Prep Baseball Report

South Texas Underclass Games: Catching Analysis

PBR Staff
PBR Staff

COLLEGE STATION, TX - Some of the top underclass talent from South Texas converged on the campus of Texas A&M on Tuesday for the PBR Underclass Games. Today, we continue our scouting analysis with catchers, which was a talented group top-to-bottom.


Christopher Wattinger, C/3B, Bridgeland HS, 2020
At 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, Wattinger has added strength to his frame in the past eight months. He already has a strong skill-set behind the plate, with soft hands, a quick-clean exchange, and excellent blocking skills, but the strength and the bat have come a long way. Wattinger posted pop times of 2.0-2.15 with a top velocity from the crouch of 77 mph. Those numbers may not be eye-popping, but it’s the fluid motion and ease with which he plays behind the plate that suggest he will be a great addition to a recruiting class. At the plate, the right-handed hitter starts from a balanced, neutral stance, then loads back smooth as he triggers his hands and lifts his front foot, walking away from his hands, landing in a strong launch position. Fluid hack, loose-strong hands create good barrel lag in the zone, efficient path, good barrel awareness, loose finish, gap power with an exit velocity of 83 mph.
Sam Canales, C/3B, Corpus-Christi Ray HS, 2020
Canales has an athletic, lean-muscular frame at 6-foot, 170-pounds. The right-handed hitter starts from a slightly crouched stance, then triggers his hands back as he takes a short stride, landing in an athletic launch position. Gets the barrel on plane early, working through the zone with loose-quick hands, creating lift and hard contact during BP (86 exit velocity). Behind the plate, Canales showed true carry to second base with a top velocity of 78 mph and pop times that ranged from 2.01-2.11. Athletic defender with good hip mobility and soft hands, plays through the ball with easy athleticism. Simple one-two footwork with a clean exchange.

Gabriel Herrera, C/3B, Reagan HS, 2021
At 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, Herrera has an already projectable, long, lean frame. The right-handed hitter starts from a tall, slightly open stance with his toes turned in. Coils his shoulders inward as he loads his hands back and uses a low-hanging stride. Lands balanced, gets into his front side with efficient weight transfer, short path to contact with a loose finish and an exit velocity of 81 mph. Behind the dish, Herrara has a clean arm stroke and posted pop times of 2.03-2.19 with a velocity from the crouch of 73 mph.

Carter Pool, C/RHP, Keller HS, 2020
Pool has a projectable, athletic at 5-foot-11, 170-pounds with room to add strength as he continues to develop. The right-handed hitter has rhythm in his hands as he wags the barrel in front of his head as he pushes back then strides forward, gliding forward. Quickish hands throw the barrel through contact with line drive power and an exit velocity of 82 mph. Behind the plate, Pool throws with high end accuracy to second base, posting pop times of 2.0-2.11. Easy arm swing with a simple gather, his feet and arm are synced up well, and he has enough arm strength (78 mph) to make all the throws. With great hip mobility he is very comfortable receiving and blocking during games.

Beau Preston, C/OF, Prosper HS, 2020
Preston has a strong frame at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, and the type of arm strength that garners attention from college coaches already with top velocity from the crouch of 82 mph. He posted pop times of 1.93-2.07 with a clean exchange, throwing from a ¾ slot with a quick hand out front. The right-handed hitter starts from a neutral stance, then triggers his hands down and back as he tips the barrel toward the mound. Quick hands, flat path with a short finish as he rotates his hips and whips the barrel through contact with a top exit velocity of 84 mph.

Jonas Holloway, C/3B, Kingwood Park HS, 2021
5-foot-10, 170-pound frame. The left-handed hitter starts from a tall stance with relaxed hands before loading back with a reverse leg lift as he drops the knob of the bat down, pointing the barrel over his head. Natural lift from the left side as he gets the barrel on plane early, working on an uphill plane through contact. Simple weight transfer as he rotates to contact, producing a top exit velocity of 80 mph. Drove the ball well to the opposite gap during BP. Behind the plate, Holloway threw strikes to second base with pop times ranging from 1.93-2.07 with a top velocity from the crouch of 75 mph. He has a quick exchange, soft hands and directional footwork. Shows good feel for the position during games with the ability to block laterally and field his position.

