Over the fall and winter months, ESPN High School will be spotlighting players that stood out over the summer baseball seasons, giving you an in-depth look at some of the best prospects of 2011 and beyond.
Catchers who can hit from the left-side of the plate with power are not exactly commonplace in the game today. The position has generally been defensive oriented due to the wear and tear, and generally players that provide offensive value switch positions to maximize their worth. This is why players like Joe Mauer, Brian McCann and to a lesser extent Alex Avila and Matt Weiters are thought of as indispensable to their respective organizations.
It’s too early to tell if he’ll be in that class, but the reason’s above are why some talent evaluators are falling in love with Acadania (Scott, La.) High School's Stryker Trahan.
“(Trahan) is a heck of a talent,” said an SEC coach. “You see the plus bat-speed, you see the ball just jump of his bat –be it aluminum or wood – and then you watch the kid run and throw? He’s a star in college at third base or the outfield. If he can stay at catcher he’s the type of kid who could take you to Omaha.”
That may seem like lofty expectations for a young man who just started his senior year of high school, but one need only to see his previous accolades to know why he’s so highly regarded. Trahan was busy over the summer, participating in the 2011 Area Code Games and the 2011 Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley field, where he put on a show during batting practice and was selected to participate in the home run derby before the game.
While Trahan has impressed everyone offensively, Trahan is much more enigmatic behind the dish. While no one can question the natural arm strength, his footwork – though improving – still isn’t up to standard, and blocking pitches is not yet a large part of his skillset.
“Really, it’s just going to depend on how patient a school or club is (with him),” an NL-East scout says. “No high school kid is going to just be ready defensively to catch, it’s a difficult position. This is my first look at him, but the info I’ve seen says that he’s done nothing but improve since he started playing the position. A club may want to try and advance his bat quickly and that could derail the progress, or a team may decide they just don’t want his knees to take away his speed and athleticism. Outside of that though, I give him a chance. There’s just so much value in catchers who can hit, it’s worth the risk to me.”
Another question is where exactly Trahan will be playing baseball after 2012. Trahan – who also is the starting quarterback for Acadania this fall – is currently committed to play baseball at Ole Miss come 2012, but the prospects of being a high draft pick could change that quickly.
“It wouldn’t stun me one bit if you saw him taken in the first two rounds,” an AL-West scout said. “The power is well-above average and even as an outfielder the overall skill to me is top 100. Not saying that’s where he’ll end up, but that’s where the talent stands right now.”
Whether that talent ends up at Ole Miss come next year – or behind the plate long-term – Stryker Trahan is a name that demands your attention now and in the future.