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Home » 2012 MLB Draft » 2012 Catcher Prospects » 2012 MLB Draft Catcher Prospect Rankings

2012 MLB Draft Catcher Prospect Rankings

Rankings are fluid and highly subject to change. Additions to player notes will be made as necessary. Statistics will be updated periodically.

1. Florida JR C Mike Zunino: legitimate plus raw power, but expected to be above-average in-game professionally as length in swing could cause some issues on high velocity arms; plus arm strength; good athlete for his height and weight; plus defensive tools behind plate, surprisingly mobile; calling card is his power, but underrated as a natural hitter; value comes on field, obviously, but added bonus of being a take charge leader is nice for the position; more than just a flashy strong arm, also really accurate; swing can get too long at times which could expose him against good breaking balls going forward; also gets bonus points for calling own pitches; I like Zunino a ton, so don’t take this comment as an attempt to hedge my bets, but rather an attempt to keep coverage fair and balanced: due to his inconsistent approach and reports of below-average physical conditioning, I think it is fair to have some serious doubt about Zunino as a sure-thing, franchise player, top five pick; if comps aren’t your thing, skip the short story I wrote on Zunino below; 6-2, 220 pounds

College sluggers tend to be among the best known draft prospects each year, so listing the reasons why Zunino is one of the 2012 draft’s top prospects is little more than academic at this point: we know that he has huge power (25-35 HR upside) that is already showing up against big-time college pitching, plus arm strength with above-average accuracy, and leadership qualities not seen since the likes of [insert the leader of your favorite team and/or political party] . Concerns with Zunino are three-fold: 1) his approach leaves a little something to be desired, 2) his swing, while shortened somewhat in 2012, still can get too long at times, leaving him exposed against good breaking balls, and 3) he’s a catcher, so all inherent risks that come with the position (injury, developmental stagnation, etc.) apply. One comp (obligatory comps are evil and irresponsible and spread obfuscate rather than illuminate) for Zunino that I particularly like: former state of Florida college catcher (Hurricanes, not Gators) Charles Johnson. Sticking with the Florida theme, fellow Gator (I had not idea this guy went to Florida when I thought up this comp, how about that?) Mike Stanley makes for an interesting historical comp of some merit, though I doubt we’ll see the same kind of patience from Zunino that Stanley exhibited as a pro. So, realistically I think a reasonable floor is something like Johnson or former Royal Mike MacFarlane (defense, leadership, .180ish ISO, .330ish wOBA – again, we’re talking floor, so take the power projection with a grain of salt), with the upside of Stanley or Phil Nevin (minus the position switch), and the middle ground of a modern guy like Chris Iannetta. He’s not the prospect that Matt Wieters (love that guy) was back in 2008, but I think the comparison between Zunino and Wieters makes a heck of a lot more sense than the silly Buster Posey comp I’ve seen thrown out (though, to be fair, it is often dismissed fairly quickly by the “expert”) around the internet. I could see a few years for Zunino like Wieters’ 2011 age-25 season (.262/.328/.450 with 22 homers) before his career is out., and that could still be underselling his long-term power. You’d really like to see a “can’t miss” college bat with better command of the strike zone (see concern 1 above) as Zunino’s combined BB/K ratio over the past two seasons is just 47 to 72 (park/schedule adjusted), but in a draft with so many question marks at the top, the Florida catcher’s power, defense, and leadership make him a premium pro prospect.

2011: .398/.469/.720 – 34 BB/49 K – 264 AB
2012: .355/.417/.716 – 24 BB/36 K – 211 AB – 9/10 SB

2. C Stryker Trahan (Acadiana HS, Louisiana): plus hit tool; honest above-average speed; plus bat speed; good arm; swing is textbook; lets ball travel deep, but quick hands allow it; athletic behind dish; shows plus raw power; most impressed by his power to all fields; if Blake Swihart could run, he’d be Trahan – also think the Wil Myers comps are warranted; the big question is all about his defensive future, but I think he’s athletic enough to be given the chance to work with pro coaches and get everyday reps; 6-1, 220 pounds

3. Purdue JR C Kevin Plawecki: tremendous approach, as good as any hitter in this year’s college class; still a raw defender, but above-average tools are there; average arm, but it plays up due to much improved footwork and a quick release; good athlete; above-average hit tool; hits consistent line drives tony and makes a ton of contact; like the power, but others aren’t solid his swing will allow for much more than gap power – I think there’s 20 homer upside here; there was some question heading into the year, but will definitely stick behind plate; uses the whole field well as a hitter; high marks for all things intangible; given the choice between Zunino in the first or Plawecki later, I’d wait it out and grab Purdue’s backstop who might have more long-term upside; 6-2, 210 pounds

2011: .336/.425/.431 – 18 BB/10 K – 211 AB
2012: .411/.492/.629 – 24 BB/8 K – 202 AB – 3/5 SB

4. TCU JR C Josh Elander: plus power potential; above-average arm strength but it plays up even more due to quick release; footwork behind plate still needs work; above-average foot speed; physically mature and very strong; one of the best overall tool sets of any college prospect, but Elander is no different from many other prospects of this archetype – with great tools often comes a high degree of rawness; I believe he’ll have no problems sticking behind the plate, and think he has a chance to be a starting caliber catcher; could follow the Eli Marrero career path if his defense continues to lag behind his bat; 6-0, 205 pounds

2011: .374/.461/.573 – 28 BB/35 K – 171 AB
2012: .371/.490/.587 – 34 BB/32 K – 167 AB – 11/18 SB

5. C Wyatt Mathisen (Calallen HS, Texas): strong and accurate arm; good defensive tools, but needs reps; really nice patient approach; quick bat; slightly below-average speed, but good for catcher; 6-1, 210 pounds

