Top Catching Prospects: American League Central
Francisco Mejia Leads The Way in the AL 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.