Prep Baseball Report

Louisiana Picks To Click: Catchers

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

As the 2024 Louisiana high school season nears, and we finish up our last round of rankings update of the year, we take a look at some players that are primed and ready for big years.  This can be a pivotal year for many of these players, as some will earn starting spots on their varsity squads, and others who will be relied on as key contributors.  Today, we kick-off our "Pick to Click" series, by highlighting several catchers below that we feel are primed to make a splash in 2024.  Be sure to follow along the next few days, as we will be releasing additional "picks to click" for different position groups.  



+ 2024 C Ben Wade (Holy Savior Menard HS)

Compact and sturdy 5'9" 175 lbs. frame.  The Holy Savior Menard product was one of the better backstops at our Senior Games event this past fall at LSU-Eunice, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  Wade created a small target for pitchers and showed really good hip mobility and flexibility, something that is imperative in the crouch.  He blocked and received the ball well, and stuck each pitch out front with proper presentation.  Wade also showed quick and clean transfers on throw downs with an accurate arm that produced pop times of 2.00-2.08 with a 75 mph positional velocity.  There's present bat speed at the plate, as he recorded a max hand speed of 22.1 mph and a max exit velocity of 93.3 mph. 

+ 2025 C Dalton Sabathe (Pearl River HS)

6'2" 185 lbs. frame with some present physicality.  The former Future Gamer has been on our radars for a while now, and at this fall's State Games event, he turned in his best performance.  Sabathe looked super comfortable in the box and it showed in his results, as he collected multiple hits on the weekend, including a double to the pull-side.  The Pearl River HS product is athletic from the crouch with good hip mobility, a strong arm (78 mph), and quick exchanges that results in consistent sub 2.00 pop times.  

+ 2025 C Connor Walker (Sam Houston HS)

Walker has long been known as one of the best defenders in the state, regardless of class, and his offense started to catch up with his defense this summer and continued into the fall.  The former Future Gamer had one of the best performances at this fall's State Games, as he hit a towering pull-side homerun and a double into the left-centerfield gap to finish with three hits on the weekend.  Playing at Sam Houston, he'll have the chance to shine this coming spring, as the Broncos always face stiff competition and we believe that Walker is ready to have a breakout junior campaign.

 +2025 C Dylan Champagne (Dutchtown HS)

The Dutchtown product was another big winner coming out of our State Games event this fall, as he put together a productive weekend at Alex Box Stadium, and showed significant improvements in all aspects of his game.  Champagne recorded personal bests in arm strength at 77 mph from the crouch, to go along with pop times of 1.95-2.02.  Offensively, the left-handed hitter took quality at-bats all weekend and was on the barrel in nearly every at-bat.  6'3" 175 lbs. catchers don't grow on trees and with the physical gains that he's made in the last twelve months, we expect Champagne to have a big-time junior season for the Griffins.

+ 2025 C Andrew Clapinski (Catholic BR HS)

Clapinski did a little bit of everything for the Bears last spring as a sophomore, and could easily be included in multiple different position groups, but we decided to throw him in this mix of backstops.  A professional hitter at the plate, Clapinski has an innate ability to control and manipulate the barrel to cover all areas of the strike zone, and can hit the ball to the opposite field extremely well.  He's also a solid receiver and blocker with pop times of 1.97-2.03 and a 76 mph positional velocity from the crouch.  His positional versatility combined with his hit tool should make him an intriguing prospect to follow this spring, and we believe that he will have another successful season at Catholic High.