Top Prospect Games: Catcher Analysis


Phil Kerber
Georgia Scouting Director

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On Tuesday, June 2nd, PBR Georgia hosted the second annual Top Prospect Games for uncommitted rising seniors. Approximately 50 prospects from all over the state of Georgia made their way to LakePoint Sports in Emerson, GA.

We begin our positional breakdown with a look at the catchers in attendance. The biggest winner behind the plate was Matthew Strand (North Gwinnett, 2021). The athletically built catcher has a strong build and showcased a strong, easy arm at 79 mph and sub 2.00 pop times to go along with. At the plate, Strand has a simple setup and can drive the ball with force from gap-to-gap, posting a 97 exit velocity off a tee.

Top Catching Prospects

Matthew Strand, C/INF, North Gwinnett, 2021
6-foot, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher and third baseman, athletically built with a strong lower half, displayed smooth actions in everything he did, ran a 6.81 laser-timed 60. High level defender behind the dish, short, quick arm, throws are true and accurate, 79 from the crouch. Quick and clean on transfers and footwork, works on line out of the chute, event best 1.91-1.95 pop times. On the infield, arm works short and loose with quick arm speed, 82 across the infield. Fluid footwork and soft glove, good body control. Defensively is capable to handle either catcher or third base. Offensively, wide setup with weight displaced on back-side, short stride, hands load back smoothly, good balance through finish. Gap-to-gap type hitter, drives the ball with force, mostly level barrel path, 97 exit velocity off a tee.

Jackson Norris, C, The Darlington, 2021
6-foot, 190-pound left-handed hitting catcher, strong, projectable build, athletic frame, ran a 7.25 laser-timed 60. Offensively, balanced setup, smooth rhythm, hands load back fluidly, short stride, good balance throughout. Powerful pull-side swing, whippy barrel speed, looks to elevate the ball and do damage with each swing, aggressive with each swing, 80 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, traditional catcher's actions, short, over-the-top, kept throws on target to the right-side of the bag, 73 out of the crouch. Flexible in the crouch, creates a low target with athletic bend in his knees and ankles, fluid footwork and short on transfers, 2.19-2.25 pop times.

Mattison Lake, C, Alexander, 2021
6-foot-1, 170-pound right-handed hitting catcher, long, lanky frame, lean strength throughout, ran a 7.53 laser-timed 60. Offensively, open setup, weight starts on back leg, hands load back as barrel stays vertical, leg kick timing trigger, finishes on front leg. Gap-to-gap approach, level barrel path through the zone, creates contact out front, 86 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, short arm action out of a high ¾ slot, accurate with throws put them all on target with the majority being low and on the bag, 72 out of the crouch. Sits in the crouch, quick hands on transfer, fluid footwork, 2.01-2.20 pop times.

Connor Ensman, C, Pinecrest, 2021
6-foot, 170-pound frame, right-handed hitting, lean athlete, ran a 7.27 laser-timed 60. Offensively, open setup, high hands drop on the load, short hanging leg stride, good balance through finish. Gap-to-gap type hitter, uphill barrel path through the zone, elevates the ball, 82 exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, short arm action out of a ¾ slot, accurate throws, hit the second baseman in the chest with each, 73 out of the crouch. Good flexibility in hips behind the plate, clean transfers and footwork, pop times ranged 2.13-2.25.

Mahkai Pelzer, C, Chapel Hill, 2021
5-foot-11, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher, strong build, has added a considerable amount to his frame over the last year. Offensively, balanced setup, hands load back, leg lift stride, finishes balanced and tall. Takes a middle/pull approach, can elevate the ball with power to left field, more line drive contact when going back up the middle into the gaps, 81 exit velocity. Ran a 7.94 laser-timed 60. Defensively, short arm action, over-the-top slot, kept throws around second base, 76 from the crouch. Clean on transfers and footwork, gains ground on transfers working towards second, 2.06-2.21 pop times.

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