Top 5 College Catchers
Throughout the season, Baseball America will present position rankings of the best college players in the draft class. Here we focus on the catchers. Georgia Tech’s Joey Bart tops the list and could become the first Yellow Jacket drafted in the first round since the Brewers picked Jed Bradley 15th overall in 2011.The position is expected to be stronger in the 2019 draft, but this year’s group has solid depth to it.
1. Joey Bart, Georgia Tech: Bart was a prominent prep player who was travel ball teammates with Tyler Stephenson, the Reds’ first-round pick in 2015, and has developed into the top catcher in this year’s draft class. Bart stands out for his powerful bat and has improved his approach at the plate this spring. He has also taken strides as a defender, giving him a chance to stick behind the plate defensively.
2. Cal Raleigh, Florida State: A Freshman All-American in 2016, Raleigh last year suffered a sophomore slump, but is back in form to start his junior season. Listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, he’s a big catcher, but has done a good job managing Florida State’s staff throughout his career. He is a disciplined hitter and produces solid power.
3. Grant Koch, Arkansas: Koch last year broke out and hit 13 home runs as a sophomore. He carried that momentum into the summer and hit .372/.500/.535 to lead USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team in all three categories. Koch’s bat is ahead of his glove and his athleticism and average arm lead some to question whether he’ll be able to stay behind the plate in pro ball.
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4. Nick Meyer, Cal Poly: Meyer stands out most for his defense, which last year helped earn him a spot on Team USA. He has a strong arm and is a solid receiver. Meyer has below-average power, but his defensive ability means he doesn’t have to hit much to provide value.
5. Zac Susi, Connecticut: Susi has been a three-year starter for the Huskies and stood out during the summer in the Cape Cod League for his all-around skillset. He is a contact-oriented hitter at the plate and has good catch-and-throw skills behind it. Susi doesn’t have a plus tool, but is a steady, experienced player.