Unsigned Senior Showcase: Catcher Analysis


By Illinois Scouting Staff

On Oct. 7, our staff hosted the fall’s Unsigned Senior Showcase – an annual event for the area’s top talents belonging to the 2019 class who remain uncommitted. There were 160 prospects at The MAX taking part in the pro-style workout, performing in front of a collection of over 35 colleges. Already, 14 of the prospects in attendance have since committed to play at the next level.

Today, we’ll begin our position-by-position analysis by examining all 22 backstops who made it out to the event.

Plainfield East’s Sean Blanchard consistently demonstrated the natural actions it takes to play the position at the next level. Defensively, he routinely put the ball on the bag and repeatedly made hard contact to his pull-side. This combination made him among the most intriguing prospects at his position.

Right behind him on the ranks below is Bret Bushka (Glenbard East) who, statistically, stood out among this group. The 5-foot-10 catcher recorded the day’s hardest velocity from the crouch and also had the quickest single pop time.

Check out the full reports below on Blanchard and Buska, as well as the three other catchers who shape out the rest of this top-five ranking. We’ve already published the Quick Hits and the Statistical Analysis from this showcase, and keep an eye out tomorrow when we break down the day’s outfielders.  

TOP PROSPECTS

1. Sean Blanchard, C, Plainfield East, 2019
5-foot-11, 185-pound catcher, strong athletic shape. Right-handed hitter, open stance, leg kick trigger, average balance. Bat strength present, strong contact, middle to pull side contact on the barrel. Path is level, slightly long with intent for hard contact. Above average bat speed, 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above average arm strength out of the crouch for age, 79 mph, short over the top slot with accuracy. Natural actions out of the chute, quick clean transfer and footwork, flashed soft hands. 2.05-2.12 pop times. 7.44 runner in the 60.

2. Bret Bushka, C, Glenbard East, 2019
5-foot-10, 180-pound catcher, strong build. Quick actions out of the crouch, hands play, exchange is quick. Arm plays out of a high ¾ slot, showed some accuracy, plus arm strength for age, 80 mph out of the crouch. 2.00-2.18 pop times. 7.26 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, tall open stance, short stride to even. Aggressive swing, slight uphill path, showed bat speed, gap to gap approach. 91 mph exit velocity from the tee.

3. Jack Jonota, C, Stevenson, 2019
5-foot-8, 165-pound catcher, compact frame with strength. Right-handed hitter, tall setup, balanced and athletic in the box, leg kick trigger. Shows loose hands, bat path stays on top of the baseball, short path. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Active and confident defender, soft receiver, athletic and agile, command the position, solid blocker. Arm action is short and over the top, occasional carry, 77 mph out of the crouch. 2.04-2.15 pop times. 7.38 runner in the 60.

4. Daniel Hawes, C, Glenbrook South, 2019
5-foot-9, 155-pound catcher, lean frame, trim waist. Right-handed hitter, wider setup, balanced, short quick leg lift, quick loading action. Path played short, 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm played long and high ¾, showed accuracy, flashed carry, 74 mph. Quick feet out of the crouch, clean exchange. 2.05-2.12 pop times. 7.22 runner in the 60.

5. Tyler Struck, C, Providence Catholic, 2019
5-foot-11, 185-pound catcher, strong compact build. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, solid balance. Path is level, opposite field contact, 95 mph exit velocity from the tee. 2.10-2.25 pop times out of the crouch, flashed soft hands. Arm action is short, high ¾ slot, showed accuracy, carried well at 81 mph, above average arm strength. 7.24 runner in the 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Matt Angelone, C, Bartlett, 2019
6-foot, 215-pound catcher,, some strength. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, smooth loading action, short stride. Hits off front foot at times, path works to pull side, 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. 71 mph out of the crouch, over the top slot. 2.20-2.30 pop times. 7.65 runner in the 60.

Jake Bergquist, C, Tinley Park, 2019
6-foot, 180-pound catcher, average build. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, slightly open, leg kick stride, aggressive lower half. Pull side approach, long path slightly uphill, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm plays long from a high ¾ slot out of the crouch, 78 mph, plays with run. 2.14-2.33 pop times. 7.44 runner in the 60.

Alex Berry, C, Grayslake Central, 2019
6-foot-2, 185-pound catcher, lean build with strength. Above average runner, 6.93 in the 60. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short leg lift stride, slight dive. Path is short, opposite field approach, static lower half. Defensively arm played short and loose, high ¾ slot, 75 mph out of the crouch. Quick exchange and footwork, flashes quick twitch athleticism, agile blocker. Pop times ranged, 2.10-2.18.

Dominic Gazzillo, C/1B, Beecher, 2019
5-foot-10, 215-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, slight open stance, short heel lift stride, minimal lower half. Gap to gap approach, flashed pop, 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm is short from a high ¾ slot, 73 mph out of the crouch, 77 mph across the diamond. Sound blocker, efficient footwork, 2.33-2.38. 8.19 runner in the 60.

