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NorCal ProCase Spotlight: C John Sheehan


Steve Doherty
Area Scout

    

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LINCOLN, CA. - Finding an everyday, reliable, durable catcher is very difficult at any level, which is why it makes it one of the most fickle positions to scout. Pro scouts will tell you that after the pitching position, drafting high school catchers has the biggest “non-success rate” among players drafted each year. The valuation of high school catchers in my opinion, may be the most subjective of all.

Scouts like catchers with long, lean bodies (Mike Piazza), others prefer shorter, more compact or thick bodied athletes (Pudge Rodriguez). Beauty is no doubt in the eye of the beholder when it comes to evaluating and grading catchers. It used to be that if a catcher was a great defense player (a catch & throw guy) he had an enhanced opportunity to make it to the Big Leagues. In today's game, the catcher is expected to provide ample offensive productivity, along with demonstrating all-around defensive chops and athleticism. The days of a big bodied, slow-twitch, pro catcher are long gone.

THE REPORT:

Body: Long, large, athletic 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame that carries lean muscle and has plenty of room for physical growth. 

Hit: Currently geared for line drives and doubles. Average bat speed, with minor hitch. Good Early connection metrics suggest he has more adjustability in his swing to cover his hot zones and will strike out less.  Has the ability to recognize secondary pitches, but has trouble barreling up at present time.

Power: Gap-to-gap. Topped out with an exit velocity of 94 MPH via Blast Motion. Possesses on par MLB averages in early connection metrics that suggest there will be some power down the line. Currently it will come in the form of doubles. Shows some loft in the swing.    

Field: Carry tool. Above Average. Has catch-ability with a feel for receiving. Predict he can endure the rigors of the position over time. Exhibits extreme flexibility in the hips and ankles which allows for perfect crouching positions and multiple set-ups, also giving him excellent mobility to his left and right on balls in the dirt. Displays proper technique in framing and blocking. Also appears he has the desire to block balls. Predicting high defensive runs saved and defensive WAR statistics in the future. 

Arm: Carry tool. Above average. Gun-slinger mentality. Can shut down the college/pro run game right now with current pop times consistently in the 1.78-1.98 range. Will throw from knees with ease and quickness along with being able to throw from all angles and arm slots. 

Run: 7.30 60-yard. Short, choppy stride, better underway.

THE COMP:

Hybrid between Will Smith (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Sean Murphy (Oakland A’s)

SUMMARY:

Field over bat/power profile. Prototype defensive catch and throw catcher. Possesses leadership qualities seen in successful catchers, and with only a small sample size to go on; communicates and works well with his pitchers.  Has a hunter mentality with an arm that can get the job done day-in-day-out.  Will have to gain overall strength in the body, which should naturally happen with age and maturity. All-in-all Sheehan may not be a top 10 round catching prospect right now, however, after 3-years in a college program he will grow into a solid catching prospect, and it will allow the bat to catch up with his catching chops. 



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