2017 Position Rankings: Catcher

The past few draft classes have seen some really weak crops at catcher. This year is no exception, with very few, if any, catchers considered among the top-50 overall prospects. The weakness is further exacerbated by the scarcity of elite talent from the high school ranks.

Still, someone has to be No. 1, and this year, that honor belongs to Florida prep backstop, M.J. Melendez. Son of Florida International coach Mervyl Melendez and anchor of one of the best high school teams in the nation, M.J. has several tools that grade out favorably at the pro level including plus arm strength and above-average defensive ability. If he develops as expected he’ll be a perennial Gold Glove winner.

The top prospect from the college ranks is San Diego’s Riley Adams. At 6’4” and 225 pounds, Adams seems to large to stick behind the plate, but he’s incredibly athletic for his size and has all the tools to play the position long-term. He took a major step forward at the plate this year, rebounding from a slow start to finish with a .312/.424/.564 line and 13 home runs. The 2017 WCC Player of the Year threw out 33% of runners and committed just three errors in 382 chances.

These rankings are current as of 5/28/17, and will be updated throughout the draft season.

# Player Pos University/School Ht Wt B-T Best Tool
1 M.J. Melendez C Westminster Christian Academy (FL)  6-1 175 L-R Arm Strength (65/75)
2 Riley Adams C University of San Diego 6-4 225 R-R Arm Strength (55/60)
3 Luis Campusano C Cross Creek High School (GA) 6-0 195 R-R Fielding (45/65)
4 Daulton Varsho C University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 5-10 200 L-R Arm Strength (55/60)
5 David Banuelos C Long Beach State University 6-0 305 R-R Fielding (55/65)
6 Erik Ostberg + C University of Hartford 5-10 225 L-R Arm Strength (60/65)
7 Joey Morgan C University of Washington 6-0 205 R-R Arm Strength (60/65)
8 Sam McMillan C Suwannee High School (FL) 6-1 195 R-R Hit for Power (35/60)
9 Matt Whatley C Oral Roberts University 5-10 200 R-R Fielding (50/60)
10 Connor Wong C/IF University of Houston 6-0 180 R-R Arm Strength (60/65)
11 Deon Stafford Jr. C St. Joseph’s University 6-0 202 R-R Arm Strength (65/70)
12 J.J. Schwarz C/DH University of Florida 6-2 215 R-R Hit for Power (60/70)
13 Philip Clarke C Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN) 5-11 190 L-R Arm Strength (60/65)
14 Hagen Danner C/RHP Huntington Beach High School (CA) 6-2 195 R-R Arm Strength (60/70)
15 Mike Rivera C University of Florida 5-10 205 R-R Fielding (55/65)
16 Evan Skoug C/1B Texas Christian University 5-11 200 L-R Arm Strength (60/65)
17 Blake Hunt C Mater Dei High School (CA) 6-3 195 R-R Arm Strength (60/70)
18 Chris Williams + C/3B Clemson University 6-1 220 R-R Arm Strength (60/65)
19 Shane McGuire C/IF Kentwood High School (WA) 6-1 200 L-R Arm Strength (55/60)
20 Brady Smith C The Next Level Academy (FL) 6-1 195 R-R Arm Strength (60/65)

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