Mitch Trees is a 6’1” 190 lb. backstop for Sacred-Heart Griffin High School in Springfield, Ill. Trees is by far one of the most advanced defensive catchers in the 2014 draft class. Trees is committed to play college baseball at the University of Louisville in the fall of 2014.
At the plate Trees is a premier line-drive hitter. Standing from the right side, Trees will bring an athletic stance to the plate and an above average approach to his hitting game. Trees uses his lower half to develop most of his pop that he generates in his front-foot stride. I currently see Trees as a solid college hitter with the potential to be a 10 to 15 homer guy at the pro level. Hitting Grade: Present= 40 Future= 60.
Hitting for Power Grade: Present= 30 Future= 50.
Trees has an excellent body build already that still can put on considerable amount of muscle. He has not completely grown into his shoulders either. I do see with some added muscle and awareness of what his body can hold, Trees will increase some power at the plate and grow into what a Major League catcher should be.
Trees behind the plate is an above average catcher with a very high ceiling. He has some of the softest hands in the Midwest. A ball seems to be vacuumed up when thrown home with Trees receiving. Trees currently has a pop time of 1.95 which is already well above the level most high school catchers are heading into their senior year. Fielding Grade: Present= 50 Future= 60
Throwing across the diamond Trees is sitting in the low 80’s. Trees is extremely quick behind the plate that makes his throw deceiving and often makes his velocity across the diamond seem a lot harder until the reading of the gun. I think Trees already has a close to average major league arm that can only improve as he continues in his baseball career. Arm Grade: Present= 50 Future=60
Last but could be the most important aspect to a catcher when deciding to take him a round higher than he is projected is his running ability. Trees has been clocked in the past as a 7.2 in the 60-yard dash. I had him last week run a 4.2 Home to First time from the right side.
I was very impressed with the young man’s quickness, ability to square up a ball and run to first with above-average speed for a catcher. As long as he doesn’t lose some of that speed in his senior year, I think that could help project him to the next level. Run Grade: Present= 40 Future= 50
Overall, I think Mitch Trees is a guy who could sneak in the top 10 rounds of next year’s draft. Heading to the University of Louisville could hurt MLB teams that draft him later in the draft and expect to sign him for less money. Trees is worth the sign. I grade his OFP at a 58 at this point. This kid could easily climb draft boards with a solid senior season.