2016 Underclass Games: Catcher Analysis

By Doug Freeman
Florida Scouting Director 

After breaking down the pitchers, today we continue our position analysis by taking a look at the catchers from the 2016 Underclass Games.

Jackson Miller, C, JW Mitchell HS, FL. (2020)

The 5-foot-10, 165 pound left handed hitting catcher shows above average all around tools. Offensively, a calm and confident approach and big leg kick trigger keeps him on time and balanced throughout his swing. A slightly uphill path, his bat stays in the zone a long time with above average bat speed. A gap-to-gap approach led to consistently line drive and flashes of above average pull side power. Behind the plate, he shows the ability to both receive and block at an above average level, with strong wrist and athleticism. He could improve on the flexibility and setup lower, but that will come with more games caught. Also showed a good transfer and quick feet while staying under control with pop times that ranged from 2.02-2.08. The all around skillset is already above average and he project to have a plus bat and above average catcher which is why he is one of the best 2020s in the state.


Travis Stapleton, C, Real Life Christian Academy, FL. (2020)

The athletic 5-foot-8, 160 pound catcher showed a lot of upside throughout the day. The right handed hitter, from an open stance showed a level line drive swing during batting practice. Quick hands produced above average bat speed, consistently finding the barrel driving the ball from gap-to-gap. Defensively, he showed above average actions both in the workout and the game. With a very quick, clean consistent transfer and above average arm he had pop times ranging from 2.02-2.08 with room to shave that by working on staying in line with his footwork. This also translated to the game, throwing out two runners with strong and accurate throws. He projects to be a plus defensive catcher and above average offensive player. Overall, very intriguing prospect that could be a high end player as he progresses.


Below are the remaining catchers in alphabetical order:

Parker Aultman, C, Graceville HS, FL. (2019)
The 6-foot, 170 pound right handed hitting catcher showed ability to consistently find the barrel during batting practice. He has an early load to begin his swing with a lot of movement in the pre swing trigger. With all of the movement, where he launches from is inconsistent and leads to a long swing at times. When he is on time and stays in rhythm he creates a good path through the zone driving balls into both gaps. Behind the plate he showed carry on his throws and a lot of athleticism in his footwork and actions behind the plate. He could improve on some flexibility and becoming a little softer in his receiving, but his pop times were 2.1-2.15 and the his athleticism lends to a high upside.

Dan Clancy, C/3B, River Ridge HS, FL. (2019)
The 5-foot-9, 162 pound C/3B showed good rhythm with his load and swing. He has a simple swing that consistently hit line drives in batting practice using the whole field. With a small leg kick trigger and a minimal load, he has a short swing that resulted in two solid rounds of batting practice consistently finding the barrel. Defensively, he catches from a good low setup.  With quick, clean transfers and average footwork he showed pop times 2.12-2.15 range. There is potential on both sides of the ball as he continues to grow and get stronger as there are present offensive and defensive tools.

Brendan Herrick, C, Lennard HS, FL. (2019)
The 5-foot-10, 185 pound stocky catcher showed above average all around tools for his class. At the plate, the right handed hitter has an aggressive approach with a leg kick trigger and no load. He creates rhythm in the setup and showed above average bat speed while consistently finding the barrel. Defensively, he has a slightly high set-up but showed good hands with the ability to receive some quality arms with out being beaten on some tough pitches. He also showed a quick transfer and above average arm on his throws to second which ranged from 2.08-2.12. The tools are all there and as he continues to make adjustments in the swing, get better separation, he has a chance for some power at the plate. Behind the plate, he has a feel for the game with the tools to execute, As the body continues to grow and get in better shape, expect him to be an above average all-around catcher.

Aidan Hughes, C/OF, Kathleen HS, FL. (2020)
The 5-foot-10, 155 pound athletic and wiry catcher and right handed hitter hits from a tall slightly open stance. With a small leg kick and no load for his trigger, he creates a steep angle through the zone leading to inconsistent barrel contact. He has quick hands and when the swing was level and on time, drove the ball into the gap. Defensively, he catches from a high setup and is an average receiver. He has good footwork with a slight pause before the release resulting in 2,14-2.2 pop times. He is athletic with a good frame and should continue to improve with more at-bats and games behind the plate.

Aaron Jensen, C/2B, Hillsborough HS, FL. (2018)
The 6-foot, 160 pound left handed hitting catcher hits from a square stance with a medium leg kick trigger. He tended to have some steepness in the swing, having the path be in the zone only briefly in his first round of batting practice. In the second round, he leveled out the swing more and showed the ability to drive the ball to the pull side of the field. He is lanky and projectable, creating leverage in the swing with room to get stronger. Defensively, he showed some arm strength topping out at 73 mph from behind the plate. His footwork drifts him backwards into the right handed batters box which led to pop times in the 2.19-2.25 range. As he learns to stay in line he should see those times go down.

Patrick Sanders, C, Largo HS, FL. (2018)
The 6-foot, 185 pound catcher is a physically strong looking player. He showed gap to gap power with his swing in batting practice. With a simple set-up, he showed a quick bat through the zone. He still doesn’t get much use out of his lower half, but still generated an exit velocity of 77 mph. Defensively, he showed a high set-up behind the plate. He showed good footwork on his throws down to second with pop times ranging from 2.06-2.15 that could shave some time with an improved transfer. He is strong and as he continues to play he should be able to clean up some of the inconsistencies to have the ability to play at the next level.

Ajay Vander Werf, C/OF, Jesuit HS, FL. (2020)
The 5-foot-9, 145 pound C/OF hits from the right hand side with a simple setup. He showed a slightly uphill swing and a consistent swing. He clears his hips well and has an aggressive swing which led to an exit velocity of 78 mph. As he continues to grow and get stronger he should develop into a hitter with gap-to-gap power. Defensively, from behind the plate he showed good footwork with an average arm and pop times ranging from 2.44-2.5. He showed some athleticism and will continue to improve as he plays more games and gets stronger.

Colton  Vincent, C, Palmetto HS, FL. (2018)
The 6-foot, 165 pound right handed hitting catcher shows a balanced swing with good use from the lower half. He has a slightly uphill path and generates bat speed showing pull side power in batting practice. This also translated to the game with a line drive base hit to center field during the game and an exit velocity of 85 mph. Defensively, the catcher he has a good setup and soft hands receiving. He also showed a clean and quick transfer with pop times ranging from 2.06-2.11. He is projectable both offensively and defensively which will make him a follow going forward.

Channing Young, C/RHP, Palm Harbor University HS, FL. (2019)
The 6-foot-2, 240 pound right handed pitcher had a simple and smooth delivery on the mound. He throws with an easy over the top arm action and his fastball ranged from 75-76 mph with his breaking ball at 66 mph.  He through a lot of strikes, but will need to improve his velocity and off speed movement to compete at the next level. Offensively, the right handed hitter generates bate speed and is a big strong kid. He could generate some more power by using the lower half more and leveling out the steepness in the swing. He generated an exit velocity of 81 mph. Defensively, he showed accurate throw with an average arm, topping at 72 mph from behind the plate. His pop times ranged from 2.1.9-2.27 that could improve with improved footwork and quicker transfer.