2018 Southern Academic Games - Catcher Analysis


Brandon Hall & Matt Payne
North Carolina Director of Scouting & PBR Assoc Scout

Wednesday June 20th, at Davidson College, Prep Baseball Report of North Carolina hosted the 2018 Southern Academic Games, featuring high academic players from as far away as Texas and West Virginia, with a majority of the players from North Carolina.  On an unbelievably hot day, position players took part in an extended workout prior to controlled scrimmages. Pitchers were able to throw to live hitters with the staff of PBR controlling the length of the innings as most players were gearing up for another weekend of contests.  


With close to 40 high academic players in attendance, several took the opportunity to separate themselves in front of college coaches in attendance and the PBR staff.  As part of the event, PBR will be breaking down each player, presenting the statistics from the day, with an evaluation from a PBR scout and video.


Eight catchers took part in the workout, followed by live game action.  Each catcher was able to workout behind the plate, throwing to 2B and blocking and recovering.  An athletic group, 5 of the eight flashed at least one pop time under 2.10. 
Drew Bryan (Southern Lee HS, 2020) led the way with pop times ranging 1.90 - 1.94. 

The group was able to workout at a secondary position as well, with several showing an ability to play a second position, possibly allowing a roster to lengthen with their presence.  Each catcher's evaluation is below, including their stats from the day.  A link in their bio will take you to video of each catcher from their workout at Davidson College.

CLICK HERE for a complete look at the Southern Academic Games Roster

CLICK HERE for a comprehensive look at the statistics collected on every player in attendance.


QUICK HITTERS
+ 5 Players ran a sub 7.10 sixty, with 2 under 7.00… 11 ran under 7.30 seconds.
+ Accuracy was on display from the OF and INF workout sessions with several players showing carry as well.  Two outfielders were 84 or better and 6 infielders touched 79 across the diamond
+ 5 catchers turned in POP times of 2.10 or better, with three catchers carrying their throws out of the crouch at 75 mph or higher.
+ 4 hitters with exit velocities of 90 mph or higher… 11 above 85… 23 above 80.
+ In game action, 6 arms touched 80 or better with two 2019 grads working at 86 and 87.

 

Southern Academic Games - Catcher Analysis

Rodney Bonilla C / OF / Apex Friendship, NC / 2020

 

5 feet 8, 170-pound build. Hits from the right side using an athletic, balanced setup. Short stride, loading with some weight shift and a small leg kick. Looks to stay through balls with his barrel working level through the zone and getting extension out front. Shows feel for the barrel working gap to gap with a line drive approach. Exit velocity peaked at 83 mph. Behind the plate he shows soft hands with quick feet and short arm action throwing from an over the top slot. Accurate arm with pop times recorded at 2.10-2.32 and positional velocity peaking at 68 mph.  Lacks carry, but the exchange is consistent with the exchange allowing for rhythm. More comfort in the workout receiving than in game but that can improve as the hands continue to quicken. Average hands on the infield, funneling to the center of his body after catch with a short arm action, throwing from a ¾ slot. Accurate arm across the diamond peaking at 65 mph. Feet can get heavy on routine plays, limiting some rhythm in the transition. Better rhythm on athletic plays. Ran a 7.79 in the 60-yard dash.


Drew Bryan C / RHP / Southern Lee, NC / 2020

 

Broad shoulders and a strong frame at 5 feet 11, 190-pounds.  Frame will continue to add strength and quickness. Hits from the right side using an athletic, balanced setup. Smooth load and a small leg kick, getting his hands loaded to attack the ball.  Loose hands with above average bat speed. Good barrel-ability. Keeps his barrel in the zone, getting extension and driving the baseball. Fluid swing with a line drive approach, working gap to gap. Exit velocity at 85 mph.  Advanced defender that presents a clean target and should be able to control the run game. Hands work with some ease from a wide base with good bend in the hips. Quick, aggressive feet attack throwing opportunities. Clean transfers across the chest, repeated throughout the day.  Short, strong arm swing to an over-the-top slot. Pop times ranged 1.90 - 1.94, on-line with accuracy. From the crouch the positional velocity peaked at 78 mph out of fhe hand. Good burst off the line, running a 7.72 laser timed sixty. Sixty time should improve as he learns to carry top end speed for longer periods.


Joshua Harris C / 3B / Green Hope, NC / 2019

 

5 feet 11, 165-pound athletic build. Lean with plenty of room to add strength.  Has continued to add quickness to his game in the last year. Hits from the right side using an athletic, open setup. Leg kick in his load maintaining a quiet barrel. Repeats his launch position.  Barrel works short to the ball and stays in the zone. Looks to drive the ball in the gaps with a line drive approach and some barrel awareness. Average bat speed that can improve with more strength. Exit velocity recorded at 82 mph. Behind the plate he shows average hands with quick, clean exchanges. Short arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot with pop times recorded at 2.11-2.19 and positional velocity at 69 mph.  Solid setup with a wide base and good flexion through the hips. Transitions to a vertical base on throws. In game showed a willingness to block and recover. Soft hands on the infield playing through balls. Funnels to the center of his body after catch with clean exchanges and showing the ability to throw from different slots. Lacks some quickness and rhythm at times, but this should come with continued repetitions.  Accurate arm across the diamond topping at 74 mph. Ran a 7.70 60-yard dash.


