zone and shows some definite lift in the swing plan. Really liked that he showed the ability to drive balls to the oppo gap. Definite top hand strength. Behind the plate, his throws were as accurate as any catcher present with fluid actions on the transfer. Pop times were as low as 2.06. Another big time catcher in the state ‘22 class. 

Jabe Boroff (2023, C/SS, Macon East) One of two ‘23 catchers at the event. Slightly open crouched stance at the plate with the hands set high in the stance. Simple toe tap approach allows him to get “timed up” up with the swing. Did a nice job keeping the barrel in the zone and stayed on balls very well. Showed a pull side approach with some pop to that side. Defensively, he showed a very athletic set up and a nice transfer with nice flexibility in the hips. Moved very well behind the plate and throws to the 2B bag were accurate and the arm strength will continue to improve as he matures physically. Solid fundamental skills. 

Drake Rainey (2021, C/OF, Hokes Bluff) A solid day for this ‘21 grad. Well balanced swing from a slightly open stance and showed some pull side power with definite backspin off of the bat. Very quick getting his front foot down to “trigger” the swing. Did a nice job of keeping hands and barrel inside the ball on the swing. Really finished high with the swing. There is some quick twitch in the hands and present strength. Defensively he showed very solid actions behind the dish with a very low setup which allowed him to handle pitches down in the zone during gameplay. Throws to the bag were accurate and stayed on line. The arm strength will improve and will couple with the solid fundamentals he now possesses. 

Cooper Phillips (2023, C/OF, West Limestone) Physical (5’11 190 lbs.) 2023 catching prospect that has shown a very loud barrel each time we have seen him. Starts from an upright stance and the feet are set slightly open as he shows a nice slow load of the hands and does a nice job with the top hand, keeping the barrel through the zone a long time. Showed power to both gaps from a balanced, well synched swing. Defensively, throws to the 2B were on line and accurate and during game play he did a nice job of handling pitchers and moved very well behind the dish. Also showed very well on blocking balls in the dirt. This is a 2023 that already shows some strength.

Check back tomorrow as we take a look at the Alabama pitchers that showed up to pitch only at the event. 

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