Preseason I.D - Lockport: Catcher Analysis


By Drew Locascio and Adam Panayotovich
Illinois Scouting Staff

We began the instant analysis of the Preseason I.D.- Lockport event held on Monday, February 19th at the Bo Dome a few weeks ago with Quick Hits and a Statistical Analysis.

Today we continue the breakdown of the event by taking a look at the catchers in attendance. Below we ranked the top five catchers from the day along with the best of the rest.

Although not in the Top five there were a number of intriguing left-handed hitters to keep an eye on moving forward. Two sophomores, Ryan McCoy and Carter Stubitz have projectable frames and loose left-handed bats. Other prospects who fits that mold were freshman Luke Lawrence and junior Sam LaBarbera.

Two other freshman, Jonny Crowel and Brynden Cleveland, find themselves in the top five. Crowel is a highly-advanced defensive catcher while Cleveland provides interesting upside with the bat and was steady behind the plate.

To see how the rest of this top-five list played out and to learn more about some of the other backstops from the event, continue on below.

TOP CATCHING PROSPECTS

1. Jack Jonota, C, Stevenson, 2019
5-foot-8, 165 pound, well-proportioned, athletic right-handed hitting catcher. Highly-advanced defensive catcher. Athletic action, soft, quiet hands, quick and athletic out of the crouch, stays on-line, gains ground. Quick arm action and throws topped 76 mph to second base from the crouch. At the plate, balanced setup, short toe tap trigger. Level bat path with some natural lift in swing. Exit velocity topped 83 mph off a tee. Ran a laser timed 7.81 60 yard dash.

2. Justin McGuigan, C, Plainfield South, 2019
5-foot-8, 170-pound stocky, strong, right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 6.86 laser-timed 60. Defensively showed well. Soft hands, fluid footwork and clean, directional transfer. Short, over-the-top arm action, quick release. Accurate arm, throws carry at times, topped at 78 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged from 1.97-2.09. Offensively, crouched, slightly open setup, bar load, short stride, shows balance throughout. Repeatable swing, stays flat through the zone at times, hard contact, line-drive approach. Exit velocity topped 81 mph from a tee.

3. David Dillman, C, Glenbard West, 2019
5-foot-11, 190-pound, well-proportioned, strong right-handed hitting catcher. Balanced setup, low hands, quiet load, short stride. Solid approach, uses the middle of the field, flashed natural lift with fluid rhythm throughout. Loose hands and consistent hard contact. Registered an 88 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, directional footwork, clean transfer, loose arm with an over the top slot. True ball, topped 74 mph from the crouch and pop times ranged between 2.07-2.19. Ran a 7.73 laser-timed 60.

4. Jonny Crowel, C, Marist, 2021
6-foot, 160-pound, well-proportioned, athletic, right-handed hitting catching prospect. Advanced defensive catcher for his age. Athletic, wide setup behind the plate. Stays quiet, presents pitches well, sticks balls in the zone, agile, soft blocker. Natural catcher actions, clean, quick transfer, easy effort. Loose arm, over-the-top slot, clocked at 72 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged from 2.11-2.19. At the plate, balance setup, pre-pitch load, short stride. Uphill path, inconsistent timing but when it syncs up the ball jumps off the bat. Exit velocity clocked at 81 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.71 laser timed 60.

5. Brynden Cleveland, C, Shepard, 2021
5-foot-8, 175-pound, well-proportioned, athletically-built, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, balanced, open setup, smooth load, short stride with fluid rhythm throughout. Utilizes his lower half well. Attacks the ball with a natural uphill path, can create lift. Loose, quick hands and made consistent hard contact. Exit velocity topped 84 mph off a tee. Defensively, quiet setup, athletic catcher actions, clean release. Short arm action, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 70 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged from 2.29-2.37. Ran a 7.65 laser timed 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Joseph Antosh, C, Maine West, 2020
5-foot-11, 174-pound, well-proportioned, right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.12 laser-timed 60. At the plate, crouched, square setup, short stride, static in the box, slightly uphill path, exit velocity topped 75 mph off a tee. Defensively, long arm with an over the top slot, throws topped 67 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged between 2.58-2.76.