Cole Ketzner, C/1B, Magnolia HS, 2020
Ketzner has a strong, durable frame at 6-foot, 195-pounds. The right-handed hitter showed out during batting practice by lacing balls through the middle of the field. Ketzner has rhythm, pop and barrel awareness, to go with the kind of swing that projects well at the next level. Behind the plate, he threw with a top velocity from the crouch of 72 mph and posted pop times of 2.12-2.26. Simple gather with steady footwork, compact arm stroke and directional front side. With his frame and ability to swing the bat, Ketzner projects as an offensive backstop at the next level.

Tyler McClosky, C/3B, Cypress Fair HS, 2020
McClosky has a strong, durable frame at 6-foot-2, 185-pounds. The right-handed hitter has raw strength at the plate during BP when he hammered balls to deep centerfield and the right-centerfield gap, and posted an exit velocity of 90 mph. Starts from a tall, open stance before loading his hands back and up as he turns his shoulders and takes a short stride. Works on an uphill plane as he rotates to contact with strength in his hands. Behind the dish, McClosky posted pop times of 2.0-2.12 with a top velocity from the crouch of 76 mph. His arm works well with a short stroke and quick hand out front.

MJ Rodriguez, 1B/C, Veterans Memorial HS, 2020
A strong, sturdy 5-foot-11, 225-pound frame, there are few 2020 sluggers with Rodriguez’s tools. The right-handed hitter starts in an athletic, slightly-open stance with some wiggle in his hands. In conjunction with a small leg lift and a low-to-high load, Rodriguez showed loose wrists, a compact, lifting swing with uncommon force among rising juniors (105 mph exit velocity), hitting multiple batting practice balls off of and over the left field wall. His bat lags well through the zone, tremendous feel for his barrel, with a great understanding for the rhythm in his swing, and incredibly strong at the point of attack. Behind the plate, he showed a short, quick arm stroke with decent carry (76 mph) and accuracy around the bag. He threw 76 mph from the crouch, posting pop times of 2.04-2.15. Playing at first base, he flashed soft hands, good footwork, and solid fundamentals. For college coaches looking for a thumper in the middle of their lineup, there are few 2020 players with Rodriguez’s power potential.

Dylan Lee, C/SS, Hutto HS, 2020
Athletic 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame.  Lee showed quick footwork, athleticism, and a clean transfer to release.  His pop times ranged from 2.12-2.27 with accuracy around the bag. He stays low while throwing, works from underneath the baseball with his body, and has strong leg drive with direction (72 mph arm strength).  The right-hander works from a crouched, slightly-open stance, has a short stride back to parallel with his feet, a simple load back with his body and hands, has rhythm in his hands, works with a low flat barrel path through the hitting zone with some extension, and flashed some quickness in his hands during the BP round.  Posted 77 mph exit velocity, hit low line drives during his BP round, and barreled two balls to the right side in the game (single to RF off the barrel, lineout to 1B off the barrel). Ran a 7.60 60-yard dash.

Keaton Urioste, C/RHP, Cinco Ranch HS, 2020
6-foot, 165-pounds, with a lean, muscular frame. The left-handed hitter has an athletic setup with good rhythm in his hands as he starts from a tall, balanced stance. Smooth load as he pushes back, triggers his hands, and tilts his front shoulder toward contact, landing in a strong launch position before rotating to contact, producing an exit velocity of 80 mph. Behind the plate, Urioste posted pop times of 2.0-2.18 with a top velocity from the crouch of 77 mph. His footwork is clean, and his release allows the ball to stay on target.

Patrick Hogan, C/OF, Bridgeland HS, 2020
5-foot-11, 155-pound frame. The right-handed hitter starts from an open, stacked stance. Triggers his hands back as he loads, then strides closed, working on a flat path through the zone with line drive power and an exit velocity of 81 mph. Behind the dish, Hogan threw 72 mph from the crouch and posted pop times of 2.18-2.43.

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