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Underclass Showcase: Catcher Analysis


By Illinois Staff

On Oct. 20, the PBR Illinois hosted its final event of 2019, the Underclass Showcase, featuring over 110 of the state’s 2022 and 2023 prospects, as well as a handful of seventh- and eighth-grade players, at The MAX in McCook.

Last month, we shared our rapid analysis for this event inside our Quick Hits post, and took a statistical look at the day’s top performers inside our Stats Story. Today, however, marks the start of our position-by-position analysis, beginning with the day’s catchers.

This group is comprised of some of the state’s brightest young talent, and near the top of that list is Huntley’s Ryan Bakes, a freshman who showed well this summer in our looks and earned his way to an invite onto PBR Illinois’ Junior Future Games roster. He’s a strong athlete with advanced actions all over his game and he came away as our top-ranked ‘23 in attendance.

As for the sophomores, Grayslake Central’s Charlie Marisca was arguably the top defender in this group and recorded the day’s lowest average pop times. He has a strong, accurate arm and is equipped with quick actions out of the crouch, as well as a fast left-handed bat.

For reports on each of the catchers who made it out to this event, continue on below.

TOP 2023 PROSPECTS

1. Ryan Bakes, Huntley (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-8, 170-pounds. Strong build throughout, athletic frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, slightly open stance, smooth loading action, short stride, good balance through contact. Physical swing creates bat strength, simple swing, path has some length and gets hard contact to both gaps, hits in rhythm.
Power: 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above average pop for age.
Arm: RH. C - 77 mph. Short over the top slot, arm played accurate to the bag with carry.
Defense: 2.01-2.14 pop times. Soft hands, plays with quick athletic feet out of the crouch. Soft quiet receiver.
Run: 7.21 runner in the 60. 

2. Victor Zaragoza, St. Rita (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-7, 135-pounds. Compact frame, carries some strength for age.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, hanging leg kick trigger, smooth loading action, lower half works and showed balance through contact. Loose athletic swing, works slightly uphill and created hard middle of the field contact.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Over the top slot, played with short and athletic release. Accurate arm.
Defense: 2.22-2.25 pop times. Exchange played quick for age, direct footwork to target with short stride, gets tall out of the crouch. Soft receiver with subtle actions, quiet target.
Run: 7.94 runner in the 60. 

3. Charlie Chaffee, Marist (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-6, 160-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, slightly crouched, no stride, minimal load, stays quiet and simple. Short path, hands control the bat, simple swing with hard contact.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Over the top slot, short arm action.
Defense: 2.01-2.13 pop times. Quick release out of the crouch, above average actions, showed soft hands and quick exchange.
Run: 7.99 runner in the 60. 

TOP 2022 PROSPECTS

1. Charlie Marisca, Grayslake Central (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-foot, 180-pounds. Athletic build with strength.
Hit: LHH. Balanced stance, loads hands and weight back, stride is short, good balance through contact. Above average bat speed, slight uphill plane, creates gap to gap contact, hard off the bat at times.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 78 mph. Plays with carry and accuracy, short over the top action.
Defense: 1.97-2.08 pop times. Quick footwork and exchange, sets up tall, gains ground with forward momentum out of the crouch.
Run: 7.29 runner in the 60. Athletic gait, strong runner.

2. Tony Pluta, St. Viator (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-7, 146-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Slight open stance, athletic setup, short stride to even with smooth loading action, maintains good balance throughout and uses lower half. Loose swing, works uphill with aggressive swing, showed above average bat speed and creates gap to gap contact.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short over the top arm action, above average arm strength for age.
Defense: 2.04-2.12 pop times. Quick exchange, soft hands and athletic actions, strong block, quiet receiver.
Run: 7.40 runner in the 60. 

3. Tyler Dean, Benet Academy (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-10, 195-pounds. Strong durable build, compact wide shoulders and strong lower half.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, balanced stance, smooth load that gets crouched into hitting position, short stride, good balance through contact. Gets out front, and attacks the baseball, loose bat speed, uphill path.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Strong hands with bat strength create hard contact off the bat.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action with quick release, showed accuracy to target.
Defense: 2.10-2.19 pop times. Quick exchange, short footwork gets upright, quick release. Soft handed receiver, stays underneath the baseball, quiet confident hands.
Run: 7.87 runner in the 60. 

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Dylan Brown, Danville (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-foot, 168-pounds.
Hit: SH. Tall setup, narrow stance, simple minimal loading action.  Hits off back side, pull side approach, bat path is short and around the baseball.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Long arm action out of low 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.36-2.41 pop times. Long exchange, footwork moves to third base side, side setup crouch.
Run: 7.80 runner in the 60. 

Quinn Duffy, Marist (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-foot-9, 140-pounds. Athletic frame, proportional.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, balanced stance, smooth loading action with hands back, short stride. Level path, line drive contact, hands work athletically in swing, middle of the field approach with occasional backspin contact.
Power: 76 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. OF - 73 mph. Arm plays over the top, shows more length working from the outfield, shorter release out of the crouch.
Defense: 2.25-2.40 pop times. Footwork works to open side, leaves crouch early and showed above average hands. Outfield actions worked with quick exchange.
Run: 7.86 runner in the 60. 

