Prep Baseball Report

Best Tools: Uncommitted 2017 Catchers

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

Early last week, we highlighted uncommitted prospects in the senior class with the best tools across various categories. Today, we complete the same exercise for the junior class, as we finish up with catchers.

Best Hitting Prospect: Bryan Hyland (The Haverford School) & Michael Beimel (St. Mary's Area)

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed hitting Hyland has exhibited a quality stroke with some bat speed, leverage, and barrel whip, while also showing solid wheels (4.44 home-to-1B). He had a breakout spring, finishing second on the Fords in batting average (.398) to go along with 14 extra base hits, eight stolen bases, and more walks (13) than strikeouts (11).

The switch-hitting Beimel sports a lean, 5-foot-10, 170-pound frame, but, nonetheless, flashes solid bat speed from both sides of the plate. In particular, his left-handed swing is athletic and he should develop into gap power with strength gains (he logged 83-mph exit velocity at the 2015 Preseason All-State Showcase). He hit .305 as a full-time starter for the Flying Dutchmen his sophomore year.


Best Power Prospect: Austin Mueller (Parkland) & Jack Pogyor (La Salle)

A physically developed 5-foot-11, 195-pound switch-hitter, Mueller flashed bat speed from both sides of the plate and the ball jumped off his barrel (89-mph exit velocity) at the 2015 Preseason All-State Showcase. Mueller hit .268 with more walks (9) than strikeouts (6) as a sophomore, but the most impressive part of his campaign was simply that he cracked the regular line-up for PIAA class AAAA power Parkland, a feat rarely accomplished by underclassmen and one that bodes well for his future.

Pogyor's 84-mph exit velocity may not stand out right now, but his 6-foot-2, 195-pound physique certainly does. Narrowing his very wide base and better incorporation of his lower half could allow him to more fully tap into his power potential. Even so, while representing Team PA at the 2015 PBR Future Games, the right-handed hitter showed some present ability to drive the baseball when he launched a towering pullside home run in game two of the event.

Best Defensive Prospect: Bryant Holtzapple (Dallastown Area) & Steven Kokoski (Lakeview)

Holtzapple has consistently displayed solid across the board defensive skills throughout the spring and summer. He has a strong arm and quick release that generated pop times of 2.06-2.10 in between innings of a high school game this past spring. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound right-handed hitter is a solid runner (4.38 home-to-1B time) and acquitted himself well with the bat too, hitting .309 with nine extra base hits.

Hat tip to our colleagues in Ohio who have evaluated Kokoski for us on multiple occasions. The solidly built 6-foot-1, 195-pounder's quick feet, exchange, and arm speed generated 80-mph arm strength from the crouch and pop times in the 1.90-1.97 range at the 2015 Mahoning Valley Summer Showcase when he stayed under control and didn't rush. The right-handed hitter has also shown some power potential (88-mph exit velocity) and ability with the bat, hitting .475 with a .560 on-base percentage as a sophomore (albeit against lesser competition than most of the others on this list).

Best Arm Strength: Kokoski & Tyler Peters (Lancaster Catholic)

Peters' measureables stack up well against most position players in the class, let alone catchers: 81-mph arm strength from the crouch, 94-mph exit velocity, 6.84 60-yard dash. Still fairly raw and continuing to translate his tools into baseball skills, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound right-handed hitter nonetheless showed well in a 40-plate appearance varsity debut this spring, batting .432 with six of his 16 hits going for extra bases.

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