After Joe Mauer went No. 1 overall in 2001, there hasn't been a catcher who has been a sure first-round pick since. The first two catchers chosen last year, Jeremy Brown (supplemental first round, Athletics) and Joey Votto (second round, Reds), were signability choices who didn't go as high as they did on pure ability. For a team that values polished college players with a track record of excellent performance, it's possible that Mitch Maier could go before the second round begins. But as much as his offensive skills and athleticism stand out, he's not a good receiver and eventually could wind up in the outfield. Though Jarrod Saltalamacchia has the best all-around package of skills, he has performed better in showcases than in games. Because there's a general shortage of backstops, the consensus is that several of them could go in the second and third rounds—two to three rounds earlier for where they might go based purely on merit.
Strength of Position (1-to-5 scale): 3.
Best hitters: 1. Mitch Maier. 2. Daric Barton. 3. Ryan Garko. 4. Steve Lerud. 5. Jake Fox.
Best defensive players: 1. Tony Richie. 2. Javi Herrera. 3. Landon Powell. 4. Scott Leffler. 5. C.J. Bressoud.
Best athletes: 1. Mitch Maier. 2. Todd Jennings. 3. Trent Kline. 4. Rick Guarno. 5. Jordan Newton.