Colorado Underclass Invitational: Catchers Analysis

John Cackowski
Director of Scouting

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The 5th Annual Underclass Invitational brought together a collection of some of the top talent in the 2021 & 2022 classes. Over 90 players participated in the event. With the spring season quickly approaching, the players were able to impress with the advancements made throughout the off-season. 

Best of the Best: Catchers


Uncommitted. 5-foot-10, 160 pounds. Bats and throws right. Rapoza is a contact, gap to gap hitter. Has an athletic balanced stance hands load slightly back with good separation and rhythm. Hands are quick and short to the ball with a slightly uphill swing. Because of quick hands has the ability to let the ball get deep into the hitting zone. Head is still and stays on the baseball. Had a very good live round barreling every pitch. We liked his extension through the hitting zone. Exit velocity off the tee was 84 mph, but played faster in the live round. Behind the plate Rapoza has good lateral mobility and is efficient in blocking balls. On throw downs Rapoza shows the ability to stay in the catching position, then displays quick feet in throw-down that is accurate to 2B. Pop-times had a quick release off a coach were 1.87 to 1.95 with arm velo of 73 mph. Rapoza shows natural abiltity at the position, and has a chance to start for ThunderRidge this spring. 



Uncommitted. 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. Bats ands throws right. At the plate utilizes a wide, balanced stance, short stride. Load is straight back, and bat stays in the hitting zone with bottom hand finish. Lower half and upper in sync. Line drive hitter to both gaps. Ball jumped off bat in live round and Young has good power potential. Exit Velocity was 83 mph off a tee. Carries himself with confidence behind the dish. On throw downs has quick feet and strong arm for age. Pop-times were consistently under 1.95 with one 1.90 off a coach and was accurate to 2nd with a 72 mph arm velo. Showed soft hands with receiving and blocking, and has good lateral movement to both sides. Catcher to follow in Colorado's 2022 class. 


MAX VALDEZ C / 1B / REGIS, CO / 2021

Uncommitted. 6-foot-3, 175 pounds. Bats and throws right. At the plate Valdez has a slight balanced crouch, hands load straight back with soft short stride. Slight uphill swing that extends through the ball. Exit velo was 85 mph off a tee. As a receiver Valdez shows confidence, and he beats the ball and sticks fastball on both sides of plate. Valdez with big frame gets ball down to second quick utilizing a strong arm. Arm velo was 74 mph, and had a 1.93 to 2.02 pop time off a coach. Projectable receiver with power potential. 




Uncommitted. 5-foot-10, 175 pounds. Bats and throws right. At the plate has an open stance, slight leg kick, and rhythm. Hands load short down to create uphill launch angle with strength. Lower half is strong Hitting round was strong. Has a feel to hit, and hit with power. Projects to produce offensively from this position. Exit velocity off a tee was 84 mph, but played faster in live round. Shows advanced receiving skills with soft hands. Very quiet behind plate. On throw downs uses quick feet to get ball down to 2B. Accurate with at 67 mph and a 2.10 pop time off a coach. 






Harrison Dempsey C / OF / Mountain Vista High School, CO / 2021

Uncommitted. 5-foot-11, 155 pounds. Bats and throws right. Lanky frame with more room to grow. At the plate has slightly opened stance, with soft controlled stride. Hands load straight back which creates level bat path through the zone.  Live round was solid which consisted of hard hit line-drives up the middle. Top hand creates good extension through the ball, but is a little off balance at times with finish. Produced a 83 mph exit velo off the tee. Behind the plate is quick laterally to both sides. On throw downs to 2B, utilizes a strong arm at 76 mph. Pop-times off coach were 2.09 to 2.18. Could easily shave a second off if not as long on backside. While receiving, showed the ability to adjust in mid-pitch quickly. Quiet frame, with quick hands down to block. 






Best of the Rest (Listed in Alphabetical Order)




Uncommitted. 5-foot-9, 150 pounds. Bats and throws right. At the plate has a balanced stance, load is straight back with short stride now instead of leg kick. Line drive, gap to gap hitter. Bat path is level through the zone, good extension with bottom hand finish. More strength in swing since last time. Has a tendency to lunge at ball. Produced an 82 mph exit velocity off the tee. Behind the dish has good lateral movement to both sides of the plate. On throw downs had a 2.16 to 2.20 pop time throwing 68 mph. Body is quiet when receiving. Continues to improve every time we see him. 





Uncommitted. 6-foot, 160 pounds. Switch hitter that throws from right side. Stands tall with narrow, open stance at the plate. Closes down on short, soft stride. Hands load straight back to create level pat bath through hitting zone from right side. Same stance from left side, but will lunge a bit. More bottom hand dominant from the left side. Exit velocity was 79 off a tee from right side, and 74 from the left. Hard worker and confident behind the dish. On throw downs comes from an over the top arm slot throwing 67 mph, with a 2.08 pop time off a coach. Receives with soft, quiet hands. 




Uncommitted. 5-foot-9, 130 pounds. Miracle stands tall, with slow load back and medium stride. Level swing through the hitting zone with high bottom hand finish. Pull side approach. Average balance after extension. Produced a 72 mph exit velo off tee. Fundamentally sound as receiver behind dish. On throw downs to second pop-times off coach were 2.29 to 2.35. Arm velocity was 68 mph. Has above average speed as runner for position. 





Uncommitted. 6-foot, 185 pounds. Bats and throws right. Strong upper body and larger frame. At the plate is balanced with short stride with rhythm in load back that leads to level swing path through zone. Pull side approach with power and bat strength potential. Produced a 79 mph exit velo off a tee. Behind the dish has good fundamentals as receiver. Throw downs to 2B came in between 2.17 and 2.22 off a coach. Arm velo was 67 mph and accurate. 



5-foot-8, 145 pounds. Bats and throws right. In stance hands start a little low and load straight back. Soft Leg kick stride. Will lunge a bit but hands stay back. Line drive hitter to both gaps in live round. Level path with bottom hand finish through extension. Produced a 78 mph exit velo off tee. Behind dish is confident, and fundamentally sound. Hands are soft and quiet. Has good lateral movement to both sides. Pop-times off coach were 2.0 to 2.12, with 71 mph arm velo. You can see the improvement coming off a summer in which he started for the Eagles.