Bret Bushka, C, Glenbard East, 2019
5-foot-10, 180-pound, strong, athletically built, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, hits with rhythm, balanced, open setup, short leg lift trigger, smooth load. Level bat path, showed extension, line drive hitter. Barreled the ball to the middle of the field. Exit velocity topped 84 mph off a tee. Defensively, quick feet and transfer, short arm action from a ¾ slot; 78 mph from the crouch. Soft hands, receives with rhythm. Pop times ranged from 1.95-2.07. Ran a 7.31 laer timed 60.  

Maverick Chisholm, C, Rockridge, 2021
5-foot-8, 130-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Offensively, balanced setup, high hands, long leg kick trigger. Long, uphill path, occasionally worked the middle of the field. Exit velocity topped 74 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged 2.40-2.51. Gained ground to second on release, long arm with an over the top slot. Throws topped 65 mph. Ran an 8.44 60.

Michael Ciesla, C, Lemont, 2020
6-foot, 175-pound, well-proportioned, right-handed hitting catcher. Balanced, wide setup, smooth load, short stride, solid weight transfer. Occasional uphill uphill tendencies, creates lift. Exit velocity topped 83 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.10-2.19. Throws topped 74 mph from the crouch. Behind the plate, wide setup, soft hands, sticks pitches in the zone and active, agile blocker. Ran a 7.74 laser-timed 60.

Alec Flamm, C, Andrew, 2020
6-foot-1, 170-pound, lanky, long-limbed, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, balanced setup, leg lift trigger with some rhythm throughout. Level, long path, slightly uphill at times with natural ability to create lift, uses the middle of the field with easy effort throughout. Consistent hard contact and exit velocity topped 76 mph off a tee. Defensively, popped 2.18-2.26 to second. Clean exchange, occasionally closes off to second, loose arm from a ¾ slot. Throws topped 73 mph down. Ran a 7.20 laser timed 60.

Anthony Gambino, C, Lincoln-Way East, 2019
5-foot-8, 175-pound, high waisted, right-handed hitting catcher. Offensively, tall, open setup, leg kick trigger with a slight bar load. Long, slightly uphill bat path with a high finish. Exit velocity topped 81 mph off a tee. Defensively, short arm, high ¾ slot, gains ground. Throws topped at 69 mph to second base. Pop times ranged from 2.25 to 2.33. Ran a 7.65 laser timed 60.

Nathan Garard, C, Gibson City, 2019
5-foot-11, 180-pound, muscle-bound, strong, right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.14 laser timed 60. Offensively, balanced, slightly open setup and long stride. Short and quick to the ball with a level, compact swing path. Exit velocity topped 82 mph off a tee. Defensively, clean transfer and a loose, short arm out of a high ¾ slot. Throws topped 77 mph from the crouch and pop times ranged between 2.00-2.10.

Armani Garcia, C, Brother Rice, 2021
5-foot-11, 165-pound, well-proportioned, right-handed hitting catcher with present lower half strength. At the plate, tall, open setup, minimal load, short leg lift trigger. Fluid rhythm, loose hands, slight lift in swing. Exit velocity topped at 74 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.01-2.19. Quick transfer, gets out of the crouch early, short arm from a high ¾ slot. Throws topped 74 mph from the crouch. Ran a laser-timed 7.59 60.

Nathan Hardin, C, Plainfield North, 2019
6-foot, 170-pound, big framed, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, crouched, balanced setup and heel-raised stride. Long bat path and exit velocity topped 87 mph off a tee. Defensively, replaces feet, clean transfer. Accurate arm, high ¾ slot and throws topped at 70 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.15-2.27. Ran an 8.14 60.

Jack Heller, C, Lincoln-Way East, 2020
5-foot-11, 155-pound, lanky, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, balanced, square setup, short stride with minimal hand load. Level bat path at times, flashed quick hands, balance throughout and ability to use all fields. Exit velocity topped 84 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.15 to 2.22. Fluid, quick release, short arm out of a high ¾ slot. Frequently framed the ball wrist curling down. Throws topped 73 mph to second base. Ran a 7.48 laser timed 60.

