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Showcase | Story | 2/25/2020

Sprockett Shows Off New Build

Blake Dowson        
Photo: Michael Sprockett (Sprockett family)

This time of year can be extremely exciting for scouts looking for talent that hasn’t been unearthed up until this point.

The indoor showcase season that occurs from mid-February through March gives prospects a chance to show off all the work they put in during the offseason. For prospects from northern states, it’s a chance to prove that all the work they did inside when it was below freezing and snowing can still lead to a fast start come spring.

Early spring – if you can call late February in Ohio that – has a way of pointing out who put in the work in the December and January months.

It was apparent that 2021 catching prospect Michael Sprockett had been when he showed up to the Great Lakes Indoor Showcase in Rossford, Ohio on February 15.

“I made a lot of strides this offseason,” Sprockett affirmed with Perfect Game. “I talked it over with my parents and we just decided that I didn’t have anything to lose and that I should go out there and see what happens. So that was the mentality going into it. Just go play baseball and take it from there.”

It was Sprockett’s debut at a Perfect Game showcase, although not his first exposure to an event like it.

He knew the mechanics of a showcase event, but he said the scale of what Perfect Game does was something he hadn’t experienced before.

“I had been to a couple other [showcase events] before, so I kind of knew how a showcase should go,” he said. “But I knew with Perfect Game that it would be very organized and would have a lot more participants than what I’ve been used to.”

Sprockett’s high school team, Lakota East in Liberty Township, Ohio, takes every opportunity it can to get outside and practice during the offseason. If it’s 30 degrees or warmer, the team is layering up and going to the field, according to Sprockett. That certainly helped him over the winter months.

His biggest stride came in the weight room though, he said.

A catcher, Sprockett takes pride in building his lower half to gain as much power in his legs as possible. He set goals for himself with the weights, and it paid off in a big way, all while refining his skills as one of the best backstops in the state of Ohio.

“I definitely got stronger,” he said. “I put a lot of time in the weight room. A lot of time in the cages, receiving balls and hitting, and blocking balls. I got my [weight] maxes up. I got my dead lift to 500 [pounds] and my squat to 475 [pounds]. I put about 30 pounds of muscle on…It was a really fun offseason. I really got to get the grind on, which was fun.”

His workouts at the Great Lakes Indoor showed off his gains in the offseason. His performance in the cage and behind the plate earned him a spot on the Top Prospect List and Top Prospect Team at the event.

Specifically, scouts noted the power Sprockett plays with, both at the plate and when he has his gear on.

“Extremely strong in lower half and it shows in swing,” part of his report from the event reads. “Real bat speed with leverage off of front side, smoked balls pull-side consistently, very loud offensive performance. Stood out defensively as well…explodes out of crouch and gains ground well.”

Sprockett, who is currently uncommitted, said a few schools had been in contact with him before he attended the Great Lakes Indoor. That number of schools has grown since the event, he said. For a player that fell in love with catching when he was nine or 10 years old, he will certainly have an opportunity to continue to do so at the next level.

The itch to catch came early from a desire to be involved in every play on the field.

“I think it was like 9u or 10u,” Sprockett said. “I just kind of caught the bug. I just wanted to try getting behind the plate, and from there, I caught a love for it. It’s kind of unreal to think about, because not a lot of guys get that.”

These days, Sprockett is hopping on YouTube in his free time to watch videos of guys like Tyler Flowers and J.T. Realmuto receiving the ball.

He wants to be an all-around catcher. The work he puts in on blocking, receiving, and framing has proven that.

His workouts, as he describes them, are intense. He worked out with Jarett Rindfleisch during the winter, a Liberty Township native and Lakota East alum who had to leave Ohio earlier this month for Spring Training in Florida with the Minnesota Twins.

Rindfleisch showed him the ropes and is showing him the way. Sprockett is more than happy to follow along with the former ninth round selection of the Miami Marlins.

“I caught off of a machine a lot this offseason,” Sprockett said of his workouts. “I just started warming up with flips and short hops on the ground to work on getting under the ball and working it up through the zone. That’s a good warm up. Off the machine, we try to get as much movement as possible off of it. We go two-seam, and then curveball, slider. Then to get the heart rate going, we would mix some jumps in there, movement from side to side to simulate a game. I learned how to control my body in stressful situations.”

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