Prep Baseball Report

Preseason All-State Showcase Analysis: Catchers (Class of 2016)

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

Prior to embarking on their junior season, 12 catchers descended on Keystone State Baseball Academy in Manheim to showcase their skills at the Preseason All-State Showcase. They are listed below in reverse alphabetical order. Why? I always felt bad for the guy in my elementary school with the last name Zyvert.

Corey WebbCorey Webb, 5-11 170, R/R, Easton Area
2.12-2.16 pop, 74-mph arm from crouch, 84-mph exit velo, 7.07 60-yard dash
Webb showcased a quick transfer and release with well above average throwing accuracy. Each bolt was over the bag, belt-high or lower, allowing his pop time to play up (similar to former North Penn and current Binghamton catcher Eddie Posavec). He set slightly cock-eyed with his right foot staggered back and exhibited a soft chest while blocking. At the plate, Webb starts open and narrow, striding to square and wide. His body goes forward with his stride and there is some stiffness in his swing created by an armbar.

Matt TaylorMatt Taylor, 6-1 180, R/R, Eastern York
2.28-2.32 pop, 74-mph arm from crouch, 84-mph exit velo, 7.78 60-yard dash
Taylor sets low to start and has some glove action (flips it counter-clockwise and then back) prior to receiving. He transfers the ball out front to throw, but would benefit from getting his feet started sooner, so that they are in sync with his top half. At the plate, Taylor starts open, rocks his weight front to back, and strides to square and wide. He has some power potential, while exhibiting length in his swing due to a deep launch point, slight barrel wrap, and the wide stride that inhibits his ability to fully incorporate his lower half.

Bobby RyanBobby Ryan, 6-2 230, R/R, North Penn
2.31-2.41 pop, 67-mph arm from crouch, 80-mph exit velo, 8.40 60-yard dash
Ryan starts from a slightly open stance and employs a quick lift-and-replace stride. His swing has some length in it due to a wrapping the barrel behind his head, although he showed a feel for the barrel and some pop when he gets to extension. Ryan's frame presents a nice backdrop for the pitcher, while an increase in his quickness and agility would greatly benefit his feet when throwing and his ability to get to beat the ball to the spot when blocking.

Dutch ReardonDutch Reardon, 6-2 200, L/R, Plymouth Whitemarsh
2.19-2.38 pop, 69-mph arm from crouch, 87-mph exit velo, 7.58 60-yard dash
Reardon starts from a slightly open stance and takes a controlled stride to slightly closed with a short hand load. He maintains good balance and posture, while keeping his head still throughout his swing. He has some length in his stroke, but also solid power potential. Reardon showed a solid glove hand, while glove movement created by pushing his hands vertically after receiving the pitch caused some inconsistency in his transfer.

Brock MonahanBrock Monahan, 5-11 175, R/R, La Salle
2.34-2.41 pop, 65-mph arm from crouch, 84-mph exit velo, 7.24 60-yard dash
Monahan starts from a slightly open stance and takes a short stride to square. He employs a short, quick load in which the barrel flattens out and gets wrapped a bit, adding some length to his swing. While he has strength in his frame and flashes some bat speed, he's occasionally late with his load, which doesn't allow his hands to be on time. Defensively, Monahan exhibited good footwork and transfer, although he stands upright on release, which inhibits his extension and carry. He would benefit from maintaining a flex in his elbow when receiving, as he currently locks it out, which creates stiffness in his wrist.

Joseph KroegerJoseph Kroeger, 6-0 185, R/R, Central York
2.15-2.29 pop, 71-mph arm from crouch, 82-mph exit velo, 7.10 60-yard dash
While he lacks premium arm strength at the present time, Kroeger exhibits fundamentally sound catch-and-throw mechanics, and has a soft wall when blocking. At the plate, he hits from a square stance, takes a short stride, and gets his hands to a good launch position. He has a contact-oriented, middle/oppo approach. His front hip has a tendency to lead the swing and pull off early, which causes some barrel lag and him working under the ball at times.

Jake Jessell, 6-1 225, R/R, Woodland Hills
See notes from Wednesday's top prospects article.

Billy HitmanBilly Hitman, 5-11 170, R/R, Pope John Paul II
2.12-2.18 pop, 72-mph arm from crouch, 87-mph exit velo, 6.83 60-yard dash
Hitman, the starting second baseman on PJP's state championship team last spring, is starting to put in work behind the plate as well. He was relaxed and exhibited minimal body movement when receiving, while showing some feel for blocking as well. He should be able to lower his pop time by getting his feet started sooner, so they sync with his exchange. At the plate, Hitman starts alightly open and strides to square with minimal hand load. He has very good balance, takes a short path to the ball and repeats his swing.

Matt FischMatt Fisch, 6-0 180, R/R, North Pocono
2.14-2.32 pop, 74-mph arm from crouch, 91-mph exit velo, 7.36 60-yard dash
Behind the dish, Fisch exhibited a clean transfer and gained ground well toward second base on throws, despite not always getting his stride foot completely around. With the bat in his hands, he starts open and strides to slightly open. Despite a deep launch point, he appears to be holding the bat in a better position than when last seen the previous summer. He has some strength in his frame and gets extension through contact.

Colin EvansColin Evans, 5-8 155, R/R, Wilson
2.13-2.22 pop, 72-mph arm from crouch, 80-mph exit velo, 6.94 60-yard dash
Evans minimized his body movement while receiving and also showed solid accuracy on his throws, despite not always getting his stride foot all the way around. While he didn't always deaden the ball in front of him, he has plenty of want-to while blocking and wasn't afraid to throw his body around. At the plate, Evans hits from a wide stance, employing a heel lift and knee roll instead of a stride. He spins off a bit, drops his hands prior to launch and would benefit from additional strength gains to help him control the barrel through the zone.

Austin Braendel, 5-10 185, R/R, Cathedral Prep
See notes from Wednesday's top prospects article.

Quin AmbeaultQuin Ambeault, 6-1 210, R/R, Greencastle-Antrim
2.12-2.22 pop, 76-mph arm from crouch, 88-mph exit velo, 7.91 60-yard dash
Ambeault received well and showed a soft wall while blocking. He sets high, but exhibited a clean transfer and solid footwork while throwing. At the plate, Ambeault starts from a square, slightly narrow stance and takes a short stride. He rests the bat on his shoulder, raising it to load with a bit of barrel wrap that adds length to his uphill swing path. He has plenty of strength in his frame and might be better able to tap into it more consistently if he widened his base to make transferring his weight easier.

Additional Preseason all-state NEWS: