Prep Baseball Report

NC Preseason All-State: Catchers

By Brandon Hall
Director of Scouting, PBR NC

Follow us on Twitter: @PrepBaseballNC


The premier winter showcase event for baseball players in North Carolina took place at On Deck Baseball Academy in Pineville, NC on Saturday January 28th.  The invite only event featured 76 of the top players in North Carolina.  Running through an extended pro-style workout, position players were able to show off their talents on defense, in the cages, and with a series of speed and agility tests.  The pitchers threw controlled bullpens, keeping in mind it is still January, showcasing their delivery, arm slot and arm action.  

Below is a look at primary catchers.  A great group of athletes that impressed with their arms and bats.

CLICK HERE to view all of the statistical results.

CLICK HERE to see the complete roster of the Preseason All-State Event.


2017 Graduates

David Hutto, C, Myers Park HS, NC

Average build with some quickness in the 5-foot-10, 170 pound frame.  Ran a thirty in 4.19 and recorded 8-foot-1 mark in the standing broad jump.  Behind the plate, sits low, presenting an easy target.  Hands work with some softness receiving.  Footwork and exchange are fluid and clean on throws with the arm creating a short, loose action to a high-3/4 slot.  Flashed accuracy on throws ranging 1.97-2.07 to 2B.  In the box, left handed hitter works from a tall base, loading down slightly from a vertical bat with a long stride.  Average to above bat speed comes with a slightly uphill aggression, working to stay gap-to-gap.  Barrel awareness is average and can improve.  Exit velocity topped at 78.


Gregory Laxton, C, CE Jordan HS, NC

An athletic build at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds with room to continue to fill out.  Pop times ranged 2.10 – 2.14 using a short, loose arm action to a high-3/4 slot.  Average to above accuracy.  Clean exchanges and fluid footwork but did recoil after most throws.  Right handed hitter works from an open base, using a short stride to get back to even.  When on time, the bat is whippy through the zone, looking for gap-to-gap extension.  Some effort in the swing leads to some barrel awareness issues.  Exit velocity topped at 80.  Ran the thirty in 4.40 and recorded a broad jump of 7-foot-3.


Jonathan D’Ercole, C/3B, Middle Creek HS, NC

Strong base and build in the 5-foot-11, 190 pound frame, with maturity.  Works easy and with good fundamentals in most aspects of the game.  Right handed hitter starts from a slight crouch and open stance with a vertical bat.  Works back to even with a short stride and smooth load back.  Better than average batspeed and a level, gap-to-gap approach, with good rhythm ended with balance.  Exit velocity registered at 87.  Works to get the bat through the zone on every swing.  Barrel awareness can improve and should allow for more consistent power.    Behind the dish, presents an easy target for pitchers with good hands.  Showed accuracy on each throw to 2B, pop times ranging 2.10-2.14 from a high-3/4 slot and loose arm action.  Ran a 4.38 thirty and tested at 7-foot-10 in the standing broad jump.  On the infield, works with soft feet and hands, funneling to the mid section, consistently catching the ball.  Short arm action leads to a high-3/4 slot showing carry and some accuracy.  Velocity across the infield registered at 78.


Elijah Bowers, C, Weddington HS, NC

South Carolina commit lit it up with his arm and his feet.  Powerfully built at 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, ran a 3.91 thirty showing good form and a great burst off the line.  Standing broad jump tested at 8-foot-10.  From behind the dish, an easy setup, with his hands a little deep against the body at times.  Hands still work with some softness.  Pop times ranged 1.86 – 1.92 with a short quick exchange into a strong arm that produced advanced carry and accuracy.  A Right handed hitter, works from an open stance striding back to even with a leg kick and high hands.  Works to air the swing out on every attempt creating average bat speed in a level, gap-to-gap approach.  The barrel is thin through the zone at times as the head discipline can improve.  Exit velocity topped at 82.


