Madison Preseason ID: Catching Analysis



By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Illinois/Wisconsin

The spring season is underway and our analysis of the Madison Preseason I.D. kicks off with the catching prospects. Throughout the week we will be breaking down each position with complete scouting reports of players from the event. For our breakdown of catchers we look at the top backstops in each graduating class, starting with the juniors.

Here’s a look at the top catching prospects:

Top 2017 Catchers

1. Zak Kosloske, C/OF, Hortonville, 2017
5-foot-10, 178-pound catcher, carries some lean strength. Right-handed hitter, wide setup, short stride, good balance. Showed bat speed and made hard contact, 94 mph exit velocity from the tee. Level bat path, hands work well, can get more lower half involved. Defensively posted pop times at 2.08-2.16, solid receiver, showed actions in the outfield as well. Showed above average arm strength, 79 mph out of the crouch, 85 mph from the outfield. Ran a 7.3 in the 60. Can project defensively at both catcher and a corner outfield spot.

2. Kyle Kosobucki, C, West De Pere, 2017
5-foot-8, 190-pound catcher, solid build with strength, stocky. Jumped into the top 100 2017’s in Wisconsin. Shows good catching actions, plays the position well, willing to block, solid setup and receiver, clean exchange, pop times ranged 2.08-2.26 out of the crouch. Good arm strength, 79 mph out of the crouch, showed carry an on target. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, leg kick stride. Showed bat strength in BP, loud, hard contact. Slight pull side power approach, athletic hitter, 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. 7.63 runner in the 60.

3. Hunter Milbrath, C, Jefferson, 2017
5-foot-10, 155-pound catcher, average strong build. Right-handed hitter, balanced setup, short stride, solid balance. Simple approach, flashed bat strength, some barrel control. 75 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively posted pop times at 2.19-2.37 out of the crouch, showed some accuracy. Solid receiver with ability to block, agile feet. Ran the 60 at 7.28. Arm action is short and over the top, played at 72 mph.

Top 2018 Catchers

1. Jeff Holtz, C/3B, Arrowhead, 2018
Indiana commit. 6-foot-3, 188-pound catcher/third baseman, long lanky frame, slender build with lean strength, highly projectable body. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, leg kick trigger, good balance. Athletic hitter, hard contact, fast loose hands. Path stays flat through contact, 93 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 77 mph out of the crouch, short over the top slot, quick exchange. 1.93-2.04 pop times, soft hands, well above average receiver. 81 mph across the diamond, showed serviceable actions to play third base at the next level. 7.02 runner in the 60, well above average runner.

2. Stephen Lund, C/3B, Verona Area, 2018
Recently committed to Gonzaga. 6-foot, 193-pound offensive catcher/third baseman, solid build. Right-handed hitter, open stance, excellent balance through contact, slight leg lift stride. Excellent barrel control, high contact type hitter, hard line drive gap to gap type. Showed a fast bat, 95 mph exit velocity from the tee, athletic hitter, high average guy. Defensively posted pop times at 2.01-2.13, showed softer hands, quiet receiver. Arm played accurately, short over the top action, showed carry both out of the crouch and across the diamond, 78 mph (catcher) and 79 mph (infield). Abilities to play both third base and catch at the next level, bat will play. 7.1 runner.

3. Connor Manthey, C/3B, Columbus, 2018
6-foot-1, 190-pound catcher, solid strong build, durable frame, built well to handle catching duties. Defensively arm played above average, 75 mph out of the crouch, 80 mph across the diamond, accurate arm with carry, plays up. Showed athletic infield actions, pop times ranged 2.03-2.08 out of the crouch, projects well defensively at both positions, good footwork. 7.63 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, balanced setup, short stride, good solid balance. Strong bat, shows above average strength in the box, fast bat, 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Shorter path to the baseball, level through contact, line drive type hitter, athletic hitter, on time.

4. Alan Roden, C/OF, Middleton, 2018
5-foot-11, 175-pound left-handed hitting multi-positional player, offensive minded prospect. Bat should play well, balanced stance, short stride, maintains strong balance. Bat stays in the zone well, made consistent hard contact in BP, shows left handed power in his bat. 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 81 mph from the outfield, 75 mph out of the crouch, short over the top arm action. Actions showed best in the outfield, worked through the baseball, projects best at a corner outfield spot. Out of the crouch posted pop times at 2.05-2.12, solid receiver. 7.24 runner in the 60.

5. Nick Zeeveld, C, Indiana Trail, 2018
6-foot-1, 185-pound catcher, long athletic shape, frame has upside. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, longer stride, slight leg kick trigger, good balance and body control. Fluid hitter, above average bat speed, showed barrel control. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively, arm action is short and over the top, accurate arm, 74 mph out of the crouch. Good hands behind the dish, some misdirection out of the crouch, exchange is quick, release can improve. 2.07-2.17 pop times. Ran a 7.96 in the 60.

