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Home » 2009 MLB Draft Position Rankings » 2009 Catchers » 2009 MLB Draft: Top Twenty High School Catchers

2009 MLB Draft: Top Twenty High School Catchers

Because they are catchers, duh

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  1. Wil Myers (North Carolina) – raw, but with plus power and arm; versatile on defense, but questions abound about his ability to stick behind the plate; he has the tools to remain a catcher, but his bat may be special enough to make a position switch (expediting his path to the big leagues) worthwhile; South Carolina commit who may very well be this year’s version of last year’s first round pick Brett Lawrie; incredibly fast riser who may be in the mix in the top half of the first round
  2. Luke Bailey (Georgia) – best blend of tools outside of Donovan Tate in all of prep class; 6-1, 200; MLB-caliber arm (pre-Tommy John surgery, we’ll have to wait and see how his recovery goes) with very good pop times (1.92 seconds); fantastic athlete with above-average speed (not simply good for a catcher, but overall); Auburn commit who now has more questions (injury and signability) than answers surrounding his game, but I still think he goes in the top two rounds as I believe he’s a safe bet to sign if he gets a fair offer
  3. Austin Maddox (Florida) – ML-size (6-3, 225) with two truly outstanding tools – plus raw power and plus, arguably plus-plus, arm strength; loses points for not being a natural between the lines, despite extensive experience playing year-round ball in Florida; hasn’t had a great spring performance, but still firmly in the running to go in the top two rounds due to the presence of those two present plus tools; with mid-90s heat, could be a potential pitching conversion down the road; Florida commit who forces scouts to ponder the age old question – do you take a more well-rounded prospect or a player like Maddox with two over-the-top excellent tools already present?
  4. Max Stassi (California) – as polished as a prep catcher can get with ML-ready defense and a potential plus bat for the position; very strong arm, good pop times, fancy footwork; off the charts high marks for his mental makeup, desire to succeed, work ethic, baseball IQ, and leadership; UCLA commit who has had a very interesting Craig Biggio comp attached to his name
  5. Mike Ohlman (Florida) – weird frame for a catcher at 6-4, 180; phenomenal arm strength in the same class as Maddox, Susac, Baron, and Stock; lots to like about this fast rising prospect including plus athleticism, above-average speed, and plus-plus arm; biggest question mark is his ability to hit breaking stuff, but he has shown a level-swing with enough strength to rate him as having above-average power potential; similar to Jonathan Walsh in many ways, but seen as a more complete prospect with fewer holes in his game; very strong Miami commit could make things interesting come draft day
  6. Jonathan Walsh (Texas) – tremendous athlete with questionable defense behind the plate who is a prime candidate for a position switch; best speed in the catching class; advanced bat with ML-approach should and raw power wins him a place in my heart; I’ve heard a Jayson Werth comp that is just crazy enough for me to buy Walsh as a worthwhile high round draft pick; Texas commit
  7. Tucker Barnhart (Indiana) – slight of frame (5-10ish, 170), but a very valuable defensive player with a knack for squaring up balls; routinely shows off well above-average footwork behind plate; known to chart pitches and do advance scouting on future opponents on his high school team’s off days; another player who may be best served heading off to the Asher Roth approved world of college, he’s a Georgia Tech commit who could grow into a premium draft in three years; if he can’t catch full-time, I’d love to see what he could do at second base – I think he has enough athleticism to handle the switch with enough repetitions
  8. Tommy Joseph (Arizona) – 6-1, 210 catcher from the same high school as Tim Alderson and Brandon Wood who has scouts buzzing this spring; some have him as a late first rounder and a top three overall catching prospect; big arm and tons of power; I want to put him higher, but still haven’t seen/heard/read enough to be sold on him –  if somebody has a compelling case, I’d love to hear it (that’s not me being snarky, I mean it – fill me in!); Arizona commit who has been compared to Ryan Doumit with more playable power
  9. Andrew Susac (California) – maybe the best arm in class, very quick pop times (1.8 – 1.9 seconds), and an impressive overall all-around defender; very strong, but questionable (at best) swing mechanics; raw power is there, but he is a definite project; would love to see him follow through on his commitment to Oregon State, where he could develop into a potential first rounder in 2012
  10. Josh Leyland (California) – probably a first baseman in the end due to his massive frame (6-3, 230), but will be drafted as a catcher and will be given every chance possible to stick; love his approach at plate, gigantic raw power, and universally praised makeup; debatable on whether or not going to school (Washington State commit) to develop into either a mashing 1B high round pick or an offensively-minded, competent defensive catcher would be best for his development, but it’s probably a moot point – it would be a big upset if Leyland ever winds up in Pullman; would be much more highly touted in a different year, but a definite sleeper that shouldn’t be overlooked
  11. JR Murphy (Florida) – quick bat, quicker release; love his advanced approach at the plate, very smart hitter who takes a clear plan to the plate with him every single at bat; defense is the big question mark, but he’s athletic enough to move around the diamond if/when the bat comes around; I think concerns about his defense are based more on him looking awkward than him not being able to handle the position going forward – he has a potential plus arm with good footwork and mechanics; Miami commit
  12. Michael Zunino (Florida) – defensive tools are all there, highlighted by an unusually accurate throwing arm; plus raw power and athletic enough to transition to outfield or third base if necessary; very quick bat who could be a quick riser once drafted; Florida commit
  13. Steve Baron (Florida) –  absolutely love the defense, but feel just as strongly in the other direction about the bat; absurdly strong, accurate arm with soft hands and Savion Glover quick feet; Duke commit, who will be a questionable sign this summer
  14. Cameron Garfield (California) – plus receiver with quiet hands and pitchers like throwing to him; not a ton of power, but should make enough contact and get on base at a good clip for a catcher; San Diego commit
  15. Dane Phillips (Texas) – solid defender that may have tools that better suit him to playing third base long-term; nice and easy lefthanded swing with pull power; Mississippi commit
  16. Miles Head (Georgia) – another big armed backstop who has been on the scouting radar for over five years now; Georgia commit
  17. Roidany Aguila (Puerto Rico) – don’t like his swing mechanics, but at least it gets through the zone quickly; defense should allow him to stick behind plate without much of a problem going forward; developmental pick that is a lock to sign
  18. Geno Escalante (California) – defense-first catcher, with a bat that needs plenty of polish to even be considered average; name makes it sound like he should be an East Coast prospect, but he’s a California kid who is committed to attend Cal State Fullerton if he doesn’t get paid; lesser version of Steve Baron in my mind
  19. Richard Stock (California) – has elicited Fred McGriff comps with his setup and swing; in a class of ridiculously hard throwers, Stock’s arm is on the short list of the strongest; gets sloppy behind plate due to overreliance on his pure arm strength; sloth-level speed; unfairly graded down because of struggles of his older brother, Robert
  20. Chase Anselment (Washington) – not known for his defensive talent, but should be middle of the order impact bat if he enrolls at school as expected; could be better suited as a big armed RF; Washington commit with plenty of projection left in his game


  1. J Hood says:

    What about O’Fallon, IL Nick Tindall? He has hit 16 hr and has an arm. He is also batting in the .500 plus range.

    • PhilliesScout1 says:

      He’s going to fall somewhere in the top 50 highschool catchers. His plate discipline is suspect and he has not adjusted well to teams pitching around him. I’ve spoken with some of the other Phillies scouts who have seen him play and they agree that he will most likely not get drafted in the first 10 rounds. Most likely will get a small signing bonus. I’d recommend he polish his game at the D-1 level.

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