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SoCal ProCase Spotlight: C Zach Crandall


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

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FULLERTON, CA. - For many starters in the Trinity League they become relatively common names as they progress into their senior seasons. In many people's opinion, Zach Crandall of Santa Margarita HS was on that path before, like every other player in the state, losing his 2020 season to COVID-19. 

Crandall showed to be a close to polished catcher whose present offensive abilities are those of a player on collegiate rosters throughout the country. At 6-foot, 190-pounds there’s room physically to add the type of strength that could enhance his present gap-to-gap approach and improve his power numbers overall. Crandall posted a 90% on plane efficiency rating on Blast Motion which was the best of all ProCase participants showing his ability to maintain and manipulate the barrel through the zone. He posted a high exit velocity of 94 mph. 

With all the positives Crandall showed with the bat it’s his defense where he stood out from a metrics standpoint. He uses his body well and in sync to generate online and accurate throws to second base. Doesn’t cheat, stays in crouch, before exploding towards the bag. Arm works with clean actions from catch to release. 

As with any player, the SoCal ProCase was an opportunity to showcase their skills amongst their peers in the 2021 class. With 67 representatives from 22 MLB Organizations in attendance, some teams 2-3 deep, and the talent on the SoCal ProCase roster, Crandall had the opportunity to get his name in front of decision makers. And while a decision on a potential professional career involving Crandall may not happen until 2024, he certainly made the most of his opportunity. 

THE REPORT: 

Body: 6-foot, 190-pounds. Athletic build with room for refinement. Strong through lower half with an ideal catchers frame. 

Hit: Right-handed hitter. Sets up with a slightly open, wide stance before using a slight leg lift trigger. Maintains hands near ear during coil before attacking the inner half of the ball. Bat speed averaged 64.4 mph with rotational acceleration of 13.3g through the zone. Those metrics alone put Crandall in the lower third of collegiate players, however when you factor in his 90% on plane percentage you have a player who is consistently squaring up balls and spraying them to all fields. 

Power: Trackman data shows Crandall had an average exit speed of 87.7 with a peak of 93.6 mph. His velocities were fairly consistent with balls hit to the opposite field of which a third of his were. Crandall at times got stuck on his front side causing his barrel to lag behind, however when he cleared his front side he was able to handle pitches both inside and outside while being able to drive balls with some power. 

Field: Shows athleticism in setup which is slightly lower than neutral. Showed quiet hands, with nimble footwork and a clear understanding of setting up hitters with his pitch calling. Blocked well staying low on balls before recovering quickly while also showing good lateral movement. 

Arm: Pops: 2.01-2.13, 77 mph. Shows a quick release with clean throwing mechanics. Transitions are clean and fast with hands working very well in unison together with the feet. Arm strength is present and should continue to improve which will be necessary for his progress. 

Run: 7.58 60 yard dash on grass surface. 

Summary: Zach Crandall is a good to very good high school catcher. He has the tools, the mindset, and the ability to play beyond high school and will, hopefully, have that opportunity. His ability to hit will play a large role in how much longer after high school he will play, and based on his showing at the SoCal ProCase, Crandall should feel good about his chances of having that opportunity. Projection is a big part of baseball and Crandall has projectable tools, notably on the offensive and physical sides, that will help his cause moving forward. The MLB Draft in 2021 is a likely longshot for Crandall, but the 2024 draft should feel a lot closer. 

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