Madison Preseason I.D.: Catcher Analysis


By Wisconsin Staff

On Sunday, March 15, the PBR Wisconsin team hosted its final showcase on its winter calendar, the Madison Preseason I.D., at GRB Academy in Windsor, Wis. In the days following the event, we published rapid analysis on the day’s top performers inside our Quick Hits and Statistical Analysis posts.

Today, we begin to break down each and every one of the prospects in attendance, beginning with the showcase’s catchers. We’ve ranked the top-five juniors and sophomores at this event, as well as the top-three freshmen. It was an illuminating group that helped our staff discover a handful of new on-the-rise backstops to know in the state, like Menomonie’s Brigs Richartz. He’s a physical right-handed hitter with solid catcher actions, which allowed him to climb to No. 61 overall on our recently updated state Class of 2021 Rankings.

The sophomore from Verona, Mason Fink, was our top prospect in the 2022 group. He was arguably the top defender in attendance, regardless of class. He’s a name to watch when we update our 2022 board in the coming weeks. Kase Reierson (Rio) also enhanced his prospect stock in Madison in March, showing especially well at the plate and on the infield, in addition to his work from behind the dish.

And freshman Josue Figueroa is a versatile athlete who showed well as a switch-hitter with quick actions out of the chute, too. Another name to watch inside this 2023 class.

We have scouting reports on each of the catchers who took reps in Madison last March and you can find them all below. Stay tuned tomorrow, when we take a closer look at the day’s outfielders.

TOP 2021 CATCHERS

1. Brigs Richartz, Menomonie (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-9, 165-pounds. Strong compact build.
Hit: LHH. Wide setup, open stance, smooth loading action, balanced and head stays quiet. Short and strong path, creates hard contact to the middle of the field. Gap to gap approach, works in rhythm.
Power: 92 mph exit velocity from the tee. Power potential, bat strength.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Short, loose arm action from a high 3/4 slot with accuracy.
Defense: 2.10-2.22 pop times. Fluid actions; repeats well. Quick, clean exchanges.
Run: 7.12 runner in the 60.

2. Nick Nowak, Waukesha South (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C/INF
Body: 5-foot-10, 160-pounds. Lean strength build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, athletic and quiet pre pitch, short stride, strong balance through contact. Loose hands, path is short to the baseball, slight uphill through finish, in rhythm hitter with above average bat speed.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. INF - 85 mph. OF -  mph. Short, loose throws from an over-the-top slot; throws carry, with accuracy. Quick arm, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.01-2.15 pop times. Quick overall actions; athletic footwork. On the infield, defends with some bounce and athleticism; ranges well to both sides and fields in rhythm.
Run: 6.81 runner in the 60. Advanced runner, athletic gait.

3. Charlie Bogue, Mount Horeb (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-foot-11, 185-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Narrow stance, moderate stride, with smooth loading action. Path is short with gap to gap approach, line drive contact, ball comes off the bat well at times.
Power: 88 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Short, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot, with accuracy and carry.
Defense: 2.00-2.19 pop times. Footwork is quick and fluid, exchanges are also quick and clean; hands are soft.
Run: 7.56 runner in the 60. 

4. Caleb Gardow, Chippewa Falls (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-9, 185-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: RHH. Wide setup, balanced weight distribution, short stride adds occasional toe tap. Level path with loose hands, ability to create line drive.
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Shows bat strength.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Loose throws from a 3/4 slot, with carry.
Defense: 2.05-2.12 pop times. Fluid feet, clean exchanges.
Run: 7.65 runner in the 60. 

5. Garrett Daskam, Milton  (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C/2B
Body: 6-foot-0, 183-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, moderate stride and subtle hand load with barrel tip. Path is short, slight uphill path, moderate bat speed, showed strength.
Power: 77 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short arm action, over-the-top slot with average arm strength.
Defense: 2.15-2.28 pop times. Taller receiving position; clean actions, works on line, feet work well.
Run: 7.28 runner in the 60. 

TOP 2022 CATCHERS

1. Mason Fink, Verona (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-foot-11, 170-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Slightly open stance, short stride, hands load with high back elbow. Path is level, with effort, hits off back side, occasional line drive contact.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. INF -  mph. OF - 83 mph. Short, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot; throws carry, with accuracy.
Defense: 2.03-2.09 pop times. Quick overall actions; hands play soft. Footwork and exchanges are clean and fluid.
Run: 7.04 runner in the 60. 