2018 Graduates

Joshua Harvey, C, Wake County Home Schooled, NC

Lanky and loose athlete with room to fill out the 6-foot, 155 pound frame.  Arm shows carry and average accuracy working with looseness.  Pop times ranged 2.00 – 2.14.  Worked to vertical at exchange with aggressive feet through the target.  Left handed hitter again shows looseness in the body that may translate as he adds strength to the frame.  High hands and an athletic stance use a short stride to produce a whippy swing, with average bat speed.  Slightly wrapped after load, still works to stay in the  middle of the field.  Slightly uphill and driving for extension.  Exit velocity topped at 79.  Rana 4.34 thirty and posted a 8-foot-6 standing broad jump.


Jordan Harley, C, Parkwood HS, NC

A young build with athleticism in the 6-foot, 170 pound frame.  Plenty of room to continue to add strength.  Flashed quickness and strength running a 4.10 thirty and recording a 8-foot-4 standing broad jump.  Good feel for the barrel from the right handed hitter.  Starts from a tall stance with a smooth load back and short stride.  Better than average bat speed worked with a level, gap-to-gap approach, producing line drives throughout the session.  Quiet and balanced, continually took a vertical barrel to the baseball.  Exit velocity topped at 84.  Behind the plate, uses short feet and a quick release to produce pop times ranging 1.99-2.07.  Average accuracy, works to a vertical base early in the exchange. 


Nicholas George, C, Northwest Guilford HS, NC

Right handed hitter works from a tall stance with balance and a vertical bat.  Short stride works to a short, level approach producing a pull tendency throughout the session.  Lacks a load in the hands or body, but still creates average bat speed, producing an exit velocity of 84mph.  Ran a 4.25 thirty and tested at an 8-foot standing broad jump.  Behind the dish, a little stiff in the setup, although the hands appear to work ok receiving.  On throws to 2B, works vertical early, into the exchange, with a short arm swing to a high-3/4 slot.  Average arm strength did produce some accuracy.  Pop times ranged 2.25-2.36


Colby Emmertz, C, Topsail HS, NC

Athletic with quick twitch tendencies in the 5-foot-11, 180 pound frame.  Turned in a 4.13 thirty.  Pop times ranged 1.94-2.04 with good accuracy on the throws.  Aggressive feet, work quick through clean exchanges producing a short arm swing.  The head does clear the line on some throws, allowing the ball to have a small tail to the arm side.  Tends to bounce a little through his receiving, creating an unstable target, but the hands work to overcome any issues.  Right handed hitter produces bat speed and strength from a balanced setup.  Low hands load the bat to a vertical position with a short stride.  Very aggressive and works to create bat speed on every swing, wanting extension.  Average barrel awareness.  Exit velocity topped at 86mph.


Tyler McPeak, C, North Lincoln HS, NC

Gardner Webb commit stands at a physical 6-foot, 195 pounds.  Balanced and tall in the box, uses a short stride and explosive back side to create an extremely quick bat through the zone.  Hands load using a slight ‘C’ motion.  Fluid rhythm and a level swing working for extension.  Loose with good head discipline.  Exit velocity topped at 85.  From behind the dish, works simple and easy on throws through to 2B.  Pop times ranged 2.03-2.17, showing carry and accuracy.  Clean exchanges can get long at times the high-3/4 slot is loaded.  Easy target with good hands receiving.  Balls tend to funnel back to the mid-section.  Ran a 4.43 thirty and produced an 8-foot-4 standing broad jump.


Colin Smith, C, High Point Central HS, NC

Good feel for his body and a fundamental approach leads to consistency across the board.  Pop times ranged 1.91-2.00.  Easy exchanges work to a loose, fluid slot producing some carry on fairly accurate throws.  Body is consistent with its direction and position on throws.  Somewhat stiff in the hips, sits a little high and the glove positioning floats during receiving.  Right handed hitter works from an open, tall stance, using a short stride to get back to even.  Some bat waggle throughout the load.  Slightly uphill with a fluid, gap-to-gap approach.  Exit velocity topped at 75.  Ran a 4.34 thirty and produced a standing broad jump of 8-foot.


