I've compiled here a list ranking my favourite high school catchers available for the 2012 draft. This is a very deep and talented class with big time prospects at the top in Trahan and Mathisen and a lot of potential an upside all the way down to number 20 on the list. As I've said many times, I do not take credit for having written all of these scouting reports, they are composite sketches drawn from a number of sources, notably; mlb.com, Perfect Game, minorleagueball, mlbdraftguide (shout out to Matt Grabusky), BullpenBanter, BaseballDraftReport, various high school websites, my apologies if I forgot to cite you're contribution, I will attempt to do so in the comments, should I recall it.
1) Stryker Trahan, C, 6’1 215, L/R, LA, HS
Trahan is known for his left-handed power and overall hitting ability. He has a short stroke with excellent bat speed. His plate discipline is excellent and he makes solid consistent contact. One of the things that stand out about Stryker is the amount of athleticism he brings to the position. He has good speed, running 60′s from 6.54 to 6.67. On defence, Trahan has the tools to be an excellent catcher. He moves well behind the plate and has a strong arm with recorded pop times from 1.85 to 2.01. Should he need to move off catcher in the future, right field would be his most likely landing spot. VIDEO
2) Wyatt Mathisen, C/MIF, 6’2 215, R/R, TX, HS
One of the best catching prospects in the 2012 class. A polished hitter with good bat speed Mathisen’s swing displays plus power potential. At the plate he has good patience and makes consistent hard contact. Despite spending most of his time at other positions, Mathisen shows good skills behind the plate. He has a strong and accurate arm, with a recorded pop time of 1.94. Does everything easily and athletically. High ceiling talent.
3) Clint Coulter, C, 6’3 215, R/R, WA, HS
Big strong catcher with big time bat. Excellent bat is ahead of his defensive skills at present. His power plays now and projects as a plus tool and he should be able to hit for enough average to be an everday catcher. Defensively he has a plus arm that will play as above average (most catchers arms go backwards a bit over a season and as they go through their careers, which is why starting with a plus arm is so important). VIDEO
4) David Houser, C, 6’1 210, S/R, SC, HS
Outstanding defensive and offensive catcher. Solid athletic build, there’s not a lot of projection, but excellent present strength. Good raw arm strength (90 mph from mound) quick transfer, 1.86 best pop time in workouts. Has a slight hitch in his release that has caused him to throw wildly in games, and he can stand to soften up hands. Offensively, Houser is a switch hitter with good power. He shows bat speed and good strength in his swing from both sides of the plate, but is a little shorter to the ball from the left side. Good hitting tools overall, but needs to work on pitch recognition and waiting on the breaking ball. VIDEO
5) Christopher Chinea, C, 6’0 205, R/R, FL, HS
Chinea is a very good defensive catcher, receives well, easily handled mid 90's velocity, excellent hands, strong arm, very good game throws. Right handed hitter, some swing length but gets barrel to inside half velocity, looking to pull and lift, good hitting rhythm, ball comes off the barrel hard, will reach on the outside occasionally. VIDEO
6) Jason Goldstein, C, 6’0 190, R/R, IL, HS
A steady player, Goldstein has good present skills both at and behind the plate. Goldstein also has a solid approach, to go with quick hands and good bat speed, producing a line drive swing with some power. He looks good behind the plate, getting rid of the ball quickly with accurate throws. His average pop times range from 1.80 to 1.88.VIDEO
7) CJ Saylor, C, 5’10 180, R/R, CA, HS
Top level defensive catcher with advanced catch-and-throw tools. Hardnosed player, plays for keeps. Very quick and compact defensive actions, very clean exchange, good footwork, plus arm strength, consistent throw mechanics, 1.77 best pop. Don't underestimate the bat, he can really hit and has power. Right handed hitter, very short and compact swing, likes the ball down in the zone, line drive machine, squares it up and the ball jumps, handles velocity well, high average hitter. VIDEO
8) Daniel Garner, C, 6’1 195, R/R, AL, HS
Garner moves well behind the plate and has soft hands. He has good arm strength, but the accuracy on his throws needs some work. His recorded pop is 1.85. Garner has good bat speed and is able to drive the ball to all fields. His power should be a strength at the next level. His recorded 60 time is 7.48. Daniel Garner has good all around tools.
