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Aurora Preseason ID: Catcher Analysis


By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Feb. 5, the PBR Illinois staff hosted its first Preseason ID event of the winter, the Aurora Preseason ID at the Sports Zone dome in Aurora, Ill. This open event featured players from the 2022 through 2025 high school grad classes, providing our staff with an ample opportunity to learn more about the area’s baseball talent.

In the week that followed this event, we produced post-event analysis that includes performance highlights inside of our Quick Hits story, a look at the traditional stats measured within our Statistical Analysis piece, batted-ball and pitch data compiled in TrackMan Files, swing metrics captured on the Blast Motion Board, and sight scores from an athletic perspective tracked on the Vizual Edge Scoreboard.

You can learn more about the state-of-the-art technologies featured at our showcases within the hyperlinks above. For now, however, we’ll begin to conclude our analysis of this event by publishing the scouting reports on each of the players who attended the Aurora ID, beginning with the day’s catchers.

TOP CATCHer PROSPECTS

1. Cooper Gillette, Harlem (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-9, 190-pounds. Strength in lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Sets up with feet shoulder width apart. Gradually sinks into pre-loaded back hip. Front hip coil creates tension in the lower body. Strong, compact swing, loose hands and easy effort. Bat speed with pull-side lifted tendencies.
Power: 92.1 max exit velocity, averaged 83.2 mph. 340’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.18 - 2.45 pop times. Agile. Presents pitches in and around the zone. Blocks out front. Feet work in line with second base bag.
Run: 7.88 runner in the 60. 

2. Nick Mardis, Bloomington Central Catholic (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 6-1, 205-pounds. Strong, physical frame. Broad Shoulders.
Hit: RHH. Open, balanced stance. Minimal load. Quick leg lift/stride to even.  Strength throughout the swing. Quick hands. Bat speed. Consistently on the barrel. Stays behind the baseball. Leverages body well.
Power: 97.3 max exit velocity, averaged 91.3 mph. 348’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.14 - 2.26 pop times. Receptive hands. Clean exchange.
Run: 7.54 runner in the 60. 

3. Eric Lewis, Oswego East (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-8, 145-pounds. Lean build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced. Wide base. Smooth load into back hip. Short stride. Short, level swing. Uses the middle of the field.
Power: 88 max exit velocity, averaged 83.2 mph. 305’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.12 - 2.15 pop times. Feet work in line. Works to present pitches in and around the zone.
Run: 8.00 runner in the 60. 

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Adam Ceres, Yorkville (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-1, 175-pounds. Long-limbed. Lean build. Round shoulders.
Hit: RHH. Bat starts vertical with hands held close to the body. Loads into back hip. Small leg lift. Swings from the shoulders. Long bat path that works uphill. Looks to lift. Center/right-center field approach.
Power: 83.6 max exit velocity, averaged 78.1 mph. 290’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. INF - 62 mph. Catcher: Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot. Infield: Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.37 - 2.51 pop times. Catcher: Quiet receiver. Steady hands. Clean exchange. Infield: Sure hands. Watches the ball into the glove.
Run: 8.59 runner in the 60. 

Wade Davis, Oswego East (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-11, 165-pounds. Well-proportioned frame. Round Shoulders.
Hit: RHH. Closed stance with wide base. Rhythmic load, toe-tap timing mechanism. Keeps head still. Hits the ball where it is pitched. Uses the whole field. Short, level swing.
Power: 84.5 max exit velocity, averaged 78.9 mph. 296’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. OF - 76 mph. Catcher: Short, quick arm action. Over-the-top arm slot. Outfield: Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot.
Defense: 2.17 - 2.33 pop times. Catcher: Blocks the ball out front. Feet work in line with second base bag. Outfield: Quick feet and lateral movements. Good first step.
Run: 7.63 runner in the 60. 

