2013 MLB Draft Positional Rankings: Catcher

Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

The Crawfish Boxes Draft crew got together to establish the top twenty catching prospects in the 2013 MLB Draft.

This year's catching class stands out among the last several years as very strong in the high school ranks. The college grouping is fairly weak, but the strength of the high school group makes it an overall above-average group. Despite some very high ceilings among them, the position is traditionally very risky, especially for the high-schoolers.

These rankings are a combination of the top 20 rankings of Kyuss94, jsams, Anthony Boyer, and I. We all have our own systems of evaluating players and weigh things differently, so ranking is the most appropriate. We each rank our personal top 20 with the the number one ranking receives twenty points and the 20th receives one point. The overall rank is decided upon total points. In the case of tie, the highest individual rank is the tie breaker. You can see the spreadsheet here.

1. Reese McGuire, 6-1, 190, Kentwood HS (WA)

McGuire is a highly athletic, projectable catcher with a lefty bat. He looks the part behind plate, and explodes out of his squat to launch balls to the bases. He shows some offensive potential with a smooth, level swing and some raw power. His bat speed is average, but he has room to fill out. While not the present hitter that Denney or Ciuffo are, he has the potential to be very good with the bat and the best defender of the three. -Kyuss94

2. Jonathan Denney, 6-2, 205, Yukon HS (OK)

Denney is a great athlete with plenty of arm strength and a beautiful swing. He pops up well, and has an accurate arm throwing down to second. His swing is one of the best in the class- it’s extremely level, stays in zone for a long time, and has great extension. He sprays line drives all over the field and has home run power that should only continue to develop. He has as much upside as any hitter in the 2013 draft. -Kyuss94

3. Nick Ciuffo, 6-1, 200, Lexington HS (SC)

Ciuffo has a quick-trigger left-handed swing that generates loft and backspin. He possesses a great catcher’s frame at 6’1" with broad shoulders and a thick lower half, which also give him good raw power. His swing mechanics are repeated well with good leverage, though he has some pull tendencies and has work to do staying on his balance and barrelling balls more consistently. Though there’s polish left to be applied to his game, he has the potential to be an everyday catcher with plus offense. -Kyuss94

4. Andrew Knapp, 6-1, 192, University of California

A switch-hitter with a fast bat and great plate coverage. Knapp is a disciplined hitter with solid raw power, and generates great leverage at the plate. He rotates smoothly and hits through the ball. His swings from both sides are similar. He’s imperfect on D, but the bat could carry him even if he does end up at first base or in right field. -Kyuss94

5. Jeremy Martinez, 5-11, 200, Mater Die HS (CA)

While Martinez does have a nice swing, I don't like his stride or timing at the plate. I've seen people throw out Albert Pujols comparisons with his stance/swing, and while there are similarities, I don't see the same power potential everyone else does. And, if you aren't in love with Martinez's bat, there's not much else to like. He's not the best athlete and has had weight issues in the past. Defensively, he has modest upside, but he'll probably wind up at catcher. Martinez is committed to USC. - jsams

6. Chris Okey, 6-0, 180, Eustis HS (FL)

Okey is an impressive athlete with a quick, line-drive swing. He gets the bat to the ball quickly and drives it. He’s a 50 runner, which is plus for a catcher. His short, T-Rex like arms could be minor concern in terms of arm strength and he may be a future second baseman. His high effort approach could translate well in a potential position change. He shows some good defensive traits and could likely stick if a team commits, but it might not be his best long term role. He has the potential to hit for high average with modest power. -Kyuss94

7. Brian Navarreto, 6-4, 220, Arlington Country Day HS (FL)

Navaretto is an extremely intriguing prospect with impressive bat speed. He looks like a natural power hitter with a smooth swing that stays in the zone for a long time with slight uppercut action. He’s comfortable in the batter’s box, and uses a quick toe-tap to keep his timing in order. He loads his hands well and has a quick trigger. Highly athletic with some room left to fill out, he pops quickly but could use a bit more zip on his throws. -Kyuss94

8. Stuart Turner, 6-2, 220, Ole Miss

Coming into the college season, he was seen as a defensive-minded catcher with limited offensive upside, but he's turned a corner. Through 45 games in 2013, his OPS is 1.006. He's slowed down some, following his scorching start, but he's settled in as a solid player at the plate. For my money, he's the best overall catcher in College baseball, and his advanced defense/strong arm warrant him being a high draft pick. He doesn't have the same upside as some of the HS guys, but his bust rate is significantly lower, and I think there's something to be said for that. - jsams

9. Spencer Navin, 6-1, 205, Vanderbilt

Outstanding college hitter currently slashing .337/.471/.413 in the SEC while going 7 for 7 on stolen base attempts. Only 5 extra base hits on the season illustrative of limited power. Lightning-quick bat that get to the ball very quickly. Patient hitter with great timing. -Kyuss94

