Legends On Deck

Top Catching Prospects: National League Central

Catching Prospects of the National League Central

As we move right along taking a look at all the catching prospects throughout the major leagues, we are taking a closer look now at the National League Central.  If you missed any of the other lists that have been done so far, they can be found here:

[American League: East, Central, West]
[National League: East]

1. 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.

2) Reese McGuire, Pittsburgh Pirates – McGuire is a line-drive hitter with fringe average power.  We can expect a .270/.330/.420 line with 10-14 home runs. Defensively McGuire is a plus receiver with a strong arm.  His glove is MLB ready now and he’s still in Single-A ball.  2015 outlook: Advanced Single-A

3) Victor Caratini, Chicago Cubs – A switch-hitting converted third baseman, Caratini was traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Cubs at the trade deadline.  A smooth line drive swing from both sides with fringe average power. He has .270/.330/.420 potential with 10-14 home runs. Defensively Caratini is a little raw behind the plate but projects as an average receiver with an average arm.

4) Elias Diaz, Pittsburgh Pirates – Known as a glove-first prospect, Diaz had a great 2014 season offensively, with a .328/.378/.445 in 91 games at Double-A Altoona, and earned a late season promotion to Triple-A.  A closer look at the numbers reveals a .365 BABIP, (batting average on balls in play), with the average typically around .300.  The numbers were a bit inflated due to luck, but he still took a big step forward with the bat.  The question is if he can keep it up?  If he continues to hit like this he will project as a starter at the next level instead of a backup.  It was such a big jump offensively, so I’ll need to see it again.  2015 outlook:  Triple-A

5) Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds – A glove first prospect who projects as a fringe-average hitter, with below average power.  The numbers will likely look like this: .260/.300/.380 with six to 10 home runs.  Defensively he projects as a plus receiver with a plus arm, and could end up having a  long career as a backup catcher.  2015 outlook: Triple-A, MLB

Next up is top catching prospects in the National 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