Legends On Deck

Top 10 Catching Prospects

Top Catching Prospects

This is a list of my top catching prospects right now for fantasy purposes, so some of the names toward the back of the top 10 may have a higher ceiling than a few at the top of the list, but I’m rewarding guys who should be getting MLB at-bats in 2015 and 2016.

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Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck

Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck

1. Blake Swihart, Boston Red Sox – Swihart is a switch hitter with a line drive approach.  He projects as a high-average, medium power bat with .280+/.340/.450 potential, with 15-20 home runs and a ton of doubles. The 22-year old threw out 47% overall of would-be base stealers in 2014 while in Double-A and Triple-A.  Defensively he projects as an above average receiver with a strong arm.  There is a chance he’ll see Boston in 2015, but should be up for good in 2016.

2. J.T. Realmuto– Realmuto was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft. He is very athletic and he projects to have an average bat with average power, and average speed which is rare for a catcher. Across the board, he has average offensive skills which should look like this .270/.330/.440, with 14-18 home runs and steals. Defensively he projects as an above average receiver with an above average arm. 2015-Triple-A.

3. Kevin Plawecki– Taken in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft. Plawecki is a line drive hitter with fringe average power, and we can expect a .280/.340/.440 line with 10-14 home runs. Defensively he’s an above average receiver with an average arm. With d’Arnaud taking off in Queens, Plawecki could find himself in a backup roll or on the trade block, but with d’Arnaud’s injury history, the Mets might be wise to hold on to Plawecki. 2015- Triple-A/ Bigs.

4. Andrew Susac, San Francisco Giants – A second-round pick in the 2011 draft from Oregon State, Susac got into 35 games with the Giants in 2014, but he managed to retain his prospect status.  Susac projects as a fringe average hitter with average pop and he should hit .270/.330/.440 with 14-18 home runs.  Defensively he is an average receiver with an above average arm.  There’s a good chance Susac breaks camp with the Giants in 2015, and since Posey will be playing other positions (first base and third base) in addition to catcher, that would leave plenty of starts for Susac.

5. Jorge Alfaro, Texas Rangers – Alfaro’s best offensive tool is his plus power, but with an aggressive approach, a 25% strikeout rate and just a 5% walk rate, it’s a question how much of that raw power will translate to game power. He projects as a fringe average hitter and we can expect a .260/.320/.460 line with 18-22 home runs annually.  Defensively the 21-year old projects as an average to above average receiver with a plus, plus throwing arm.  Outlook: 2015- return to double-A,  2016 Triple-A, MLB

6. Chance Sisco, Baltimore Orioles – Sisco has a sweet left-handed swing and a line drive approach, and should hit for a high average and offer medium power.  He has .290/.350/.440 potential with 12-16 home runs.  Defensively, Chance has work to do but he’s new to catching, and scouts like him to stay at that position.  The 19-year old projects to be an average backstop. 2015: High-A, 2017- Triple-A/MLB.

7. Tom Murphy, Colorado Rockies – Murphy had a lost 2014 due to a shoulder injury.  When healthy he projects as an average hitter with above average power.  I think he’ll hit .280/.340/.450 with 16-20 home runs. Defensively he projects as an above average receiver with an average arm.  Murphy, although may have a higher ceiling than Susac, will likely start the season in Double-A with Susac having a clear shot at regular playing time at the MLB level.

8. Francisco Mejia, Cleveland Indians – Mejia is 19-year old switch-hitting catcher, who has explosive bat speed and raw power.  He has .285+/.340/.460, with 20 home run potential.  There have been reports that he struggles defensively and needs work, but at his age he’s got time to hone his craft.  He has a big ceiling, but it’ll be a few years.

9. Chad Wallach, Cincinatti Reds – A fifth-round pick of the Miami Marlins, Wallach was traded to the Reds in the Matt Latos deal, and is the son of former major leaguer Tim Wallach.  He’s a line-drive hitter with gap power and has an excellent approach at the plate.  He has a 15% BB rate and just a 10% strikeout rate thus far in his career, and has fringe average power currently, but with the potential for more.  I project a .280/.340/.450 line with 13-18 home runs.  Defensively, Wallach at 6’3, is big for a catcher but he moves well.  He projects as an average receiver with an average arm.  Definitely a bat 1st prospect.  2015 outlook: possibly Advanced Single-A (he got into 19 games at this level as a Marlin) or he might start in Double-A.

10. Max Pentecost, Toronto Blue Jays – A line-drive hitter who should hit for a high average with fringe average to average power, .280+/.330/.440 potential with 10-14 home runs. One potential cause for concern is his walk to strikeout ratio.  The 21-year old had just two walks to go with his 21 strikeouts in his first taste of pro ball, which is something to watch going forward.  Defensively, Pentecost projects to be an average receiver with a quick release.
2015: High-A + Double-A, 2016- Triple-A/MLB.

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