South Milwaukee Preseason I.D.: Catcher Analysis


Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor - Wisconsin/Illinois

On March 3 our PBR Wisconsin staff held its longest running event, South Milwaukee Preseason I.D. at the Hitters Baseball Academy in Caledonia, WI. This event has annually given us a spring preview of some of the top prospects across the state.

We will begin a week long analysis of the event starting with the catching prospects. We have previously posted our Statistical Analysis of the event and Quick Hits recap in the days following the event, which you can follow in the links above.

Our top catching prospects were highlighted by a pair of underclassmen, sophomore Josh Caron (Sun Prairie) and freshman Hayden Christiansen (Richmond Burton, IL). Caron has all the tools to play at the next level, and most notably may be his bat. This spring he’s been carrying a big load for the Cardinals in the middle of their lineup as well.

Christiansen hails from just south of the border at Richmond-Burton HS in Illinois. Christiansen showed off a plus arm for age that carried well and put up a best pop time of 2.04. He’s a highly athletic backstop and at just a freshman, will be a high follow for years to come.

Top Catching Prospects

1. Josh Caron, Sun Prairie, 2021
Body: 5-foot-10, 185-pounds. Strong build, athletic frame.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.10-2.19 pop times. Athletic out of the crouch, fluid feet and clean exchange. Hands play soft, well above average blocking skills.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short over the top slot, showed accurate.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, open stance, in rhythm leg lift trigger, maintains balance. Loose hands, projectable hit tool. Path is short and level through contract, gap to gap approach, on time.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Contact jumped off the bat at times.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60.

2. Hayden Christiansen, Richmond-Burton (IL), 2022
Body: 6-foot-0, 170-pounds. Lean athletic frame.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.04-2.15 pop times. Quick feet out of the crouch, agile and athletic at the position, direct footwork. Exchange is quick and clean, soft receiver.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Plays up with carry and accuracy, plus for age. Short, over the top slot.
Hit: RHH. Balanced and quiet, smooth load action, short stride, repeatable. Athletic hands create bat speed, middle of the field approach, short path, stays on top.
Power: 88 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above average contact for age, flashes pull side power.
Run: 7.28 runner in the 60. Above average for age and position.

3. Blake Carey, University School of Milwaukee, 2020
Body: 6-foot-2, 195-pounds. Strong athletic build.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.25-2.33 pop times. Hands play soft and strong, long exchange out of the crouch, strong blocker and agile out of the crouch.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Over the top slot, long release at times, showed accurate.
Hit: LHH. Balanced stance, smooth loading action, short stride, strong balance through contact. Short path, line drive gap to gap type approach, hits in rhythm.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee. Bat strength, barrel aware, above average pop.
Run: 7.30 runner in the 60. Above average runner.

4. Joe Turco, Franklin, 2021
Body: 5-foot-10, 185-pounds. Strong for age, durable lower half.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.09-2.18 pop times. Clean exchange, feet work in rhythm, gets tall at times.
Arm: RH. C - 77 mph. Carried out of the crouch, high 3/4 slot, short and loose.
Hit: RHH. Quiet pre pitch. Balanced stance, short stride, slight bat wrap load. Strong simple swing, short path, gap to gap approach with feel for the barrel.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above average pop for age.
Run: 7.76 runner in the 60.

5. Jonah Wronski, Marquette University, 2020
Body: 5-foot-10, 185-pounds. Compact sturdy build with strength.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.12-2.26 pop times. Advanced blocker, strong and squared. Natural actions, clean release. Strong hands receive well behind the dish.
Arm: RH. C - 79 mph. Short over the top slot, carries well out of the crouch.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, smooth loading action, short stride, maintains strong balance through contact. Short path, uphill, some strength. Compact swing produced hard opposite field contact in BP.
Power: 94 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.13 runner in the 60. Above average runner for the position.

6. Heath Venne, Muskego, 2022
Body: 5-foot-9, 172-pounds. Compact frame.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.14-2.26 pop times. Agile and quick actions, gets out of the crouch quickly, slightly uphill. Sound block, quick to recover, clean exchange.
Arm: RH. C - 74 mph. Short over the top slot, played accurate.
Hit: RHH. Balanced setup, narrow stance with slightly longer stride, average balance. Showed control of the barrel, loose hands create short path, line drive gap to gap contact.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above average bat strength for age, creates pop.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60. Straight line quiet runner.

7. Charlie Jarvis, Arrowhead, 2022
Body: 5-foot-11, 170-pounds. Average lean frame.
Positional Profile: C/3B
Defense: 2.16-2.26 pop times. Long actions out of the crouch,stays low, agile defender. Quiet receiver, low setup.
Arm: RH. C - 78 mph. Plus arm strength for age, long action, over the top slot. Showed accurate and carried.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, smooth loading action, short toe tap stride. Path has some length, opposite field contact in BP, rotational hitter off back side.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60.

8. Joseph Ricchio, Tremper, 2021
Body: 5-foot-10, 190-pounds. Solid build, strong lower half.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.18-2.26 pop times. Squared to block, gets tall out of the crouch. Average hands.
Arm: RH. C - 75 mph. Short high 3/4 slot, arm runs.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, smooth load, short stride, solid balance throughout. Bat speed present, front foot hitter, strong hand. Showed ability to get extension.
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.35 runner in the 60. Short quick strider.

