2021 Games: Catching Analysis


Jordon Banfield
Arizona Scouting Director

The Invite-Only 2021 Games took place on Wednesday, June 6th at Hi Corbett Field, home of the Arizona Wildcats. The event featured many of the state's top outgoing freshman and gave players an opportunity to earn an invitation to play for Team Arizona in our premier national event, the PBR Future Games. Today, we continue the event coverage with our Catching Analysis. This list was extremely hard to cut down to a top five with as many as eight or nine worthy prospects. Ryan Campos tops the list after and absolute standout showing that will have him in the running for our top overall prospect at the event. He is followed by Tanner Smith who showed the best we've seen him on defense, Zach Kress who's a polished defender and the very projectable Steven Stewart. The fifth spot was a very close race with Andrew Stucky winning out over Michael Riley and Cade Westerlund, who both look to have higher ceilings on the mound. Check out the full top five below.

Complete video, data, pictures and scouting reports have been posted to players' individual profiles. As always contact [email protected] or direct message @PBRArizona on Twitter with any questions and/or information. The next opportunity for players from the 2020-2022 classes to attend a PBR event in AZ will be 10/14 at Brazell Field, home of the Grand Canyon Antelopes. The event is open for registration at this LINK.

TOP Catching PROSPECTS:

Ryan Campos C / OF / Red Mountain, AZ / 2021

C Ryan Campos played mostly in the outfield this spring at Red Mountain, but absolutely cemented his spot as one of the top 2021 grads in AZ with his performance at this event. Despite his diminutive 5-foot-7, 160-pound frame, there's nothing quiet about Campos' tools. He started off the day by turning in a 6.97 60-yard dash, 89 mph exit velocity and a 1.87 best pop time with 75 mph velocity from the crouch. Campos capped that off by taking one of the better rounds of BP, showing real bat speed and on-plane path from the left side. Play the game fast and may be the top 2021 player in AZ at this time, without the same physical projection as a couple of guys ranked above him.

 

Tanner Smith C / 3B / Basha, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 180 pound frame. Broad shoulders, strong lower half. Wide base with very short stride. Hands and back elbow rock back creating separation. Barrel takes an efficient path to the baseball. Looking to get extended and lift the baseball. Lead arm works up as posture begins to tilt backwards into contact; 86 mph exit velocity. Smith has always been able to hit, but there was some question whether or not he would be able to stick behind the plate. He appears to be making a jump in that regard, turning in a significantly improved 1.98 best pop time with 72 mph velocity from the crouch.Also turned in a 7.58 60-yard dash. 

 

Zach Kress C / 2B / Corona Del Sol, AZ / 2021

Kress has finally started add some mass to his 5-foot-11, 145-pound frame. Hits from a slightly open, balanced set up. High back elbow and some bat wrap during load. Shows enough hand-eye to be a factor on offense down the line; 71 mph exit velocity. Would likely be better served by a more line drive swing plane. Kress continues to show he's one of the top defensive catchers anywhere with a best pop time of 1.91 and elite flexibility and receiving ability behind the plate; 74 catcher velocity. Also ran a 7.46 60-yard dash. Added strength and mass will continue to help his overall game. 

 

Steven Stewart C / RHP / Ironwood, AZ / 2021

6-foot, 135-pounds. Highly projectable frame. Interesting skill set as a two-way player. Switch hitting catcher with his left handed swing being much more advanced. Generates loft with bat speed. Right handed swing had a flatter swing path and less bat speed; 75 mph exit velocity. Intriguing skill set behind the plate. Showed quick feet and transfer posting pop times ranging from 2.06 - 2.13 with a 73 mph catcher velocity. Good mobility. Also ran a 7.48 60-yard dash. On the mound Stewart showed very repeatable, clean mechanics running his fastball up to 80 mph. Dynamic lower half, back leg does a good job creating ground reaction forces, hips get fully through as upper half remains closed. Short, clean arm action. Solid forward trunk tilt at release. Featured two breaking balls, a curveball and a slider. Curveball worked 62-64 mph with 11/5 shape and gradual break. Slider was a bit harder at 66-67 mph with shorter two plane break. Change up was thrown at 70-73 mph that flashed solid sinking action. 

 

Andrew Stucky C / 3B / Canyon Del Oro, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 175-pound frame. Broad shoulders, thick lower half. At the plate Stucky loads weight onto back side before aggressively transferring to front leg during stride. Downhill swing path, looking to get extended at contact, high one handed finish; 77 mph exit velocity. Behind the plate Stucky looked comfortable moving and receiving. Pop times ranged from 2.10 - 2.23. Gains considerable gain towards second on throws. Clean exchange and arm action; 73 mph catcher velocity. Also ran a 7.52 60-yard dash.