9) Matt Fultz, C, 6’1 215, MO, HS
Big physical backstop shows a lot of talent both behind the plate and with the bat. Possesses good raw power and can put a charge into the ball. He can pull the ball with serious authority, but is also making strides towards becoming a more complete hitter showing the ability to drive the ball to all fields more often. Fultz’s defensive skills are highly polished, showing the ability to move well laterally and block balls, while also showing good receiving skills. VIDEO
10) Bryan de la Rosa, C, 5’9 180, R/R, Toa Alta, PR
Outstanding catch/throw tools, good receiver with energy and quickness. Excellent arm strength, quick controlled release, very accurate throws from low set. Right handed hitter with aggressive approach but keeps swing simple and short. Sound hitting fundamentals, confident hitter, ball jumps well. A 7.12 runner who is aggressive on the bases.
11) Brennan Morgan, C, 6’4 216, R/R, GA, HS
Big strong physical build, Morgan has very good swing mechanics and developing bat speed. He demonstrates athletic actions behind the plate, he receives the ball well with soft hands, has solid raw arm strength, but can stand to improve footwork. Offensively he keeps his hands short and quick to the ball, and has good bat speed. Good runner for size, 7.18, and runs the bases aggressively. Solid all around prospect.
12) Nelson Rodriguez, C/1B, 6’3 230, R/R, HS
Rodriguez has great raw power and can hit the ball out to all fields. He has good bat speed and shows strong pitch recognition. Rodriguez moves well behind the plate. He has soft hands and a strong arm. Rodriguez has a recorded pop time of 1.90. There is some concern that if he gets much bigger, Rodriguez could be forced to move to first base. Rodriguez has enough potential with the bat, but his draft stock hinges on whether teams believe his future is behind the plate or down the line at first. VIDEO
13) RJ Ybarra, C, 5’11 210, R/R, CA, HS
Big-time offensive tools, plus bat speed, very good strength in swing, ball really jumps off the bat, big raw power potential, the type of hitter who can miss the barrel and still muscle balls into the outfield, highest-level offensive tools. Cannon behind the plate, very quick release, good feet, balanced, polished receiver in all regards.
14) Tomas Nido, C/1B, 6’1 200, R/R, PR
Defensively, Nido possesses good catch and throw skills. He moves well and has soft hands. Nido’s arm is above average and he has a quick release, with excellent pop times. He throws 92mph from mound. All out effort swing with very good bat speed, looking to pull and lift the ball. Handles the barrel surprisingly well for the effort. Can hit the ball a long way when squared. May have to tone down swing at the upper levels but it works for him now. Lots of big tools. VIDEO
15) Blake Hickman, C 6’5 210, R/R, IL, HS
Big strong catcher in the mould of a Sandy Alomar Jr. or a Salvador Perez. Hickman can do a lot of things on a baseball field and is a definite pro prospect. At the plate he has mostly a square stance and loads up slightly before he swings. There’s some length to his swing, but he can generate very good bat-speed and raw power. Both project to plus as he fills out. Hickman doesn’t have the pitch recognition of the good warm weather hitters just yet, but repetitions will catch him up. Defensively, his big frame makes him slow with his hands to block balls. While he has plus (60) arm-strength and very quick feet (despite his size), Hickman’s long release keeps his workout pops around 2.0 seconds. Hickman runs close to average, running 7.09. For that and his plus arm, right field is a viable alternative. VIDEO
16) Phildrick Llewellyn, C, 6’1 205, S/R, FL, HS
Llewellyn has somehow flown under the radar somewhat despite being a versatile catcher with quick twitch athleticism, 6.85 speed, and consistent sub 1.90 pop times. A legit switch hitter with bat speed from both sides of the plate. Attacks the ball with a short quick swing. Intriguing combination of skills and tools. Gamer type, plays the game with hustle, smarts, and awareness.
