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2013 MLB Draft: Top 35 High School Catching Prospects

1. If your favorite player is missing, then chances are a lot higher it was a copy/paste fail and not my complete and utter lack of baseball knowledge. I mean, sure, it could still be the latter, but if there’s somebody obvious that I’ve ignored, please give a gentle reminder in the comments or via email (robozga at gmail dot com). It’s also possible I mentally shifted a guy’s position in my head, so don’t rule out your player suddenly popping up on another position list.

2. Players designated as FAVORITEs were given that tag prior to the season, or, in some cases, upon enrolling in college. In other words, just because a guy is a FAVORITE doesn’t mean he’s automatically guaranteed a high placement on the list. I’m stubborn about which players I like, true, but I’m also quite cognizant of the fact prospect status is fluid.

3. Final opinions are all mine, but information has been culled from a variety of sources. Like anybody likely reading this site, I’m an avid follower of all things Baseball America and Perfect Game. Seriously, if you are into the draft/prospects at all, I highly recommend getting subscriptions to both sites. I also have a small but trustworthy network of friends in the game I occasionally call upon for information on prospects, especially those off the beaten path. Consider the little scouting notes section on each player a synthesis on what I’ve read, heard, and seen about each player. I’m in no way an expert and literally nothing I write, positively or negatively, influences what pro teams actually do on draft day. I’m just a baseball loving guy who has taken a hobby way, way, way too far.

4. I’m happy to answer any and all questions I can over email or in the comments. Also, for the sake of my already waning sanity, I didn’t include everything I had on every player — you’ll see some blank spots sprinkled throughout — so please don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something about a specific guy you want answered.

5. There’s a little more science in scouting college prospects than when it comes to evaluating high school guys. This is all art and totally up to interpretation. The rankings are rankings because they are…rankings (I say it every year, but next year I want to do tiers), but that doesn’t mean Prospect #3 is leaps and bounds better than Prospect #15. I’m not trying to preempt any criticism of the list or anything, just getting it out there that nothing I write should be taken as more than the semi-educated opinions of what some weird guy on the internet thinks about a bunch of ballplayers. Cool? Cool. Here we go…


1. C Reese McGuire (Kentwood HS, Washington): average arm, but could be more there; very good athlete behind plate; pretty swing; really strong defensive tools; frequent Austin Hedges comp defensively with plus-plus ability; double-digit home run pop; opposite field power is great to see; average speed plays up; Matt Joyce comp as hitter; so agile, such a great athlete; strong hands; above-average arm now; my own Jason Kendall comp; above-average hit tool; average power upside; FAVORITE; 6-1, 180 pounds

2. C Jonathan Denney (Yukon HS, Oklahoma): quick bat; really good power, easy plus; outstanding defensive tools; quick feet; legit plus arm; big power; BA JP Arencibia comp, also Clint Coulter; short to ball, but explodes with lower half; love his patience, call it controlled aggression; no glaring weakness to his game; average hit tool; FAVORITE; 6-2, 200 pounds

3. C Nick Ciuffo (Lexington HS, South Carolina): quick bat; above-average power upside; good defensive tools and has improved over time; not a natural catcher, but now he looks the part; high present value; above-average arm, but throws can sail; moves laterally better than expected; keen batting eye; PG Brian McCann comp; defense has improved a ton; strong hands; good receiver; popular AJ Pierzinski comp as well; reminds me some of Varitek; 6-2, 200 pounds

4. C Chris Okey (Eustis HS, Florida): plus defensive upside; good athlete; above-average arm strength, plus for some; good approach; big power upside, but very little presently; average speed; strong present defender; middle infielder agility behind plate; PG Craig Biggio comp; BA comps Jon Lucroy and Jason Kendall; FAVORITE; 6-0, 180 pounds

5. C/3B Tyler O’Neill (Garibaldi SS, British Columbia): very strong; plus bat speed; advanced as a hitter; above-average speed; above-average arm; great athlete; BA comp: Brett Lawrie; FAVORITE; 6-0, 215 pounds

6. C Jacob Nottingham (Redlands HS, California): above-average power upside; average hit tool; quick bat; defense needs polish; very strong; strong arm; really good athlete; decent speed; FAVORITE; 6-3, 220 pounds

7. C Brian Navarreto (Arlington County Day HS, Florida): easy plus arm; good defensive tools; really like him behind the plate, great athlete; quick release; runs well for a catcher; sometimes stabs more than slides; above-average raw power is there, but still raw; Kiley McDaniel body comp: Charles Johnson; FAVORITE; 6-3, 215 pounds

8. C Tyler Alamo (Cypress HS, California): mature hitter; nice swing; raw defensively, but keeps improving; average arm, maybe a touch more; good athlete; gap power now, more coming; 6-3, 200 pounds

9. C/3B Francis Christy (Casa Grande HS, California): above-average arm strength; good agility; decent speed; good athlete; big power upside, above-average to plus raw; still raw behind the plate, but getting better; 6-1, 200 pounds

10. C Jeremy Martinez (Mater Dei HS, California): born to catch; slow as molasses; strong and accurate arm; advanced bat; quick pop times; could have average hit tool in time; average at best power projection, some like it a bit more; great approach at plate; 5-11, 200 pounds

11. C Arden Pabst (Harvard-Westlake HS, California): can handle pro pitching behind plate; does everything well, but nothing that makes him stand out; gap power, but more there; good athlete; average arm; slow; has shown progress against high velocity pitching; chance for average hit tool; 6-0, 200 pounds