Brian Henehan, C/RHP, Andrew, 2020
6-foot, 170-pound, lanky, right-handed hitting two way prospect. At the plate, right-handed hitter, balanced setup, slightly open, minimal load with a small leg lift trigger. Compact, level swing, line drive approach, uses the middle. Exit velocity topped 84 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop timed ranged 2.11-2.19. Efficient footwork, clean transfer, short arm action from an over the top slot. Throws topped 70 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.87 laser timed 60. On the mound, drop and drive delivery, in line, closed toe landing with an upright finish. Long arm on back side, some quickness out front, from a high ¾ slot. Fastball showed run, ranged 72-75 mph. Curveball/ 11/5 shape, gradual break, 65-68 mph. Changeup had arm side run, good arm speed, feel for pitch, sat 65-67 mph.

Bryce Howser, RHP/C, Metea Valley, 2020
5-foot-11, 155 pound, lean right-handed hitting, two way prospect. On the mound, right handed pitcher, stretch only delivery, deliberate motions throughout. Tall and fall style, works in line downhill, closed toe landing and some athleticism in finish. Long, loose arm action, some quickness out front with an over the top slot, looks repeatable. Fastball was straight, down in the zone with tilt, spots up, sat 76-77 mph. Slider, 1/7 shape, can get around it, sat 65-66 mph. Changeup sank, near the zone with arm speed, 71-72 mph. Defensively, behind the plate, fluid footwork, clean transfer, loose arm, quick out front, throws were accurate and had some carry topping 75 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.11-2.19. Offensively, open, tall setup, pre-pitch load, short leg lift stride. Level bat path, contact hitter, used the middle of the field well. Exit velocity topped 77 mph off a tee and ran a laser timed 7.26 60.

Kyle Ives, C, Cary Grove, 2018
5-foot-11, 185 pound, well-proportioned, broad shouldered, strong right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, balanced, square setup, bar load, short toe tap trigger, some rhythm involved. Long bat path, bat speed at times, flashed hard contact with lift in swing. Exit velocity topped 88 mph off a tee. Defensively popped 2.00-2.08 to second base. Fluid footwork, clean transfer, long arm with an over the top slot. Throws topped 77 mph from the crouch. Ran a laser timed 7.28 60.

Ryan Janssen, C, Nokomis, 2020
5-foot-10, 170 pound, high-waisted, right-handed hitting catcher, with present lower half strength. Offensively, balanced, tall setup, bar load, short stride. Quick bat speed, barrel gets through the zone with extension, can get long, showed natural lift and rhythm throughout. Exit velocity topped 78 mph off a tee. Defensively pop times ranged between 2.18-2.26. Fluid footwork, gains ground, clean release, some effort throughout. Throws from a high ¾ to over-the-top slot, throws clocked at 74 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.31 laser-timed 60.

Albert Kiszka, C, Schaumburg, 2020
5-foot-6, 155 pound right-handed hitting catcher. Balanced, slightly open setup, short leg lift trigger. Compact swing, flashed some lift, minimal wasted movements with some rhythm involved. Exit velocity topped 77 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.64 laser timed 60. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.19-2.33. Quick footwork, short arm with an over the top slot. Throws clocked 69 mph down to second.

Sam LaBarbera, C, Metea Valley, 2019
5-foot-10, 160-pound, well-proportioned left-handed hitting catcher. Offensively, balanced, open setup, smooth deep load, long toe-tap stride and fluid rhythm throughout. Long, uphill bat path, flashed ability to create lift to both sides of the field. Exit velocity topped 81 mph off a tee. Defensively, receives well, gains ground, stays on-line. Short arm action, over the top slot, accurate arm, throws flashed carry and clocked at 74 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged from 2.00-2.15. Ran a 7.88 60.

Luke Lawrence, C, Brother Rice, 2021
5-foot-8, 148 pound, high-waisted, athletic, left-handed hitting catching prospect. At the plate, balanced set up, slight crouch, short, leg lift trigger with fluid rhythm throughout. Utilizes lower half well and consistently separates his hands from the body. Natural uphill stroke, gets the barrel through the zone with pull side tendencies. Solid contact with bat speed at times. Exit velocity registered at 77 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.18-2.33. Open setup, clean footwork, works on-line. Short arm action, high ¾ slot. Throws clocked at 68 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.85 laser timed 60.

