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camisadelgolf
07-16-2010, 03:06 PM
A few minutes ago, dougdirt made a post that had me agreeing 100%.

Catcher is an interesting position right now to rank in the minors.

That couldn't be more true. In years past, we'd expect to see about five or six catchers in Baseball America's top 100 prospects, but we've seen 12 in both last year's and this year's rankings.

2010
4. Jesus Montero*
7. Buster Posey*
10. Carlos Santana*
38. Derek Norris
41. Jason Castro*
58. Wilson Ramos
60. Tyler Flowers
79. Tony Sanchez
81. Travis D'Arnaud
83. Adam Moore
84. Hank Conger
86. Austin Romine

2009
1. Matt Wieters*
14. Buster Posey*
26. Carlos Santana*
38. Jesus Montero
43. J.P. Arencibia
53. Jason Castro*
66. Lou Marson
71. Wilson Ramos
73. Taylor Teagarden*
84. Max Ramirez*
85. Kyle Shipworth
99. Tyler Flowers

* - likely will not qualify as a rookie next season

Anyway, what do you think of that? Is there a reason behind so many catching prospects? Do catchers suddenly have more value? Who are some catching prosepcts to look out for? How would you rank the current batch of prospects?

And since this is a Reds board, I'll go ahead and rank the Reds catching prospects:

Devin Mesoraco - possibly one of baseball's top prospects
Yasmani Grandal - difficult to make judgments until he faces professional pitching
Mark Fleury - intriguing prospect; good at a lot but lacks numbers to prove it
Nefi Soto - has a long ways to go before being taken seriously as a catcher; great potential
Kevin Coddington - lots of contact; solid receiver; needs to develop power
David Vidal - can hit fairly well and will likely be moved to catcher in the off-season
Wilkin Castillo - versatile, good athlete; makes lots of contact but lots of outs
Chris Denove - may leave as a six-year free agent; has had a Hanigan-esque path
Trey Manz - can hit the ball, but I doubt he'll stick at catcher
Brandon Yarbrough - decent offensive numbers, but no skill stands out
Tucker Barnhart - good plate discipline but will never develop power
Chris McMurray - great defense; no stick
Jordan Wideman - good defender but hasn't developed enough as a hitter
Chris Berset - Great Britain's starting catcher in the 2009 WBC; somewhat lacking in skills
Chase Weems - what were the Yankees thinking?
Yovan Gonzalez - every organization needs catchers that speak Spanish
Danny Vicioso - see: Yovan Gonzalez
William Harford - organizational filler

JKam
07-16-2010, 03:58 PM
Out of the Red's prospects you listed, how many do you think make it to the major leagues? Two, Mesoraco and Grandal, or more?

Mario-Rijo
07-16-2010, 04:11 PM
Out of the Red's prospects you listed, how many do you think make it to the major leagues? Two, Mesoraco and Grandal, or more?

If you count Wilkin who has already been up a couple of times then I'd guess about a half dozen. Mes, Grandal, Denove, Fluery, Coddington, Barnhart and Soto (but not sure if he does it as a catcher) should all get a cup of coffee or more somewhere.

Cam why do you say Barnhart will never develop power?

camisadelgolf
07-16-2010, 04:21 PM
If you count Wilkin who has already been up a couple of times then I'd guess about a half dozen. Mes, Grandal, Denove, Fluery, Coddington, Barnhart and Soto (but not sure if he does it as a catcher) should all get a cup of coffee or more somewhere.

Cam why do you say Barnhart will never develop power?
I saw him play a few times in high school (not too far away from where I was staying at the time). Back then, he was apparently a lot smaller than he is now, but I really can't imagine he's filled out all that much. I love his athleticism, and I think he's more than capable of giving above-average defense, but he'll never be more than a line drive hitter imo. He simply doesn't get enough leverage in his swing, and he's lacking extension to drive the ball deep. Then again, he's a catcher, so maybe he'll develop enough strength in his legs to compensate for his lack of upper body strength. However, I really doubt he'll ever be expected to hit more than five homeruns in a given year.

nemesis
07-16-2010, 04:39 PM
Barnhart has a great comp in the Majors and that is Ryan Hanigan.

I could easily see him hitting .300 Having a 1:1, K:BB ratio. Hitting about 25 2B's with a couple 3B's and HR's a year. He is still just 19 and could develop a little more power over the next 4/5 years in the system. Being a switch hitter adds value and could take a little more time to develop his power stroke.

To answer the over all question, Mesaraco, Grandal, Fleury, Soto and Barnhart all could be ML Catchers someday. Keep in mind Grandal, and Barnhart are switch hitters and Fleury is LH so that increases their value IMO. I have a feeling with all the catching depth in the system, Soto won't have enough time to develop as a catcher unless he does it in a Fall League. I could see him just sticking at 1B though.

JayBruceFan
07-16-2010, 07:12 PM
I think Mark Fleury has a chance to very good. Left-handed hitting catchers with power don't come around every day.

The only thing that was hurting him this season was the lack of playing time. You just can't get anything going offensively if you are only playing 1-2 days a week.

