Prep Baseball Report

Final Event of the Winter: Catchers Analysis

By Mike Penn
Michigan Director of Scouting

Today we begin our coverage on the Final Event of the Winter. Over the next few days we will take a look at the top performers at each position.

Let's begin with the catchers.

Top Catchers 

1) Jeff Timko, C, Brother Rice HS, 2016- The 6-foot, 180-pound Timko continues to show improvement.  Timko, who is only a freshmanhas a chance to be an elite catcher. He shows an advanced skill set at the plate.  His swing is short and compact. He is also well-balanced at the plate.  His hands work quickly.  Shows a simple,no-load approach. His pop time is generally in the 2.1 range, but his best pop time on this day was 2.01, a personal record for him. Behind the plate he blocks the ball extremely well and his footwork is solid.  A 7.21 runner already in the 60, Timko shows good athleticism. Got down the line in 4.66.

2) Sammy Stevens, C/1B, Brother Rice HS, 2014- A few years older than Timko, Stevens showed well. He achieved a personal-best 1.97 pop time on this day. Stevens is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound C/1B who swings it from the left side.  Stevens has a short, compact stroke and gets the bat head through the zone well. Behind the plate, Stevens gets low and moves well. He has an over-the-top arm slot with good carry and accuracy on his throws.  The ball has good four-seam rotation. Stevens got down the line in 4.44.

3) Connor Grant, C, Lake Orion HS, 2014- Grant is another player who really raised his stock at this event.  He showcased one of the best pop times at the event (1.97).  His throws were accurate and he showed a quick, short release. Grant replaced his feet well.  At the plate showed a shorter swing path than in the past.  Has gap-to-gap potential.  Grant stands at 5-foot-8, 175-pounds. 

4) Michael Ryan, C, Fenton HS, 2016- Ryan is advanced for his class.  He has big broad shoulders and good strength (5-foot-10, 185-pounds). Behind the plate he showed solid footwork and quick-twitch movements.  Throws from a higher arm slot than most catchers.  Accuracy of throws will improve over time and become more consistent.  He had consistent 2.12-2.18 pop times, his best being 2.08. Showed softer hands behind the plate and good willingness to block the baseball. At the plate, he carries himself with some swagger.  There is more power in the bat as he learns not to cut himself off.  Overall his hands were quick and the ball jumped.

5) Alex Dixon, C/OF, Brighton HS, 2015- Dixon is a solid, versatile athlete. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Dixon is best summed up in one word: productive.  Dixon surprised with a showcase best 87 MPH exit velocity.  He already has some strength to him.  Has natural instincts.  Throws from behind the plate had good carry but were a bit inaccurate.  At the plate he has solid bat speed.  He will be able to show more power when he incorporates more of his lower half. Two intangibles that Dixon has are his heart and that he hustles. Dixon stood out at this event based on the way he hustled.


Best of the Rest

Maxwell Bain, C/RHP, Clarkston HS, 2015- Bain has a big 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame that has room to fill out.  He shows a good, quick arm.  Behind the plate he registered 2.01-2.16 pop times.  He gained ground well.  At the plate, he had a good setup and was balanced. He lifts the baseball and creates backspin. Was willing to go the the opposite field.  

Garrett Center, C/MIF, North Farmington HS, 2015- Center is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound catcher and middle infielder.  Center registered pop times between 2.09 and 2.26. He has long, loose arm action.  His pop times will improve as he matures and his footwork improves.  He did throw the ball accurately.  At the plate, he is more of a sit-and-spin hitter. Shows good balance at the plate. Got the bat head out into extension.  

Cory Kennedy, C, Lasalle Secondary (CAN), 2013- Kennedy is one of the prospects that attended the Final Event of the Winter from Canada.  Kennedy is 5-foot-9, 200-pounds, and has a strong lower half.  Behind the plate he has a wide setup and moves well back and forth. Sits higher in his stance.  He showed pop times between 2.02-2.16, mainly sitting around the 2.1 mark.  Kennedy's best tool is his bat.  He shows good power from the left side. The ball jumped off of his bat. He shows a wide stance and is a bit closed.  Takes a big hack.  Shows advanced approach with gap-to-gap pop. Bat was fast and created good backspin.