Steven Kronenberger, C/OF, Chicago Christian, 2019
5-foot-7, 140-pound catcher/outfielder. Right-handed hitter, open stance, short stride. Front foot hitter, made line drive contact to the opposite field. 78 mph exit velocity from the tee. 2.43-2.54 pop times out of the crouch. Arm plays long from a high ¾ slot, 70 mph out of the crouch, 72 mph from the outfield. 7.52 runner in the 60.

Alec Losselyoung, C/INF, West Aurora, 2019
5-foot-8, 160-pound catcher, solid compact build. Defensively arm action is short out of a high ¾ slot, 76 mph out of the crouch and across the diamond. 2.11-2.25 pop times, profiled best behind the plate, steady hands, quiet target. 7.55 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, leg kick trigger. Long uphill path, works off of backside, lifted contact, 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Joseph Marcucci, C, Rolling Meadows, 2019
6-foot, 205-pound catcher, strong durable build. Left-handed hitter, open stance, short stride, average balance. Pull side power approach, above average bat speed, slightly uphill path, occasionally jumps off the barrel, 96 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm plays over the top, short and firm, high ¾ slot, 74 mph out of the crouch. 2.18-2.25 pop times. 7.56 runner in the 60.  

Matt Mezel, C, Ottawa, 2019
5-foot-9, 160-pound catcher, Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride. Path is uphill, late opposite field contact, 77 mph exit velocity from the tee. 8.45 runner in the 60. Defensively showed above average block, gets tall through exchange, 2.36-2.43 pop times. Arm action is long, 70 mph out of the crouch.

Michael O’Neill, C, Joliet Catholic, 2019
5-foot-11, 160-pound catcher, lean build. Defensively arm played 72 mph out of the crouch, short over the top slot, played accurate. 2.25-2.29 pop times, repeatable out of the chute, flashed soft hands, quiet receiver, soft and agile blocker. 7.95 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, slightly open stance, short stride, average balance, 77 mph exit velocity from the tee.

Jeremy Roseen, C/INF, Lincoln-Way West, 2019
5-foot-11, 170-pound catcher/infielder. Right-handed hitter, balanced setup, wider base, inward front foot, short hanging stride. Path has some length, loose barrel, lower two handed finish. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Pop times played 2.05-2.11, exchange plays quick, early out of the chute. Arm plays with some length, lower slot on the infield, 77 mph across the diamond, 72 mph out of the crouch. 7.26 runner in the 60.

Jack Schirpke, C, Normal Community, 2019
6-foot-1, 192-pound catcher. Left-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, average balance. Path is long and level, arm generated, pull side approach. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm plays long and high 3/4, 71 mph out of the crouch. Gets tall out of the crouch, pop times ranged 2.20-2.34. 7.63 runner in the 60.

John Seagrist, C, Barrington, 2019
6-foot, 175-pound catcher, lanky frame. Right-handed hitter, slightly open stance, short stride to even, average balance. Path is long, works for pull side contact, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. 2.18-2.30 pop times out of the crouch, gets tall early out of the chute. Arm action is long and over the top, 70 mph. 7.34 runner in the 60.

Caleb Tonozzi, C, Putnam County, 2019
5-foot-10, 190-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, slightly open stance, short stride. Hits off back side, rotational some, path works slightly uphill, opposite field tendency, 77 mph exit velocity from the tee. Pop times played at 2.37-2.51. Arm action is long and over the top, exchange plays with some length, slight hesitation at top of release. 70 mph out of the crouch. 8.7 runner in the 60.

Joe Unger, C, Schaumburg, 2019
5-foot-10, 175-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, open stance, loads hands back, longer stride slightly dives. Firm path on long uphill plane. 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Quick clean transfer out of the crouch, glove hand played soft, agile blocker, quick off the knees. Arm plays with slight length, high ¾ slot, 73 mph out of the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.15-2.26. 8.06 runner in the 60.  

Nicholas Wiberg, C, Notre Dame, 2019
5-foot-11, 175-pound catcher, solid stocky build with strength. Right-handed hitter, wide setup, slightly open stance. Average balance and bat speed for age, opposite field contact. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Arm played up, accurate out of the crouch, short and over the top slot, 71 mph. Pop times ranged 2.30-2.43. 7.24 runner in the 60.

William Wirt, C, Sandburg, 2019
5-foot-10, 165-pound catcher, athletic frame. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, hands move throughout loading action, short reverse tap stride, solid balance. Loose hands, flashed bat speed, gap to gap approach. 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played short and over the top, slight carry, 73 mph out of the crouch. Above average actions, clean exchange, 2.19-.29 pop times. 7.48 runner in the 60.

Marc Zavala, C/INF/OF, St. Rita, 2019
5-foot-7, 155-pound multi-positional switch hitter. Hits from both sides of the plate, balanced setup, leg kick stride. More natural from the right side, path worked looser from the right, showed similar strength at both sides. Posted exit velocities at 87 mph from the right side, 82 mph from the left side. Defensively arm played short and over the top from every position, played accurate out of the crouch at 76 mph, 82 mph across the infield, 81 mph from the outfield. Pop times ranged 2.19-2.29. Showed versatile defensive actions all over the field, hands played with some softness. 7.39 runner in the 60.

RELATED CONTENT