Prep Baseball Report

Midwest Futures Games Tryouts: Catchers Analysis

By Mike Penn
Michigan Director of Scouting

Drew Blakely (Gull Lake HS) and Jordyn Muffley (Portage Central HS) both shone at the Midwest Futures Tryouts and ultimately earned invitations to represent Michigan in early August. But there were other catchers who showed well at the tryouts as well.  Take a look at the complete catchers analysis.

Top Catching Prospects 

1. Drew Blakely, C/RHP, Gull Lake HS, 2016

Blakely has a chance to be really special. Behind the plate, his arm is clearly his biggest separator. He threw consistent pop times around 2.0. Sits low in his stance. Has soft hands behind the dish. At the plate he shows good balance and an athletic setup.  He also runs well at 7.2 in the 60 for a catcher.His bat explodes through the zone after he uses a smooth easy load.  Was willing to use the whole field and go the other way on occasion but he did favor his pull side.  High upside as a ballplayer.  The jury is still out on whether he will be a pitcher or a catcher but either way he will be highly sought after in Michigan.

2. Jordyn Muffley, C/3B, Portage Central HS, 2015

Muffley is one of the best catchers in the Class of 2015.  Already he has garnered attention from several Division 1 schools in the state. He didn’t throw the ball as well as he did at Top Prospect Games (2.01-2.1) but he certainly still did enough to show that impress.  Ran well with a 7.03 in the 60. Had the highest velocity from the crouch (80mph).  In the infield showed good hands and strong arm across the diamond (79mph). Good feet an mobility.  Gets rid of the ball quickly. At the plate was balanced with short stride.  Advanced approach with some swagger.  Gap to gap hitter with potential for more pop down the road.

Best of the Rest (Alphabetically)

Ryan Blake-Jones, C, Saline HS, 2015

Blake-Jones has a strong lower half and big legs to handle his catching duties. Stands 6-foot-1, 180-pounds.  Very accurate thrower. Put the ball on the bag consistently.  Will see times improve as he works on his feet and matures.  Arm was longer behind dish but showed soft hands.  In the infield has softer hands.  Longer arm action led to slow release time.  Best projects as a third baseman if he stays in the infield. At the plate, was balanced. Has good lower half with good use of his legs.  Bat speed was good. Got to extension well.  Barrelled up a lot of baseballs.

Mike Falter, C/INF, Lake Orion HS, 2016

Falter is another good looking player coming through the Lake Orion system.  Only a freshman with time on his side.  Good frame with plenty of room to grow. 5-foot-11, 185-pounds.  Pop times registered between 2.12-2.3.  Room for improvement as feet and transfer quicken an shorten up.  In the infield showed accurate throws.  Longer arm action. 73mph across the diamond. At the plate hands worked well.  Cuts himself off a bit limiting his power currently.  Path is more level. Potential gap-to-gap but more line drives currently. 

Michael Flaishans, C, Canton HS, 2016

Flaishans impressed at Midwest Futures Tryouts.  Diminuitve in size (5-foot-4, 120-pounds).  Really good motor.  Quick release and transfer behind plate. Lower arm slot behind plate at this point.  Sat lower.  Quick twitch movements.  In the infield projects to be more of a second baseman right now.  At  the plate, bat path was shorter.  Lunges quite a bit during swing but should improve over time.  Time is on his side. 

Mason Patnoude, C/MIF, Portage Central HS, 2017

Patnoude will be entering his freshman year this fall.  Good body for young player. 5-foot-11, 170-pound athlete.  Solid runner 7.47. Behind plate showed shorter arm action but solid pop times for his age 2.22-2.35.  Throws were accurate.  Stands up a bit and needs to stay through the throw to see better results. Good lateral mobility. First step was quick and got to the ball well.  Feet were good hands soft.  Switch hitter with advanced approach for young age.  At the plate has shorter bat path with good balance. Power potential with gap-to-gap pop.

Luke Shilling, C, Notre Dame Prep, 2015

6-foot-2, 210-pound bigger bodied athlete. Strong lower half.  Threw the ball well behind the plate.  One of the better velocities from the crouch at the showcase (75mph).  Short arm action.  Accuracy needs to improve but ball got down to second quickly (2.09-2.12) Consistent times.  Some recoil in motion. Soft hands behind plate. At the plate shows advanced approach with some swagger.  Hands worked really well.  Ball jumped off bat with explosive bat speed. Definite gap-to-gap pop.  As body improves so will his stock.

Cameron Starkey, C, Chelsea HS, 2015

Second time seeing Starkey.  Like his actions and his grit.  Going to be a solid player with plenty of time on his side.  Smaller frame but chested up balls well.  Mechanics and actions all work well just needs to mature. Short arm action with good feet.  Short stride at plate with level swing.  Contact hitter currently.