Illinois Underclass Trials: Catcher Analysis


By Illinois Staff

On June 10, the PBR Illinois team hosted one of its first showcases of the summer, the Underclass Trials. This event helped us learn of some high-follow talent to know ahead of the summer inside the state’s 2022, 2023, and 2024 classes. Today, we’ll begin to share with you our scouting reports written and collected from this event. We’ve ranked the best prospects coming out of the showcase, led by Benet Academy’s Tyler Dean (2022), a strong right-handed hitter who also took some of the cleanest reps from behind the dish.

The left-handed-hitting Keegan Connors (Jacobs, 2022) also stole some attention from us. Connors has strength in his frame and he uses it well from the batter’s box, and his footwork was consistently quick on his throws down to second, underscored by his sub-7.00 mark in the 60-yard dash.

Keep on reading below to see who else earned a ranked spot on the list, as well as for full reports on each of the catchers who participated in this June showcase. 

TOP CATCHING PROSPECTS

1. Tyler Dean, Benet Academy (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-11, 200-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: RHH. Balance setup, short stride, minimal load. Fast bat speed, gap-to-gap approach, fluid rhythm.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 88 mph exit velocity on pitches up and way during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short arm action, H 3/4 slot, throws play some accuracy and carry.
Defense: 2.05-2.18 pop times.  Quick feet towards second, soft hands, clean exchange.
Run: 8.13 runner in the 60. 

2. Keegan Connors, Jacobs (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-7, 150-pounds. Athletic frame, lean build.
Hit: LHH. Stands tall, even feet, short stride. Simple and balance swing, level bat path, line drive pull approach.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 91 mph exit velocity on pitches middle/middle up during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short arm action, H 3/4 slot, throws play with some carry.
Defense: 2.11-2.22 pop times. Works feet towards second, clean exchange.
Run: 6.95 runner in the 60. 

T-3. Mac Eccher, Marmion Academy (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-11, 170-pounds. Athletic frame, strong build.
Hit: RHH. Slightly open and balance setup, short stride. Strong and fast bat speed, level bat path, gap-to-gap approach, fluid rhythm.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 90 mph exit velocity on pitches middle middle during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot, throws play with some accuracy.
Defense: 2.33-2.35 pop times. Fluid footwork, works through the baseball, clean exchange.
Run: 7.77 runner in the 60. 

T-3. Harry Fandre, Hinsdale Central (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 6-0, 190-pounds. Tall frame, average build.
Hit: LHH. Balance and open setup, short stride.  Fast hands, uphill swing path, gap-to-gap approach, fluid rhythm.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 93 mph exit velocity on pitches middle up during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot, arm plays to truth with accuracy.
Defense: 2.20-2.29 pop times. Clean exchange.
Run: 7.88 runner in the 60. 

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Charlie Bergin, Hinsdale Central (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-11, 170-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Tall and open setup, long stride. Loose hands, level bat path, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, flashes carry.
Defense: 2.32-2.45 pop times. Fluid footwork.
Run: 8.44 runner in the 60. 

Ethan Erbe, Thomas Jefferson  (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 5-10, 170-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide and closed setup, toe tap.  Uphill bat path, pull approach.
Power: 74 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 64 mph. INF - 68 mph. Long arm action, H 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.47-2.51 pop times. Fluid footwork, clean exchange.
Run: 8.38 runner in the 60. 

Dylan Holmes, Libertyville (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-11, 185-pounds. Well-proportioned frame.
Hit: RHH. Balance setup, short stride, minimal load. Uphill swing path, gap-to-gap tendencies.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 88 mph exit velocity on pitches middle away during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Short arm action, H 3/4 slot, throws played accurate and with carry.
Defense: 2.09-2.25 pop times. Clean exchange, soft hands, works feet towards second.
Run: 7.42 runner in the 60. 

Tristan Kerr, Lake Forest (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 6-1, 190-pounds. Well-proportioned frame, strong build.
Hit: RHH. Crouch and open setup, leg lift, balanced throughout swing. Level swing creating backspin, linedrive type approach.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 93 mph exit velocity on pitches up and in during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. Short arm action, H 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.11-2.26 pop times. Clean exchange.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60. 

Bryce Porter, Washington Community  (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-10, 185-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: RHH. Balance setup, toe tap. Uphill bat path.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.50-2.58 pop times. Clean exchange, throws play accurate and flashes carry.
Run: 7.38 runner in the 60. 

Alijah Rainey, Homewood Flossmoor (IN), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-8, 195-pounds. Strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Balance setup, short stride. Uphill bat path, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 73 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 63 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.40-2.51 pop times. Clean exchange, feet works toward second.
Run: 8.09 runner in the 60. 

Nick Raju, Glenbrook North (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 5-7, 165-pounds. Strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Open and neutral setup, leg kick. Uphill swing path, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Long windup, over-the-top slot, accurate from crouch.
Defense: 2.18-2.35 pop times. Feet works toward second.
Run: 8.41 runner in the 60. 

Lorenzo Rios, Joliet Catholic (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 6-0, 175-pounds. Fairly lean, athletic frame.
Hit: LHH. Balanced setup, smooth loading action, slight leg lift trigger, maintains balance through contact. Occasional line drive contact, showed ability to use the middle of the field, hit in rhythm.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above 88 mph exit velocity on pitches up and in during BP, per TrackMan.
Arm: RH. C - 66 mph. INF - 80 mph. Long arm action, works out of high 3/4 slot, athletic arm, ability to throw from multiple angles.
Defense: 2.11-2.29 pop times. Showed clean exchanges and directional footwork out of the crouch. Infield actions played above average for his age, likely profiles at second base.
Run: 7.66 runner in the 60. 

Michael Wanhala, Huntley (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-8, 175-pounds. Well-proportion frame, strong build.
Hit: RHH. Wide and slightly open setup, short stride. Simple swing, short and uphill bat path, gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 74 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.30-2.49 pop times. Clean exchange, throws play accurate, flashes carry.
Run: 8.16 runner in the 60. 

Henry Wolfe, New Trier  (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 6-2, 170-pounds. Athletic frame, lean build.
Hit: RHH. Tall and balance setup, high leg kick, drops the hands. Uphill swing path, gap-to-gap tendencies.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top arm slot, throws tend to carry.
Defense: 2.25-2.40 pop times. fluid footwork, works feet to second, clean exchange.
Run: 7.37 runner in the 60. 

RELATED CONTENT