Dylan Evans, Plainfield North (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-10, 165-pounds. Compact body type, strength throughout.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, slightly crouched and athletic, quiet pre pitch, short stride, gets into lower half and maintains balance. Bat strength present, strong hands creates bat speed, path has some length and gets extension through the baseball.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Occasional gap to gap pop.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short action out of over the top slot.
Defense: 2.17-2.36 pop times. Short footwork, stays behind the plate out of the crouch, direct deliberate actions to target. Solid blocking skills.
Run: 7.11 runner in the 60. Above average runner for age and position.

Logan Gregorio, Waubonsie Valley (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-foot-11, 170-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Slightly open and crouched setup, smooth loading action, loads hands back with short stride, lower half works, solid balance through contact. Simple swing that plays loose at times, slight uphill plane, fluid swing, creates top spin contact at times.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. OF - 76 mph. Plays out of over the top slot, short arm action.
Defense: 2.26-2.31 pop times. Long footwork exchange, works with effort, sturdy blocking skills. In the outfield plays through the baseball in stride at times.
Run: 8.45 runner in the 60. 

Francis Muraida, Reavis (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-9, 160-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Open stance, tall setup, short stride with big reverse hand load. Lifts contact with uphill bat plane, pull side approach.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short over the top arm action.
Defense: 2.16-2.26 pop times. Long footwork out of the crouch, works to third base side, some effort.
Run: 8.32 runner in the 60. 

Kyle Odeshoo, Prospect (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-10, 165-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, reverse tap stride and subtle hand load, strong balance through contact. Loose swing on uphill plane, long loose swing with bat speed.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Hard contact off the bat.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short loose arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.29-2.40 pop times. Side setup in the crouch, long lever actions, gets out of the crouch with intent and vocal commanding the infield.
Run: 7.68 runner in the 60. 

Maximiliano Perez, De La Salle (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-7, 118-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide setup, minimal hand load and static lower half, no stride approach. Repeats path, mostly level through the zone.
Power: 67 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 59 mph. Long arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.86-3.01 pop times. Long actions out of the crouch, sets up tall and squared to target.
Run: 8.14 runner in the 60. 

Kyle Quillin, Chesterton (IN), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-foot-1, 181-pounds. Large frame, long levers.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, short abrupt stride, breaks down lower half while hands load upward. Long swing path, showed occasional bat speed, firm swing with some bat strength.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Long arm action, with high draw, showed carry at times.
Defense: 2.15-2.18 pop times. Long actions and exchange, tall side setup out of the crouch.
Run: 7.93 runner in the 60. 

Andy Roman, Wheaton Academy (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-foot, 170-pounds. Lean, lanky frame.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, reverse load stride, smooth loading action creates separation and maintains balance. Long path on uphill plane, creates bat speed and swings with intent.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Ball jumped off the bat at times, hard contact to pull side gap.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. Over the top slot, short arm action.
Defense: 2.12-2.18 pop times. Sets up tall in the and squared in the crouch, works slightly uphill out of the chute, clean transfers, works to third base side at times.
Run: 7.83 runner in the 60. 

Isaiah Rosado, Morton West (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 6-foot, 190-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Wide stance, slightly open setup, smooth loading action and slight leg kick stride. Big path with slight pull side approach, gets extension at times.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. Long over the top slot.
Defense: 2.15-2.36 pop times. Directional actions play slightly uphill and deliberate out of the crouch.
Run: 8.06 runner in the 60. 

John Serritella, Providence Catholic (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-7, 199-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, reverse leg kick stride. Long uphill path, flashed hard contact at times with occasional feel for the barrel.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 62 mph. Short arm action out of high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.57-2.62 pop times. Long footwork works directional out of the crouch. Steady setup receiving the baseball, hands worked.
Run: 8.42 runner in the 60. 

Julian Sumner, Lyons Township (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 5-foot-11, 195-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: RHH. Open stance, tall setup, minimal loading action, short stride gets back to even. Path is long, pull side approach, some strength in swing, firm shoulder dominated swing.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. Short arm action, works out of over the top slot.
Defense: 2.32-2.47 pop times. Fluid actions, deliberate out of the crouch. Sets up tall, feet work directional.
Run: 7.67 runner in the 60. 

Mark Wagner, Neuqua Valley (IL), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-foot-10, 180-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Slight open stance, balanced, drops hands into load, slight leg lift stride. Loose bat speed with strength, attacks the baseball with intent to create hard contact, gap to gap approach.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Projectable power.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. INF - 71 mph. Short, over the top arm action.
Defense: 2.15-2.26 pop times. Profiles best behind the plate, sturdy frame, above average action out of the crouch, quick clean transfer.Infield actions profile at third base, glove plays under center.
Run: 8.60 runner in the 60. 

Mack Whitcomb, Brother Rice (IL), 2023 
Positional Profile: C 
Body: 5-foot-9, 195-pounds. 
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, short stride, slight reverse hand load, works in rhythm pre pitch. Short quick path with uphill finish, pull side approach, above average bat speed.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. Short over the top slot, played accurate at times.
Defense: 2.29-2.42 pop times. Gets tall out of the crouch, average transfer. Hands play soft, receiving, tends to receive on one knee.
Run: 8.10 runner in the 60.

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