6. C Clint Coulter (Union HS, Washington): good defensive tools, but a little stiff behind plate; may or may not stick at catcher long-term, but I’m a believer; little Jeff Bagwell in his crouch and swing setup; good athlete; plus arm, but needs to polish up footwork; pro body; loud contact; strong; big league caliber defensive tools for me, not all agree; above-average arm; really interesting power; fun player to watch who impacts the game in a multitude of ways; 6-3, 220 pounds

7. Oklahoma City JR C Dane Phillips: has seen time in RF as well as behind the plate; average arm strength; above-average power upside, but better hit tool; slow, but, hey, he’s a catcher, right?; I’ve long been on record in believing in Phillips sticking behind the plate long-term, citing his progress year-to-year rather than his current ability; well known as a well-traveled man: transferred from OK State to Arkansas, where he was ruled ineligible, before landing at NAIA school Oklahoma City; tools are there to be a big league starting catcher; 6-1, 200 pounds

2012 (at Oklahoma State): .351/.404/.535 – 21 BB/50 K – 245 AB
2012: .417/.508/.779 – 32 BB/31 K – 204 AB – 2/4 SB

8. Miami SR C Peter O’Brien: nothing has changed when it comes to O’Brien’s basic scouting report: plus-plus power and a strong arm, but below-average everywhere else; what has changed is his level of competition – doing what he did in the ACC has opened some eyes, and rightfully so; his hit tool isn’t as strong and he’s a better bet to stick behind the plate, but I think a comparison between O’Brien and last year’s preeminent college power hitter CJ Cron has some merit – if O’Brien had been moved off of catcher coming into the year, I wonder if scouts would appreciate his bat more rather than focusing on the negatives of his defense; 6-5, 225 pounds

2011: .287/.365/.539 – 25 BB/53 K – 230 AB
2012: .362/.478/.717 – 25 BB/20 K – 127 AB – 1/3 SB

9. Buffalo JR C Tom Murphy: plus raw power; good athlete; good catcher speed, average overall; above-average arm strength; came into year with many calling his defense “passable,” but in need of improvement – well, he’s improved a lot in the past four months, and now the only question surrounding his defense is how good he’ll continue to get; Murphy is a well-rounded player with enough power to profile as a potential starting catcher; 6-1, 220 pounds

2011: .389/.448/.637 – 20 BB/26 K – 190 AB
2012: .332/.415/.649 – 30 BB/45 K – 202 AB – 6/9 SB

10. C Brian De La Rosa (Olympic Heights HS, Florida): advanced defender; very accurate arm; plus arm; good athlete; mobile behind the plate; good raw power; 5-10, 190 pounds

11. C Blake Baxendale (Rogers Heritage HS, Arkansas): improved defender with improved conditioning, always had above-average defensive tools; big present power; uses whole field as hitter; 6-3, 210 pounds

12. C Korey Dunbar (Nitro HS, West Virginia): good defensive tools; big raw power to all fields; plus arm; good athleticism; 6-1, 215 pounds

13. C Austin Barr (Camas HS, Washington): plus raw power; quick bat; good athlete; Stanford commit; 6-3, 215 pounds

14. C Steve Bean (Rockwall HS, Texas): best known for his plus arm and outstanding defensive tools, though he is still growing into the position defensively; good athlete; decent runner for a catcher, but not exactly fleet of foot in the grand scheme of things; interesting power upside that some scouts insist on and others don’t buy into; not just strong, but baseball strong – he’s built well, and he knows how to use it to his advantage on the diamond; prep catchers always carry risk, but Bean’s defensive upside negates some of it – I’m not as sold on the bat as others; 6-2, 190 pounds

15. C Scott Williams (Conestoga HS, Pennsylvania): interesting power upside; needs to get stronger; much improved over course of summer; well-rounded skills

16. C Charles Moorman (El Capitan HS, California): advanced defender; good arm, very accurate; good approach at plate

17. Kentucky JR C Luke Maile: good bat speed; big raw power; good arm; raw defensively; good athlete with room to grow into his body a little more; strong track record hitting against high velocity arms in SEC and summer league; lack of experience as backstop is worrisome, but has the tools to be a competent defender going forward; not quite enough bat to play first (at least as a starter), nor is he athletic enough to play anywhere but C/1B, so his future hinges on his ability to defend – I tend to think most questions of position switches at the amateur level tend to be answered in an unfavorable way sooner rather than later, but for some reason I’m less likely to move a prospect off catcher than any other position; long story short: Maile is a good enough defender with the chance to hit like an everyday player behind the plate; 6-3, 210 pounds

2011: .288/.369/.531 – 19 BB/47 K – 177 AB
2012: .319/.434/.545 – 31 BB/27 K – 191 AB – 9/11 SB

18. Oregon SO C Aaron Jones: has improved enough defensively that I have no doubt that he’ll stick; strong arm and more than athletic enough to play RF if he has to; interesting hit tool with above-average power upside; average speed; has intriguing track record with wood bats and a swing that should translate well to pro ball; some catchers are born, others made – Jones is one of the many 2012 prospects (Elander, Trahan, Sabol, Phillips) that fall in the latter category, but he has the tools to develop into a solid defender and an above-average hitter for the position; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .289/.388/.384 – 26 BB/39 K – 211 AB
2012: .320/.395/.522 – 20 BB/34 K – 178 AB – 5/9 SB

