MN Underclass Prospect Games: Catching Analysis

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By Rob Allison
Prep Baseball Report Minnesota

The Prep Baseball Report Minnesota's Underclass Prospect Games took place on July 1st, 2015 at Seibert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The showcase featured prospects from the 2017 and 2018 class who showcased their talents in front of our scouting staff, college coaches, and professional scouts.

Today we start our position by position analysis with catchers. This group had a variety of talent including catch and throw guys, strong receivers and blockers, and offensive oriented players. When we create this list we evaluate the overall package of abilities along with future projection at the college level.

The top catching prospect at this year's MN Underclass Prospect Games is Lakeville North's Nicholas Juaire. Juaire plays with energy, has extremely good arm strength, and shows the ability to hit from both sides of the plate.

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Top Catching Prospects

1. Nicholas Juaire, C/IF, Lakeville North, 2018
5-foot-8, 175-pound switch-hitting catcher/infielder. Strong lower half with explosion to baseball. Swing is more compact with better balance left-handed. Aggressive at plate with 3 hits in game. 88 mph exit velocity off tee. 75 mph arm strength behind the plate with pop times in 2.03-2.12 range. Slightly narrow set-up. Average receiver. High energy player with above average baseball I.Q. Shows usable hands and feet in field with accurate throws and plus arm strength at 89 mph. One of the top 2018 prospects in state.

2. Zach Smith, C/RHP, Rochester John Marshall, 2017
5-foot-11, 180-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Crouched stance. Heel turn trigger. Flat bat path. Rotational weight. Shows pop to gaps with solid extension through ball. 84 mph exit velocity. Blocks balls in front well. Limited lateral movement. Average flexibility. Plays with energy. Average receiver. Good direction to 2B. Quick exchange and release. 75 mph arm strength with 2.05 pop time.

3. Dawson Degnan, C/3B/RHP, Cretin-Derham Hall, 2017
6-foot, 170-pound left-handed hitting catcher/utility player. Quiet actions at plate. Length in load. Good bat path to ball. Works gaps well in approach. Solid contact with average power. 83 mph exit velocity off tee. Soft hands and receives well behind plate. Average blocker. 70 mph arm strength with 2.19 pop times.

4. Aaron Brush, C, Minnetonka, 2017
6-foot-1, 205-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Good size. Open stance with long stride. Flashes pull power. Middle/pull approach. Solid contact with line drives to middle of field. 84 mph exit velocity. Tall stance. Solid receiver. Clean exchange. Long release. Above average accuracy to bag. 2.19 pop time with 72 mph arm strength.


Nathaniel Allen, C, St. Thomas Academy, 2018
6-foot-1, 145-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Middle of field approach. Groundball/ line-drive bat path. Requires strength gains. Closed stance. Needs to improve lower half in swing. 70 mph exit velocity. 2.38 pop time with 66 mph arm strength. Flexible body. Long exchange on throws. Soft hands receiving. Improvement required on beating ball to spot and staying square to pitcher.

Jake Hendel, C, Buffalo, 2017
5-foot-9, 170-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Whole field approach. Average pop and contact. Active lower half with many moving parts. Inverted swing plane. 77 mph exit velocity off tee. High stance. Length to exchange. Throws uphill. Hands are stiff receiving baseball. 2.28 pop time with 66 mph arm strength to second base.

Jake Koller, C, East Ridge, 2018
5-foot-9, 140-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Uses whole field. Average pop in bat. Line-drive contact. Leans back at contact. Uphill tendencies. 72 mph exit velocity off tee. Wide base with good flexibility behind plate. Works underneath baseball with glove. Ability to block average velocity. Clean exchanges. Quicker feet. ¾ arm slot with average carry. 2.34 pop time with 66 mph arm strength.

Nathan Martindale, C, Bloomington Jefferson, 2017
5-foot-10, 180-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Open stance with toe tap trigger. Length to contact with inverted swing plane. Strong at contact. Ok pop in bat. Middle/pull approach. Consistent solid contact. 89 mph exit velocity off tee. Stiff glove. Average blocker. Clean exchanges. Length in release. 70 mph arm strength with 2.25 pop time.

Ty Okada, C, East Ridge, 2017
5-foot-8, 135-pound right-handed hitting catcher. Solid middle/pull contact producing line-drives. Some hand drift down; working uphill through ball at contact. 72 mph exit velocity off tee. Average pop in bat. Good lower half flexibility. Above average energy. Quick feet with average length to exchange. Solid accuracy to bag. 2.16 pop time with 66 mph arm strength.

Tyler Young, C/IF, Wayzata, 2017
6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed hitting catcher/infielder. Good frame. Low hand slot. Top spins baseball. Average/solid contact. Gap to gap approach. 71 mph exit velocity off tee. Ok flexibility. Solid receiver. Keeps balls in center of body. Length to exchange. Release is quick. 2.12 pop time with 69 mph arm strength.

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