Metro East Open: Catcher Analysis

By Illinois Staff

On June 23, the PBR Illinois team made its return to trip down south to Sauget to host its annual Metro East Open event, targeting any and all high school athletes in the area – from Missouri to Illinois.

We provided some instant insight in the days following the event inside of our Statistical Analysis post, featuring notes on the event’s stat leaders.

Today, we’re beginning our position-by-position rollout, starting with the showcase’s catchers. This group is led by Edwardsville junior Jackson Toberman. Toberman comfortably led his peers in both average pop time and in catcher velocity, and he’s actually even better at the plate. Colleagues in Missouri saw him homer at a Creekside tournament this summer and he looks to wield a bat with middle-of-the-order potential.

Check out the scouting report on Toberman below, as well as the three other backstops who took reps at the position from this showcase. And stay tuned tomorrow for a look into the day’s outfielders.


Andrew Coats, Normal Community West (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-10, 175-pounds. Compact build with strength in lower half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, minimal loading action, long stride, lower half engaged in swing. Present bat speed, stays short and direct to the baseball. Creates leverage to the pull-side.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Potential pull side power.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action from a high 3/4 window. Arm played accurate, consistently around the second-base bag.
Defense: 2.22-2.33 pop times. Solid overall actions behind the plate. Soft hands, clean exchange, repeatable and directional.
Run: 7.97 runner in the 60. 

Conner Freeze, Breese Central (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: SS/C
Body: 5-11, 160-pounds. Lean, athletic build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, minimal loading actions. Simple swing, fluid rhythm, short stride, maintains balance. Short and uphill swing plane through contact. Gap-to-gap approach.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. INF - 72 mph. Short arm action, throws from an over the top angle. Arm played with some accuracy across the diamond.
Defense: 2.43-2.52 pop times. Steady hands in the field. Long exchange.
Run: 7.65 runner in the 60. 

Lukas Hannah, Massac County (IL), 2024
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-10, 125-pounds. High-waisted, athletic frame with upside.
Hit: SHH. Tall and balanced setup. Loading actions are smooth, short stride.  Short and level bat path through the zone. Looks to control the barrel, stay on top of the baseball and line-drive approach.
Power: 77 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. Short arm action from a high 3/4 arm slot.
Defense: 2.25-2.37 pop times. Sure handed behind the dish. Quick glove-to-hand transfer, gets tall through release at times.
Run: 7.64 runner in the 60. 

Jackson Toberman, Edwardsville (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-1, 187-pounds. Athletic, strong frame with room for continued physical development.
Hit: RHH. Balanced and wide stance, smooth loading action, high leg kick trigger.  Aggressive swing, looks to do damage on every swig. Advanced bat speed, short and uphill swing path and flashed pull-side power.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. 76 mph. Short arm action from a high 3/4 window. Arm played with some accuracy.
Defense: 2.06-2.14 pop times. Natural actions behind the dish. Quick out the crouch with clean exchange, flashed soft hands.
Run: 7.59 runner in the 60.