12. C Matthew Thaiss (Jackson Memorial HS, New Jersey): really good defensive tools; strong arm; big power, slowly manifesting; 6-0, 200 pounds

13. C Will Haynie (Brentwood Academy, Tennessee): plus arm; steady defender; big raw power; FAVORITE; 6-5, 230 pounds

14. C/RHP Adrian Chacon (Jesuit HS, Florida): interesting bat; excellent defender; strong arm; good athlete; 85-87 FB; 74-75 CB; 78 CU; good command; FAVORITE; 6-1, 200 pounds

15. C/OF Jake Sweaney (Garces Memorial HS, California): above-average arm; average or better power upside; great athlete; quick bat; average speed; FAVORITE; 6-2, 180 pounds

16. C Dom Nunez (Elk Grove HS, California): below-average speed; converted infielder; looks like a much better athlete now than he did last year; average raw power; very intriguing defensive tools; PG Jake Rodriguez comp; 6-1, 180 pounds

17. C Jonah Heim (Amherst HS, New York): good athlete; quick bat; good looking swing; average raw power; chance for average hit tool; average arm; steady defender; PG comp: Matt Wieters; 6-4, 200 pounds

18. C Iolana Akau (St. Louis School, Hawaii): plus arm; quick behind plate; excellent defensive ability; gap power; love his athleticism; 5-11, 170 pounds

19. C Jack Kruger (Oaks Christian HS, California): outstanding defensive tools, very strong presently; gap power

20. C Chuckie Robinson (Danville HS, Illinois): big raw power, more present than most; very strong arm; strong; 6-2, 230 pounds

21. C/2B Kean Wong (Waiakea HS, Hawaii): so much like his brother, it’s scary; above-average speed; short stroke; good athlete; little doubt he’ll hit; 5-11, 190 pounds

22. C Tres Barrera (Sharyland HS, Texas): current power to gaps; makes hard contact; strong arm; quick release; slow; 6-0, 200 pounds

23. C/RHP Ronnie Healy (Jupiter HS/Elev8 Institute, Florida): interesting bat; big power upside; advanced approach; questionable defense; plus arm strength; 92-94 FB

24. C Andrew Lindo (Oaks Christian HS, California): big power; good defensive tools

25. C/3B Chance Sisco (Santiago HS, California): average arm, not always on target; average power upside; good hitter; good athlete; strong potential as defender; 6-2, 180 pounds

26. C Xavier Hernandez (Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico): good defender; intriguing power; strong hit tool; good athlete; above-average arm; 6-2, 210 pounds

27. C Kyle Devin (Lynn English HS, Massachusetts): interesting power; strong arm; intriguing defensive tools; 6-1, 210 pounds

28. C Cameron Whitehead (Moeller HS, Ohio): really good defender; line drive machine

29. C Gavin Collins (El Toro HS, California): strong; good hit tool; average at best arm; 6-1, 200 pounds

30. C Ryan McCarvel (Canyon Springs HS, California): strong arm; great athlete; 6-3, 180 pounds

31. C Anthony Sherlag (Marist HS, Georgia): good power; 6-3, 200 pounds

32. C Kevin Abraham (Mater Academy, Florida): average raw power; above-average defender; average arm

33. C/3B John Riley (Willow Glen HS, California): good arm; steady glove; interesting power, above-average raw power; good athlete; strong; 6-0, 210 pounds

34. C Rene Melendez (Caguas Military and Sports Academy, Puerto Rico): average arm; very agile; above-average defensively across the board; questionable bat; 6-1, 190 pounds

35. C/3B Jake Rogers (Canyon HS, Texas): good athlete; strong arm; good defensive upside; 6-2, 190 pounds


And now 16 bonus names because…well, why not?

36. C Michael Hernandez (Archbishop McCarthy HS, Florida): short stroke; strong arm; good agility behind plate

37. C Jason Delay (Northview HS, Georgia): really good defensive tools; strong arm

38. C Luis Ciuro (Monteverde Academy, Florida): great athlete; raw; strong arm

39. C Colton Waltner (Newbury Park HS, California): good athlete; good arm; gap power

40. C Carlos Diaz (Grandview Prep, Florida):  good speed; strong arm

41. C Brent Gibbs (Alton HS, Illinois): plus arm; really quick release

42. C Matthew Decker (Jesuit HS, Oregon): strong arm; average speed; 6-4, 210 pounds

43. C Jimmy Wright (Madison Central HS, Kentucky): some power upside; sloppy footwork; strong arm; soft hands

44. C Owen Spiwak (Cawthra Park SS, Ontario): good athlete; good defensive tools; 6-2, 180 pounds

45. C Logan Ice (Rogers HS, Washington): good defender; strong arm;

46. C Harrison Lyons (Mountain Ridge HS, Arizona): good athlete; above-average arm

47. C Lane Milligan (Cherry Creek HS, Colorado): good defender; 6-2, 175 pounds

48. C Gerald Ceballos (Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico): average speed; 6-1, 210 pounds

49. C Logan Koch (South Mecklenburg HS, North Carolina): good defender; strong arm

50. C Bronson Larson (Davis HS, Utah): strong defender

51. C Dominic Miroglio (Bishop O’Dowd Prep, California): strong arm; smart catcher


1 Comment

  1. Tom Pabst says:

    Nothing makes Arden Pabst stand out except that he wins. He won a gold medal with USA team, and then took his high school to a national title with a great block at the plate. Then again, I’m his dad.

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