East Coast Prospect Showcase: The Catchers

By Mike Penn
Michigan Director of Scouting

Today we begin our series of articles on the East Coast Prospect Showcase. Altogether an impressive group of 55 players attended and we will begin our position-by-position coverage with the catchers.  These are players who signed up with their primary position being catcher, although many of them showcased at another position as well.

Top Prospects

Lukas Veinbergs, C/RHP, Pinckney HS, 2015
Veinbergs has really started to make a name for himself.  A pure catch-and-throw guy, Veinbergs registers pop times in the 1.9’s consistently.  He took a better round of BP this time around, showing better bat speed and pop.  On the mound is where he might ultimately find himself.  His fastball worked between 83-85mph with late armside run.  He was underneath his slider a bit, causing it to get side-to-side but it certainly has the makings of a good pitch.

Scott Combs, C, Divine Child HS, 2017
Big, athletic frame. 6-foot-3, 165-pound catcher.  Plays in a well respected program at Divine Child.  Only a freshman.  Has a chance to be very good.  2.19-2.3 pop times but should improve.  Soft hands. Needs to work on transfer and feet.  At the plate he was balanced and showed a fast bat.  Gets a little long at times with a steep plane. Potential power down the road.  Developing strength and maturity. Definite follow.

Alex Dixon, C/OF, Brighton HS, 2015
Dixon is supremely gifted athletically. He has a good build that is on the wiry side of the scale. Overall, Dixon is a productive player. This player reminds us of a young Hunter Pence; not the prettiest but it certainly productive. He is 82mph from the outfield. Showed an above-average arm behind the plate with pop times at 1.91. At the plate he showed some looseness in the swing and a fast bat.


Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)

Gabe Allen, C/MIF, Portage Northern HS, 2015
Smaller 5-foot-9, 180-pound C/INF. Loses a bit of time by standing up immediately out of the crouch.  2.29-2.33 pop times.  Short arm action.  Threw accurately.  Athletic setup at the plate.  Sit-and-spin hitter.  Slow pull.

Caleb Anspaugh, C/SS, Schoolcraft HS, 2017
One of the youngest participants. A skinny 5-foot-10, 135-pound C/SS.  Solid actions for young age.  Good runner at 6.93. Quick twitch movements. Got rid of the ball quickly.  Short arm action.  Softer hands.  Accurate throws across the diamond.  Pop times ranged between 2.19-2.22.  At the plate has a lot of movement.  Short path to the ball.

Nick Caruso, C/1B, De La Salle HS, 2015
6-foot-3, 180-pound catcher with good frame.  Another good catcher in Class of 2015.  Short arm action with soft hands. Pops out of the crouch quickly when throwing down.  Pop times 2.07-2.25.  Good levers at the plate.  Longer stride but has smooth load.  Generated some backspin.

Aaron Gonzalez, C/1B, L’Anse Creuse HS, 2015
5-foot-11, 200-pound junior from L’Anse Creuse HS. Longer arm action behind the plate with solid arm strength from the crouch (74mph).  Ran well for a catcher 7.39.  Pop times 2.19-2.2.  Developing power from the plate.  Fast bat.  Strong kid.  Needs to free himself up a bit.

Dylan Harris, C/MIF, Forest Hills Central HS, 2014
5-foot-9, 160-pound smaller middle infielder with good actions.  Nice hands in the infield.  Accurate throws online. Quick clean actions. Behind the plate blocked the ball well. Good low target.  2.08-2.23 pop times. Short arm action. Balanced at the plate with good lower half. 

Austin Krzeminski, C/OF, Coldwater HS, 2016
Krzeminski shows good promise. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound C/OF showed well allaround. Put together well. Good athlete. He was 81mph from the OF and showed a 2.03-2.1 pop time behind the plate. Short stroke behind the plate.  Quicker release. Tough.  Blocked the ball well.  Good four-seam rotation.  Balanced at the plate.  Needs to free himself up a bit to see more pop. 

Trace Slancik, C/MIF, Vicksburg HS, 2016
Moved well laterally in the infield. Arm strength needs to improve (67mph)  Accurate with his throws.  Soft quick hands.  Threw from low ¾ almost side arm in infield.  Behind the plate registered pop times at 2.18 consistently.  Front foot hitter. Starts from a narrow base.

Jared Youkin, C/3B, Dakota HS, 2015
Stocky 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete. 7.74 runner.  Good actions in the infield.  Throws were accurate and had some carry.  Behind the plate registered 2.1-2.3 pop times.  Swung it well during BP. Developing power. Fast bat from athletic stance.  Got to extension well. On the mound has a loose arm from ¾ slot.  Fastball topped out at 79mph.  Breaking ball spun well and had downer action.  Delivery was smooth easy and inline.  Should see more velocity down the road.

Zak Zabonick, C/3B, Dakota HS, 2016
Impressive 6-foot-2, 175-pound C/3B prospect. Stong lower half.  Short arm action at third base. Needs to learn to play through the ball more. Sits back Gets underneath throws from time to time. Arm action was shorter behind the plate.  2.03-2.19 pop times.  Offensively minded.  Had some swagger at the plate.  Good lower half led to good bat speed.  Developing power potential.