Aaron McKeithan, C/1B, TC Roberson, NC

Strong base, listed at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds.  Plus accuracy and well above average carry produced pop times of 1.92-1.97 with limited tag time needed.  Easy target, with soft hands and a wide base, feet with quickness and rhythm producing an short arm action and high-3/4 slot.  In the box, the right handed hitter loads to a vertical bat with a tall base and leg kick.  Lower half really works to get through the baseball producing better than average bat speed.  A slightly uphill approach wants extension and works to stay in the middle of the field.  Aggressive with good head discipline, does glide onto the front side at times.  Best exit velocity measured at 84mph.  Ran a 4.31 thirty and produced a standing broad jump of 8-foot.  At first base, the feet are active and fluid.  Showed an ability to work the pivot on throws to 2B.  Easy arm action produced easy carry. 

2019 Graduates

Bo Rusher III, C, Salisbury HS, NC

Lanky athlete with some quick twitch actions.  Ran his thirty in 4.28.  Offensively, the left handed hitter works from a balanced stance, loading back with a short stride.  Bat sweeps through the zone, with a level approach, trying to stay gap-to-gap.  Exit velocity topped at 83.  Pop times ranged 2.03-2.24 from behind the plate, showing some accuracy.  Gets vertical early in the exchange, creating different exchange points at times.  Body has room to fill out and add strength, listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds.  Tested the standing broad jump in 7-foot-8.


Bryce Stober, C/2B, Hickory HS, NC

Young frame stands at 5-foot-7, 143 pounds, flashes quick twitch actions.  Ran a 4.00 thirty and tested with a 8-foot-4 standing broad jump.  Right handed hitter uses a balanced setup and vertical bat, with an aggressive stride to produce a level bat path working for extension.  Hands start high in the setup and settle into the slot, showing some feel for the barrel.  Exit velocity topped at 75.  Behind the plate, produced pop times of 2.02-2.13.  Feet work aggressive, attacking the ball with long steps through the exchange.  Clean exchanges work to create some accuracy on throws.  From the infield, hands work with some effort through the ball.  Quick, clean exchanges while playing through the ball with some effort in the feet.  Long arm action leads to an over-the-top arm slot.


Austin Gilley, C, Southern Alamance HS, NC

Loose arm and feet that work through the baseball produced pop times of 2.03-2.17, showing accuracy on most throws.  Whippy arm produced average carry.  Some wiggle in the hips receiving allowed the hand position to sway.  Hands work well enough not cause too many issues now.  Left handed hitter begins balanced with a crouch, using a short stride to create better than average bat speed.  Posture tends to lean to the plate as the bat works uphill slightly, creating a pull tendency and cutting off some extension.  Shows a consistent feel for the barrel and works hands well to get through the bat path.  Exit velocity topped at 73.  Ran a 4.31 thirty.  Standing broad jump tested at 7-foot-4.


2020 Graduates

Aaron Smith, C/OF, Gray’s Creek HS, NC

Stands 6-foot-1, 175 pounds.  Athletic build.  Right handed hitter works from a balanced, athletic stance, loading to a vertical bat and using a short stride to produce better than average bat speed.  Fluid rhythm works with a level path, staying gap-to-gap.  Power potential in the future as the young frame fills out.  Good feel for his hands and the barrel.  Exit velocity topped at 81.  Behind the dish, exchanges high, using a short arm path to the high-3/4 slot.  Produced accuracy and carry on throws ranging 1.99-2.24.  Easy receiver that presents a good target for pitchers and uses his hands with ease to receive.  From the outfield, the arm works with a longer arm swing, with a small stab at the back.   Well above average accuracy on throws that measured 81mph out of the hand.