Prep Baseball Report

Houston Underclass Trials: Catching Analysis

Toby Bicknell & Staff
Texas Scouting Director

HOUSTON, TX - To say that the Houston Underclass Trials was loaded with talent would be an understatement. Over 50 players in the 2020-2022 grad classes converged on the University of Houston campus on Tuesday, June 5. Here is the catching analysis from the event.

Sam Canales, C/3B, Corpus-Christi Ray HS, 2020
6-foot, 170-pound athletic frame with wiry strength.  Right handed bat with loose-smooth rhythm in hands, a short controlled stride, and level swing path working from inside of the ball.  Hit ball consistently well to right-center field gap, has a gap to gap path with carry to both gaps; 86 mph exit velo shows his budding power.  Controls his body well leading to good balance throughout swing, easy effort level, and a solid approach at the plate in bp. Athletic behind the plate showing flexibility in his lower half along with quick-twitch movements in his legs while both blocking and throwing.  Short arm action, 73 mph arm strength with true carry; fluid transfer and maintains sync between upper and lower body while throwing; pop times ranged from 2.01-2.16. Ran a 7.25 laser-timed 60.

Cole Ketzner, C/1B, Magnolia HS, 2020
6-foot, 195-pound frame with lower body strength.  Hits from the right side in a crouched stance, in his legs; has a long stride, stays closed upon landing, has a fluid stride/load and creates separation by keeping hands back over back foot, creates torque in his core by loading into his right scap.  Has strong hands at the point of contact, drove balls to CF and LF, has pull-side pop, 92 exit velo, gets off his backside early. Behind the plate, Ketzner has quick and powerful feet, creating good leg drive to second; had some of the best footwork in the showcase. Clean exchange, and throws from an over-the-top arm slot. Threw strikes to second base with a top velocity of 75 mph from the crouch. Pop times were 2.05-2.16. Showed quiet feet in the infield and possesses soft hands.  Similar arm stroke on the infield, with a top velocity of 75 mph. Ran a 7.65 laser-timed 60.

Collin Young, C/OF, Magnolia HS, 2020
5-foot-11, 170-pound frame.  Right handed power bat, barrel; 90 mph exit velo, hit two balls out to left field in bp.  Slightly uphill plane, looks to do damage to left side of the field, barrel in zone early and stays through zone with good extension; pretty finish, high follow through.  Handles the bat well, driving pitches middle in and shows patience and barrel awareness on other pitches around the zone. Crouched stance with a minimal stride, good rhythm in load.  Some effort in swing, maintains balance throughout swing by using excellent body control. Athletic player, 6.95 laser-timed 60. Behind the plate, he received live pitchers well with smooth and quiet body actions.  Quick transfer and release to second base, ball had carry; 74 mph, pop times ranged from 2.00-2.14. Throws well from knees, showing accuracy and similar carry to second base.

Jonas Holloway, C/3B, Kingwood Park HS, 2021
Strong build 5-foot-9, 170 pounds.  Very quick transfer and release, turned in best pop time of the day, 1.94.  Fundamental footwork direct to second base and quick feet behind the plate; accurate thrower and ball had sit up to second base, 74 mph.  Flexible in stance with presence behind the plate. Quiet receiving actions, soft hands; moved well laterally while blocking. Athletic stance (offensively) with a smooth load and a leg kick from the right side.  Generates some power with an explosive lower half and a smooth swing. Uses body efficiently to create an easy swing, good balance and stays behind the ball; ball had some carry in the gaps with good backspin, 79 exit velo. 7.52 laser-timed 60.

Brandon Nelson, C/3B, Ridge Point HS, 2021
5-foot-11, 185-pound frame.  Left-handed hitter, short quiet load; fast hands, quick to the ball with a strong top hand, body worked in sync and rhythm through the swing 84 mph exit velo, explosive lower half helped generate bat speed.   Quick twitch actions behind the plate, flexibility and quick twitch to get to the ground to block, blocked a couple pitches in left handed batters box in bullpen, mobile. Accurate arm, topped at 74 mph, ball consistently on bag, decent carry and ball stayed true; pop times ranged from 2.05 to 2.34. Ran a 7.39 laser-timed 60.