19. Washington JR C Chase Anselment: above-average arm; good approach; above-average power; like so many others in this class, Anselment has seen extensive time at a position other than catcher – in his case, he’s played a lot of RF for the Huskies; the high rate of failure for prep catchers has me thinking that the smart way to do it is to sit back and poach the one-time high school stars who do their developing in college – Mike Zunino is Exhibit A, but Anselment, Andrew Susac, Jonathan Walsh, and Dane Phillips all qualify; notes from Anselment’s prep days: “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”; 6-0, 210 pounds

2011: .270/.376/.421 – 21 BB/32 K – 159 AB
2012: .375/.444/.518 – 14 BB/17 K – 112 AB – 0/2 SB

20. Orange Coast CC SO C Stefan Sabol: premium athlete; plus arm strength, but sloppy throwing motion hinders utilization; plus raw power that hasn’t quite manifested yet in-game; potential above-average to plus hit tool, swing works with plenty of bat speed; transfer from Oregon; recovering from hamate injury; also has experience at 3B and in OF; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011 (at Oregon): .270/.388/.365 – 23 BB/28 K – 126 AB
2012: .250/.473/.359 – 26 BB/18 K – 64 AB

21. C Taylor Hawkins (Carl Albert HS, Oklahoma): big present power; good athlete; average speed; could also be tried at 3B and OF; 6-0, 200 pounds

22. C Sam Ayala (LaJolla County Day School, California): good speed for catcher; good arm; above-average power upside; good athlete; 6-2, 200 pounds

23. C Blake Hickman (Simeon HS, Illinois): plus arm strength (94 off mound); plus power upside, but really raw hitter; defense needs tons of work; good athlete; solid speed; 6-4, 210 pounds

24. C Matt Fultz (Summit West HS, Missouri): quick bat; good power; good defender; good athlete; strong; power is there, question is contact; average arm; 6-1, 210 pounds

25. C Collin Yelich (Westlake Village HS, California): plus arm, both in terms of strength and accuracy; strong hit tool; makes a lot of contact; 6-3, 185 pounds

26. UCLA JR C Tyler Heineman: mature approach to hitting, simply doesn’t waste at bats; strong defensive tools, already a steady defender behind plate; above-average to plus arm, strong and accurate; good agility behind plate, underrated athlete; far from a big bat, but should always hit enough to get by; breakout junior season has stock on the rise; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .382/.491/.466 – 19 BB/9 K – 131 AB

27. North Carolina SR C Jacob Stallings: outstanding defender; plus arm; big favorite last year who has scuffled some with the bat this year, but remains a potential backup catcher due to his great makeup, patience at the plate, and defensive ability

2011: .305/.419/.446 – 47 BB/38 K – 233 AB
2012: .268/.381/.421 – 30 BB/35 K – 183 AB – 3/4 SB

28. C Phildrick Llewellyn (Trinity Christian Academy, Florida): good athlete; really good speed for catcher; intriguing tools across board

29. Tulane SR C Jeremy Schaffer: plus power potential; strong enough arm; defense is raw and has been for years, but has made enough progress to at least be adequate (slightly below-average, really) behind plate, thought he won’t ever be anything more than that professionally; for all his defensive shortcomings, Shaffer does have the reputation of calling a good game and working well with a variety of pitching styles; as a bat-first catching prospect, he compares to a less-publicized version of Miami’s Peter O’Brien – also included in that family are Ronnie Freeman, Richard Stock, and Brandon Miller; 6-1, 210 pounds

2011: .386/.488/.633 – 40 BB/27 K – 210 AB
2012: .351/.455/.569 – 40 BB/31 K – 211 AB – 5/6 SB

30. Meridian (MS) CC SO C Wade Wass: strong arm; good defender; above-average bat speed; has tapped into his considerable power upside in a big way; reputation of free swinger didn’t match the reality of his 2012 season, though it would come as no surprise to hear that he was routinely pitched around; 6-0, 210 pounds

2012: .427/.568/.938 – 46 BB – 178 AB – 7/10 SB

31. Kennesaw State JR C Ronnie Freeman: very strong hit tool, a rarity for a backstop; above-average raw power, currently wears out the gaps; average at best arm, but makes up for it by being an instinctive, smart catcher; can get too aggressive at plate, which I think negates a big strength, but have been told coaches prefer him expanding his zone in order to look for something he can drive (i.e. it is alright to sacrifice some patience for power); good enough defender, but hardly a standout – his bat will carry him as an offense-first backstop; 6-1, 190 pounds

2011: .401/.496/.631 – 38 BB/30 K – 217 AB
2012: .344/.421/.462 – 23 BB/31 K – 186 AB

32. Indiana State JR C Jeremy Lucas: good athlete; improved defender; mature approach; pre-season all-caps FAVORITE despite a midwestern source (a close friend who won’t mind me calling him out here) who told me Lucas was a “solid college catcher, nothing more”; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .339/.428/.469 – 27 BB/19 K – 177 AB
2012: .363/.459/.571 – 30 BB/20 K – 212 AB – 5/6 SB

33. Nebraska JR C Richard Stock: plus arm; plus raw power; good athlete; has gone from USC to LA Pierce JC to Nebraska; value comes as catcher, so if he is forced to play predominantly first base then he’s in trouble; notes from Stock’s prep days: “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”; 6-2, 185 pounds

2012: .338/.367/.515 – 7 BB/15 K – 198 AB – 1/2 SB

34. C David Houser (AC Flora HS, South Carolina): good defensive tools; intriguing tools at plate; quick transfer

35. C Chad Johnson (Galesburg HS, Illinois): plus defensive tools; strong arm; intriguing power upside; 6-1, 180 pounds

36. New Mexico JR C Mitchell Garver: one of the quicker bats I’ve personally seen this spring, really underrated bat speed and power projection; good approach; strong hit tool; not a standout defensively, but a decent athlete with an average arm; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .274/.362/.370 – 30 BB/26 K – 230 AB
2012: .349/.414/.577 – 23 BB/25 K – 241 AB – 6/8 SB