10. Matt Decker, 6-5, 200, Jesuit HS (OR)

Highly projectable athlete with lithe 6’4" frame, Decker has a cannon arm behind the plate and is accurate to the bases. He has an absolutely picture-perfect swing with raw power that will manifest more readily as he fills out. He extends well and uses all fields, and looks more comfortable than most players his size behind the plate tend to and frames pitches well. He is a capable blocker but can look out of control at times. Should he show poorly, he could fall back on pitching where he is also talented. -Kyuss94

11. Tyler Alamo, 6-4, 205, Cypress HS (CA)

There are a lot of similarities between Alamo and another big, athletic HS catcher on this list: Will Haynie. Both are big guys, with raw power and bat speed potential, but long swings with holes may prevent them from reaching their potential with the bat. The reason Alamo is so much higher on the list is his defensive potential. He has a strong arm and above-average upside as a defender. He's committed to Cal State Fullerton. - jsams

12. Francis Christy, 6-1, 215, Casa Grande HS (CA)

Another part of an outstanding California prep catcher class, Christy is an outstanding defender. He has a strong frame with a rocket arm and athleticism, and could be truly special gunning down runners. He has a quick left handed stroke as a hitter, but doesn’t always get full extension and teams may choose to make tweaks to his swing in pro ball. His frame suggests some raw power, and he’s selective at the plate. -Kyuss94

13. Arden Pabst, 6-0, 200, Harvard Westlake HS (CA)

Pabst is an impressive defender with an athletic frame and an average arm. He pops up very quickly and could be an above-average defender if his arm strength improves, and he has room to fill out. He has very impressive speed for a C, and is likely a 50 runner at the major league level. At his best, he shows excellent bat speed on his quick, line drive stroke and can take a pitch. A consistent approach and pitch recognition will be areas to improve on in pro ball, but there’s a lot to like. -Kyuss94

14. Mitch Garver, 6-1, 205, New Mexico

Before Stuart Turner's breakout, Garver was widely considered the best offensive catcher in College Baseball (weak class). He sports a trip slash of .376/.447/.522 with 10 steals in 2013. There's upside to be average, defensively, but that's about it. The intrigue with Garver is his bat and signability. - jsams

15. Chuckie Robinson, 6-2, 220, Danville HS (IL)

Fun prospect, big-bodied with advanced defensive skills. Blocks ball well and frames pitches. Solid pop-up and throw mechanics with solid average arm strength. Ugly swing with a lot of moving parts and herky-jerky lower body movement. Arm action is violent but he produces good bat speed and power. Swing will have to be toned down a ton for him to be anything more than an all-or-nothing hitter. -Kyuss94

16. Carlos Diaz, 5-10, 185, Grandview Preparatory School (Puerto Rico)

Diaz is one of the shortest in the groups but still caries some good weight. He looks a little wiry in his upper body and could add strength to his frame. He's a very raw prospect with some interesting tools. He has a very quick swing and leads with his hips that have good rotation. He has a very compact throwing motion and a good arm. His good hip mobility gets him into a good position to catch and throw with quickness. -Subber10

17. Kevin Abraham, 6-1, 195, Mater Academy Charter (FL)

Broad shouldered and physically mature, Abraham looks the part of a future power hitter. Although, he doesn't have explosive hips or plus bat speed. His hips have good mobility which allows for him to be decent behind the plate, but his arm action isn't the quickest. He may need to move to a corner outfield position or first base down the road. -Subber10

18. Iolana Akau, 5-10, 165, St. Louis HS (HI)

plus athlete with huge defensive potential and a quick bat, Akau explodes out of his squat and has a rocket arm that could improve even further as his projectable frame fills out some. He is currently listed at 5’11", 170. His swing has great plane and is quick to the ball. He could hit for average with power to the gaps, and he runs well for a catcher. He missed his senior season with a broken hand. -Kyuss94

19. Gavin Collins, 6-0, 195, El Toro HS (CA)

Collins sets up very wide at the plate and doesn't take a stride. He has pretty good bat speed with his line drive approach. He doesn't project for much power but is pretty athletic and could play several different positions including second base and corner outfield positions. He has the arm strength for catcher but posts sub-par pop times because he doesn't explode out of his crouch and his throwing motion is a little long. -Subber10

20. Will Haynie, 6-5, 225, Brentwood Academy (TN)

Haynie is an interesting guy. He's a big guy with power potential, and he's a good athlete for his size. I have serious questions whether or not he'll stick at catcher. If you're drafting him, you're drafting him for his bat. Despite his intriguing raw power and bat speed, he has a long swing with a lot of holes. Behind the plate, he has the potential to be a good receiver, but his pop times have been below average and his throwing motion is long. Again, the intrigue here is the raw power and bat speed, to go along with his size, and good athleticism. He's committed to Alabama. - jsams

Honorable Mentions

Colton Plaia, Jake Hernandez, Logan Koch, Jacob Felts

Next Up: Middle In-field

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