Prep Baseball Report

Sept. 8 All State Games Scout Analysis: Catchers

All State Games Positional Analysis: Catchers

The state of Alabama has produced numerous quality catchers over the last few years that have gone on to successful collegiate and professional careers. It appears as that trend will continue over the next few years, including some impressive performers at the All State Games. Let's take a look at the nine catchers that attended the event. 

Owen Roberson (2021, C, Wilson) ‘21 C that has added some strength and size to his frame since we saw him last. Showed very solid catch and throw skills behind the plate and was 1.91 to 2.03 to the bag at 2B. Showed nice flexibility in the hips and a quick transfer behind the plate. Slightly open toe tap approach at the plate with a flat barrel path through the zone. Did a nice job keeping the barrel through the zone with some pop to the pull side gap. Had two hits in game play, including a 2B.

Michael Pfeiffer (2022, RHP/C, Huntsville) On the mound, this ‘22 grad showed a nice arm action from a high ¾ delivery. Worked downhill with the FB that was 77-78 mph and bumped 79 mph several times. The FB was down in the zone and showed some cut. The breaking ball showed really nice tight spin and can be a swing and miss pitch at 65-66 mph. Mechanics are clean. Sightly open simple lower half at the plate and did a nice job being on time with the barrel. The approach is definite gap to gap with slight tilt in the swing plane. Actions behind the plate are clean and did a nice job handing pitchers in the game, as well as extending the plate for the pitchers he caught.  Interesting ‘22 C that was 2.01- 2.06 to the 2B bag. 

Grant Jay (2022, C/1B, Mobile Christian) Physical ‘22 that looks the part and plays the part. Very strong core strength which allows him to stay balanced offensively. Has a very simple, compact approach and showed juice to all fields. No wasted action in the swing. Slightly open stance with a simple setup and there is some definite launch in the swing path. Had two of the loudest AB’s in the game with two hits, including a 2 RBI 3B that was crushed. Defensively, the pop times were low 2.0’s and throws to the 2B were accurate from a very quick transfer. Handled pitches in the dirt very well and showed quick recovery. A ton to like in this ‘22 grad.  

Lawson Stricklin (2022, C/3B, Decatur) Another impressive ‘22 catching prospect that shows well each time we see him. Arm strength behind the plate is legit and throws were on the bag. Moved very well laterally on balls to his left and right and showed quick recovery on blocked balls. Nice flexibility in the hips and handled pitchers very well in the game. The barrel was loud during BP and he really created backspin off the bat causing the ball to really take off, showing gap to gap power. The swing has some tilt in it and he did a nice job using his lower half. Nice make up on this catcher.

Charlie Cochran (2022, C/1B, Florence) Slightly open stance at the plate with the bat on the shoulder to begin. Really has a short, compact approach and does a nice job using his strong lower half. The bat speed is there and he does a nice job staying through contact with the barrel. Defensively the transfer is very quick and the fundamentals of the throw are very solid. The arm strength will continue to progress. With added arm strength, he could very easily be a sub 2.0 guy to 2B. The athleticism is evident behind the plate as he showed quick feet and the ability to move laterally on balls in the dirt. ‘22 grad that really gets after it on the field. 

Luke Fondren (2021, C/1B, St. Clair County) Strong, physical backstop that showed a definite middle/oppo approach during BP. Stayed on some balls very well and drove balls to the back side gap. Really open stance with nice rhythm in the hands with slight tilt in the bat path. Consistent line drives during BP. Defensively, the set up is solid and the transfer is very quick with solid footwork. Throws to the 2B bag were accurate and the pop times (2.11- 2.14) were consistent and will only get better with increased arm strength. The fundamentals are already there. 

Cole Brooks (2021, C, James Clemens) Offensively, Brooks showed some power to the pull side with slight tilt in the bat path. The stance started even with the feet and he did a nice job of getting the hands to the launch position of the swing. Simple swing with no wasted action and a middle of the field approach that consistently produced line drives during BP. Nice bat speed with some strength in the hands. Defensively, did a very nice job on balls in the dirt and was quick to recover. The actions are athletic behind the plate and there is some quickness in the feet and flexibility in the hips. Has some feel for the position and did a nice job extending the plate for pitchers during game play.    

Mark Rutherford (2023, C/SS, Northridge) One of the few ‘23 grads at the event but he showed very well. Switch hitting catcher that started with an even stance of the feet and had a definite middle of the field approach from both sides of the plate. Did a nice job forcing the hands and the barrel inside the ball resulting in plus juice to the backside. The offensive approach is very compact. Defensively he shows real nice athleticism and the ability to move laterally very well. The skills behind the plate are fairly advanced for a ‘23. He moved side to side as well as anyone at the event and was solid on balls in the dirt. Was constantly talking to his pitchers and handled them very well. The transfer was very quick and the arm action was quick. The arm strength will only improve as he continues to mature physically. Really like this ‘23.    

Reed Hill (2022, C/RHP, Russellville) Hill had as good of a day during AB’s during game play as anyone. He was 3-3 in Game 1, including an RBI 2B. None of his hits were cheap either, as all were barreled and came off the bat very well. Showed some strength in the hands during BP and was able to hammer balls on the inner half of the plate. Slightly open stance with a simple approach with the front foot. The swing stayed short with some tilt in the swing path. Defensively, he did a nice job of receiving pitches, especially the ball down in the zone. Being a ‘22, he has a solid fundamental approach to the position and the skills will continue to advance as he gets older and physically matures.

Come back next week as we wrap up our scout analysis from the All State Games. We will look at the twenty-five infielders present in Tuscaloosa.  

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