37. Princeton SR C Sam Mulroy: above-average speed; plus arm strength and elite athleticism also play well at 3B and OF; one of the players I’ve personally seen the most: big league bat speed with the tools to keep catching are what make him stand out; scouts seem to think he fits best as an outfielder at the next level, so don’t be surprised to hear him announced at that spot – I’d rather he stick behind the plate, but at least a position switch would save his speed; 5-11 205 pounds

2011: .337/.381/.556 – 12 BB/37 K – 178 AB
2012: .372/.463/.601 – 18 BB/32 K – 148 AB – 11/12 SB

38. Stetson JR C Sam Kimmel: really good athlete with the potential to be a plus defender behind plate; above-average arm strength that could lead to plus pop times as he cleans up his footwork; impressive speed for a catcher; draft lists like this are full of personal biases and Kimmel’s higher than you’d think placement shows one of mine: I value athletic, defensive catchers in a big way, and Kimmel is one of college’s best; 6-0, 180 pounds

2012: .346/.435/.427 – 31 BB/30 K – 211 AB – 9/14 SB

39. Samford SR C Brandon Miller: good present power; strong arm; good athlete; reminiscent of Dane Phillips when it comes to his defense – has seen time in the OF, where many think he profiles best as a pro, but I’d keep running him out behind the plate until he shows he can’t do it; 6-1, 210 pounds

2011: .270/.382/.582 – 33 BB/50 K – 196 AB
2012: .287/.375/.619 – 31 BB/47 K – 223 AB – 0/3 SB

40. C CJ Saylor (South Hills HS, California): 86-88 FB; quick feet; plus arm with a track record of cutting down base runners; mobile behind plate; really good defensive ability; very athletic behind plate; above-average hit tool; power upside in question – can he some to gaps, but that’s about it; potential plus defender, some would argue he’s already there; not a plus power/plus arm strength guy, but still talented; no problems catching velocity; 5-10, 180 pounds; R/R

41. C Jason Goldstein (Highland Park HS, Illinois): plus arm strength; highest level defensive tools; accurate arm; strong; fantastic footwork; quick bat; good approach; not a ton of power upside, but a professional hitting approach; 5-11, 190 pounds; R/R

42. Sacramento State rSR C Derrick Chung: really good athlete; strong arm; excellent mobility behind plate; converted infielder who has taken to catching well; retains above-average speed, but catching could beat that down over time; leadoff profile as hitter – patient approach, good plate coverage, unafraid of deep counts, line drive swing that leads to consistent hard contact; age (24 in February) works against him; 5-10, 170 pounds

2011: .282/.426/.385 – 38 BB/33 K – 195 AB
2012: .400/.463/.518 – 15 BB/13 K – 170 AB

43. Notre Dame JR C Joe Hudson: excellent defender with plus big league upside; plus arm strength and accuracy; some power upside; too many swings and misses, but improved performance with the bat in 2012, especially in the power department, helps him profile as a potential backup; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .239/.322/.325 – 17 BB/19 K – 163 AB
2012: .330/.434/.500 – 22 BB/30 K – 188 AB – 3/4 SB

44. Baylor SR C Josh Ludy: above-average present power, strong, compact build; has improved in two major areas this spring – first, his questionable glove now has a chance to be average with continued work, and second, his hit tool, previously below-average, has improved just enough to put his power to use thanks to a cleaned up swing; strong arm; good approach; not sure he has the defensive chops to work as a backup, but power and physical strength are intriguing; 5-10, 210 pounds

2011: .268/.346/.371 – 20 BB/38 K – 205 AB
2012: .342/.427/.553 – 25 BB/36 K – 190 AB – 1/1 SB

45. C Nelson Rodriguez (George Washington HS, New York): plus raw power; plus arm strength; quick release; plus bat speed; hits it to center and opposite field most often; has to keep that weight in check; looked better behind plate than I imagined, but still not good enough; 6-2, 230 pounds; R/R

46. C Chris Chinea (Gulliver Prep HS, Florida): strong arm; power upside; good athlete; strong; long swing; quick release; good enough defender; 6-0, 200 pounds

47. C Tomas Nido (Orangewood Christian HS, Florida): good defender; plus arm strength, above-average pop times; good raw power; swing is way too long – kills bad pitching, struggles against the good; BP power at this point; 6-0, 200 pounds

48. C Wilfredo Rodriguez (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy): strong arm; quick bat

49. Elon JR C Alex Swim: good defender; plus arm; love his approach; good runner for a catcher; has the swing, weight shift, and pitch recognition to hit for more power than he’s shown, but still needs to put on some muscle to turn some gappers into home runs; 6-0, 185 pounds

2011: .275/.312/.352 – 12 BB/11 K – 236 AB
2012: .357/.400/.449 – 19 BB/11 K – 227 AB – 6/9 SB

50. San Diego JR C Dillon Haupt: plus arm strength; good first year of Division I ball, but could really take off with another year of experience; 6-5, 225 pounds

2012: .287/.396/.467 – 22 BB/29 K – 167 AB – 3/4 SB

51. LSU-Eunice SO C Stuart Turner: very good defender; strong arm; only slightly below-average speed underway (impressive for a catcher, especially one his size), but smart on bases; has shown a quality approach, especially with two strikes; 6-2, 220 pounds

2012: .323/.452/.515 – 36 BB/20 K – 167 AB – 3/8 SB

52. Jacksonville State SR C Sam Eberle: decent defender who might fit best at 3B in pro ball; good athlete; strong; good runner for either defensive spot; bat could be above-average if allowed to catch at next level, but he’ll have to improve footwork and speed of release; 6-1, 220 pounds

