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Arkansas' best high school baseball players: Meet the state's top catchers

Some of the top catchers in Arkansas prep baseball

By Kevin Bohannon I Photo submitted 

With high school baseball season in full swing, SBLive is looking at the best players in Arkansas. Today, we feature the top catchers across all classifications. A true field general is one of the most important pieces of championship teams. (This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, as there are numerous great catchers statewide. Let us know about any catchers you think should be added!) 

Zachary Steele Eaves | Lonoke | SO

Possibly the player with the biggest upside on the list. Eaves has a huge arm and likes to show it off as he also toes the rubber for the Jackrabbits. Has been nicknamed “The Boogeyman” because he such a threat to opposing base runners.

Lawson Ward | Valley View | SO

Even as a sophomore on the defending Class 4A state champions, Ward may be one of the best defensive catchers in the state. He is very cerebral and has even been afforded the opportunity to call pitches in game by the Blazer coaching staff.

Caleb White | Mount Ida | JR

White is a big reason the Lions have a legit shot at a state-title run this spring. He can swing it anchoring down the middle of the lineup.

Lucas Jackson | Fort Smith Southside | JR

Jackson has a physical frame and does a great job controlling the Mavericks’ pitching staff which includes University of Oklahoma recruit David Sorg. He’s Very reliable at the plate as well and has power from the left side with potential exit velocities around 100 mph.

Konner Canterbury | Sheridan | SR

A well-built, athletic backstop that can run well, too. Canterbury has a quick bat with line-drive ability. He has pretty good arm strength, but his quick transition and release is his best attribute defensively.

Eli Marcotte | Rogers | SR

Marcotte is committed to play collegiately at Northern Colorado but wants to lead the Mounties to another state title in 2022. Power potential as a hitter and finds the barrel consistently.

Nolan Belcher | Walnut Ridge | SO

Baseball runs through his veins, and he’s the son of a coach. His father, Jason, was one of the best in the state in the late 90s at Walnut Ridge. Nolan is following in his footsteps and is already committed to play collegiately at Arkansas State.

Jackson Cobb | Benton | SR

Cobb fell in love with the weight room over the past year and has really come into his own as a player. He is versatile and athletic enough to play multiple positions but loves getting down and dirty behind the plate. He’s a great student and will have the opportunity to play at the next level.

Jack Lanier | Batesville | SR

Lanier has been the Pioneers’ catcher since he stepped foot on campus. A position that has produced some of the school’s best players, Lanier is right up there with them.

Tucker Bradley | Huntsville | SR

A vocal leader who leaves it on the field every time he steps between the lines. He has great size measuring at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds so he is durable over the course of a long season. Bradley has the Eagles primed for another playoff run in 2022.

Zach Szuba | Conway | SR

Szuba is the epitome of what you expect in a Wampus Cat catcher. He’s hard-nosed, tough and will out work you seven days of the week. Szuba is committed to UCA and has emerged as a leader on a team with a ton of young talent.

Caleb Anderson | Shiloh Christian | SR

A two-sport star, he has been the Saints backstop since he was a freshman. Anderson is a winner and has no problem going up against the best in the nation at his position. He can hit for power and has a very strong arm behind the plate.

Ty Rhoades | Jonesboro | SR

There is only one thing missing on Rhoades resume…a state title. Jonesboro had a loaded squad in 2021 but fell short in the state championship game. Rhoades, now a senior, along with a core group that has played together for six years look to put the Hurricanes back on top.

Luke George | LR Catholic | SR

Possibly the best power-hitting catcher in the state. George is not just a middle-of-the-lineup power bat as he can hit for average and is very talented defensively. George handles one of the best pitching staffs in the state and his coaches know they have a winner back there every game.

Rowan Christensen | Bentonville | SO

Christiansen is another sophomore catcher that has caught the eye of coaches across the state. He will shut down a running game quickly. Sylvan Hills came into the season planning to run early and often coming off a season where they stole 193 bases and Christensen threw out 4 of 6 would-be base runners.

Gavin Alveti | Harding Academy | SR

Alvet is a four-year starter and a baseball junkie. He has committed to Connors (Okla.) State under legendary coach Perry Keith. He is an extension of his coach Shane Fullerton on the field. He has gap-to-gap power and ability to hit the long ball. He’s not bad on the mound either with a three-pitch arsenal and a fastball that has been clocked as fast as 90 mph.

Charlie Carter | LR Christian | JR

Carter came on the scene as a 6-foot-2 freshman and caught the attention of national powerhouses such as Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Alabama. The Cowboys won his pledge eventually and Carter looks to lead the Warriors to a Class 5A crown in 2022. He has middle-of-the-lineup power with a howitzer for an arm. 

Dalen Blanchard | Magnolia | JR

Blanchard led the Panthers to the cusp of a state title in 2021, and he is back for more in 2022. He will be a three-year starter by the time he graduates and leave a legacy. He is a brick wall behind the plate and manages a talented pitching staff as well. Blanchard is one of the top juniors in the state according to many coaches.

Trey Hill | Farmington | Senior

If you are looking for a player with double-digit home run power and a leader who gets the most out of his teammates, Hill is your guy. He was named to the AP All Arkansas team in 2021 and has signed to be a Little Rock Trojan next year.

Paxton Flagg | Greenbrier | SO

Flagg has the size and makeup of a future Division I catcher. His older brother, Connor, is currently at UCA but Paxton is blazing his own path. Getting to work with Razorback signee Jordan Huskey has helped Flagg develop, and he is coming into his own.