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Class of 2023 Showcase: Catcher Analysis


By: Illinois Scouting Staff

On Sunday, October 10, the PBR Illinois staff returned to The MAX Sports Complex to host the Class of 2023 Showcase. This annual event served as an opportunity for prospects in the state’s current junior class to display their talents in front of our scouting staff prior to the start of the off-season. There were more than 60+ prospects that made the trip to The MAX on Sunday and participated in a pro-style workout in front of our evaluators.

Shortly after the event’s conclusion we published several post-event content related pieces, highlighting some of the day’s biggest winners while also looking at the data we collected throughout the day. You can find those by clicking HERE

Now, we’ll begin our position-by-position analysis from this event, starting with the catchers and working our way around the diamond. Read below to see all the scouting reports on the day’s backstops. 

TOP CATCHING PROSPECTS

1. Cameron Marson, Grayslake Central (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-0, 190-pounds. Athletic, strong look.
Hit: R. Wide base, preloaded hands, slight rock back load, short stride. Strong hands, short swing path on a level plane, middle/pull side tendencies.
Power: 87.74 max exit velocity, averaged 76.56 mph. 249’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 76 mph. Short arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.01-2.08 pop times. Quiet hands when framing, low/wide base, clean hand transfer to release with some accuracy around the bag.
Run: 7.83 runner in the 60. 

2. Cooper Gillette, Harlem (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-8, 185-pounds. `   
Hit: R. Narrow, closed stance, hand held low, smooth load, short stride. Flashed bat speed, compact swing, holds a level finish, line drive type, middle/pull side approach.
Power: 89.91 max exit velocity, averaged 85.57 mph. 310’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 71 mph. Short arm action, 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.18 - 2.33 pop times. Low setup with no runners on, athletic actions, gains ground, quick exchange.
Run: 7.59 runner in the 60. 

3. Ethan Winters, Sacred Heart Griffin (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-9, 150-pounds.
Hit: L. Balance start, active hands, long leg kick stride. Long level swing, high finish point, line drive type, pull side approach.
Power: 82.47 max exit velocity, averaged 73.19 mph. 265’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 76 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.26-2.45 pop times. Athletic base, fluid footwork, steady hands, quick transfer.
Run: 7.31 runner in the 60. 

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Brandon Brokowski, Evanston (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-1, 175-pounds.
Hit: R. Balance stance, hands start on the shoulder, arm bar load, toe tap stride. Flashes bat speed, long, uppercut swing, stays inside the ball, ability to drive to all fields.
Power: 86.65 max exit velocity, averaged 71.69 mph. 320’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 74 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.08-2.14 pop times. Tall position, consistent footwork, sure handed, clean exchange with throws around the bag.
Run: 7.49 runner in the 60. 

Josiah Dudenhofer, De La Salle (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 6-0, 155-pounds.
Hit: R. Tall, balance setup, vertical bat placement, minimal pre-pitch load, short stride. Short, level swing, direct to the ball, middle/pull side tendencies.
Power: 82.38 max exit velocity, averaged 75.23 mph. 285’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 64 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.54-2.66 pop times. Tall position, developing hands, clean exchange.
Run: 7.59 runner in the 60. 

Zach Keller, Stillman Valley (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-0, 200-pounds.
Hit: R. Wide, close stance, preloaded hand placement, leg lift stride. Short, uphill swing, stays inside the baseball, opposite field approach.
Power: 86.3 max exit velocity, 80.6 averaged  mph. 287’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 68 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.28-2.32 pop times. Consistent footwork, developing hands, clean exchange.
Run: 8.54 runner in the 60. 

Benjamin Labutka, Maine South (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-10, 174-pounds.
Hit: R. Simple, balance stance, smooth pre-pitch load, leg lift stride. Short swing, uphill swing plane, high finish after contact, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 85.34 max exit velocity, averaged 79.66 mph. 243’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 75 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.02-2.22 pop times. Starts low, gains ground to second, clean exchange, quiet hands.
Run: 7.57 runner in the 60. 

Victor Zaragoza, Sandburg (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 5-9, 175-pounds. Strong legs.
Hit: R. Athletic stance, vertical bat to start, minimal load, short stride. Compact swing, gets extended after contact with a high finish, ball jumps off the bat, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 85.88 max exit velocity, averaged 80.43 mph. 300’ max distance.
Arm: R. C - 74 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.03-2.21 pop times. Soft hands, fluid footwork, clean exchange.
Run: 7.89 runner in the 60. 

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