2. Kase Reierson, Rio (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: 3B/C
Body: 5-foot-10, 160-pounds. Strong build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, short leg lift stride, reverse hand load. Path is uphill, short and abrupt at times, flashed hard contact.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. INF - 84 mph. OF -  mph. Short, loose throws from an over-the-top slot; throws carry. On the infield, loose arm action from a high 3/4 slot; throws carry.
Defense: 2.09-2.25 pop times. Quick actions, erupts from crouch; clean exchanges, athletic on the move and in the block. On the infield, hands work especially soft. Confident, controlled actions with quick exchanges.
Run: 7.32 runner in the 60. 

3. Brandon Vlcko, Stevens Point (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 6-foot-1, 185-pounds. Large strong frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, balanced and slightly narrow, short subtle stride and loading action, quiet and balanced pre pitch. Strong hands, compact swing, short to impact, uphill through finish, flashed hard contact.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 82 mph. INF - 83 mph. OF -  mph. Advanced raw arm strength; inefficient at present from out of the crouch. Short, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot. As an infielder, short action from a high 3/4 window with above-average arm strength.
Defense: 2.21-2.34 pop times. Feet are fluid, controlled; exchanges are long. Gets tall from reception to transfer and release. On the infield, tall at funnel, fluid/slow feet with clean exchanges.
Run: 7.29 runner in the 60.

4. Aidan Ripp, Sun Prairie (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: 1B/C
Body: 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. Strong durable build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, short lifted stride, minimal hand load. Bat strength swing, looks to attack the baseball with intent, pull side tendency, occasional top spin contact.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. INF - 80 mph. OF -  mph. Short arm action to over-the-top slot; throws carry.
Defense: 2.10-2.15 pop times. Direct to target, clean exchanges. Can be tall through reception and release. As a first baseman, he ranges well with feel for the bag; big target.
Run: 7.36 runner in the 60.

5. Ethan Graham, Wausau West (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-foot-7, 145-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, short lifted stride, smooth load. Path works uphill while hitting off back side, loose repeatable hands.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Long, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot; above-average arm strength. On the infield, long, loose throws with above-average strength.
Defense: 2.16-2.44 pop times. Quick actions, footwork; overall athleticism.
Run: 7.17 runner in the 60. 

TOP 2023 CATCHERS

1. Josue Figueroa, Sun Prairie (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: SS/C
Body: 5-foot-11, 160-pounds.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup from both sides of the plate, short stride, repeatable setup and pre pitch from both sides. Path is level, middle of the field approach, swing played looser from the left side.
Power: R82, L84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. INF - 75 mph. OF -  mph. Short, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot; above-average arm strength with some accuracy.
Defense: 2.12-2.18 pop times. Quick overall actions; efficient transfer to release. Hands play soft. On the infield, quick transfers, ranges well.
Run: 7.74 runner in the 60. 

2. Dominic Kibler, New Berlin West (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 5-foot-8, 160-pounds.
Hit: LHH. Slightly open stance, short stride, on time.  Loose hands create bat speed, slightly uphill and in rhythm. Upside bat.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. Short, loose throws from a high 3/4 slot; above-average arm strength with some accuracy. Athletic arm action; can play on the move with accuracy on the infield.
Defense: 2.22-2.34 pop times. Footwork is clean and direct; athletic actions, clean exchanges.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60. 

3. Hunter Szymborski, Brookfield Central (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 5-foot-10, 163-pounds. Lean build.
Hit: LHH. Balanced stance, short stride, lift and replace, hands held high. Uphill path, crouched over impact, opposite field contact.
Power: 78 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. Short, high 3/4 throws with accuracy and average arm strength.
Defense: 2.19-2.25 pop times. Feet work clean, fluid; can get a little tall at reception.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60.

BEST OF THE REST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)

Jimmy Athans, Badger (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: C/SS
Body: 5-foot-6, 150-pounds. Compact frame with strength, muscle bound build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, slightly crouched, moderate stride length. Strong hands, firm bat strength swing, short to the baseball and showed extension at times, some ability to create backspin.
Power: 76 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. INF - 76 mph. OF -  mph. Short, stiff throws from a high 3/4 slot. On the infield, long arm action from a high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.15-2.45 pop times. Long exchange; sidesteps through transfer, shuffles to release. On the infield, controlled footwork, some stiffness out front, pack and shuffle through exchange and release.
Run: 7.13 runner in the 60. 

Caleb Bowers, Whitefish Bay (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-foot-1, 205-pounds. Large frame.
Hit: RHH. Squared setup, hands load back with short lifted stride. Path is level and in rhythm, loose at times.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. INF - 77 mph. OF -  mph. Long draw to 3/4 arm slot; accuracy. On the infield, long arm action from a 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.25-2.44 pop times. Feet work fluid, direct to target. At first base, tall at funnel and gather, some feel for the base.
Run: 8.09 runner in the 60. 