Derek Hughes C / Ravenscroft, NC / 2019

 

6 feet 1, 170-pound projectable build. Athletic with wide shoulders and some length in his limbs.  Plenty of room to project continued strength gains as he matures. Hits from the right side using a slightly open, balanced setup. Short stride for his load with his hands working slightly down and back. Stays fluid through his swing, keeping his barrel in the zone and getting extension out front. Looks to stay inside the ball with some feel for the barrel and a line drive approach, working gap to gap.  Finishes high with the hands. Exit velocity topped at 81 mph and there is more in the tank as he finds the barrel more consistently. Average hands behind the plate with fluid feet and quick exchanges. Hips lack some bend. Short arm action, loading the scapular after a strong exchange across his chest. Throws from a high ¾ slot with pop times ranging 2.07-2.23 and positional velocity peaking at 75 mph. Some accuracy.  Occasional arm side fade to throws through to 2B. Ran a 7.79 in the 60-yard dash.


Matt Pollard C / OF / Leesville Road, NC / 2021

 

6 feet, 160-pound build. Young frame this is still maturing.  Hits from the right side using a balanced setup. Sinks in his load as his weight goes to his back leg. Loses some strength in his swing as he raises up through contact.  Looks to stay inside the ball and use the whole field. Exit velocity recorded at 68 mph and should improve with added strength. Behind the plate, the setup is elevated through the hips with the chest pressed forward at times.  Hands work through some stiffness to receive. Clean exchanges to a short arm action that does not load the scapular, creating a quick release but lacking some carry. Pop times ranged 2.21-2.41. With a positional velocity from the crouch of 67 mph to second base. Cautious to the ball in the outfield, lacking some trust in his hands.  Transitions at the belt with a long arm action throwing from an over the top slot. Some accuracy to his throws topping at 74 mph. Ran an 8.23 in the 60-yard dash.


Brandon Snyder C / 2B / AC Reynolds, NC / 2019

 

Average 5 feet 9, 175-pound build. Hits from the right side using a balanced setup. Smooth back with a short stride during his load. Barrel works level through the zone getting extension out front. Lower half doesn’t get through the ball at times causing his barrel to take a longer path to the ball. Looks to drive the ball in the gaps with a line drive approach and some feel for his barrel. Exit velocity peaked at 77 mph. Behind the dish, wide setup with some stiffness in the hips and turned with the glove side exaggerated forward at times.  Average hands, cautious through the exchange across the chest. Clean transfers to a short arm swing and high-¾ slot. Some accuracy, lacking carry at times, on throws with pop times ranging 2.21-2.54 and arm topping at 66 mph to second base from the crouch. Plays through balls on the infield with fluid feet and soft hands. Good touch-down to set the body and good rhythm between the hands and feet on the catch. Clean transition working to a high-¾ release. Accurate throws across the diamond topping at 68 mph. Ran a 7.95 in the 60-yard dash.


Matthew Suppa C / Ardrey Kell, NC / 2022


5 feet 9, 175-pound build. Very young frame that will continue to mature in the coming years.  Shows some athleticism and feel for the game that should increase with strength and quickness added to the body.  Offensively the right handed hitter is balanced, using a weight shift with a short stride. Good use of the lower half through the ball.  Feel for his barrel working short to the ball and slightly uphill after contact, staying on his backside. Looks to stay in the gaps with a line drive approach and ball off the bat topping at 73 mph. Average hands behind the plate with his feet working through his throws. Narrow setup with some stiffness through the hips.  Tends to be on his toes, forcing him forward through the catch. Short arm action throwing from a high ¾ slot with pop times recorded at 2.05-2.34 and positional velocity peaking at 71 mph. Repeats the transition, allowing for some accuracy. Ran an 8.66 in the 60-yard dash.

Bret Wiseman C / RHP / Weddington, NC / 2019


6 feet, 180-pound strong build. Solid athlete with quickness and strength present.  Ran ok, with a laser timed 7.42 sixty, showing a good burst off the line. Quick feet behind the plate, with quick transfers with a short arm action, throwing from a high ¾ slot. Some accuracy to his throws with pop times recorded at 2.08-2.13 and positional velocity peaking at 77 mph. Narrow stance with some stiffness in his hips.  Works to a vertical position to throw, with the transfer across the chest. Hands can be hard on the pitch down, but this may be corrected with a wider base. Offensively, hits from the right side with a balanced setup. Uses a short stride during his load, lacking weight transfer. Shoulders are geared uphill through the zone, working on the back side.  Line drive approach, working gap to gap with average barrel awareness and bat speed. Strength over quickness through the zone right now. Exit velocity peaked at 88 mph.