2011: .340/.396/.526 – 22 BB/32 K – 247 AB
2012: .352/.462/.571 – 36 BB/21 K – 196 AB – 2/2 SB

53. Stanford JR C Eric Smith: took him two years to snag starting spot, but has taken the job and run with it this spring; above-average power to the gaps; good defensive tools that should play at a few different spots – has also seen time at 2B and 3B; 6-1, 190 pounds

2012: .341/.376/.461 – 8 BB/14 K – 167 AB – 0/0 SB

54. C RJ Ybarra (Riverside Poly HS, California): good power upside; above-average arm strength; 5-11, 200 pounds

55. C David Real (Boulder Creek HS, Arizona): good raw power; strong arm; good athlete; 6-0, 185 pounds

56. C Boomer White (Memorial HS, Texas): good power; above-average speed; good athlete

57. C Zack Bowers (Harrison HS, Georgia): strong arm; mobile behind plate; good athlete; I think he’ll stick, others don’t; interesting power upside; 6-2, 185 pounds

58. Appalachian State JR C Tyler Tewell: has seen lots of time in outfield where he is a well above-average defender, but strong arm and athleticism fit really well behind the plate in the long run; reminds me of Elon’s Alex Swim, especially in how both players are good enough all-around to advance through minors even if they have to move off catcher; 5-11, 185 pounds

2011: .237/.292/.340 – 6 BB/14 K – 97 AB
2012: .330/.405/.503 – 18 BB/18 K – 197 AB – 4/6 SB

59. Mount Olive (NC) JR C Geno Escalante: once a highly sought after high school prospect who has since bounced around; I don’t have much in the way of updated information on him outside of the numbers (below), but here’s what I wrote back when he was a prep catcher: 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; 5-11, 215 pounds

2012: .436/.500/.662 – 21 BB/26 K – 225 AB – 4/8 SB

60. Nevada JR C Carlos Escobar: really good defensive abilities highlighted by excellent footwork and soft hands; above-average arm; despite underwhelming K/BB numbers, takes a really great approach to hitting into each at bat; pretty swing; well above-average bat speed; not a ton of raw power, but can wear out the gaps when locked in; 6-3, 200 pounds

2011: .268/.333/.401 – 13 BB/33 K – 142 AB
2012: .261/.352/.442 – 19 BB/39 K – 165 AB – 2/3 SB

61. Oklahoma City rSR C Chad Carman: plus defender who defends well enough to warrant late-round consideration as potential backup catching option; age (23 as of May 9) works against him, but still could be of value to a team in need of a quality, professional presence to work with young pitching in low-minors; 5-10, 185 pounds

2012: .391/.433/.641 – 14 BB/12 K – 220 AB – 2/3 SB

62. Loyola Marymount C Colton Plaia: flashes above-average defensive upside despite not being overly athletic behind plate; enough power and patience to profile as a potential backup catcher; 6-3, 225 pounds

2012: .322/.405/.459 – 21 BB/35 K – 183 AB – 1/5 SB

63. Michigan SR C Coley Crank: has always shown impressive power and physical strength, but it will be up to teams to decide if those positives outweigh the negatives of his strikeout-heavy approach; defensively, the versatility he showed this year speaks to his underrated (by me, I’ll admit it) athleticism; despite never being considered a classic plus defensive catcher, credit has to be given for his excellent 2012 season throwing out potential base stealers; I still don’t view Crank as a potential big league player (though I think continued defensive refinement would make him an interesting backup catching prospect), but there is a home in this draft for a player with power who can hold his own at three spots (C/1B/LF) around the diamond; 6-0, 220 pounds

2011: .289/.390/.500 – 29 BB/49 K – 194 AB
2012: .257/.369/.482 – 32 BB/40 K – 191 AB – 1/3 SB

64. C Jameson Fisher (Zachary HS, Louisiana): great athlete; strong hit tool; converted infielder

65. California SR C Chadd Krist: average or better power; inconsistent defender, but good enough when engaged in game; not sure about arm strength, as it sometimes plays average and sometimes is lacking; 5-11, 200 pounds

2011: .318/.398/.475 – 30 BB/37 K – 236 AB
2012: .302/.330/.444 – 6 BB/12 K – 169 AB

66. Air Force JR C Garrett Custons: great athlete; biggest surprise tool is his good speed; biggest tool you’d expect is a plus-plus throwing arm; approach needs some cleaning up and power upside is limited, but does enough well to deserve a shot; signability an obvious question; 5-11, 200 pounds

2011: .282/.371/.469 – 19 BB/42 K – 209 AB
2012: .269/.359/.421 – 17 BB/33 K – 171 AB – 7/12 SB

67. C Kholeton Sanchez (Piedra Vista HS, Colorado): plus speed; good defensive tools; questionable bat

68. Kent State SR C David Lyon: good raw power; can definitely hit at professional level, but defense is what will make or break him – as of now, he’s considered an average at best defender, so whether or not he can stick behind the plate remains an ongoing question in need of an answer, 5-11, 190 pounds

2011: .307/.377/.529 – 27 BB/36 K – 238 AB
2012: .288/.402/.551 – 38 BB/30 K – 198 AB – 3/3 SB

69. Long Island SR C Tyler Jones: good approach; average at best defender; doesn’t have a great track record when matched up against cream of the crop pitching; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .419/.538/.527 – 27 BB/29 K – 167 AB
2012: .312/.420/.497 – 19 BB/32 K – 199 AB – 4/5 SB

70. Army SR C JT Watkins: smart ballplayer with a reputation as a high character, hard worker but with tools that shouldn’t be dismissed; above-average power potential; well above-average defender; signability is no guarantee, but Watkins has pro-caliber ability; 6-0, 190 pounds