Gavin Bucholtz, Muskego (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: C/RHP
Body: 6-foot-0, 195-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup with pre pitch movement, short leg kick trigger. Above average bat speed with gap to gap approach, bat strength present.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Low draw, long exchange to side arm release slot.
Defense: 2.37-2.53 pop times. Shuffles on line to target.
Run: 7.63 runner in the 60. 

Will Calcaterra, East Troy  (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C
Body: 5-foot-9, 145-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, leg lift stride, short quick hand load. Path is short and firm, creates line drive, top spin tendency.
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. Short arm action from a high 3/4 slot with average arm strength.
Defense: 2.28-2.50 pop times. Feet work clean; shuffle toward target.
Run: 7.30 runner in the 60. 

Riley Giebelhausen, Huntley  (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/1B
Body: 6-foot-1, 190-pounds. Solid build with strength.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, narrow stance, short toe tap stride, hands load back. Path has length, slightly uphill, muscled swing with strength.
Power:  mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 63 mph. Short arm action from an over-the-top slot.
Defense: 2.20-2.40 pop times. Tall at reception; above-average actions, direct footwork to target.
Run: 7.46 runner in the 60. 

Evan Long, Tomah (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: RHP/C
Body: 6-foot-0, 181-pounds. Long levered frame.
Hit: RHH. Tall open stance, smooth loading action with long lifted stride. Path is loose, creates whip at times.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short, over-the-top throws; some looseness with carry.
Defense: 2.19-2.25 pop times. Controlled, clean actions.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60. 

Beau Martins, Muskego  (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: OF/C
Body: 5-foot-5, 150-pounds. Compact body type.
Hit: RHH. Open stance, rhythmic load with short hanging stride, lands on time and even. Uphill plane, hands load deep, lifted contact.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. INF -  mph. OF - 78 mph. Short arm action to high 3/4 release; average arm strength.
Defense: 2.35-2.56 pop times. Tall at reception to shuffle through transfer. Outfield actions play through the baseball, in stride, glove plays off the side, step behind transfer.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60. 

Andrew Niaves, Oregon  (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-foot-9, 170-pounds. Athletically proportional shape.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup from both sides of the plate, athletic and comfortable pre pitch. Short path, above average bat speed and repeatability, stays on top of the baseball, compact swing.
Power: L80, R80 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. INF -  mph. OF - 80 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot; average arm strength.
Defense: 2.19-2.34 pop times. Controlled actions to high cocked position; athletic shuffle to target.
Run: 7.32 runner in the 60. 

Carson Richter, Lodi (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-foot-9, 165-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Open stance, leg kick stride, hands load deep. Path is long with some line drive tendencies.
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short, stiff arm action from a high 3/4 arm slot, some accuracy.
Defense: 2.20-2.38 pop times. Works through and on line to second base; tendency to get tall.
Run: 7.27 runner in the 60. 

Blake Salek, Aurora Christian (IL), 2022
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-foot-10, 185-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, short stride, hands load back. Path is handsy and works uphill, lifts contact.
Power: 78 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. Short draw, release from a 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.29-2.34 pop times. Average hands with clean exchanges.
Run: 8.31 runner in the 60. 

Colten Schillinger, Stratford (WI), 2021
Positional Profile: C
Body: 6-foot-0, 185-pounds. Strong muscle bound build.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, short toe tap stride, shuffles feet into crouched loading position. Path works slightly uphill, bat strength swings.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 79 mph. Short, stiff action from an over-the-top slot; throws show accuracy to the bag.
Defense: 2.09-2.25 pop times. Above-average overall actions; footwork is fluid, exchanges are clean.
Run: 6.88 runner in the 60. Well above average build.

Drew Wonderling, La Crosse Central (WI), 2023
Positional Profile: C/3B
Body: 5-foot-11, 195-pounds.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, wide setup, short stride and loads hands back. Path scoops contact, works uphill and around the baseball.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Short arm action from a high 3/4 slot; average arm strength.
Defense: 2.25-2.44 pop times. Solid, controlled actions; quiet receiver.
Run: 7.45 runner in the 60. 

Salvatore Zizzo, Muskego (WI), 2022
Positional Profile: C/OF
Body: 5-foot-11, 180-pounds. Strong build, durable lower half.
Hit: RHH. Balanced, still setup, short leg lift stride. Bat strength swing, short uphill path, above average bat speed for age.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Arm: RH. C - 70 mph. INF - 69 mph. OF - 76 mph. Short, stiff arm action from an over-the-top slot. As an infielder, short arm action from a high 3/4 slot.
Defense: 2.10-2.30 pop times. Exchanges are consistently clean; tendency to work uphill through transfer. On the infield, can gather deep, stiff hands. Moves well from side to side.
Run: 7.37 runner in the 60. 

RELATED CONTENT