Preseason All-State: Catching Analysis



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Director – Illinois/Wisconsin

The Illinois Preseason All-State was an incredibly deep collection of prospects. This week we will roll out our positional analysis of the event concluded by our top overall prospects.

The catching group was very strong with a number of excellent receivers. The top is packed with strong backstops that brought advanced tools to the showcase. Wyatt Mascarella took the top spot with his overall package. His frame is about as strong as it gets for a catcher his age with a big arm and potential for a big bat. David Craan was clearly the most athletic catcher of the group posting one of the best 60 times of the event, one of the strongest arms and flashed the best pop time in attendance. Patrick Runoro rounded out the top three catchers and arguably could have been the best defender of the bunch, his soft hands and exceptional transfer consistently posted the most accurate and efficient pop times down to second.

Here’s a look at our top catchers in attendance.

Top Catching Prospects

1. Wyatt Mascarella, C, Cary Grove, 2015
Strong build, excellent catchers body, durable frame, 6-foot-3, 190-pound right handed hitting catcher. Defensively has a strong arm, gets excellent carry out of the crouch, over the top slot, 80 mph out of the crouch. Posted pop times at 2.00-2.06, footwork lacked direction at times. Soft hands, receives the ball well. Offensively hits from a balanced stance, short stride, simple approach, two handed finish. Strong hands, generates excellent bat speed with hands, 91 mph exit velocity, power potential.

2. David Craan, C, Whitney Young, 2015
5-foot-10, 170-pound catcher, strong build, highly athletic. Defensively uses a short, over the top arm action, showed occasional accuracy and carry. Posted a 1.87 pop time with an 81 mph arm from the crouch. Quick twitch actions, soft hands, and highly athletic feet. 6.59 runner in the 60. Offensively hits from an open stance, short stride, maintains balance. Bat path is flat through the zone, well above average bat speed, 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Craan is one of most athletic catchers in the class, and projects as a high level athlete.

3. Patrick Rumoro, C, Oak Park-River Forest, 2015
5-foot-11, 165-pound catcher, average build. Defensively one of the more advanced receivers in attendance. Hands are soft, quick clean exchange footwork is quick. Gets out of the crouch efficiently and stays low through release. Arm action is short and over the top, quick arm, highly accurate with carry, improved arm strength, 79 mph out of the crouch. Posted 1.93-2.07 pop times. Receives well with soft hands and agile lateral movement, blocks well. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, short stride with slight leg lift. Simple swing, repeats well, bat path is flat, works both gaps. 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.

4. Jonathan Kruppe, C/RHP, Benet, 2015
Big strong build, 6-foot-5, 210-pound two way player. Offensively handled the bat well, hits from a balanced stance, minimal stride – heel lift, maintains strong balance. Big bat, generates power with loose quick hands and strong lower half. Advanced approach, shows the ability to work both gaps with pop. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Behind the plate exchange is quick, athletic catcher. Arm works over the top, produced occasional carry. On the mound fastball has slight sink and action to his arm side, showed the ability to command the baseball, 84-85 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape, near fastball arm speed. Changeup has arm side action, well above average feel, 77-79 mph.

5. Scott Kapers, C/INF/RHP, Mount Carmel, 2015
5-foot-11, 175-pound two-way prospect. On the mound works from a full windup delivery, tall and fall approach. Arm works well, long lose arm action, high ¾ slot. Fastball had slight run, 85-86 mph, touched 87 mph, showed control. Curveball had 11/5 shape, slurve action, 66-68 mph. Changeup has occasional arm side action, mostly down, ranged from 73-77 mph. Also showcased a cut fastball, 78-81, slight action. Behind the plate uses a short over the top arm action, gets carry to target, 73 mph out of the crouch. Posted 1.95-2.03 pop times. Showed above average blocking skills as well as being able to transfer the baseball efficiently. On the infield arm played well touching 87 mph, soft hands similar to that behind the plate. 7.76 runner in the 60.

6. Justin Kelly, C, Wheaton Warrenville South, 2015
6-foot-2, 190-pound strong, long limbed catcher with an athletic frame who projects very well. Offensively, he hits from balanced stance with a quiet load, short stride, and explosive lower half that maintains balance through contact. Swing is simple and repeatable, creates quality pop and lift. He consistently drove the ball on a line to all fields. Exit velocity off a tee was 88 mph. Behind the dish his arm works short, from over the top at 76 mph with accuracy and carry. Pop times were in the 2.07-2.14 range. Ran a 7.95 60.

