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2019 Position Rankings: Catcher

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Keibert Ruiz (Photo by John Williamson)

The state of catching in the major leagues has rightly been bemoaned in recent years, with backstops averaging a putrid .232/.304/.372 slash line in 2018 and little in the way of new blood ready to come up and help in the short-term.

That should begin to change with a particularly talented catching crop making its way through the minors.

Seven catchers made Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list this season, which is the most since 2012. The depth of the position goes well beyond just the Top 100, with catchers of all different strengths having success at every level of the minors.

There is premium talent at the top—Keibert Ruiz is one of the top 20 prospects in baseball, Joey Bart was the No. 2 overall pick last year and Francisco Mejia delivered his third straight season with an OPS above .800. Danny Jansen, another Top 50 overall prospect, had a second straight stellar season and is in line to be the Blue Jays' primary catcher in 2019.

Add in a crop of tantalizing young catchers in the lower minors, headlined by Ronaldo Hernandez, William Contreras and Miguel Amaya, a group of offensively-potent backstops in the upper minors like Sean Murphy, Andrew Knizner and Austin Allen, and rare athletes like Daulton Varsho and Garrett Stubbs, and you have a deep, talented position group that can impact games in a variety of ways.

The group is ready to begin ascending in 2019. If it lives up to its potential, it could be the start of a turnaround in the production of big league catchers.

Rating: 4 out of 5 starts

1. Keibert Ruiz, Dodgers
2. Joey Bart, Giants
3. Francisco Mejia, Padres
4. Danny Jansen, Blue Jays
5. Ronaldo Hernandez, Rays
6. Sean Murphy, Athletics
7. Will Smith, Dodgers
8. Miguel Amaya, Cubs
9. Daulton Varsho, D-backs
10. William Contreras, Braves
11. Carson Kelly, D-backs
12. Andrew Knizner, Cardinals
13. M.J. Melendez, Royals
14. Bo Naylor, Indians
15. Anthony Seigler, Yankees
16. Jake Rogers, Tigers
17. Diego Cartaya, Dodgers
18. Garrett Stubbs, Astros
19. Zack Collins, White Sox
20. Jacob Nottingham, Brewers
21. Austin Allen, Padres
22. Ivan Herrera, Cardinals
23. Ryan Jeffers, Twins
24. Luis Campusano, Padres
25. Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays
26. Will Banfield, Marlins
27. Cal Raleigh, Mariners
28. Francisco Alvarez, Mets
29. Tyler Stephenson, Reds
30. Eric Haase, Indians
31. Seby Zavala, White Sox
32. Tomas Nido, Mets
33. Meibrys Viloria, Royals
34. Jack Kruger, Angels
35. Connor Wong, Dodgers

Cody-Bellinger-2017-Getty

Notes From The Coast: Dodgers Lefties Mashing At Prodigious Pace

Paced by Cody Bellinger, Dodgers' lefthanded batters are hitting .314/.398/.655 with 26 home runs this season, all of which are best in baseball among lefties.

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