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Legends On Deck

Top Catching Prospects: American League Central

In the second part in the “Top Catching Prospects” series, I will take a closer look at the American League Central.  If you would like to take a look at the first part in this series, here is the link [Top Catching Prospects: American League East]



1.  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.



2.  Chase Vallot, Kansas City Royals – Vallot was taken at the end of the 1st round in the 2014 draft.  He projects to be an average hitter with above average to plus power, .270/.330/.440 with 20 home run potential.  Valot’s just 18-years old and just starting his climb, so at this level I throw out 90% of the stats, and focus on ISO and contact rates.  A .178 ISO is really good, but a 36% strikeout rate is potentially troubling.  He’ll need to make better contact going forward in order reach his ceiling as a hitter.  Defensively, Vallot has a strong arm but his receiving skills need work.  Scouts like him to stay at the position however.



3.  James McCann, Detroit Tigers – McCann was a second round pick in 2012, and is a fringe average hitter with average raw power, but his current hit tool will limit his game power, .260/.300/.390 potential with 10-14 home runs.  Defensively McCann projects as an above average receiver with a strong arm.



4.  Stuart Turner, Minnesota Twins – Turner was a third round pick in 2013.  He projects as a fringe average hitter with below average power.  We could see .260/.320/.380 with 7-10 home runs. Defensively Turner is an above average receiver with a plus arm.



5.  Kevan Smith, Chicago White Sox – At 26-years old, Smith is on the older side for a prospect.  The former University of Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback, was a little raw when it came to baseball.   He projects as an average hitter with above average pop, .270/.330/.430, but with fringe average defense I wonder how often  he plays at the next level.

Overall the American League Central is a little thin when it comes to catching prospects.  Stay tuned for the third part in the series when I examine the top catching prospects of the American League West.



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John Calvagno

John is a staff writer for legends on deck. A Red Sox fan and Minor league enthusiast, he's usually writing about minor league baseball.John also loves Bruins hockey and Syracuse basketball.
John is married with two grown daughters and lives in Asheville, NC.
you can find John on Twitter @AshevilleSoxFan