7. Michael Schalasky, C/RHP, Brother Rice, 2015
6-foot, 180-pound two-way player with an athletic body. On the mound he uses a delivery with regular effort, some rhythm, and clean lines. Arm works long, from a high ¾ slot. Fastball sat 83-84 mph, touching 85 mph once, with running action, for consistent strikes. Showed feel for his curveball, throwing it for strikes at 70-72 mph with true 12/6 shape and some depth. Changeup was 72-74 mph with flashes of quality fade action. Behind the plate he has a solid setup and quality receiving skills. Arm works long, from over the top, at 73 mph from the crouch with accuracy. Pop times were in the 1.95-2.02 range. Offensively, hits from a balanced setup with a short stride. Bat path is slightly uphill with above average speed and whip through the zone. Consistently made strong contact. Exit velocity was 90 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.82 60.

8. Brock Weimer, C, Edwardsville, 2015
6-foot-1, 180-pound catcher who showed strong receiving skills. Behind the plate his arm works short, from over the top at 72 mph with some accuracy and carry. Pop times were in the 2.15-2.21 range. Offensively, hits from a balanced stance with a smooth load, and short stride. Swing is simple and repeatable with a flat bat path. Exit velocity was 80 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.52 60.

9. Brett Johnson, C, Dundee Crown, 2015
Muscular build, strong lower half, 6-foot-1, 180-pound left handed hitting catcher. Offensively hit from a balanced stance, short stride, smooth loading action, lower half works well. Well above average bat speed, creates whip, pull side power. 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively uses a short over the top arm action from the crouch, posted pop times at 2.13-2.25. 71 mph arm strength. Feet worked well out of the crouch, also ran a 7.27 in the 60.

10. Matt Gould, C, Neuqua Valley, 2015
5-foot-10, 190 pound two-way player. Defensively showed efficient foot work out of the crouch, one step transfer throwing to second. Hands transfer the baseball quickly, posted pop times of 1.96-2.07. Arm played at 74 mph out of the crouch, short over the top arm slot. Offensively hits from an open stance, tall setup, drops hands into loading position. On the mound fastball has arm side run, 81-83 mph, topped out at 84 mph. Changeup has advanced sink, tends to drop arm slot, near fastball arm speed, 74-75 mph, excellent feel. Breaking ball has 11/5 shape, 71-72 mph.

10. Zack Forney, C, Cary-Grove, 2015
5-foot-10, 155-pound catcher who blocks and receives well. Showed solid catch and release skills. Pop times were in the 1.96-2.02 range. Arm works short, from over the top with some accuracy and carry at 69 mph. At the plate he hits from a tall, even stance. Takes a medium stride. Hands work well in the swing and showed the ability to create solid barrel whip. Exit velocity off a tee was 78 mph. Ran a 7.6 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Griffin Kazmierczak, C, Sandburg, 2015
5-foot-9, 165-pound catcher. Behind the plate his arm works short from high ¾ slot at 75 mph from the crouch. Pop times were in the 2.26-2.39 range. At the plate hits from a balanced stance with a leg kick trigger. Bat path is uphill and rhythm is a little stiff. Exit velocity off the tee was 77 mph. Ran a 7.46 60.

Kyle Khoury, C, St. Charles North, 2015
6-foot, 165-pound catcher, lean build. Offensively hits from a tall setup, slight arm bar load. Bat path is flat through the zone, occasional whip. 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Showed good feet out of the crouch, arm action is short and over the top. 73 mph arm strength, posted 2.19-2.22 pop times. Also ran a 7.76 in the 60.

Sean Mason, C, Sacred Heart Griffin, 2015
5-foot-11, 170-pound catcher, solid build. Offensively hits from a slightly open stance, wider setup, short quick stride. Bat path works slightly uphill, 81 mph exit velocity. Defensively uses a short, over the top arm action, posted 2.00-2.03 pop times. Arm plays at 78 mph from the crouch.

Nick Nalewanski, C, Rockford Boylan Catholic, 2015
6-foot-2, 197-pound catcher. Behind the plate he showed a solid setup and quality receiving skills. Arm works short, from over the top, at 74 mph from the crouch with some accuracy and carry. Pop times were in the 2.07-2.13 range. At the plate he hits from a balanced stance with short stride and maintains his balance through contact. Swing is simple and repeatable, bat gets in and out of the zone quick. Exit velocity was 80 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.38 60.

Michael Piotrowski, C/OF, Prospect, 2015
Strong build, developed lower half, 5-foot-10, 190-pound catcher/outfielder. Offensively hits from a crouched stance. Strong hands, generates well above average bat speed, 86 mph exit velocity. Bat path works slightly uphill, creates lift, looks to drive baseball to the gap, occasional pull side tendency. Defensively behind the plate has a short over the top arm action, 73 mph out of the crouch. Posted pop times at 2.15-2.25. In the outfield uses similar arm action, creates carry, accurate arm, plays through the ball well.

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