Nebraska Top Prospects Showcase: Catcher Analysis

By Brian Feekin

Prep Baseball Report Nebraska

The Nebraska Top Prospect Showcase was an opportunity for 2017, 2018 and 2019 prospects from Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota to showcasetheir talents in front of our scouting staff and 20+ college coaches in attendance. Prep Baseball Report's Nebraska Top Prospect Showcase event took place on Sunday, 22nd, 2016 at Ultimat Omaha Westside High School in Omaha, NE. Thank you to the players, parents, staff and Westside HS Head Coach Bobby Greco for such a great event. Westside HS offers some of the finest facilities in the Midwest.

There were breakout performances, opportunities to see new players, and gave PBR Nebraska the opportunity to create an extensive follow list of prospects to see over the course of the summer. Many individuals, as well, placed themselves into the fray for our 2017 and 2018 state-wide player rankings which will be released in the future.

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David Benjamin, Millard South, C, 2018
6-foot, 165-pound right-handed hitting catcher.  8.09 runner. Solid build. Athletic high hand set-up. Square stance with leg kick trigger. Clean line-drive swing plane, bat speed, and uses hands in swing. Had a tendency to get stuck on his backside. Pop to pull side of field. 84 mph exit velocity. Open receiving stance, avg. glove, good low set-up and target, quick feet, short arm path, good arm strength. 70 mph velocity with 2.03 pop time. Shows soft hands, good range, and accurate arm.

Brenton Davis, Raymond Central, 2B/C, 2017
5-foot-11, 170-pound left-handed hitting catcher and 2nd baseman ran a 7.22 60 yard sprint. Strong lower half. Slightly open stance at the plate. Stays tall and a slight stride triggers hands to stay inside the baseball. Controlled swing path with an all fields approach. Posted an exit velocity of 90 mph off a tee. Okay actions in the field, hands work, attempts to work through the ball. 77 mph across the infield. Standard set up behind home plate, struggled with glove strength at times. Athletic feet and short release with pop times posting in the 2.01-2.06 range.

Owen Richter, Creighton Prep, C, 2018
6-foot, 170-pound catcher ran a 7.25 60 yard sprint. Athletic slender frame. Square stance at the plate. Stays connected and showed a short bat path. Clean, simple line drive swing working the middle to pull side. Exit velocity was clocked at 88 mph. Stood out during defensive evaluations making throws in the 1.97-2.04 range. Advanced receiving skills. Strong glove, little movement, with ability to present pitches in the zone. Soft blocker keeping balls in front. Potential to be Top 2018 Nebraska catching prospect.

Logan Eickhoff, Westside, 3B/C, 2018
5-foot-10, 130-pound right-handed hitting 3B/Catcher ran a 7.34 60 yard sprint. Skinny frame with room for growth. At the plate, stride triggers weight shift to his front side. Swing path has a tendency to get long through the zone. Showed solid contact to the pull side. In the field, has active hands and feet with a quick release from a ¾ arm slot at 72 mph across to first. Behind the plate, wide set up, tends to chicken wing to get around the ball. Posted pop times in the 2.35-2.47 range.

Bryce Walker, Bellevue West, C, 2017
5-foot-10, 185-pound catcher that ran a 7.18 60 yard sprint. Compact strong build. Slightly open stance, stride triggers a slight arm bar with an aggressive line drive swing plane. Good barrel control through contact. Hit multiple balls square during his round of BP. Posted an exit velocity of 90 mph. Solid base behind the plate, with a quiet set-up. Thumb gets below the ball occasionally. Hard glove at times. Sound blocking technique. Active feet when throwing with a clean transfer. Posted pop times in the range of 2.07-2.12.

Travis Baily, Elkhorn, C, 2017
6-foot-1, 195-pound catcher that ran a 7.4 60 yard sprint. Strong athletic build. Open stance at the plate, leg kick stride closes stance. Some swivel in the hands before short compact swing. Hands work best when timing is right. Behind the plate, throws in the 2.03-2.09 range at a top velocity of 76 mph. Solid set up, good receiver, stabs at times. Above average catcher for the state. Fundamentally sound blocking technique with high energy behind the plate. 

Joel Thompson, Lewis Central, C, 2017
6-foot-3, 195-pound physical athletic catcher that ran a 7.41 60 yard sprint. The #9 ranked player in the state of Iowa. At the plate, open stance, toe tap trigger to swing. Pop to the pull side with mature barrel control on a line drive swing path. Posted the top exit velocity of 94 mph off a tee. Fundamentally sound behind the plate with a strong base and quiet hands. Posted pop times between 1.87-1.97 and a throwing velocity of 82 mph to 2nd base.

Zach Argo, Norris, RHP/C, 2018
6-foot-1, 185-pound right-handed pitcher/catcher that ran a 7.62 60 yard sprint. Athletic build with wide shoulders. Square stance at the plate, toe tap triggers line drive swing plane. Gap to gap approach. Posted an exit velocity of 85 mph off a tee. Wide base behind the plate, quiet hands, fundamental blocker. Posted pop times in the 2.06-2.12 range. On the mound, topped out at 85 mph with his fastball. High effort, drop and drive with a clean hand break. Aggressive front side with athletic finish online to the plate. Sporadic around the zone. 65-67 mph 11/5 breaking ball has good depth when arm speed is repeated. Heavy 77-78 mph change up was thrown from strikes. Put together a record breaking season for Norris in the spring and has a chance to be one of the top right-handed pitchers in the 2018 class for Nebraska.