17) Collin Yelich, C, 6’3 185, L/R, CA, HS
Solid athletic build with strength. Moves well behind the plate and has strong arm with carry. Yelich is a left-handed hitter with a compact stroke and good barrel awareness. Balanced, confident approach at plate. Stays back and lets the ball travel. Easy bat speed with pull pop. Goes to opposite field well. Line drive swing plane with good extension. Brother of Marlins 2010 1st round draft pick, Christian Yelich. VIDEO
18) Austin Barr, C, 6’2 215, R/R, WA, HS
Big kid with a good frame for a catcher and good athleticism for the position. Barr takes a solid approach to the plate. He has a compact swing and handles the bat well. He also shows very good raw power. Barr looks good behind the plate. He works well with pitchers and has advanced receiving skills. He has a quick release. His pop times at the 2010 Team One Futures Showcase were from 1.97-2.08. Barr plans to attend Stanford and is said to be a strong commit.
19) Jovan Hernandez, C, 5’10 200, R/R, TX, HS
Strong compact build, with loose athletic actions, pro catching tools. Quick behind the plate, soft hands, strong arm with accurate throws, 1.83 best pop time. Right handed hitter, shows gap to gap power, might need better plane through the zone, has present bat speed. Runs well for a catcher at 6.94.
20) Wilfredo Rodriguez, C, 5’10 200, R/R, Carolina, PR
Rodriguez's strength, power potential and right handed bat speed stand out. Plus bat speed, but aggressive all or nothing approach at the plate, needs refinement. Flashes power to all fields. Good raw arm strength. Rodriguez is deceptively athletic for a catcher and has run 6.86 in the 60.
21) Stephen Sauter, C, 6’2 190, S/R, CA, HS
Sauter is a switch-hitting catcher with a projectable body with room to fill out and add strength. A legitimate switch-hitter with an easy swing from both sides of the plate. He squares up well and projects good power. Sauter has good skills behind the plate. His pop times range from 1.81 to 2.02 with an accurate arm.
22) Boomer White, C, 5’10 192, R/R, TX, HS
An advanced receiver, White is a very heady, hustling, type of player behind the plate. He shifts very well in his crouch and has quick feet on his throws. His hands are soft and will handle upper-level pitching. White’s arm-strength is below-average by major league standards, but a short release and quick feet give him a chance to become an average thrower. White’s swing isn’t particularly quick or smooth, but he maximizes what he has with a smart approach. White can make adjustments to breaking balls and outside pitches well beyond his years, and knows how to hit to the opposite field.
23) Niklas Stephenson, C, 6’3 195, R/R, CA, HS
Intriguing catcher with size, a big bat, and some skills behind the plate. His large frame gives him a lot of projection. Offensively, he generates excellent bat speed. His swing has some length in it, but the ball comes off his bat with authority producing above average raw power. Defensively, Stephenson shifts his body well for a big man. His arm grades a little below average and he’s recorded pop times between 2.0-2.1 in game action (1.94-2.02 in workouts). With smoother footwork, Stephenson could become an average thrower. He has enough athleticism to play an outfield corner, if a move becomes necessary.
24) Scott Williams, C, 6’2 175, R/R, PA, HS
An offensive minded catcher, Williams has a ways to go if he wants to remain at the position long term. He is slow getting out of his crouch, and is often out of position to block balls. He has a below average arm, and his pop times generally sit in the 2.09-2.19 range. He may profile better in the outfield or first base. Though his defensive home is still up for debate, he shows excellent offensive tools. He generates good bat speed from the right side of the plate, and has above average raw power.
25) Michael Klement, C, 6’2 195, R/R, FL, HS
Klement is a steady all-around backstop without a standout pro tool. He receives the ball well and has soft hands. His footwork behind the plate is adequate, and he should be at least an average receiver at the next level. His arm-strength grades out near-average and his average pop-times have been between 2.0-2.1. Klement has a square right-handed stance and generates solid bat-speed with decent hitting actions. He has held his own against good velocity in the past, but struggles with curveballs. He’s a 40 runner with the athleticism to play one of the corner positions as well. He’s committed early to Oklahoma State.
26) Billy Germain, C/3B, 6’2 205, R/R, BC, HS
Germaine is a strong-bodied catcher from Canada. Tall angular build, plenty of room to add strength. Good athletic quickness behind the plate, good blocker, receives well, accurate throws, long arm action can be shortened up, 1.94 best pop time. Right handed hitter, line drive swing plane, has some hand strength, good balance and can go the opposite way. Excellent barrel awareness. Very good approach to the game, hustling heads up player. VIDEO