Prep Baseball Report

GBG Arizona Scout Day: Catching Analysis

Jordon Banfield
Arizona Scouting Director

The GBG Arizona PBR Scout Day took place on Sunday, January 7th at Liberty HS in Peoria. The event featured prospects from the 2019-2022 classes and gave all players in the organization an opportunity to be evaluated by PBR and considered for future invite-only events. Today, we continue our positional analysis with the catchers. 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. 

2021 prospects Tanner Smith and Alex Hernandez are actually quite similar and were in a tight race for the top spot on this list. Smith is the more polished prospect with a more mature approach in the box and quicker transfer behind the plate earning him top honors over Hernandez who possesses more arm strength and physical projection. 2022 Andrew Villalobos was easily the top defender in attendance, despite his 5-foot-5 frame and 2021 Michael Riley showed the same arm strength that makes him an intriguing young prospect on the mound.

Top Catching Prospects

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

5-foot-11, 180-pound frame. Quiet, mature approach in the box. Elevated the baseball with authority to all fields in BP. Creates some lag with the barrel. Impressive 88 mph exit velocity for freshman prospect. Worked out in the outfield, infield and behind the plate. Profiles best at catcher or first base with present combo of athleticism/arm strength. Posted 77 mph infield velo and 78 from the outfield. Used quick transfer to turn in best pop time of 2.11 with 69 mph velocity.




Alex Hernandez C / RHP / Hamilton, AZ / 2021

5-foot-11, 160-pound frame. Hernandez took one of the better rounds of BP at the event, showing impressive raw power for a freshman prospect. Loads his hands very deep, creating a near arm bar, before transferring weight out over his front side in swing. The ball flies off his bat, big power potential. Showed solid arm strength behind the plate with a catcher velo of 72 mph and best pop of 2.18. Arm strength is there to be a solid thrower, can work to clean up footwork and transfer. Also pitched; running his fastball up to 77 mph with very little effort and a clean arm action. Mixed in 65-67 mph breaking ball with 10-4 shape. 




Andrew Villalobos C / 3B / N/A, AZ / 2022

5-foot-5, 150-pound frame. Clearly the top catch and throw guy in attendance, posting a best pop time of 2.00 and consistently putting the ball on the bag. Shows strong footwork, a quick transfer and short arm action to turn in extremely impressive times for a 2022 catcher. An advanced receiver, Villalobos also showed well on the infield with solid action and 77 mph velo across the diamond. Gets out over front side with his swing, driving aggressively off his back side to make plenty of hard contact to the pull side. Looking to lift; 82 mph exit velocity. Posted 7.57 60-yard dash. A very polished young prospect.




Michael Riley C / 3B / Pinnacle, AZ / 2021

6-foot-1, 205-pound frame. Two-way prospect showed best on the mound where he ran his mostly straight fastball up to 80 mph, sitting 76-77. Tilts shoulders to create some downhill plane and shows short, clean arm action. 65 mph breaking ball showed consistent rotation and varied between 10-4 and 11-5 shape. Also commanded straight changeup in zone with 70-72 mph velo. Offensively does a good job creating separation and uncoiling body in efficient fashion, producing solid 88 mph exit velo for freshman prospect. Shows solid infield actions, closing himself off to throw 77 mph across the diamond. Also worked out at catcher where his arm work well with 74 mph velocity and 2.16 best pop time. Present athleticism makes his ceiling higher on the mound.




Bodie Croninger-Click, Ironwood HS, 2021

Gavin Person, Mountain View HS, 2022