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Legends On Deck

Top Catching Prospects: American League East

There is so much that goes into making a top prospect list.  Everyone’s criteria is different which adds to there uniqueness.  When compiling my list, I look at age vs. level, how close they are to making the major leagues, ceiling vs risk, all while looking at this through the eyes of a fantasy player.  So while I value defense, I put more of an emphasis on a players offensive upside.

The idea behind this series is to stretch beyond a typical prospect list. I will try to shed some light on players that took a big jump forward this year, but could easily stay under the radar.

 

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. 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.

3. 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.

4. Justin O’Conner, Tampa Bay Rays – O’Conner was taken in the first round of the 2010 draft, and was raw but he displayed great tools.  He really floundered at the plate his fist few seasons as a pro, but his bat took a giant leap forward in 2014.  He projects as an average hitter with above average power, hitting .270/.305/.460 with a 4% walk rate and 23% strikeout rate which makes his on base percentage low. Defensively, O’Connor features a cannon, a truly elite arm with a very fast release.  The 22-year old receiving skills still need work though, so despite reaching Double-A in 2014 he’s still a few years away.

5. Luis Torrens, New York Yankees – Torrens is still quite young but he projects to have an average bat or better, with fringe average pop and could be around a .270/.330/.430 with 10+ home runs potential.  Defensively, the 18-year old has the makings of a average or better receiver with a plus arm.

The next part in the series I will take a closer look at the catchers in the American League Central.

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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