2011: .310/.357/.369 – 11 BB/23 K – 168 AB
2012: .311/.382/.477 – 11 BB/18 K – 151 AB – 5/5 SB

71. Stony Brook SR C Pat Cantwell: fun player to watch because he’s the anti-catcher (top notch athlete, good acceleration and speed, not much physicality or power) in many ways while still showing the defensive chops and strong arm necessary to stick behind plate in pro ball; four-year starter; has shown serious knack for getting hit by pitches (52 HBP in career); 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .279/.346/.356 – 11 BB/23 K – 208 AB
2012: .271/.375/.384 – 11 BB/8 K – 177 AB – 10/12 SB

72. Otterbein (OH) JR C Wes Meadows: converted infielder (2B) who is still relatively new to catching; good athlete; strong arm; good speed; no one particularly loud tool, but no glaring weakness to his game either; 5-11, 200 pounds

2012: .368/.431/.632 – 15 BB/13 K – 133 AB – 2/3 SB

73. Fresno Pacific SO C Michael Vaughn: above-average power upside; good defensive tools; strong arm; 6-2, 190 pounds

2012: .291/.374/.570 – 9 BB/22 K – 86 AB – 0/1 SB

74. C Nick Thurman (Belle Chase HS, Louisiana): strong; good power upside; 6-2, 200 pounds

75. Duke JR C Jeff Kremer: solid defensively; great approach at plate; lack of power limits offensive upside

2011: .357/.472/.452 – 41 BB/27 K – 199 AB
2012: .300/.413/.380 – 19 BB/22 K – 150 AB – 1/2 SB

76. Rice SR C Craig Manuel: plus defender; strong hit tool; really good athlete; absence of power is a problem, especially as he begins to rise professionally and face better pitchers more likely to challenge him with strikes, but strong enough in areas that pro teams like (approach, situational hitting, defense) that he has an outside chance at becoming a backup catcher if he is willing to wait around in the minors; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .320/.432/.371 – 30 BB/8 K – 175 AB
2012: .274/.368/.356 – 16 BB/9 K – 146 AB – 0/0 SB

77. UCLA JR C Trevor Brown: good defensive skills; good athlete; smooth defender at first base; can also play 2B; lack of power limits his offensive ceiling, but defensive versatility and a competent bat could carry him farther up the chain than you’d think; 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .208/.282/.236 – 8 BB/25 K – 106 AB
2012: .318/.378/.428 – 15 BB/27 K – 201 AB – 4/8 SB

78. Fresno State rJR C Trent Garrison: plus-plus arm strength; recovered nicely at plate after missing 2011 season due to ACL injury; have heard the Angels are looking to draft him again in a late round (50th round pick by LAA last year); 6-0, 185 pounds

2012: .331/.395/.425 – 15 BB/22 K – 160 AB – 0/1 SB

79. Utah JR C Parker Morin: strong arm; has experience calling his own pitches; like Dillon Haupt, could really take off as a senior sign in 2013 if pro teams don’t think he’s quite ready this June; 6-0, 200 pounds

2012: .322/.354/.424 – 11 BB/25 K – 205 AB – 1/3 SB

80. Virginia Tech rSO C Chad Morgan: seen as a potential breakout candidate coming into the year due to his big power upside, plus arm, and well above-average defensive tools, but hasn’t put it together as expected; bat was/is a major question mark – tools are great, but the number one question for any young player has been/will forever be “can he hit?”; almost as sure a 2013 college returnee as there is in this class; 5-11, 185 pounds

2011: .237/.333/.360 – 16 BB/34 K – 139 AB
2012: .184/.263/.255 – 9 BB/18 K – 98 AB – 0/1 SB

81. C AJ Kennedy (Savanna HS, California): true plus arm; defensive tools are there, but needs reps; questionable upside with bat; swing needs work as it gets too long; 6-0, 180 pounds; R/R

82. Kentucky SR C Michael Williams: above-average raw power, but doesn’t make enough consistent contact to make it worthwhile; will make his mark in pro ball on the strength of his well above-average defense and plus-plus arm strength – defense is so good that he has instant backup catcher upside; 6-2, 220 pounds

2011: .270/.326/.454 – 11 BB/32 K – 174 AB
2012: .285/.364/.376 – 20 BB/40 K – 186 AB – 0/1 SB

83. New Mexico State JR C Zac Fisher: bigger scout (and personal) favorite than the numbers might suggest; above-average raw power; advanced bat with a good approach; bat is currently way ahead of glove – still learning the finer points of what it takes to be a catcher, so, if drafted, time will have to be spent bringing his defense up to a more acceptable level; 6-3, 210 pounds

2011: .275/.345/.444 – 18 BB/28 K – 171 AB
2012: .266/.361/.383 – 32 BB/34 K – 214 AB – 2/2 SB

84. Dixie State (UT) SR C Joe Andrade: come into year with reputation as a good defender with questionable upside at the plate; his impressive 2012 season (below) may not have provided answers to all of his critics, but the strong showing may have been enough to get him drafted; 5-11, 180 pounds

2012: .330/.396/.483 – 16 BB/15 K – 176 AB – 0/1 SB

85. Central Arizona JC SO C Matt Jones: above-average raw power; 6-0, 175 pounds

2012: .375/.451/.526 – 17 BB – 152 AB – 3/3 SB

86. Clemson SR C Phil Pohl: turns 22 one month after pro career hopefully begins – it could be me, but that’s a surprise (would have guessed at least late-30s) as it feels like he’s been in school forever; steady, “professional” college player who could have a good impact on a young low-minors club despite not having a real shot at ever reaching the highest levels of professional ball; 5-11, 215 pounds