And he is a cool guy too, I got to talk to him after a game this year and he is funny as hell.

zjr1717
07-16-2010, 07:49 PM
Is there a reason behind so many catching prospects? Do catchers suddenly have more value?


I think its because less teams are subscribing to the old wisdom that you shouldn't keep a good hitter at catcher because it will negatively affect his hitting/health, and that the position is strictly about defense and nothing else. The old wisdom that it negatively affects their health/hitting may very well be true, but teams are looking for any advantage in value and production they can get and having a catcher who can hit is a big one. Many of these guys, especially the top shelf ones who aren't excellent fielders, might have been moved from the catcher position in years past.

I think I saw an article a while back, might have been posted on this forum, from BP, Fangraphs, or The Hardball Times or something. Basically it made the case that teams that have a catcher who has a .850 or higher OPS bat and aren't awful fielders or something like that have a massive advantage over other teams. Because other teams catcher are such bad hitters, and so few teams have catcher who can hit. I think many teams are recognizing this advantage and are really working hard to find above average offensive production at catcher before the other ones catch up.

_Sir_Charles_
07-16-2010, 10:17 PM
Did Grandal sign and I missed it? Just curious.

sagevic
07-17-2010, 11:16 AM
Did Grandal sign and I missed it? Just curious.
Grandal has not signed yet.

sagevic
07-17-2010, 11:26 AM
Is there a reason behind so many catching prospects? Do catchers suddenly have more value?


I think its because less teams are subscribing to the old wisdom that you shouldn't keep a good hitter at catcher because it will negatively affect his hitting/health, and that the position is strictly about defense and nothing else. The old wisdom that it negatively affects their health/hitting may very well be true, but teams are looking for any advantage in value and production they can get and having a catcher who can hit is a big one. Many of these guys, especially the top shelf ones who aren't excellent fielders, might have been moved from the catcher position in years past.

I think I saw an article a while back, might have been posted on this forum, from BP, Fangraphs, or The Hardball Times or something. Basically it made the case that teams that have a catcher who has a .850 or higher OPS bat and aren't awful fielders or something like that have a massive advantage over other teams. Because other teams catcher are such bad hitters, and so few teams have catcher who can hit. I think many teams are recognizing this advantage and are really working hard to find above average offensive production at catcher before the other ones catch up.

I think the biggest difference right now from a few years ago is the clubs are are not making the switch from Catcher to firstbase/ DH until the prospects prove they can hit in the Majors.

The Big Leagues have been filled with guys who were drafted at catcher and moved in the minors to emphasize their bats. Paul Konerko and our own Joey Votto come to mind. Neither may have been seen as a viable receiver in the long run, but if their bats hadn't warranted it, they would have stayed in the crouch a lot longer. Now the move comes a little later.

Joe Maurer and Victor Martinez are two catchers who will at some point be moved to other positions. Maurer probably is resisiting the move more then V-Mart, but it will happen. Some young guys that wll also feel pressure to move are Buster Posey, Carlos Santana and Jesus Montero, who happen to make the top three of the list. In years past they would have already moved prior to this point. I don't necessarially agree with it, but that part of the prevailing baseball logic about moving the best hitting catchers hasn't changed.

nemesis
07-17-2010, 01:39 PM
I think the biggest difference right now from a few years ago is the clubs are are not making the switch from Catcher to firstbase/ DH until the prospects prove they can hit in the Majors.

The Big Leagues have been filled with guys who were drafted at catcher and moved in the minors to emphasize their bats. Paul Konerko and our own Joey Votto come to mind. Neither may have been seen as a viable receiver in the long run, but if their bats hadn't warranted it, they would have stayed in the crouch a lot longer. Now the move comes a little later.

Joe Maurer and Victor Martinez are two catchers who will at some point be moved to other positions. Maurer probably is resisiting the move more then V-Mart, but it will happen. Some young guys that wll also feel pressure to move are Buster Posey, Carlos Santana and Jesus Montero, who happen to make the top three of the list. In years past they would have already moved prior to this point. I don't necessarially agree with it, but that part of the prevailing baseball logic about moving the best hitting catchers hasn't changed.

Great Post.

JayBruceFan
07-17-2010, 03:34 PM
I think the biggest difference right now from a few years ago is the clubs are are not making the switch from Catcher to firstbase/ DH until the prospects prove they can hit in the Majors.

The Big Leagues have been filled with guys who were drafted at catcher and moved in the minors to emphasize their bats. Paul Konerko and our own Joey Votto come to mind. Neither may have been seen as a viable receiver in the long run, but if their bats hadn't warranted it, they would have stayed in the crouch a lot longer. Now the move comes a little later.

Joe Maurer and Victor Martinez are two catchers who will at some point be moved to other positions. Maurer probably is resisiting the move more then V-Mart, but it will happen. Some young guys that wll also feel pressure to move are Buster Posey, Carlos Santana and Jesus Montero, who happen to make the top three of the list. In years past they would have already moved prior to this point. I don't necessarially agree with it, but that part of the prevailing baseball logic about moving the best hitting catchers hasn't changed.

Justin Morneau was also moved from Catcher to 1B/DH

camisadelgolf
07-17-2010, 09:41 PM
Jason Werth is another former catcher.