Video: Darius Perry highlights
The La Mirada senior is among a handful of high school catchers expected to be drafted.
A catcher will likely be the first player chosen in the 2019 MLB Draft, but the first high school catcher probably won't come off the board until the second day.
Adley Rutschman of Oregon State is considered to be the top catcher in the draft and could be the No. 1 overall pick. However expect few catchers to be chosen overall on the first day of the Draft, which starts on June 3, with the first high school catcher possibly going somewhere in the third round.
We've already dissected the right-handed pitchers
and left-handed pitchers, and today we look at the guys behind the plate. In the coming days, we will look infielders and outfielders in the walk up to the draft.
2018, 37 high school players were chosen on the first day of the draft,
which includes two rounds and several compensatory rounds.
MLB Draft Prospects: Top 5 catchers
Hayden Dunhurst, Pearl River Central (Carriere, Miss.), 5-11, 208
Dunhurst provides the best combination of defense and offense among the high school catchers. He's been timed with a pop time of 1.86, which ranks among the best in the nation, according to Prep Baseball Report. He also has great velocity on his throws to second. At the plate, Dunhurst has shown power as he ranks among the nation's top home run hitters this year. Dunhurst batted .369 this year with 51 runs scored, 37 RBI and 11 home runs. He finished his four-year career with 31 home runs.
Draft forecast: Dunhurst could go late on the first day or early on the second.Darius Perry, La Mirada (Calif.), 6-2, 215
A strong, athletic player, Perry has one of the best pop times in the country at 1.81 seconds. He also has a strong arm and is mobile behind the dish. Perry has struggled to make contact his senior year, striking out 34 times while walking 16. He batted .323, however, with six doubles and five home runs this year.
Kurtis Byrne, Christian Brothers (St. Louis), 6-1, 210
Draft forecast: The UCLA commit could go somewhere at the end of the second day of the draft.
Along the lines of Dunhurst, Byrne combines strong defense and solid offense. He has a 1.81 pop time and a catcher velocity of 84 mph, according to Prep Baseball Report. At the plate, Byrne can hit for average and power. He is batting .419 on the season with 13 doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI.
Draft forecast: Headed to TCU, Byrne could go around the third round due to his defensive abilities.
Jonathan French, Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), 6-0, 210
French has showed a power surge this year, blasting 13 home runs this year after hitting three as a junior and eight as a sophomore. He's added 61 RBI, 12 doubles and four triples and has a 1.028 slugging percentage to go with a 1.613 OPS. He's also struck out just 15 times compared to 30 walks. Perhaps more athletic than the other catchers on the list, his pop time and velocity are just behind the likes of Dunhurst, Perry and Byrne.
Draft forecast: Committed to Clemson, French could actually go higher than the other
high school catchers due to his hitting ability. Still, probably no
higher than the third round.
Matt McCormick, St. Laurence (Burbank, Ill.), 6-0, 195
McCormick started out the season on fire with seven home runs through the first 13 games of the season. He's only added one since then, but he's batting .397 with 43 RBI, seven doubles and eight home runs. Still, McCormick has a strong arm and athletic build making him valuable as a defensive backstop as well as a power hitter.
The West Virginia commit likely goes somewhere late on the second day of the draft.