2011: .351/.409/.504 – 18 BB/27 K – 228 AB
2012: .309/.381/.466 – 17 BB/34 K – 223 AB – 2/5 SB

87. Oral Roberts JR C Bennett Pickar: potential plus defender; some power potential, but hasn’t really shown it yet; bat is below-average, but defense could be enough to push him into contention for a backup role somewhere down the line; 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .193/.309/.280 – 22 BB/40 K – 150 AB
2012: .299/.416/.374 – 31 BB/41 K – 174 AB – 0/0 SB

88. C Austin Rei (Campolindo HS, California): really good defensive actions; soft hands; no problems hitting velocity

89. C Max Schuman (Arcadia HS, Arizona): good athlete; enough arm; bat is ahead of defense

90. San Francisco SR C Mason Morioka: really good defender, but light with the stick; one of the many potential backup catchers in this draft with pro-ready defense who will need some good fortune ahead of them to reach the big leagues; 5-10, 185 pounds

2012: .263/.365/.389 – 28 BB/42 K – 175 AB – 1/2 SB

91. Florida Gulf Coast JR C Mike Reeves: untapped power; improved defender; personal favorite who I think needs more reps behind the plate – think his learning on the job approach to defense may have led to some bat lag; down 2012 season makes it likely he’ll have to return for another crack at it next year; 6-1, 210 pounds

2011: .331/.423/.440 – 28 BB/24 K – 175 AB
2012: .271/.387/.288 – 30 BB/24 K – 170 AB – 0/1 SB

92. Clemson JR C Spencer Kieboom: good defensive tools have blossomed and he is now considered a plus thrower and plus defender; has a ready for the National League 8-hole hitter approach – smart enough hitter to know when not to swing when the pitcher is pitching around him; could still add some bulk and benefit from subsequent power spike, but looks like a really steady 2013 senior sign capable of catching bonus babies in the low-minors; 6-1, 200 pounds

2011: .300/.382/.382 – 23 BB/12 K – 170 AB
2012: .261/.333/.352 – 19 BB/15 K – 176 AB – 0/0 SB

93. East Carolina SR C Zach Wright: good arm; average at best glove; some power, but not a classic slugger by any stretch – mostly a gap-to-gap hitter who will occasionally run into one; he’s a catching “tweener” to me – not quite good enough defensively to profile as a backup, not enough bat to justify playing a less than outstanding gloveman; 6-2, 200 pounds

2011: .272/.379/.518 – 35 BB/57 K – 228 AB
2012: .292/.388/.432 – 25 BB/36 K – 192 AB – 8/9 SB

94. C Brian Mundell (Valencia HS, California): good athlete; strong; solid defender

95. C Jovan Hernandez (Rockwall Heath HS, Texas): decent runner; plus arm strength; good footwork; 5-10, 200 pounds

96. Connecticut rSR C Joe Pavone: solid defender who gets high enough marks for all the intangibles that he stands a good chance of getting drafted late and contributing in some way to an organization’s big picture goals of player development; 6-0, 210 pounds

2012: .287/.360/.420 – 10 BB/19 K – 143 AB – 3/6 SB

97. Columbus State (GA) C Brett Teschner: good power; strong arm; 6-2, 210 pounds

2012: .353/.430/.537 – 26 BB/27 K – 201 AB – 0/0 SB

98. Coastal Carolina SR C Mac Doyle:

2011: .300/.400/.568 – 27 BB/48 K – 213 AB
2012: .351/.449/.610 – 30 BB/48 K – 205 AB – 13/17 SB

99. Oregon rSR C Brett Hambright: good defender; strong arm; mature approach; weak bat; 6-0, 215 pounds

2011: .290/.395/.304 – 10 BB/10 K – 69 AB
2012: .258/.375/.297 – 20 BB/20 K – 128 AB – 1/2 SB

100. Arizona State JR C Max Rossiter: good defensive reputation, but reports of inconsistent performances behind plate this spring ; strong enough arm has been similarly inconsistent; bat doesn’t stand out, but makes consistent contact; 5-11, 185 pounds

2012: .312/.356/.394 – 7 BB/12 K – 109 AB

101. C Aaron Flanagan (Isle of Wright Academy, Virginia): strong arm; some power upside here

102. C Angel Merced (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy): raw defender; good athlete; interesting power; 6-1, 200 pounds

103. Kansas SR C James Stanfield: mature approach to hitting; good catch and throw guy, emphasis on the throw; converted infielder who is still raw in finer points of catching, but athletic enough to become average or better at position; might not hit enough to get the chance; 5-11, 185 pounds

2011: .307/.378/.439 – 10 BB/13 K – 114 AB
2012: .285/.369/.328 – 15 BB/15 K – 137 AB – 1/2 SB

104. Fresno State JR C Austin Wynns: excellent defender who wasn’t expected to do much with the bat, but stepped in nicely after Trent Garrison’s 2011 injury; likely 2013 late-round senior sign; 6-2, 190 pounds

2011: .337/.426/.423 – 24 BB/22 K – 175 AB
2012: .263/.328/.353 – 15 BB/22 K – 167 AB – 1/1 SB

105. Wichita State rJR C Ryan Hege: above-average arm; raw defensively; decent pop; 6-3, 220 pounds

2011: .237/.297/.323 – 2 BB/15 K – 93 AB
2012: .246/.333/.407 – 12 BB/14 K – 118 AB – 2/3 SB

106. Dallas Baptist JR C Duncan McAlpine: good approach; good defender; average but accurate arm; some power upside; hit tool has been a big letdown and will almost certainly keep him a college man for another season; 5-10, 190 pounds

