Cards Draftee Scouting Report: Adam Ehrlich

Detailed scouting report on the St. Louis Cardinals' sixth-round draft pick, catcher Adam Ehrlich, who now plays for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

Name: Adam Ehrlich

DOB: 12/13/1992

Birthplace: North Hollywood, California

HT/WT: 6-foot-1/200 pounds

Bats/Throws: L/R

Position: C

 

Body Type:

Athletic, thick 6'1" frame.  Has put on a lot of muscle over the past year, originally listed at 180-185 lbs and is now just south of 200. Ehrlich is growing well into his body as his top half continues to mature. Bottom half provides a set of strong legs.  Also has a set of big, tough hands that can already handle professional velocities.  Body comparison to Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy.

Abilities:

Using a slightly open stance, Ehrlich has a long, flat swing plane with a balanced stride.  He has the power to drive the ball, but won't be your perennial home run threat (think plus gap power).  Can take the ball to any part of the field, but his strength lies in lefty-pull power.  Could become a doubles machine.  Great plate discipline with pitch recognition skills.  His baserunning speed is above average for a catcher, but by being a catcher, it's unlikely he'll swipe bags at the big league level.  Keeps a focused field awareness, both on defense and on the basepaths.  Rarely turns his attention elsewhere.

 

Behind the dish, Ehrlich is a natural defender.  He has some time at first, but will not be leaving the backstop anytime soon.  His durability at such a young age is his best attribute, with a surplus of stamina to "catch all day long and make it look easy and graceful." (BaseballBeginnings.com).  His catching game is fluid, effortless, and with more instruction, could essentially be flawless.  Has strong average arm strength with the projection of a plus arm as his throwing mechanics improve.  Thanks to his quick feet and an even quicker release, his outstanding POP times have been listed in the 1.85 to 2.00 second range. He projects to POP closer to 1.80-1.90 once he perfects his footwork. Called games his senior year at Campbell Hall, not something you see from most high school catchers.

 

Ehrlich already has a tremendous knowledge of the game and continues to work hard to refine his baseball skills.  Has a willingness to do the little things, and won't question getting dirty.  His ability to receive and adjust a pitcher's game plan is far surpassed what his age group would usually show. Maturity is coming along nicely for the 18-year old.

 

Weaknesses:

Hitting skills are still raw.  His long swing plane mentioned before can work against him.  His elbows usually stay close together, but when they begin to separate, his swing becomes even longer than it already is.  Ehrlich's plane should be shortened to create a more compact swing.  His leg kick is inconsistent and can be very high during the load.  Has a slow pivot out of the batter's box, which doesn't match up with his quick feet on defense. Lacks trust in his ability to use his natural power.  He attempts to take the ball the other way when he should be pulling inside pitches.  He must become assertive with pitches on the inside part of the plate.  Also, he is too patient at times.  While he was pitched around on multiple occasions his senior year, Ehrlich would watch hittable pitches go by.

 

Defensively, his arm strength is still developing.  He occasionally rushes himself with an aggressiveness to catch runners stealing.  Has trouble fielding well-placed bunts.  His receiving skills are above average for a young catcher (glove beats pitches before they hit the strike zone, keeps hands steady to secure a strike), but he has a tendency to stab at the ball. Could use some work on blocking pitches, especially breaking balls in the dirt.  He's been game-calling for just over a year, but those skills are relatively underdeveloped.  Still has confidence to communicate with his pitchers.

 

Conclusion:

It's rare to find high school catchers that are as defensively sound as Ehrlich is.  However, he cannot rest on his laurels.  As he strives for consistency, his abilities as a natural catcher could lead him to the big leagues.  Offensively, his hit tool is far from polished, but does show promise.  Ehrlich has multiple mechanical issues to iron out, including his swing and stance, and must learn to trust his own talent.  If he can hone his skills at the plate, I can project a future .255-.260 hitter at his peak, 8 to 10 home runs a year.  Not out of the question for him to hit 20+ doubles during a full-length season.  Having only played at the high school level, it should take Ehrlich four to five seasons before he reaches the Majors.  It's possible his value can exceed his status as a sixth-round pick up.

 

 

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