2019 Draft: Top 10 Catchers
Last year’s catcher class was not seen as being a particularly strong group, but still produced the No. 2 overall pick in Joey Bart. This year’s class has a much stronger reputation thanks to Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman and Baylor’s Shea Langeliers.
Rutschman has established himself as the class’ best player and Langeliers also projects as a top-10 pick, though he is currently sidelined by a broken hamate. The last time two college catchers were drafted in the top 10 picks was 2008, when Florida State’s Buster Posey went fifth and Stanford’s Jason Castro went 10th.
This list is based on draft status and was composed of players who are expected to play most of their games this season as catchers.
- 1Oregon State CNotes:
Rutschman has established himself as the best player in the draft class thanks to a stellar sophomore year that saw him earn All-American honors, be named College World Series Most Outstanding Player after leading the Beavers to the national championship and then star for Team USA during the summer. He has a premium skillset and rates above-average in hitting, power, defense and arm strength.
- 2Baylor CNotes:
In most years, Langeliers would clearly be the best catcher in the class. He has a solid all-around skillset, though his offensive tools grade out more as average. He suffered a broken hamate on Opening Weekend and will be sidelined by the injury for a few weeks. It shouldn’t affect his draft stock much, however. Nick Madrigal had the same injury a year ago and still went fourth overall.
Nick KahleWashington CNotes:
The Huskies have had an impressive run of catchers in the last five years, with Austin Rei (2015) and Joey Morgan (2017) going out in the third round and Willie MacIver (2018) picked in the ninth round. Kahle is the next in line and stands out for his catch-and-throw skills. He’s off to a strong start offensively this spring and has good contact skills.
- 4North Carolina CNotes:
Martorano has been a solid presence behind the plate the last two seasons for North Carolina. He’s a steady defender with above-average arm strength. Offensively, he has above-average raw power, though it comes with some swing-and-miss.
- 5Kansas CNotes:
Groshans’ younger brother Jordan was the 12th overall pick in last year’s draft. Jaxx won’t match his brother’s lofty draft status but is a solid prospect in his own right. He has the athleticism to play third base and the outfield, but he’s most comfortable behind the plate. He is aggressive offensively but has a good overall feel for the game.
Cooper JohnsonOle Miss CNotes:
Johnson was a prominent player out of the Illinois prep ranks and was voted a first-team Preseason High School All-American by MLB scouting directors in 2016. Known for his premium defense, he hadn’t hit much in college before this year. But he’s started this season hot offensively and if he can maintain that to go with his above-average arm strength and defense, he would make a move up draft boards this spring.
- 7Minnesota CNotes:
The son of former Gophers star and All-Star catcher Dan Wilson, Eli Wilson is in his second season as Minnesota’s starter behind the plate. He is a steady all-around player with some power and good feel at the plate to go with solid defensive skills.
Kyle McCannGeorgia Tech CNotes:
With Joey Bart behind the plate for Georgia Tech, McCann mostly played first base the last two seasons. He’s taken over behind the plate this year, however, where his arm strength plays well. He also offers plenty of lefthanded power, making for an intriguing combination.
Drew MillasMissouri State CNotes:
The Bears have had an impressive run of producing hitters, with Jake Burger and Jeremy Eierman being drafted in the top two rounds in back-to-back years. Millas may not have that lofty of a ceiling, but as a switch hitter with good bat speed and above-average arm strength, he is an intriguing prospect.
Phillip ClarkeVanderbilt CNotes:
A draft-eligible sophomore, Clarke has gotten off to a solid start at the plate this spring. The lefthanded hitter has above-average raw power and makes a lot of hard contact. Defensively, Clarke isn’t as advanced, but he has made some strides in the last year.