2011: .224/.322/.362 – 25 BB/43 K – 174 AB
2012: .215/.333/.364 – 34 BB/48 K – 195 AB – 1/4 SB

107. Louisiana Tech rSO C Kyle Arnsberg: good athlete; above-average defender; Arizona State transfer who spent time at McLennan (TX) JC; 6-4, 215 pounds

2012: .222/.376/.296 – 18 BB/20 K – 81 AB – 1/2 SB

108. UC Irvine SR C Ronnie Shaeffer: average arm; above-average defender; intriguing bat that needs polish; 6-2, 195 pounds

2011: .274/.326/.317 – 15 BB/33 K – 208 AB
2012: .147/.268/.147 – 6 BB/3 K – 34 AB – 0/0 SB

109. Wake Forest JR C Brett Armour: fine athlete for a catcher with average or better speed for the position; also possesses a strong, accurate arm; looks like a pro catcher based on his defense – I really like his actions behind plate where his athleticism shines through; durable player with a track record of hitting with wood, but issues with bat make him a senior sign hopeful for 2013; 6-2, 185 pounds

2011: .197/.300/.274 – 19 BB/41 K – 157 AB
2012: .228/.279/.361 – 10 BB/34 K – 158 AB – 3/4 SB

110. Florida Southern rSR C Austin Chubb: plus defender; average arm; reminds me of a lesser version of Chad Carman – not quite as adept a hitter or a defender, but still a potentially useful late-round low-minors catcher worth a look; 6-2, 215 pounds

2012: .291/.339/.539 – 8 BB/27 K – 165 AB – 0/0 SB

111. Nebraska SR C Cory Burleson: plus arm; plus defender; not a plus hitter; 6-1, 200 pounds

2012: .264/.343/.336 – 7 BB/31 K – 125 AB – 3/3 SB

112. Charlotte rSR C Ross Steedley: really good college player who takes on more responsible than your typical amateur catcher – e.g. calls his own games; falls into the category of “org catcher you want catching your young prospect arms in A-ball”; 6-0, 200 pounds

2011: .316/.357/.418 – 8 BB/21 K – 158 AB
2012: .294/.351/.485 – 3 BB/10 K – 68 AB – 0/0 SB

113. Kansas SR C Alex DeLeon: above-average raw power; decent at best defender; really inaccurate arm, throws go all over; 6-2, 220 pounds

2011: .309/.400/.546 – 12 BB/26 K – 97 AB
2012: .260/.347/.390 – 18 BB/25 K – 146 AB – 0/1 SB

114. Texas State JR C Andrew Stumph:

2011: .294/.336/.403 – 15 BB/33 K – 238 AB
2012: .243/.317/.349 – 18 BB/29 K – 169 AB – 0/0 SB

115. Florida Atlantic JR C Mike Spano:

2012: .272/.381/.361 – 26 BB/32 K – 147 AB – 1/3 SB

116. Arkansas-Little Rock JR C Myles Parma:

2011: .363/.452/.469 – 23 BB/28 K – 160 AB
2012 .266/.427/.385 – 45 BB/38 K – 192 AB – 5/9 SB

117. Coastal Carolina SR C Tucker Frawley:

2011: .234/.333/.297 – 12 BB/27 K – 128 AB
2012: .307/.412/.365 – 29 BB/30 K – 189 AB – 5/8 SB

118. Florida State rSO C Stephen McGee: good bloodlines, strong defensive tools, and a great approach, but will almost certainly head back to Florida State for another two years to hone his craft; had to include him for his awesome BB/K ratio and to get a quick plug in for his brother, Mike, who is currently mashing in High-A (fine, he’s at High Desert, but still!) in the Seattle system – still like the elder McGee as a super sleeper, great draft value, and future big league backup outfielder/mop-up man; 6-3, 220 pounds

2012: .230/.460/.273 – 54 BB/22 K – 165 AB – 2/6 SB

119. Vanderbilt rSR C Drew Fann: included mostly because I just wanted to share his line (below) – if I told you there was a college catcher with pro size and quality defense who got on base 50% of the time he came to the plate, even in a small sample size, you’d be intrigued, right?; 6-4, 205 pounds

2012: .091/.500/.136 – 10 BB/10 K – 22 AB – 0/0 SB

120. UCLA JR C Richie Brehaut: great athlete with a plus arm who hasn’t seen much time on the diamond as he spends most of his athletic energy on playing QB for the Bruins; won’t be anything more than a late-round flier, if that, but he showed enough talent in high school as a ballplayer to at least give it a shot; more likely to come out next year, after his final season of football is complete, if he comes out at all; 6-2, 225 pounds

Stats updated: 6/2/12



  1. […] (Ongoing) 2012 MLB Draft Catcher Prospect Rankings […]

  2. Greeny says:

    Tyler Curry NJCAA Dean CC SO C 6-2 190 .432/.490 10BB/12K 90Abs 22rbi 22runs
    Raw Power, MLB arm 88 from dish, Smart Player, above average on base paths

  3. Jerry hicks says:

    Where is Toby Demello? Best catch and throw guy in the draft. Who else has thrown out 60% of runners?

  4. John says:

    Your comments about Dane Phillips and Chad Carman, both of Oklahoma City University, are interesting, especially since Phillips was the backup catcher to Carman, who is a 1st team All-American at catcher, and has won the NAIA Rawlings Gold Glove for the second year in a row. Phillips is a decent catcher, but let’s face it, he was the backup to Carman all year long. Yes, Carman just turned 23, but the kid has the tools, and anyone that takes him won’t be drafting potential. They will know exactly what they are getting.

  5. […] 2012 MLB Draft Catcher Prospect Rankings […]

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