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2011 MLB Draft – Top 30 College Catcher Follow List (Honorable Mentions)

Though generally regarded as one of the weakest, if not the weakest, position groups of this year’s college class, this year’s crop of college catching intrigues me all the same. What the 2011 catching group lacks in sure fire first round talent it makes up for it with tremendous depth. If it is a future backup catcher you want, this is the class for you. I think I’ve talked about this before, but my theory on what teams look for in a good backup catcher is simple. Teams look for a) all or nothing hitters with plus power, b) acclaimed defenders, typically with plus arms, and c) well-rounded prospects with scouting grades between 40 to 50 (roughly) in at least four of the five graded tools. I realize that describes a wide range of prospects, but it’s all I’ve got for now. Here are a few of the players who just missed the top 30…

  • Cal State Bakersfield JR C Jeremy Rodriguez | tremendous plate discipline, but no standout physical tools
  • Valdosta State JR C Christian Glisson | former Georgia Bulldog offers well-rounded tool set with solid defense, line drive producing swing, and enough power to keep pitchers honest
  • North Carolina State SR C Chris Schaeffer | similar to Glisson, but swing will need some adjusting at next level
  • Baylor JR C Joey Hainsfurther | converted infielder needs more experience behind plate; despite this, shows very good defensive tools
  • Stetson JR C Nick Rickles | natural receiver, but bat speed has been questioned
  • Mississippi SR C Miles Hamblin | once touted by me as a potential top three round candidate (Spring ’09), still shows above-average raw power and average defensive ability
  • Pepperdine JR C Nate Johnson | possesses one of the sweetest swings in college ball
  • Arizona State SR C Xorge Carrillo | heads into 2011 healthy and looking to get drafted for a fourth time
  • East Carolina JR C Zach Wright | strong arm, untapped upside in bat
  • Central Arizona SO C Max Rossiter | on short list of top 2011 junior college position players; like his bat more than fellow JC prospect Hornback
  • San Jacinto SO C Ryan Hornback | on short list on top 2011 junior college position players; like his glove/arm more than fellow JC prospect Rossiter
  • Fordham SR C Chris Walker | coming off really strong junior season (393/440/607 – 17 BB/16 K – 219 AB)
  • Marshall SR C Victor Gomez | big fastball hitting power hitter with some questions about his eventual defensive home
  • East Tennessee State JR C Derek Trent | quick bat and above-average athleticism
  • James Madison JR C Jake Lowery | productive, good defender
  • Illinois JR C Adam Davis | as much potential as any to rise up boards this spring; plus throwing arm with plus upside as defender
  • Miami JR C David Villasuso | similar profile as Gomez, big power/strong arm/may or may not have hands to catch regularly
  • Connecticut SR C Joe Pavone | outside candidate for spot near the bottom of top 30 before tearing his ACL last week
  • Florida State SR C Rafael Lopez | excellent prep player who has been merely good collegiately
  • Texas A&M SR C Kevin Gonzalez | outstanding defender with limited upside with bat; made great strides with stick in 2010, so continued development can’t be ruled out


  1. Quinn says:

    I have heard of several of these players. Question, what is meant when you said “untapped upside in bat” on the East Carolina catcher? Not sure if I understand that term.

    • Rob Ozga says:

      Good question. Typically, I’d mention “untapped upside in bat” when referring to a player who hasn’t quite shown the ability to consistently hit but who has shown enough of something (things like swing mechanics or batting practice performance) to lead you to believe he’ll eventually hit. Zach Wright isn’t an example of that usage because, quite simply, he has already shown scouts that he can hit. In his case, the phrase works (or was supposed to work) as a way of relating the knowledge that some people around the game that I’ve talked to think he’ll produce even more at the plate this spring than he ever has before. I haven’t seen him play live, but those who have seen him have told me they think he could be in line for a huge junior season at the plate, assuming he continues to work towards (their words, not mine) “fine tuning his swing (e.g. keeping his hands back).”

      I wish I had more info, but I don’t have much more on Wright beyond that. Hope some of this helped.

  2. Quinn says:

    Thank you. You explained it very well. I hope he has a great season.

  3. BOBBY says:


    • Rob Ozga says:

      HELLO! Saw Esposito this year and came away very, very impressed with his defense. Unfortunately, he hasn’t performed at the plate. I don’t think even an all-world caliber glove can carry his .229/.316/.264 line. That said, I did go fifty catchers deep on my preseason list and I think you might be right that his defense is good enough to crack the back end of a ranking that deep. THANKS FOR THE COMMENT!

  4. David Kosinski says:

    Can anyone comment on catcher David Kosinski out of Siegel High in TN.

  5. swede hanssens says:

    I saw Joe Maloney from limestone crush some balls he can really plat !!!!

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