SoCal ProCase Spotlight: C Blake Penso


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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FULLERTON, CA. - Currently ranked 76th overall in his class, it’s easy to think that Blake Penso would have greatly improved not only his ranking, but his status in the eyes of college coaches and pro scouts, with a full season given the hot start he was off to at the plate. The SoCal ProCase provided Penso the opportunity to make up for lost times and with 67 representatives from 22 MLB Organizations in attendance, Penso certainly looked to make the most of that opportunity.

At the 2018 SoCal Underclass Games Blake Penso was a 6-foot-2, 190-pound rising sophomore that was a tick raw and a little cumbersome behind the plate. Fast forward to the 2020 SoCal ProCase and Blake Penso is now a 6-foot-3, 210-pound athletic, strong, and flexible catcher who is putting that added strength to work for him on the baseball field where the uncommitted catcher undoubtedly has the tools to play beyond high school.

Penso has many projectable tools to his game both at the plate and behind it. His improved athleticism and fitness have helped his game behind the plate where his movements are quicker and more fluid. He showed a strong, accurate arm with pop times in the 2.01-2.13 range. His power at the plate combines with above average hand speed (25.6 mph) resulting in loud at-bats. The type of at-bats that catch your attention.

For example, his Blast Motion Rotation score of 76 was well above the ProCase average. The score is an indicator of how quickly the bat accelerates into the swing plane. The quicker the bat, the more power it generate, and provides more time to adjust to pitches.

As with every player in attendance, the SoCal ProCase was an opportunity to showcase their wares in front of the scouts that will be watching, or not, over the next year. Blake Penso made the most of his opportunity.

THE REPORT:

Body: 6-foot-3, 210-pounds. Sturdy catchers frame with thickness in the lower half and strength throughout. Lean 210-pounds. Has room to continue to add strength.

Hit: Present gap power from a middle-middle approach. Simple, upright setup using a slight leg lift trigger to initiate swing. Drops hands into slot as foot touches down. Barrel gets to-and-through the zone quickly.

Power: Averaged 93.5 mph exit speed and 26.8 degree launch angle while peaking at a 99 mph exit velocity. Average distance was 310’11” on hits. His consistent exit velo and launch angle readings are good indicators of his power potential. Looks inside and adjusts away looking to drive balls back up the middle.

Field: Pop times 2.01-2.13. Athletic actions across the board; gets out of crouch and into throwing position quickly. Moves well laterally. Reads ball in dirt well. Sets up low before levelling out. Frames pitches adequately often beating the ball to the spot.

Arm: Catcher’s arm velocity of 74 mph. Arm is short and quick from catch to release. Stays low through release with solid throwing mechanics. More arm strength left. Throws were all in the area to make a play with most on the bag.

Run: 7.63 laser-timed 60 yard dash on a grass surface.

Summary: Penso is a present above average but not elite high school catcher presently who has tools that project well for future development. Like many players in his class, Penso's development certainly took a hit after losing his promising junior season to COVID-19. Unlike many players in his class Penso is not close to his cieling which is an exciting consideration. When you put it all together Penso is a promising catcher with present and future power that will play up the levels. While next summer's draft may not be in the cards, giving him ample opportunity to prove himself for the 2024 draft.

 

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