Prep Baseball Report

PA/WV Top Catching Performances of the Summer

By Greg Williams
PA Director of Scouting

With the completion of the West Virginia Top Prospect Games the summer schedule of events in Pennsylvania and West Virginia have drawn to a close. In preparation for the start of the fall schedule of events that begin in September we now look back on some of the top performances of the summer.

Today we continue by taking a look at the top catching performances of the summer at a PBR event in Pennsylvania or West Virginia.

#1  Matt Jewell 2016, c, (nitro, wv)

Jewell, a recent Wright State commit, flashed pop times of 1.98-2.05 on throws of 77 mph from the crouch at the WV Top Prospect Games. The 6-foot, 195-pound backstop looks ready to play at the next level defensively right now. Offensively, Jewell showcased a 78 mph bat exit velocity from a slightly open stance. The right-handed hitter displayed a strong lower half and a short stride with a tendency to drop the barrel to the hitting zone. Jewell went 2-for-4 at the plate on day two of the event including a double that was laced to the left-center field wall. Jewell showed his athleticism by running a solid 7.25 60-yard dash and demonstrated a follow-me personality on the diamond.

#2  Austin Braendel, 2016, C, (cathedral prep, PA)

Braendel is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound right-handed hitter that impressed at the PBR Mid-Atlantic Border Battle. The solidly built backstop consistently put the barrel on the baseball in BP and showed some pullside pop. Braendel stays tight and in balanced stance on inside pitches. He ran a 7.15 60-yard dash and in-game 4.72 home-to-1B time on a turn. Braendel showcased a 91-mph exit velocity and 78-mph arm strength from the crouch. Defensively, he blocked well and kept his body quiet when receiving with a soft glove hand. Braendel's throws have carry and are accurate. He posted workout pop times of 1.97-2.09 and an in-game pop of 2.08 that was right on the bag. Braendel went on to announce his verbal commitment to Seton Hill University in August.

#3  Drew hefner, 2017, C/3B, (bridgeport, wv)

Hefner displayed advanced catch and throw skills behind the plate at the WV Top Prospect Games in August. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound backstop showcased pop times of 2.00-2.08 on throws of 75 mph from the crouch. The left-handed hitter starts from a slightly open stance and utilizes a leg lift stride to initiate his swing. Hefner registered an 80 mph bat exit velocity and showed a direct swing path with a feel for the barrel in batting practice.

#4  Matt kephart, 2016, c/of, (lower dauphin, PA)

Kephart is a 5-foot-9, 170-pound left-handed hitter that starts slightly open and strides to slightly closed. He displayed a short, simple approach with good entry into the hitting zone and loose hands at the PA Top Prospect Games in June. Kephart displayed some present strength (84-mph exit velo) with room to grow. Defensively, he showed a solid throwing arm with good carry and accuracy, logging workout pop times of 2.00-2.10 and an in-game best of 2.05. Kephart also flashed a solid in-game 4.47 home-to-1B time.

#5  RobbY KORFF, 2017, C/3B, (woodland hills ,PA) 

Korff showed a well-rounded skill set running a 7.12 60-yard dash and flashing an 89 mph bat exit velocity at the WV Top Prospect Games. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound backstop showcased pop times of 1.98-2.06 on throws of 73 mph out of the crouch. Korff starts his right-handed swing from a slightly open stance and utilizes a leg lift stride to initiate his swing. The junior went 2-for-6 at the plate in game action with a triple and a run scored. Korff has made above average improvements in all facets of his game and shows signs of continued advancements moving forward.

Complete run down of Summer Catching performances

2015 Eastern PA Fall ReviewWestern PA Fall Review 2015