9. Christian Brenner, Burlington, 2020
Body: 6-foot-1, 195-pounds. Athletic body shape, lean strength, sloped shoulders.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.16-2.26 pop times. Average hands, reaches at times.
Arm: RH. C - 71 mph. Over the top slot, short action.
Hit: LHH. Open stance, short stride, average balance through contact. Path plays with some length.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Present bat strength.
Run: 7.45 runner in the 60.

10. Kyle Sagan, Oak Creek, 2020
Body: 5-foot-11, 170-pounds. Average build.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.13-2.19 pop times. Short quick exchange, feet work quick and precise, clean transfer.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short over the top slot, quick arm, showed ability to play accurate and with carry.
Hit: RHH. Open stance, loads hands back, short leg kick stride, good balance through contact. Aggressive swing, short level path, occasional uphill through contact.
Power: 84 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.38 runner in the 60.

Best of the Rest (Listed Alphabetically)

Alejandro Del Valle, St. Laurence (IL), 2020
Body: 6-foot-1, 205-pounds. Solid strength.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.26-2.36 pop times. Deliberate exchange, short two-step out of the crouch, gets tall.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Over the top slot, long action, showed accuracy.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, smooth load and short stride, average balance. Long path on slight uphill plane, pull side approach.
Power: 83 mph exit velocity from the tee. Strong hands.
Run: 7.63 runner in the 60.

Tyler Maier, Oak Creek, 2022
Body: 5-foot-11, 143-pounds. Lean build.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.58-2.76 pop times. Showed ability to setup low and received quietly within framework. Longer actions out of the crouch.
Arm: RH. C - 65 mph. Longere arm path for the position, high 3/4 slot.
Hit: RHH. Wide setup, drops hands back into load, heel lift stride. Long level path, some effort.
Power: 72 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.71 runner in the 60.

Frank McGuire, St. Joseph Catholic, 2021
Body: 6-foot-1, 160-pounds. Lean build.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.25-2.39 pop times. Average hands, efficient exchange and transfer.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short over the top arm stroke.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup from both sides of the plate, short stride, occasional dive from the left side. Short path, looked comfortable from the right side.
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.43 runner in the 60.

Andrew Niaves, Oregon, 2022
Body: 5-foot-8, 158-pounds. Average proportional build.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.44-2.62 pop times. Natural actions, lets the ball travel with soft hands, sets low and footwork is concise, clean quick exchange.
Arm: RH. C - 61 mph. Short over the top, uphill release.
Hit: SH. Balanced setup, quiet pre pitch, short stride, solid balance. Short path from both sides of the plate, showed ability to find the barrel on both sides. Right-handed showed more natural.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee. Harder contact off the bat from the right side.
Run: 7.81 runner in the 60.

Kyle Odeshoo, Prospect (IL), 2022
Body: 5-foot-8, 150-pounds.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.33-2.44 pop times. Actions are clean out of the crouch, sound blocker, footwork should get quicker with age. Quiet receiver, low setup.
Arm: RH. C - 66 mph. Short over the top slot, showed occasional accuracy.
Hit: RHH. Balanced stance, arm bar load, reverse toe tap stride. Hands are loose, uphill finish, some effort, slight pull side tendency.
Power: 72 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 8.10 runner in the 60.

Sam Ott, Oconomowoc, 2021
Body: 5-foot-11, 230-pounds.
Positional Profile: C/1B
Defense: 2.29-2.37 pop times. Narrow base, gets tall, right-left footwork out of the crouch.
Arm: RH. C - 72 mph. Short arm action, over the top slot.
Hit: LHH. Tall setup, slightly open, short lifted stride, stays open. Simple quiet swing, uses hands to create short path.
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. Bat strength present, hands strength.
Run: 8.14 runner in the 60.

Carson Richter, Lodi, 2021
Body: 5-foot-9, 160-pounds. Lean build.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.28-2.44 pop times. Clean exchange, short footwork.
Arm: RH. C - 68 mph. Over the top slot, short arm action.
Hit: RHH. Open stance, hands load back, slight arm bar load, Path is level and long, works around the baseball at times.
Power: 79 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.98 runner in the 60.

Ryan Santi, Oak Creek, 2022
Body: 5-foot-8, 175-pounds.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.43-2.65 pop times. Deliberate footwork, gets tall early, will gain ground to target.
Arm: RH. C - 67 mph. Long high 3/4 slot.
Hit: LHH. Open stance, short stride gets to even, average balance. Path has some length, works around for pull side contact, occasional line drive to the middle.
Power: 75 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 8.34 runner in the 60.

Jason Starr, Sun Prairie, 2021
Body: 6-foot-0, 160-pounds. Lean frame, projectable.
Positional Profile: RHP/C
Defense: 2.17-2.28 pop times. Quick clean exchange, tall out of the crouch.
Arm: RH. C - 76 mph. Short arm action, over the top slot.
Hit: RHH. Tall setup, open stance, hands load back, stride slight dives. Long path, opposite field contact in BP.
Power: 76 mph exit velocity from the tee.
Run: 7.56 runner in the 60. Long strider.

Cole Wilson, East Leyden (IL), 2021
Body: 6-foot-0, 170-pounds.
Positional Profile: C
Defense: 2.22-2.32 pop times. Firm actions, clean exchanges.
Arm: RH. C - 69 mph. Short arm action, high 3/4 slot.
Hit: RHH. Slight open stance, short toe tap stride, average balance. Uphill path, slightly long.
Power: 81 mph exit velocity from the tee. Flashed occasional pop.
Run: 7.47 runner in the 60.

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