Preseason Underclass Preview: Catchers Analysis





By Phil Wade

Indiana Executive Director 



The Inaugural Preseason Underclass Preview took place on Sunday, February 22nd, at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis, IN with a total of 86 underclassmen in attendance; 53 2017's, 26 2018's and seven 2019's.  Below we take a look at the 23 catchers who attended the event.  

Top 5

Tyler Burthay, C, Western HS, 2017: 6-foot-1, 190 pound receiver showcased soft hands and quick feet behind the dish.  Quick, clean transfer with pop times of 1.93-2.04. Quick out of the shoot.   From the crouch was 77 mph with carry.  At the plate starts in an open setup, using a short stride.  Average use of the lower half.  Short, level path to the ball.  Stays balanced.  Consistent hard contact.  Recorded a high exit velo of 84 mph.  

Andrew Lawvere, C, Eastbrook HS, 2017: 5-foot-11, 190 pound receiver displayed a strong, accurate arm at 79 mph from the crouch.  Comes through the ball well with a quick arm and transfer.  Registered pop times of 1.94-2.02.  Displayed average blocking ability and the ability to stick pitches well.  Possesses good athleticism behind the dish.  Offensively, starts balanced with a wide base.  Loads back using a short stride.  Good use of the lower half and good balance throughout the swing.  Possesses above average bat speed with some barrel whip.  Recorded a high exit velo of 84 mph.  

Nolan Metcalf, C, Penn HS, 2017: Strong, physical 6-foot-3, 220 pound catcher possesses soft hands behind the plate.  Needs to improve on quickness and flexibility.  Displayed a good, clean transfer on his throws to 2B.  Front side tends to fly open.  Pop times were 2.05-2.08.  Accurate arm at 78 mph.  Offensively, stats from a balanced setup, using a short stride.  Tendency to drop hands during the load.  Good use of the lower half with good balance throughout the swing.  Possesses a quick bat with good approach.  Level path to the ball, gets to extension.  Possesses gap power.  Recorded a high exit velo of 86 mph.  

Brandon Reid, C, Brownsburg HS, 2017: 5-foot-9, 170 pounder possesses good athleticism behind the dish.  Sticks pitches well.  Quick transfer with good hands.  Falls off toward 3B on his throws to 2B.  Was 77 from the crouch with pop times of 2.02-2.05.  Offensively, hits from a slight crouch setup.  Loads back and uses a short stride.  Good  balance throughout the swing, tendency to over rotate the lower half.  Shows some twitch.  Barrels up the baseball.  Ran a 7.31-60. 

Kahi’au Quartero, C, Avon HS, 2017: 5-foot-11, 170 pounder was 2.12-2.22 with his pop times.  Possesses tons of athleticism.  Firm hands when receiving.  Showcased some arm strength at  77 mph from the crouch.  At the plate starts with in an athletic setup.  Loads back and uses a leg kick.  Good balance throughout.  Possesses average bat speed.  Slightly uphill path, gets to extension.  Swing gets long at times.  Line drive hitter shows some pop to his pull-side.  Consistent hard contact. Recorded a high exit velo of 82 mph.  

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Zyon Avery, C, Ben Davis HS, 2018: 5-foot-11, 180 pound freshman catcher showcased some athleticism behind the dish.  Narrow stance, good receiver.  On his throws to 2B showcased good feet ,comes through the ball.  Average transfer.  Pop times were 2.15-2.25 and was 74 from the crouch, but lacked arm strength.  Switch hitter at the plate, pretty much a mirrored swing from both sides, but showcased a little more pop from the right side.  Starts open with a smooth load back.  Short stride, tends to dive.  Good  balance throughout the swing .  Shows some bat speed with a level path to the ball.  Compact, ability to hit the gaps.  Recorded a high exit velo of 84 from the right side and 81 from the left.   