Darren Mancke, C, Oswego, 2020
6-foot-2, 165 pound, lanky, long limbed, right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.25 laser timed 60. Tall, balanced setup and short stride. Contact approach, long bat path, slightly uphill used the middle of the field. Exit velocity topped 74 mph off a tee. Defensively, clean transfer, long arm on back side from a high ¾ slot. Throws topped 72 mph from the crouch and pop times ranged from 2.20-2.33.

Joseph Marcucci, C, Rolling Meadows, 2019
6-foot, 210-pound, athletic frame, strong left-handed hitting catcher. Offensively, open, balanced setup, smooth load, short toe lift trigger. Some dive towards the plate, gets the barrel to the ball, utilizes the middle of the field. Uphill path, flashed natural lift, gets extension and flashed bat strength with an exit velocity of 93 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged 2.08-2.19. Fluid footwork, gains ground, long arm from an over the top slot. Clocked at  72 mph from the crouch. Ran a laser timed 7.64 60.

Ryan McCoy, C, Lincoln-Way East, 2020
6-foot-3, 170-pound, lanky, long limbed, left-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, tall, balanced setup, minimal hand load with a short leg lift stride. Fluid rhythm, loose hands, natural lift in swing, extension through the zone at times, flashed occasional pull power. 80 mph exit velocity from a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.11-2.18. Fluid footwork, gained ground, long exchange and arm action from a ¾ slot. Throws topped 75 mph to second base. Ran a 7.68 laser time 60.

Jack McGinnis, C, Joliet Catholic, 2019
5-foot-11, 165 pound, lanky, long-limbed right-handed hitting catcher. Plenty of room for physical development. Offensively, tall, balanced set-up, high hands, short toe tap trigger, minimal back load. Short, level pat path and exit velocity topped 74 mph off a tee. Defensively, quick release out of a ¾ arm slot. Throws topped 74 mph from the crouch and pop times ranged between 2.10-2.21. Ran a 7.41 60.

Bradley Miller, C, Oak Forest, 2019
6-foot, 194-pound, well-proportioned, strong, right-handed hitting catcher. Balanced setup, bar load, short toe tap trigger. Compact swing, level bat path, occasional hard contact and exit velocity topped at 84 mph from a tee. Defensively, gained ground, squares shoulders to second, short arm with an over the top slot. Throws topped 77 mph from a crouch, pop times ranged between 2.10-2.19. Ran a laser timed 7.56 60.

Andrew Petsche, C/RHP, Oswego East, 2020
6-foot-1, 170 pound, long-limbed, lanky, right-handed hitting, two-way prospect. At the plate, spread, balanced setup, small toe tap trigger, smooth load. Aggressively attacks the ball, uphill path, quick bat and creates natural lift throughout. Occasional hard contact and exit velocity topping 89 mph off a tee. Defensively popped 2.10-2.26 down to second. Gains ground to second, clean exchange, long arm out of a high ¾ slot. Throws topped 77 mph down. Ran a 7.34 laser timed 60. On the mound, rocker step delivery, tall and fall style, works in line and lands square to home. Long, loose arm action with a high ¾ slot, some rhythm throughout. Fastball had slight run, in the zone, sat 77-78 mph. Slider, 11/5 shape, flashed depth, 70-73 mph. Changeup maintained arm speed, faded at 73-76 mph.

Lennard Pureza, C, Round Lake, 2020
5-foot-8, 170 pound, right-handed hitting catcher with a strong lower half. Offensively, balanced, ccouched setup, smooth load, short stride. Uphill path and exit velocity topped 75 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.35-2.40. Tall setup, feet work on-line, finishes towards third and throws from a high ¾ slot. Throws clocked 68 mph to second. Ran a 7.79 60.

Breven Reifsteck, C, Nazareth, 2020
5-foot-10, 174-pound, high-waisted, athletically-built, right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 6.93 laser-timed 60. At the plate, balanced, tall setup, smooth load, short stride, some rhythm involved. Level path, flashed ability to create natural lift and hit to all fields. Occasional hard contact and registered an 88 mph exit velocity off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.05-2.13. Soft hands, receives with rhythm, quick, fluid footwork, gets behind the ball, throws flashed carry at 74 mph.