5. Jacob Kaiser, C, Catholic Memorial, 2018
Large strong frame, 6-foot-4, 205-pound catcher, advanced build for his age. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, rigid lower half. Big bat strength swinger, showed bat speed, long level bat path, hard contact. 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. 7.56 runner in the 60. Defensively arm played over the top, accurate out of the crouch, 73 mph. Replaces feet out of the crouch, can gain more ground, gets tall, pop times ranged 2.07-2.16. Quiet receiver, solid blocker.

Top 2019 Catchers

1. Nathan Stevens, C, Waunakee, 2019
Arkansas commit. 5-foot-11, 160-pound left-handed hitting catcher, loose lean athletic frame, projectable body. Offensively hits from an open setup, short stride back to even, lower half works, good balance. Made consistent hard contact, loose hands, barrel aware. Fast loose bat, path is short, confident in the box, looks hitterish with a gap to gap type approach. 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played short and quick, 75 mph out of the crouch, slight carry. Soft hands receiving, flexible setup, athletic defender behind the plate, good agility out of the crouch. Pop times ranged 2.00-2.18. Ran a 7.50 60.

2. Max Bruff, C/OF, Indian Trail, 2019
5-foot-9, 165-pound catcher/outfielder, strong compact shape. Defensively showed some quick twitch actions, fast exchange, pop times ranged 2.19-2.36 out of the crouch, solid block and soft receiver. Arm played at 76 mph out of the crouch, short over the top slot, 81 mph from the outfield. Showed athletic abilities at multiple defensive positions, projects best behind the plate. 7.17 runner in the 60. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, good balance. Loose hands, shorter path, line drive gap to gap guy with bat speed and strength, 90 mph exit velocity from the tee.

3. Alex Cyskiewicz, C/OF, Catholic Memorial, 2019
6-foot, 190-pound catcher/outfielder, strong solid build, sturdy. Right-handed hitter, slight open setup, leg kick trigger with slight bat wrap, pre-pitch waggle load. Shows bat strength, fast bat on level path, occasional hard contact. 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played over the top, 76 mph from the outfield, 68 mph out of the crouch. Showed an ability to play through the baseball with aggressive actions in the outfield. Pop times ranged 2.25-2.40, good direction out of the crouch, gets tall at times. Ran the 60 at 7.85

3. Beau Blackdeer, C/OF, DeForest, 2019
5-foot-10, 155-pound catcher/outfielder, athletic shape. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, average balance. Showed ability to repeat, average bat speed, line drive type hitter. 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively showed actions, gets out of the crouch and has ability to play downhill in the outfield. Pop times at 2.19-2.25. Arm played at 68 mph out of the crouch, 77 mph from the outfield, short over the top slot, showed accuracy out of the crouch.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Chase Doebert, C/INF, Mount Horeb, 2018
5-foot-8, 145-pound left-handed hitting catcher. Hits from a balanced stance, short stride, drops hands into load. Average bat speed, pull side tendencies, slight uphill path. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm action is short, over the top slot, played at 69 mph out of the crouch, 70 mph across the infield. Showed solid hands defensively both behind the plate and in the infield, pop times ranged 2.52-2.62. Ran the 60 at 8.13.

Mitchell Flett, C, Peshtigo, 2019
5-foot-5, 132-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, loads hands back. Singles type hitter, level path, line drive type. 72 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played short, lower slot, 59 mph out of the crouch. Solid block, showed ability to bounce back to feet. Pop times ranged 2.62-2.76.

Joe Gibbs, C, Homestead, 2017
5-foot-7, 150-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, tall open stance, short stride. Average bat speed, level path, tendency to cut it off. 67 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm plays long from a high ¾ slot out of the crouch, 69 mph. Long exchange, covered a lot of ground out of the chute. 2.43-2.50 pop times. Above average runner for his position, 7.24 in the 60.

Harrison Hintz, C, Oconto, 2017
5-foot-7, 208-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, minimal stride, slight bat wrap load. Path works uphill, lifts with some pop, 75 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively has a short arm action, 67 mph out of the crouch, works slightly uphill. Pop times range, 2.29-2.44. 7.94 runner in the 60.

Russell Mayer, C, Muskego, 2018
5-foot-6, 145-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride. Simple approach, path is short to the baseball, tends to stay on top. 76 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 67 mph out of the crouch, over the top slot. Misdirection out of the crouch, pop times ranged, 2.26-2.37, balance and footwork can improve. 7.87 runner in the 60.

Caden Rhyner, OF/C, Waunakee, 2019
5-foot-9, 155-pound outfielder/catcher. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, short stride, average balance. Loopy path, average bat speed, 73 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively arm played at 63 mph from the outfield, 59 mph out of the crouch, over the top slot. Pop times ranged 2.69-2.85. 7.79 runner in the 60.

Devin Speltz, C, McDonnell Central, 2017
5-foot-10, 175-pound catcher. Right-handed hitter, balanced stance, drops hands into loading position, short stride. Average bat speed, path showed length, occasionally hits off front foot. 77 mph exit velocity from the tee. Defensively posted pop times at 2.25-2.43, long exchange out of the crouch. Arm action plays with length, high ¾ slot, some accuracy, 76 mph. Ran the 60 at 7.62.

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