Preseason All-State Analysis: Catchers

Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

On Jan. 11, the PBR Georgia staff hosted its inaugural Preseason All-State at Rountree Recreation Hiram, GA. The event featured nearly 50 of the state's top prospects in the class of 2020 an 2021, a mix of committed and uncommitted players. Today, we’ll be spending some time highlighting the best things we saw from Sunday in the form of our Quick Hits post.

We already took a look at the top statistical performers with leaderboards and full stats on every prospect in attendance in our Statistical Analysis. Following the stats analysis, we provided our instant thoughts and reactions from the event in the form of a Quick Hits story. Today, we begin our complete analysis of the event with reports on all six catchers in attendance.

2020 backstops Cole Stanford (Harris County; Gordon State) and Brandon Lawrence (Redan; Polk State) separated themselves from the rest of the pack for their superior defensive abilities. Both catchers posted an event-best 2.00 pop times, although Stanford showed more feel on his throws, earning himself honors as the top catching prospect. Lawrence made up for that with a superb round of batting practice, showing present power at the plate. 

Cole Stanford C / OF / Harris County , GA / 2020

Gordon State commit. 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher, athletically built with strength throughout frame, plenty of room to make additional gains, ran a 6.90 laser-timed 60. Impressed as one of the top defensive performers on the day. Arm action is short and quick coming out of an unorthodox ¾ slot, however he knows how to play the run on his ball and make accurate throws, 78 mph out of the crouch. Actions are clean and fluid, consistent and smooth footwork, gets out of the crouch quickly, soft glove-hand while receiving, pop times ranged 2.00-2.12. Offensively, has a simple, quiet setup, open stance, hands start low and load back with some barrel wrap, short stride to a balanced position, little pre-pitch movement. Swing works with little effort in an uphill path through the zone, squared the ball back up the middle consistently, 90 exit velocity.

Brandon Lawrence C / 3B / Redan, GA / 2020

Polk State commit. 5-foot-11, 187-pound right-handed hitting catcher, physical frame with strength in all areas, especially in his lower half. Offensively, had one of the loudest rounds of batting practice. Open setup, good rhythm in his hands as he loads back, leg kick timing trigger, gets to a balanced position. Swings with aggressive intent and advanced bat speed, gets into his strong lower half as he drives the ball middle/pull, profiles as a present power hitter, 98 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, arm works short and over-the-top, with quick arm speed, struggled with release point one-hopping the ball into second base, 76 mph out of the crouch. Displayed fluid footwork and a quick transfer, almost too quick as upper half routinely was ahead of lower half affecting his throws, competent receiver, uses large frame well to block and keep the ball directly in front, pop times ranged 2.00-2.04. Ran a 7.65 laser-timed 60.

Ethan Booth C / 3B / Eastside, GA / 2021

Uncommitted. 6-foot, 190-pound right-handed hitting catcher, wide-shoulders, strong build. Offensively, balanced, wide setup, high hands separate and load back smoothly, short stride, uses his lower half well. Swing works long to the zone with quick bat speed, smooth hands through contact, gains extension through the zone creating leverage, barrel path is uphill, drives the ball gap-to-gap, 93 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, arm works short to a high ¾ slot, 77 mph out of the crouch. Is fluid with his footwork, at-times transfer can get a bit long, quickness in rest of actions makes up for time lost, strong receiver, knows how to stick pitches around the zone, pop times ranged 2.07-2.19. Ran a 7.57 laser-timed 60.

Kevin Rios C / RHP / Redan, GA / 2020

Talladega College commit. 6-foot, 185-pound right-handed hitting catcher, strong build, strength in lower half. Offensively, balanced setup, mostly relaxed pre-pitch, some rhythm in hands, keeps things simple, loads hands back and takes a short stride. Swing path is short and direct to the zone, barrel works mostly level through the zone, consistently generated line drive contact back up the middle, 88 exit velocity off a tee. Would benefit from lengthening his stride and swing out, creating more power in his swing given how strong his lower half is. Defensively, showed traditional catcher’s arm action, short and over-the-top, 75 mph out of the crouch. Clean and fluid with his footwork and transfers, has a soft glove-hand, does routinely break his receiving arm instead of sticking the pitch, pop times ranged 2.03-2.08. Ran a 7.63 laser-timed 60.

Nathan Salyer OF / C / North Gwinnett , GA / 2021

Uncommitted. 6-foot-5, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder and catcher, long, lanky frame, ran a 7.10 laser-timed 60. Defensively, from the outfield, arm works long and with some whip through an over-the-top window, kept throws on-line, shortens things up behind the dish, 79 from the outfield, 71 out of the crouch. In the outfield, keeps the ball in front, fielding out in front of his body, clean on his transfers. As a catcher, showed short transfers, some length in his footwork, keeps things fluid though, pop times ranged 2.29-2.47. Offensively, open setup, hands load back, short stride, hits off his back-side, finishing with upper half tiled over the plate. Takes a line drive approach at the plate, worked mostly the opposite field, squared some back up the middle, some drag through the zone.

Dylan Clark C / RHP / Gainesville , GA / 2021

Uncommitted. 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-handed hitting catcher, wide, large frame, has been battling through some arm difficulties. Offensively, wide, balanced setup, high hands load back into an armbar, balanced at contact, finishes on back-side. Flick wrists through contact, easy effort, create line drive contact, 81 exit velocity. Defensively, traditional catcher’s arm action, short and over-the-top, arm is recovering thus the velocity is not quite there, 65 mph out of the crouch. Short on transfers, gets glove right up to his ear before making transfer, pop times ranged 2.50-2.60.

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