Ivann Herrera, Plainfield South (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-6, 165-pounds. Short, compact frame.
Hit: RHH. Sets up off the plate. Closed. Balanced throughout. Short stride. Swings around the ball. Long path to the baseball. Pull-side tendency.
Power: 78.7 max exit velocity, averaged 73.4 mph. 246’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot. Flashed accuracy on throws.
Defense: 2.25 - 2.33 pop times. Steady hands. Feet work in line with the second base bag.
Run: 8.23 runner in the 60. 

Derek Kubek, Oswego East (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-10, 155-pounds. Sloped shoulders. Small, thin frame.
Hit: LHH. Crouched with feet shoulder width apart. Bat held vertically. Minimal load into back hip. Short stride. Compact, level swing. Pull-side tendency. Line drive type hitter.
Power: 80.6 max exit velocity, averaged 76.7 mph. 252’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 66 mph. INF - 67 mph. Catcher: Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot. Infield: Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.50 - 2.57 pop times. Catcher: Soft hands. Infield: Loose and relaxed. Ability to use backhand.
Run: 8.06 runner in the 60. 

Connor Mannis, Oswego East  (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-11, 170-pounds. High-waisted. Lean, muscular build.
Hit: RHH. Athletic look. Smooth load.  Hip drive, leverages lower half well. Strong swing, looks to lift. Pull-side tendency.
Power: 85.4 max exit velocity, averaged 77 mph. 286’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot. Flashed accuracy.
Defense: 2.33 - 2.51 pop times. Clean Exchange.
Run: 8.05 runner in the 60. 

Christian Martyn, Oswego East (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 5-11, 155-pounds. Athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Up on the plate. Quiet in the box. Knee-knock stride. Balanced throughout. Drops back shoulder. Works uphill. Pull-side approach.
Power: 85 max exit velocity, averaged 78.7 mph. 274’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot. Consistently around the second base bag.
Defense: 2.26 - 2.45 pop times. Athletic receiver. Quick release.
Run: 7.61 runner in the 60. 

Carter Rapp, Oswego East (IL), 2025
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-9, 145-pounds. Room to grow. High-waisted. Long-limbed.
Hit: LHH. Upright, open setup. Minimal pre-pitch load. Arm bar. Level swing. Uses the middle of the field.
Power: 81.1 max exit velocity, averaged 73.5 mph. 240’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 63 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.50 - 2.71 pop times. Long to release. Consistently around the second base bag.
Run: 8.50 runner in the 60. 

Jude Ruddy, Marmion Academy (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-6, 135-pounds. Short, lean frame. Developed lower-half.
Hit: RHH. Crouched down at the plate. Knee-knock stride. Smooth load into back hip. Balanced. Rolls top hands at times. Pull-side tendency.
Power: 78.9 max exit velocity, averaged 66 mph. 172’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. Compact arm action, over-the-top arm slot. Flashed accuracy.
Defense: 2.12 - 2.25 pop times. Receptive hands. Athletic position.
Run: 7.42 runner in the 60. 

Jess Seaton, Aurora Central Catholic (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-6, 145-pounds. Small, compact frame. Sloped shoulders.
Hit: RHH. Sets up back in the box. Crouched down at the plate with a wide, closed base. Short, quick stride. Chops down at the baseball. Aggressive, gap to gap approach.
Power: 78.4 max exit velocity, averaged 64.3 mph. 243’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.44 - 2.57 pop times. Flashed accuracy on throws. Presents pitches in and around the zone. Steady hands.
Run: 8.25 runner in the 60. 

Jake Tyler, Riverside-Brookfield (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-11, 145-pounds. Plenty of room for continued physical development.
Hit: RHH. Relaxed. Knee-knock stride. Smooth Rhythmic load. Center/right-center field approach. Compact, level swing.
Power: 81.9 max exit velocity, averaged 68.1 mph. 217’ max distance.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. OF - 77 mph. Catcher: Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot. Infield: Short arm action, high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.17  2.33 pop times. Quiet receiver. Soft block.
Run: 7.71 runner in the 60. 

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