Blake Miles, C/1B, Round Rock HS, 2020
6-foot-1, 165 pound frame.  The right-handed hitter starts from a slightly crouched stance with good flex in his lower half and his weight pre-set toward his back leg. Simple load with quiet rhythm as he picks up his front foot, landing balanced as his hands trigger back to engage the barrel. Barrel gets on plane early, working uphill through contact, creating some carry to the pull side gap with an exit velocity 78 mph off the tee. Behind the dish, Miles has a quick exchange,  and directional footwork into his throwing motion from a short arm stroke that produced a top velocity from the crouch of 73 mph with pop times ranging from 2.11-2.19. Does a nice job of receiving with a low target and looks comfortable in his one-stance.

Patrick Hogan, C/OF, Bridgeland HS, 2020
5-foot-11, 155-pound frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall, relaxed, open stance; simple load into a short stride. Downward path to contact with a short finish produced mostly line drives and ground balls during BP with an exit velocity of 79 mph off the tee. Has quick footwork behind the plate, creates good direction with lower half, and has a quick exchange with a top velocity from the crouch of 70 mph, and pop times ranging from 2.12-2.25. On the infield, Hogan plays through the ball with soft hands and threw with a top velocity of 69 mph across the diamond.

Luke Thrutchley, RHP/C, Fort Bend Christian Academy, 2021
Thrutchley still has plenty of room to add strength to his 6-foot, 160 pound frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a wide base with his hands set high above the middle of his body before loading back, then taking a short stride, landing balanced. Shifts his weight forward as he slots the barrel into the zone, hitting off his front foot. Direct path on a flat plane with a top exit velocity of 83 mph off the tee. Behind the plate, Thrutchley has quick, directional footwork with an athletic lower half. He posted pop times of 2.07-2.25 with a top velocity from the crouch of 74 mph.

Luke Capel, C/3B, Foster HS, 2021
5-foot-10, 165-pound frame.  Capel handled the bat in batting practice, and hit consistent line drives up the middle and into right center field. Crouched stance at the plate with a short simple stride. Loose hands with easy rhythm, attacks the inside of the ball with a short path, on a level plane, with a loose finish. Blocked consistently well off of live arms and works hard behind the plate. Posted pop times 2.15-2.3 with a top velocity of 73 mph. Ran a 7.24 laser-timed 60.

Levy Hammack, C/OF, Magnolia HS, 2020  
Hammack has a wiry-strong frame at 5-foot-10, 145-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from an exaggerated open, narrow stance before he loads up with a big leg-lift that he holds in the air as he walks away from his hands. Good rhythm throughout, lands balanced, loose hands, aggressive approach, hard contact to the pull side with an exit velocity of 85 mph off the tee. Behind the plate, Hammack starts from a side-saddle stance and registered a top velocity of 72 mph with pop times ranging from 2.19-2.32. He throws from a high-¾ slot with a short arm stroke and regular effort. Ran a 7.26 60-yard dash.

Will McCray, C/2B, Hallsville HS, 2022
5-foot 90-pound frame. Exuded great body language and grit throughout the day. Mobile and agile, blocks well for his age. Consistent fundamentally sound and directional footwork, quick feet, fluid exchange with a short arm action, repeatable actions led to consistently accurate throws on the bag, 58 mph velocity from behind the plate; pop times ranged from 2.62-2.64.  Has the energy, presence, and tenacity of a quality defensive catcher. Smooth swing actions, handled the bat well by spraying line drives to all parts of the field, 66 mph exit velo. Off the charts intangibles, measurables will improve as he matures physically.

Jake Burris, C/RHP, Marion HS, 2022  
Burris has a strong frame for a rising freshman at 6-foot, 195-pound frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall, neutral stance before he pushes his weight back to load, using a low-hanging toe-tap. Lands balanced, solid present strength for his class, barrel gets through the zone on a flat plane creating some lift to the pullside with an exit velocity of 74 mph (off the tee). Behind the plate, he posted pop times of 2.04-2.26. Burris has directional footwork and throws from a ¾ slot with a top velocity of 71 mph.

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