Minor League Teams
Top Catching Prospects: National League East
Ranking the National League’s best.
We first focused on the American League catching prospects and now we shift over to the National League and start with the NL East.
If you missed our list of top catching prospects in the American League, they can be found here:
[Top Catching Prospects: American League East]
[Top Catching Prospects: American League Central]
[Top Catching Prospects: American League West]
1. 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.
2. 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.
I give a small edge to Realmuto here because of the double digit stolen bases he supply’s, otherwise these two are almost tied for the top spot.
3. Christian Bethancourt– We’ve heard Bethancourt’s name in prospect circles for some time, and it appears his time is now to get the lion share of the starts in Atlanta. He’s a fringe average hitter with fringe average power, but couple that with a 5% walk rate and the fact that he will struggle to reach a .300 OBP. What we can expect is that he will bat .260/.295/.390 with 10-14 home runs. Defensively he’s an above average receiver with a strong arm.
4. Jakson Reetz– a 3rd round pick in the 2014 draft out of high school, Reetz has got a long way to go, but right now he looks like he’ll be a average hitter with some pop, perhaps .270/.340/.450 with 16-20 home runs, but it’s very early and these projections can go a number of different ways. Defensively he projects to be an average receiver with a strong arm.
In this spot I’ve been debating whether to talk about Pedro Severino a glove 1st prospect with a questionable bat, or Spencer Kieboom who also brings a great glove. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Kieboom wouldn’t hit, but then he did.
So I decided to analyze both:
5. Severino projects as a fringe average hitter with fringe average power and he’s athletic and features average speed. The power showed up in 2014, even though he is not hitting for average yet, but at 21 years old time is still on his side. I would project he’ll hit about the same as Bethancourt.
6. Kieboom was taken in the 5th round of the 2012 amateur draft out of Clemson University, then the Nationals sent him to the NYPL (Low A Ball) and in 41 games Kieboom didn’t hit much, and then missed most of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
So no one expected the .309/.352/.500 he put up in full season Class A in 2014 with nine home runs. It needs to be said that at 23, he was pretty old for the level, but he continued to hit in the Arizona Fall League. It will be interesting to see if the Nats skip a level and test him in Double-A.
(Photo’s Courtesy of MiLB.com)
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