Catching prospects don't often reach the major leagues at a young age or come equipped with promising bats. Our 2008 top 10 catching prospect list looked a lot more promising 10 months ago than it does now. Only Matt Wieters and Geovany Soto have really blossomed into sound bets to have solid big league careers since then. Fittingly, it shouldn't be surprising that the list below isn't loaded with elite prospects.
Stay tuned as we release top prospect lists, top players under 25 by position and top players under 30 by position in the months to come. We will wrap up our 2009 prospect coverage by unleashing top prospects by organization lists, which will include more detailed analysis than our positional lists.
|Top 15 Catching Prospects|
|1||Matt Wieters||C||Put up videogame-esque .355/.454/.600 line between A+, AA; .918 OPS (33 AB) in AFL||22.4||BAL||AA|
|2||Buster Posey||C||No. 5 overall pick off to solid start; having his way with HWB pitchers: .478/.545/.543 (56 PA)||21.6||SF||SS|
|3||Carlos Santana||C/DH||Call it a breakout: went .326/.431/.568 in '08 after .223/.318/.370 showing in '07; 16.5% BB||22.5||CLE||AA|
|4||Max Ramirez||C/1B||Conquered AA (.465 wOBA), defeated in AAA (.310), MLB (.327); 29.2% K in AAA, bigs||24.0||TEX||MLB|
|5||Jesus Montero||C/DH||Hard not to be impressed: .322/.373/.488, .371 wOBA (571 PA) in first full season as a pro||18.8||NYY||A|
|6||Taylor Teagarden||C||Olympian looked good in limited MLB playing time; didn't fair as well in AA, AAA (.693 OPS)||24.8||TEX||MLB|
|7||Kyle Skipworth||C||No. 6 overall pick, Gatorade Nat'l H.S. Player of the Year pick got off to slow start (.254 wOBA)||18.6||FLA||R|
|8||Hank Conger||C/DH||King Conger's '07, '08 stats in A, A+ eerily similar: 319 PA, 12% LD, 42% GB; wOBA up to .356||20.7||LAA||A+|
|9||Josh Donaldson||C||Liked CAL (.405 wOBA in 207 PA) far more than MID (.276 wOBA in 252 PA); in PHX for AFL||22.8||OAK||A+|
|10||Angel Salome||C/DH||5-foot-7 with power: 30 2B, 13 HR, .559 SLG in 411 AA PA; .412 wOBA after .346 in '07||22.4||MIL||AA|
|11||Bryan Anderson||C||One of AAA's youngest players showed on-base ability (12.6% BB), little power (.098 IsoP)||21.8||STL||AAA|
|12||Jason Castro||C/DH||No. 10 overall pick didn't make a bad first impression: .276/.382/.381, 14.5% BB in 159 PA||21.3||HOU||SS|
|13||Austin Romine||C/DH||07 2nd-rounder went .300/.344/.435, .342 wOBA (436 PA) in 1st pro season; .135 IsoP||19.9||NYY||A|
|14||J.P. Arencibia||C||Went .298/.322/.527, 41.4% XBH rate in 1st full pro season; just 18 BB in 539 PA (3.3%)||22.8||TOR||AA|
|15||Lou Marson||C||Other Olympic backstop put up impressive .381 wOBA in AA; .389 BABIP, 12% LD a concern||22.3||PHI||MLB|
|Honorables: John Jaso (TB), James Skelton (DET), Devin Mesoraco (CIN), Tyler Flowers (ATL) and Brett Lawrie (MIL).|
|* Our rankings combine a player's ceiling with the odds that he'll reach it and favor recent production|
|** Ages are as of November 1st, 2008|
|*** Level is the highest level the player has reached|
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Questions about this list can be directed toward Adam Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org.