January 18 Preseason Preview: Catcher Analysis



By Chris Fuller
PBR Tennessee

The first of our two Preseason Preview events took place at Showtime Spots Academy in Franklin on January 18, and there were several solid performances turned in. Complete stats and top statistical performers were previously posted shortly after the event. CLICK HERE to view that information.

The following is a look at the group of catchers who attended the event. This is position analysis only. Those catchers who also pitched at the event will have their pitching performance featured in a separate article.

Catchers

Rudy Maxwell, C/3B, Ensworth HS, 2018
6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed hitter with physical frame, hits from an athletic stance and uses a rhythmic stride and load to get himself started, lowers hands and gets them back to constitute his load, swing path stays on plane and through the ball, gets lower half involved, drifts forward on occasion, strong kid that was able to muster an 85 mph exit velocity off the tee and show a line drive approach with some very big power potential. Above average hands and fairly quick feet put him in a good position to get rid of the ball from behind the plate, uses a lower exchange than usual, gets the ball out of his hand quickly and showcased a 76 mph position velocity and 1.95-2.01 pop times from behind the plate.  Also showed average hands and feet in the infield with 79 mph velocity across the diamond. Ran a 7.66 60-yard dash.  Definitely a player to keep an eye on.

Elijah (Zeke) Lecomte, C/3B/RHP, Creek Wood HS, 2017
6-foot-2, 165-pound right-handed hitter hits from a tall and fairly athletic stance, uses a pretty conventional stride and a rhythmic hand load to initiate his swing, takes hands back in load, hips fire well, can get through the ball, stay flat, and show some promising pop when keeping his upper body back, currently a line drive guy, up to 81 mph on his exit velocity off the tee.  Showed good versatility by performing well at 3B and C, ran a 7.72 60-yard dash.  Behind the plate, showed softer hands and good footwork, used a smooth exchange and a quick release to get rid of the ball and pop an accurate 2.01-2.09 at 75 mph.  At 3B, showed rhythm and understanding of the position, soft hands and smooth footwork resulted in an accurate 79 mph throw across the infield from an over the top release.

Knox Preston, C, Christ Presbyterian Academy, 2019
5-foot-10, 165-pound right-handed hitter hits from a very balanced stance and uses a slow and smooth load and mini leg kick to get himself in a good position to hit from, could use lower half a little better but stays balanced and keeps the barrel in the zone, produced a 76 mph exit velocity off the tee, could develop some very good pop with age and maturity.  Defensively, showed 2.09-2.15 pop times and 74 mph position velocity behind the plate, average hands and footwork from both the infield and catcher positions, has room to improve quickness of release that will result in improved pop times moving forawd, showed 77 mph arm strength across the infield, young player with some very good potential and well above average arm strength for age.  Also ran a 8.03 60-yard dash.

Cooper Mays, C, Hickman County HS, 2017
5-foot-10, 188-pound left-handed hitter hits from a balanced and tall stance, doesn’t use much of a stride as he typically lifts his front foot up and sits it right back down, minor hand load leads to a very short swing and a fairly steep swing path, front side hitter, strong line drive swing produced an 86 mph exit velocity off the tee that could easily be converted into some productive power at the plate.  Ran a 7.25 60-yard dash and flashed a 71 mph position velocity from behind the plate.  Mays popped a 2.07 as his best time showing average hands and decent footwork, gets rid of the ball fairly efficiently. Mays has made the move from the infield to behind the plate and could easily continue to make strides at the position.

Gavin Pulliam, C/RHP, Franklin HS, 2018
5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed hitter hits from a balanced and athletic stance and uses a short stride and subtle hand load to initiate his swing, makes an effort to get lower half engaged, keeps barrel through the zone for a long time and produces a very consistent swing, solid contact showed some gap-to-gap power and some very good potential, gets through the ball and produced an 81 mph exit velocity that could be improved by some more lower half involvement.  Behind the plate, showed above average hands and good footwork, clean exchange and short arm action produced 2.08-2.15 pop times with some accuracy at a 72 mph clip, could develop nicely.  Pulliam ran a 7.60 60-yard dash.

Sabin Shofner, C, Riverdale HS, 2018
5-foot-11, 150-pound right-handed hitter hits from a low and slightly open stance, uses a very short and early stride to get himself ready, loads by taking hands from head height to just below and behind the back shoulder, good use of lower half and a slightly upward swing path produced some solid line drives and an 80 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Defensively, uses decent footwork, a clean exchange and a relatively efficient release behind the plate to muster 2.04-2.09 pop times, arm strength and velocity at 76 mph, ran a 7.66 60-yard dash and will continue to improve overall game with some physical maturity.

Brennan Whitten, C, Ravenwood HS, 2018
5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed hitter hits from a tall and slightly open stance, holds his hands at head height and loads them with a little bit of a wrap and slight arm bar, uses a moderate and very early stride to get engaged, okay with lower half, high hand position results in getting a little steep in the swing from time to time, a little long, could develop some gap-to-gap potential, produced a 79 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Defensively, showed average hands and sufficient footwork, 68 mph position velocity should continue to improve, 2.25 pop time was the best he recorded. Also ran a 7.65 60-yard dash.

Will Kirk, C, Centennial HS, 2017
6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitter hits from a tall and almost upright stance, starts with a high back shoulder and uses a traditional stride to initiate his swing, rises up a little during stride and stays tall, makes an effort to get lower half through, swing is primarily flat through the zone , showed a line drive approach and produced an 81 mph exit velocity off the tee.  Kirk ran a 7.90 60-yard dash. Average hands and footwork are paired with a very efficient exchange and short arm action to produce 2.07-2.16 pop times and a 71 mph velocity from behind the plate.

Lane Keylon, C, Rhea County HS, 2017
5-foot-10, 190-pound right-handed hitter hits from a wide and slightly open stance, uses a short stride and pushes his hands back to load on his backside, could use lower half a little more effectively, short and relatively flat bat path forms a line drive approach and produced an 82 mph exit velocity off the tee, strong kid, used wood in his round of BP, ran an 8.09 60-yard dash.  Sufficient hands and average footwork, could have gained more ground in his throws to 2B, quick transfer and release helped to produce 2.01-2.15 pop times and a 68 mph position velocity that could be improved upon.