Class of 2018 Showcase: Catcher Analysis



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The annual Class of 2018 Showcase took place on July 20th at The Max in McCook, IL. About 60 uncommitted 2018 prospects from the state of Illinois convened and showcased their ability.  Today we begin the roll out of the analysis from the event, starting with the catchers.

Ryan Hampe from Sandburg HS impressed with his right-handed bat, making consistent hard contact during batting practice. Defensively, he was clocked at 79 mph from the crouch.

Here’s a look at the catcher's at the Class of 2018 Showcase, starting with the top 3 prospects from the event:

TOP CATCHERs

1. Ryan Hampe, C, Sandburg, 2018
6-foot, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a smooth load and short stride. Gap to gap hitter with an uphill path and fast bat. Showed strength thru contact with 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.77. Defensively has a short arm action from an over the top slot. Quick footwork with solid actions behind the plate. Active blocker in bullpens. Popped 2.08-2.12 and threw 79 mph from the crouch.

2. Nick Jones, C, Providence Catholic, 2018
5-foot-10, 230-pound right-handed hitting catcher with a strong, compact frame. At the plate hits from a tall, slightly open stance with a smooth load and leg kick stride. Power hitter with a short path, fluid rhythm, and explosive bat speed. Showed strength thru contact with 93 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.55. Defensively has a short arm action from an over the top arm slot. Quick footwork and release. Popped 2.00-2.07 and threw 73 mph from the crouch.

3. Quentin Wallace, C, Hinsdale Central, 2018
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher with a strong frame. Offensively hits from an open stance with a leg lift stride back to even with rhythm in the hands. Gap to gap hitter with fluid rhythm and looseness in the hands. Short, uphill swing path. 79 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.46. Defensively has a short arm action from an over the top slot. Quick feet, gaining ground towards second base on throws. Quick transfer, accurate throws with carry. Popped 2.03-2.18 and threw 75 mph from the crouch.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Fletcher Brown, C, Evanston, 2018
5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a short leg lift stride, closes off on stride. Gap to gap hitter with a long, uphill swing path. 79 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.30. Defensively has a short arm action from an over the top slot. Quick transfer and footwork behind the plate. Quiet receiver in bullpens. Popped 2.03-2.14 and threw 73 mph from the crouch.

Ben Chapman, C/3B, Rochester, 2018
5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed hitting C/3B. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a short stride and good balance. Gap to gap hitter with a long, uphill swing path. Showed strength thru contact with 85 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.78. Behind the plate has a short arm action from an over the top slot. Gains ground towards second base on throws. Popped 2.11-2.18 and threw 76 mph from the crouch. In the infield has slow actions with a short arm action. Threw 81 mph across the infield.

Daniel Gusel, C, Willowbrook, 2018
6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed hitting catcher with a lanky, athletic frame. At the plate this from a wide base with a weight shift load and short stride. Gap to gap hitter with a long swing path. Showed strength thru contact with 89 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 8.19. Defensively has a short arm action form an over the top arm slot. Flexibility in the lower half, soft hands receiving. Popped 2.26-2.41 and threw 75 mph from the crouch.

Zach Hahn, C, Dundee Crown, 2018
5-foot-9, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher with a wide shouldered frame. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a short, leg lift stride, closes off slightly on stride. Short, uphill swing path works gap to gap. 77 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 8.09. Defensively has a short arm action from a high ¾ slot. Stand and throw with a slower exchange. Blocks well. Popped 2.38-2.47 and threw 66 mph from the crouch.

Bryce Hellgeth, C/RHP/3B, St. Viator, 2018
6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed hitting C/RHP/3B with a strong, athletic frame. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with a leg kick stride. Long, flat swing path with a fast bat. Showed strength thru contact with 94 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.15. Behind the plate has a long arm action from a high ¾ slot. Long takeaway out of the glove with quick footwork. Popped 2.16-2.26 and threw 78 mph from the crouch. Took drills in the infield and threw82 mph across the diamond. On the mound works from a high ¾ arm angle with a long, quick arm action. Tall and fall, online delivery with a square, athletic finish. Fastball sat 80-83 topping out at 84 mph. Curveball has 11-5 shape with late action, can throw it for strikes at 4-69 mph. Changeup has downer action at 66-69 mph.

Kyle Ives, C, Cary Grove, 2018
5-foot-10, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Defensively has a short arm action form a high ¾ arm slot. Quick footwork behind the plate. Popped 2.19-2.26 and threw 72 mph from the crouch. At the plate this from a crouched, spread out stance. Short linear stride with minimal load and lower half involvement. Uphill swing path. 78 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.21.

Freddie March, C, Lake Park, 2018
5-foot-10, 160-pound right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate hits from a wide base with a balanced setup. Drop load with a knee to knee load. Good balance with a linear lower half. Gap to gap hitter with fluid rhythm and a fast bat. 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.77. Defensively has a short arm action from a high ¾ slot. Fluid footwork gaining ground towards second base. Accurate throws, popped 2.30-2.40 and threw 68 mph from the crouch.

Nicholas Matijevic, C, Burlington Central, 2018
6-foot-1, 170-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Hits from an open stance with a drop load and toe tap stride. Long, uphill swing path. 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.59. Defensively has a short arm action from a high ¾ slot. Long exchange. Popped 2.22-2.30 and threw 72 mph from the crouch.

Jared Mutter, C, Lincoln-Way East, 2018
6-foot-2, 180-pound left-handed hitting catcher. At the plate hits from a tall, open stance with a low hand set. Opposite field hitter with a long swing path an stiff rhythm. 76 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 8.07. Defensively has a short arm action from a high 3.4 arm slot. Accurate throws with a clean exchange. Popped 2.12-2.19 and threw 69 mph from the crouch.

Liam Oreskovich, C, Jacobs, 2018
6-foot-1, 175-pound right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate hits from an open stance with an arm bar load and short stride. Long, uphill swing path with fluid rhythm. 79 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 8.15. Defensively has a long arm action from an over the top slot. Popped 2.17-2.26 and threw 74 mph from the crouch.

Drew Roberts, C, Wheeling, 2018
5-foot-11, 160-pound left-handed hitting catcher. Offensively hits from a balanced setup with a slightly open stance. Smooth load with a short uphill swing path and fluid rhythm. 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.22. Defensively has a short arm action from a high ¾ arm angle. Quick footwork and transfer behind the plate. Accurate throws with carry popping 2.12-2.19 and threw 72 mph from the crouch.

Christopher Schiera, C, Sandwich, 2018
5-foot-6, 140-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.28 laser-timed 60. Defensively,  Offensively, balanced setup, pre-pitch load and leg-kick timing trigger. Uphill bat path; registered an exit velocity of 78 mph. Defensively, long arm action from a high ¾ arm angle. Quick exchange popped 2.08-2.15 and threw 70 mph from the crouch.

Brandon Simon, OF/C, Gwendolyn Brooks, 2018
5-foot-10, 165-pound right-handed hitting OF/C. At the plate hits from a balanced, open stance. Short stride back to even with good balance. Level swing path. Showed strength thru contact with 91 mph exit velocity from a tee. Ran the 60 at 7.52. In the outfield has a long arm action from an over the top slot. Fluid footwork with athletic actions. Threw 78 mph from the outfield. Behind the plate has a quick transfer and footwork. Popped 2.12-2.27 and threw 68 mph from the crouch.

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