It’s about time we got back to doing some positional rankings around these parts, don’t you think? We covered the top prep righthanded pitching prospects here, here, here, and here, as well as the top college righthanded starting pitching prospects here, here, and here. After a bit of a break, it’s time to jump back in this time with college catching prospects, a topic danced around but never ranked both here and here. Because straight rankings can become a little tiresome after a while, I decided to do something different with the catching prospects. Will it be cool? Will it be super lame? Will it be more confusing and time-consuming than it’s worth? Stay tuned! The top 16 college catching prospects in all the land after the jump, as well as the unveiling of just how we’ll be ranking them this time…
Remember March? (I do, I do!) Remember that big exciting NCAA basketball tournament that goes on in March? (March Madness? You bet I remember that!) Remember how you used to seed the top 64 best candy bars and television shows and make your family vote on the winners at the dinner table because you liked tournament-style competition so much? (No…only a weirdo would do something like that) Wait, a weirdo? That’s not very nice. I’m sure plenty of people did the same thing when they were growing up. (No…just you. And why are you talking to yourself anyway?) Give me a break, it’s late and I have no better idea for a lead than this. Plus, I’ve been busy the past few days watching my alma mater win an NCAA title in a “major” sport, traveling up and down the east coast for the holiday, and writing the latest in Matt Stairs fan fiction. (Fine…as long as we can all agree that you’re a weirdo for the tournament thing and the talking to yourself bit, we can move on. I don’t even know what to make of the creepy Matt Stairs fan fiction part at the end, but the less said about that the better. Now let’s talk college catching…)
Today we attempt to seed the top 16 college catching prospects according to where the experts currently have them pegged. A couple of caveats before we being. One, as you’ll soon read, the top 8 is a pretty good ranking (in my humble opinion, of course) of where the top college catchers are ranked, but after that things fall apart pretty quickly. Two, and this is an important one, the rankings do not reflect my personal ranking of how the top 16 college catchers stack up. The seedings align with the consensus. The future matchup winners will reveal where I have the 16 catchers listed below ranked. Again, the seedings below are merely a representative sample of where the experts currently have the top catching prospects. Beginning tomorrow you’ll see my personal take on the rankings which may differ from what the experts are currently saying. Make sense?
The One Seeds
Josh Phegley (Indiana), Trevor Coleman (Missouri), Ryan Ortiz (Oregon State), Tony Sanchez (Boston College)
I feel pretty good about calling this quartet the consensus top four college catching prospects. In order, I’d probably say it’s a Phegley-Sanchez-Coleman-Ortiz top four. Phegley and Sanchez have gone back and forth at the top spot, with Coleman still a favorite among a small segment among the scouting population. On the whole, I think a Phegley/Sanchez toss-up is probably right about where things stand as far as the race for the top college catching prospect in this year’s draft goes.
The Two Seeds
Tommy Medica (Santa Clara), Diego Seastrunk (Rice), Carlos Ramirez (Arizona State), Robert Stock (Southern Cal)
The deeper into the water we wade, the murkier things get. Players from this point on all have major question marks, so it’s difficult to pin down a consensus ranking. Medica’s solid overall game, Seastrunk’s versatility, Ramirez’s defense, and Stock’s upside all have enticed scouts at various points in their careers. My best guess at a consensus ranking would be Medica-Stock-Ramirez-Seastrunk, but that’s under the assumption that Medica’s shoulder injury isn’t a long range concern. Of course, there is also increasingly loud chatter that Medica’s injury will persuade him to return to school for his senior year…something along the lines of unfinished business at the college level, and, though this probably goes without saying, hoping to boost his eventual draft standing.
The Three Seeds
Mark Fleury (North Carolina), Justin Dalles (South Carolina), Jack Murphy (Princeton), Andy Sosnoskie (Virginia Tech)
At this point in the rankings, who the heck knows where to slot these guys in? Not me, that’s for sure…and I love pretending like I know stuff like this. It’s too early in the draft process and too late in the rankings to claim with any certainty that one particular player is definitely ahead of another. We’re at the point of these rankings that attempting to build a consensus ranking would be a waste of time, so the four players make up a tier that is equal parts consensus picks and personal favorites.
The Four Seeds
Dan Black (Purdue), Miles Hamblin (Howard CC, Texas), Travis Tartamella (Cal State Los Angeles), Tobias Streich (West Virginia)
The description for the three seeds works here as well. This list is more heavily weighed towards somewhat under the radar (relatively speaking, of course) prospects that I like more than most. But you’ll see all that when we start breaking down the brackets…
Michael Thomas (Southern), Jimmy Tanner (SC Upstate), Dallas Hord (Missouri State), Jose Iglesias (Coastal Carolina), Preston Clark (Texas)
Flawed players, all. Thomas’s defense will get him drafted without question, but his bat will hold him back from ever being considered anything more than a backup. Iglesias and Clark are both relatively big names who have up and down amateur careers. Iglesias started the year with a ton of helium, but he has been positively dreadful at the plate. Clark’s prospect stock is hard to gauge because many scouts haven’t seen him catch in live game action enough to give a fair grade on his defensive abilities.
Next up, the matchups pitting the top 16 seeds against one another will be revealed. Will any four seeds upset a number one? Is there a Cinderella story waiting to be told? Did I miss a deserving player in the top 16 that should be added? Will a tournament-style ranking be pointless as we see all four number one seeds march on to the finals? The big upsets, the chalk winners, scouting reports, and one intriguing final four…all to come.