John-Michael Scumaci, C/INF, Sandburg, 2021
5-foot-5, 140 pound, right-handed hitting catcher/infielder. At the plate, balanced, closed toe setup, hands get separation, short toe lift trigger with fluid rhythm throughout. Long, level bat path, line drive hitter, used the middle of the field and maintains balance through contact. Registered an above-average exit velocity for age; 87 mph from a tee. Defensively, impressed on the infield. Flashed soft, sure hands, fluid footwork and a quick release. Easy actions, maintained body control on the move, short arm action, over-the-top slot and throws clocked at 71 mph across the infield.  Also, showed athletic actions behind the plate, fluid footwork, clean exchange, loose arm from a high ¾ arm slot. Throws topped at 68 mph from the crouch and pop times ranged from 2.24 to 2.32. Ran a 7.33 laser timed 60.

Carter Stubitz, C, Neuqua Valley, 2020
6-foot-2, 165-pound, high-waisted, lanky framed, left-handed hitting catcher. Room for continued physical development. At the plate, balanced, slightly crouched setup, deep load, short leg lift trigger. Attacks the baseball. Slight uphill path with natural lift in swing, sprayed line drives to all fields, showed extension with loose, fluid rhythm throughout. Exit velocity topped at 77 mph off a tee. Defensively, clean, quick transfer, short arm action, high ¾ slot. Throws topped 69 mph from the crouch. Ran a 8.01 laser-timed 60.

Christian Tellez, C, Eisenhower, 2020
5-foot-10, 165 pound, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, tall, open setup, big leg-kick trigger. Long, uphill bat path, flashed ability to hit line drives, some rhythm involved. Exit velocity topped 76 mph off a tee. Ran a 7.36 laser timed 60. Defensively, fluid footwork, clean transfer, short, high ¾ slot, throws topped 69 mph to second base. Pop times ranged from 2.26 to 2.33. Ran a 7.36 laser timed 60.

Joe Unger, C/P, Schaumburg, 2019
5-foot-9, 175 pound, thick, stocky framed, right-handed hitting two way prospect. Offensively, balanced, tall setup, high leg kick trigger with some rhythm throughout. Long, uphill bat path, showed pull side tendencies. Exit velocity topped 84 mph off a tee. Defensively, blocked the ball well, showed soft hands with a clean exchange. Throws down to second topped 71 mph and pop times ranged 2.15-2.18. Ran an 8.33 60. On the mound, works in line to home, lands square and finishes athletically. Throws with rhythm, long arm on the back-side, some quickness out front with a high ¾ slot. Fastball was straight, sat 77-78 mph. Curveball, 12-6 shape, flashed depth, down in the zone, ranged 64-67 mph. Slider, same shape as curveball, thrown harder at 68-69 mph. Changeup, faded, with arm speed, 70-73 mph.

Zachary Walthers, C, Shepard, 2019
6-foot, 180 pound, right-handed hitting catcher. At the plate, balanced setup, long bat path, some effort involved. Exit velocity topped 76 mph off a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.22-2.40. Throws from a ¾ slot and topped at 66 mph from the crouch. Ran a 7.90 laser timed 60.

Kyle Waxweiler, C, Lincoln-Way West, 2020
6-foot-1, 210-pound, well-proportioned, strong, athletically-built, right-handed hitting catcher. Ran a laser timed 7.17 60. Offensively, balanced setup, minimal load, short stride. Level, long bat path, occasionally uphill, can create lift, flashed pull power, bat strength and some rhythm throughout. Exit velocity topped 94 mph off a tee. Defensively, clean transfer, short, over-the-top arm action and throws topped at 71 mph from the crouch. Pop times ranged from 2.22 to 2.36.

Nolan Zajac, C, North Boone, 2019
6-foot-3, 180 pound, highly-athletic frame, well-proportioned strength, left-handed hitting catcher. Ran a 7.16 laser timed 60. At the plate, balanced set up, high hands, wraps at load, short toe tap trigger. Uphill bat path and exit velocity topped 87 mph off a tee. Defensively, open setup, out of crouch early and pop times ranged 2.04-2.08. Short arm action, high ¾ slot and throws clocked 73 mph to second.

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