Prospect Countdown #77 : Tanner Lubach

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #77 : Catcher, Tanner Lubach (photo : Tanner Lubach / Facebook)

Tanner Lubach, Catcher

HT: 6'0
WT: 185
DOB: November 21, 1992 (23) in Lincoln, Nebraska
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
School: University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE)
Acquired: Drafted in 9th Round of 2015 MLB Draft
Last Year’s Ranking: Unranked


Over these past years, the Los Angeles Angels have been consistently adding catchers with strong defensive skills and pitch framing abilities. The trend has continued, following the selection of a Cornhusker catcher, Tanner Lubach. Lubach has improved significantly during his time behind the plate, and now looks to take that to the professional level.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Lubach has impressed behind the plate, primarily due to his drastic improvement behind the plate. He refined his pitch presentation abilities to expand the strike zone to match some of the best at the collegiate level.

Lubach is an outstanding blocker, due to his lateral movements behind the plate. He also has a canny ability to handle pitchers and run a game, along with control the running game. Lubach's best ability in controlling the running game is his mechanics, having a quick pop up and quick release.

Lubach has a fairly long swing but has quick wrist which enhances the bat speed at the tail end of his swing. This allows adequate power - mostly pull power - that is helped by finding strength in his swing from the ground up (legs).

Lubach lets the ball travel deep in the zone which allows him to take the ball to all parts of the field. With his quick wrist and load from his base, it allows him to drive with power to the opposite field when needed, but there's room for improvement.

Lubach has great plate vision, and patience. He sits slightly around your standard catching reports and profile, but with a slightly higher upside due to his natural abilities behind the plate.

VIDEO : Big Ten Network

Scouting Report from Kevin Jimenez - Contributor for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Lubach started his senior year at Nebraska going 0-for-18. He then went on a tear, and finished the year batting .312 with 10 doubles and a triple. He led the team in slugging percentage at .441 and had an on-base percentage of .375. He was tied for the team lead in home runs with four, while bringing in 26 with his bat.

He had a total of twenty multi-hit games that included a five-hit game against Kansas State on April 7, 2015. He was able to get on base in each of the final eleven games of the season, falling two games short of his career record. In addition, he only allowed two passed balls and two errors, while throwing out 36% of would-be base stealers.

In terms of school history, Lubach finished second with 44 runners caught stealing. He recorded an outstanding .993 fielding percentage with only six errors in 918 innings. In 138 career starts, he allowed just 13 passed balls.

In his first season of professional baseball for the rookie Orem, he had a roller coaster type season. He struggled in June and August, while playing well in July and September. He posted a triple-slash line of .265/.333/.429 that included five doubles, a triple, three home runs, and 19 RBIs. He drew 10 walks and struck out 17 times.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

Lubach falls into a now deep catching depth chart in the Angels farm system. Where he falls is yet to be seen. He excelled in Rookie Ball, and is of age to fit well into Single-A. Whether that's a full leap to San Bernardino or Burlington will be seen following Spring Training.

Lubach has some nice tools, but will have to prove they're more than just raw tools. Polish is where Lubach will make or break his way to the top. When all is said and done, he could make for a quality backup catcher at the Major League level, if he turns into a polished gem.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

Kevin Jimenez is a Contributor for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @KevinCJimenez. This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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