Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Southern-Tier: Catching Analysis

Anthony Goncalves
VP Scouting


The 10 day, eight preseason event tour has finally finished here in New York. Nearly 600 players attended events over that 10 days making this the biggest preseason week in PBR New York history. Over the next six weeks, measurable stats, headshots, and videos are all being edited and added to players profiles. We will break down the events by positions with full player analysis. Today we take a deeper look at the Feb. 15 (Southern-Tier) catchers. 

2021 C Tyler Birdsall (Unatego)
A lean 5-foot-10, 130-pounds C. Offensively- A squared wide stance and uses a simple load and backward toe-tap for timing. Bat path is short and quick to the point of contact, displayed gap to gap contact in the hitting portion. Exit velocity was 74 MPH. Defensively- Presents a big target for the pitcher. Quick two hand transfer which continued to improve during the throws to 2B. Throws have some carry with 52 MPH and 2.50-2.58 pop time.

2023 C/OF Jackson Cook (Horseheads)
Athletic 5-foot-9, 130 pounds C/OF. Offensively- the left-handed hitter stands in with a wide balance stance. Quick hands, bat path is flat through the zone, slight upward lift at the point of contact and a balanced follow through. Displayed gap to gap pop in the hitting portion with a 79 MPH exit velocity. Defensively- as an OF, active and aggressive footwork towards the ball. Gathers behind the ball and follows the throw through the target. Throws have carry at 72 MPH. As a C, presents a big target for the pitcher, quick footwork and release off the transfer on the throws. Has a live accurate arm with a pop time of 2.06-2.13. The 8th grader projects more as a C in the future. With some added strength and development, the 2023 C has the tools to be a good catcher at the next level.

2022 C/SS Brayden Horton (Sayre)
Projectable 6-foot-0, 170 pounds C/SS. Offensively- the left handed hitter stands tall with a slight bend in the knees. Stays balanced throughout the swing, balanced follow through on the finish. Displayed good bat control with a short compact swing with some pop during the hitting portion. Had an exit velocity of 84 MPH. Defensively- as a SS, has soft hands with active feet and stays squared to the ball. Has a quick transfer and ¾ arm angle on the throws across the diamond. As a C, has an athletic low setup, quick transfer and live arm to 2B. Had a pop time of 2.14-2.19. Horton continues to improve on his numbers. Projects as a good left hitting C at the next level.  

2021 C Derek Hotzler (Cobleskill-Richmondville)
Projectable 6-foot-2, 185 pounds C. Offensively- has a tall stance with high hands, Athletic swing with some pop. Small quiet load, gets hips and lower half involved at the point of contact. Balanced follow through. Had an exit velocity of 80 MPH exit velocity. Defensively- good setup and a big target for the pitchers. Quick transfer, footwork and follows the throw to 2B. Throws have some carry at 72 MPH and 2.22-2.28 pop time. The 2021 C is someone to keep on eye on for the next level as he continues to develop.

2020 C Henry Juan (Horseheads)
Athletic 5-foot-11, 195 pounds C. Offensively- loads into the crouch position with a back toe-tap for timing. Stays balance throughout the swing, explosive at the point of contact and balanced follow through with a high finish. Barrell stays flat through contact and shows gap to gap pop. Shows power potential with an exit velocity of 90 MPH. Defensively- Sits in an athletic stance and with a big target. Shoots right out of the stance with a quick transfer and strong accurate arm action to 2B. Had a catching velocity of 80 MPH and 1.94-2.01 pop time. The 2020 C has the body and physical tools to make an impact at the next level.

2020 C Derrick Lewis (Odessa-Montour)
A physical 5-foot-11. 180 pounds C. Offensively- the left hitting C has a square stance, will slightly lift his elbow up in the load. Has a strong lower half, flat level swing through the point of contact, will finish in an upright in his follow through. Improved with an exit velocity of 87 MPH. Defensively- has a low wide stance. Above average footwork and transfer, stays closed with an accurate arm on the throws to 2b. Improved on the pop times with a 2.12-2.14 and 76 MPH to 2B. The bat will help the 2020 C at the next level as he continues to improve.

2021 C Conner Rush (Maine-Endwell)
Athletic 5-foot-11, 150 pounds C. Offensively- tall stance, simple load, loose hands and a small step towards the pitcher for timing. Fires the hands with a flat bat path through the zone at the point of contact, with an upright balanced one hand finish on the follow through. Displayed some pop pull side with an exit velocity of 83 MPH. Defensively- athletic stance low target, above average transfer, above average footwork, and a strong arm with a 70 MPH throw to 2B. Had a pop time range of 2.13-2.19. The 2021 C has the frame to be a good catch with some strengthening and development.

2021 Caleb Taylor (Johnson City)
Athletic 5-foot-9, 155 pounds C. Offensively- tall open stance with a slight armbar when timing up the pitch. Smooth bat path, gap to gap contact, with a upright balanced finish. Had an exit velocity of 70 MPH. Defensively- good stance, soft hands, and above average transfer on the exchange. Follows the throw through the target. Improved in the 70 MPH throw to 2B and pop time of 2.28-2.35. The 2021 C has room to grow with the bat and behind the plate.

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