Caleb Burton, C, Columbus East HS, 2018: 5-foot-7, 150 pound freshman catcher showcased a wide base behind the plate.  Stiff actions.  Showcased quick hands and comes through the ball well on his throws to 2B with long feet.  Pop times were 2.05-2.20 and was 75 from the crouch.  Offensively, starts balanced.  Smooth load, short stride.  Average bat speed with a level path.  Stays balanced.  Should continue to improve at the plate as he physically matures.  Recorded a high exit velo of  75 mph.  

Jacob Christie, C, Batesville HS, 2017: 5-foot-10, 175 pound receiver showcased the ability to stick pitches well.  Balanced setup.  Quick transfer on his throws to 2B, short arm action.  Was 72 from the crouch, produced pop times of 2.18-2.30.  At the plate hits from a crouch setup, using a short stride.  Average use of the lower half with average balance.  Showcased average bat speed with a fair approach to the ball.  Slightly uphill path with some pull-side pop.  Recorded a high exit velo of 81 mph.  

Nicholas Coy, C, Center Grove HS, 2017: 5-foot-10, 165 pound receiver showcased soft hands behind the plate with quick feet.  Needs to quicken up the transfer on his throws to 2B.  Registered pop times of 2.11-2.25 and was 69 from the crouch.  At the plate hits from a balanced setup using a long stride.  Dives during stride, hits off front foot.  Long, uphill path to the baseball.  Lacks balance.  Recorded a high exit velo of 75 mph.  

Mason Diaz, C, Wheeler HS, 2019: 5-foot-10, 182 pounder showcased good defensive actions for an 8th grader.  Displayed the ability to handle pitches, with good balance.  Average transfer on his throws to 2B, just needs to quicken everything up.  Tendency to slide towards 3B when throwing to 2B.  Pop times were 2.25-2.26.   From the crouch was 75 mph with accuracy.  At the plate starts balanced and uses a short stride.  Loads back, short, compact swing.  Finishes 1-handed.  Recorded a high exit velo of 77 mph. 

Colin Donahue, C, Carmel HS, 2017: 6-foot-1, 190 pound sophomore receiver possesses some athleticism behind the dish.  Needs to improve his balance.  Lots of movement with his glove.  Displayed good footwork.  Pop times were 2.04-2.10 and was 72 from the crouch.  At the plate hits from a slight crouch setup and is narrow.  Short stride, leg kick.  Good balance throughout the swing.  Uphill swing plane, line drive type hitter consistently made solid contact.  Recorded a high exit velo of 83 mph.  

Tyler Frank, C, Lake Central HS, 2017: 6-foot-2, 170 pound sophomore catcher sets up in a narrow stance behind the plate.  Average hands.  Tendency to reach for the ball.  Pop times were 2.13-2.19 and was 73 from the crouch with some carry.  Clean transfer.  At the plate starts in a crouch setup with wide feet.  Stride is short. Possesses some bat speed, the hands work.  Short, level path to the ball.  Line drive hitter.  Recorded a high exit velo of 83 mph.  Runs a 7.08-60 and has some athleticism.  

Matt Fundich, C, Kahler MS, 2019: 5-foot-7, 145 pound 8th grade catcher possesses a quiet set up with raw actions behind the dish.  Recorded pop ties of 2.22-2.40 and was 65 from the crouch. Offensively, the LHH hits from an athletic setup, loads back using a short stride.  Hands drop during the load, uphill swing path.  Flys open, pulls everything.  Recorded a high exit velo of 74 mph.  Ran a 7.21-60.  

Bryce Ginder, C, Ft. Wayne Carroll HS, 2019: 5-foot-7, 145 pound 8th grade receiver was solid behind the dish for an 8th grader.  Hands are firm.  Showcased good footwork, needs to quicken up the transfer.  Pop times were 2.22-2.27 and was 68 from the crouch with good accuracy.  Offensively the LHH, displayed a quiet approach to the ball with good balance.  Fundamentally sound swing.  Recorded a high exit velo of 75 mph.  

J.C. Hanley, C, Carmel HS, 2017: 6-foot-1, 190 pound sophomore sets up in a good stance.  Average hands.  Clean arm action, pop times were 2.03-2.16 and was 72 from the crouch.  Offensively, starts open, short stride.  Loads back.  Short, quick path to the baseball.  Level swing plane with the ability to get to extension.  Barreled up the baseball and recorded a high exit velo of 83 mph.  

Garett Hill, C, Center Grove HS, 2018: 5-foot-10, 165 pound freshman receiver possesses athletic actions for a freshman with good blocking ability.  Needs to quicken up the transfer.  65 mph from the crouch from a high, over-the-top slot.  Pop times were 2.33-2.44.  At the plate starts in a balanced setup.  Drops hands and eye level during the load.  Consistent hard contact with some bat speed.  Gets to extension.  Good balance throughout.  Recorded a high exit velo of 78 mph.  

Jake Lautenschlager, C, West Vigo MS, 2019: 6-foot-1, 165 pound 8th grader works hard behind the dish.  Actions are still raw and shows some stiffness.  Just needs more experience.  Slow release on his throws.  Pop times were 2.30-2.38 and was 71 from the crouch.  At the plate starts in a narrow setup using a short stride.  Hands tend to drop during the load.  Average balance throughout his swing with some use of the lower half.  Needs to increase his bat speed.  Uphill swing plane.  Should improve as he physically matures.  Recorded a high exit velo of 66 mph.  

Eli Lawyer-Smith, C, Center Grove HS, 2018: 5-foot-11, 160 pound freshman showcased a good setup behind the plate with the ability to block well.  Shows some stiffness.  Displayed quick hands on the transfer.  Pop times were 2.22-2.27 and was 67 from the crouch.  At the plate starts from an open setup with a smooth load.  Good balance throughout the swing.  Average bat speed.  Loose swing with some barrel whip, consistent hard contact.  Recorded a high exit velo of 77 mph. 

John Lux, C, Shelbyville HS, 2017: 6-foot-1, 185 pounder was 2.12-2.17 with his pop times.  73 mph from the crouch.  Needs to improve his setup and balance behind the dish.  Firm hands.  Offensively, hits from a balanced setup using a short stride.  2-part swing. Some use of the lower half with good balance throughout his swing.  Hands are low, uphill swing path.  Showcased the ability to get to extension.  Recorded a high exit velo of 83 mph.  

Gregory Pietsch, C, North Montgomery HS, 2017: 5-foot-11, 195 pound catcher possesses raw actions behind the dish.  Needs to improve his balance and receiving ability, stabs at the ball.  Pop times were 2.30-2.39 and was 77 from the crouch.  Offensively, hands start low.  No load.  Tendency to fly open.  Average bat speed with a good approach to the ball.  Compact swing, stays inside the ball.  Recorded a high exit velo of 77 mph.  Ran a 7.83-60.  

Gabe Reel, C, Hamilton Heights HS, 2018: 5-foot-10, 165 pound freshman catcher possesses raw actions behind the dish.  Needs to quicken up the transfer.  Pop times were 2.48-2.60 and was 65 from the crouch.  At the plate hits from a narrow, crouch setup.  Loads back using a short stride.  Average use of the lower half with average balance.  Short, compact swing.  Recorded a high exit velo of 75 mph.  

Brody Tanksley, Bedford North Lawrence HS, 2017: 6-foot, 215 pound receiver currently possesses raw actions behind the dish. Pop times were 2.22-2.30 and was 74 from the crouch with accuracy.  At the plate starts balanced, loads back.  Leg kick, dives during the stride.  Uphill swing plane.  Good balance throughout the swing.  Recorded a high exit velo of 82 mph.  

Marcus Thorne, C, Washington HS, 2018: 6-foot, 158 pounder showcased quiet actions behind the plate with good balance.  Solid receiver.  Long transfer with slow feet on his throws to 2B.  Pop times were 2.37-2.47 and was 67 from the crouch.  At the plate hits from a balanced setup.  High hands, level path to the ball.  Displayed good balance throughout his swing.  Line drive hitter, needs to work on getting to extension.  Recorded a high exit velo of 67 mph.  

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