Top Three Catchers the Redbirds should Consider

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With Yadier Molina’s career winding down the Cardinals brass must be thinking who will be the heir apparent. It makes sense that Mike Ohlman of the Springfield Cardinals to take over when Yadi decides to retire but what if they want to trade for a top notch catching prospect, who would be on their list. If I was a scout for the Cardinals my first choice would be the New York Yankees prospect Gary Sanchez. Here is the skinny on him.

His minor league and prospect career has been like a roller coaster as he was one of the top catching prospects in baseball five years ago while with the Yankees before being traded to the Mariners and looking like he was going to be a bust, with scouts questioning his defensive abilities behind the plate and his work ethic and maturity off the field, before once again finding his form and getting back on the uphill path to being a top catching prospect once again.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 by the Yankees for a $3 million signing bonus his great raw power and strong arm were back on display during the Arizona Fall League as he hit seven home runs and threw out 62 percent of would be base stealers to put the final touches on a 2015 season that saw him also make his Major League debut in September.

His combination of bat speed, power and loft in his swing from the right side of the plate allows him to drive the ball a long ways but he can work on his plate discipline as he can get overly agressive which hurts his ability to hit for a high average. If he can continue to show improvements in his ability to not chase bad pitches while also getting more polished with his receiving and blocking to keep him at the catcher position he has the potential to be an All-Star.

My second top catching prospect is Jorge Alfaro from the Phillies.

His minor league and prospect career has been like a roller coaster as he was one of the top catching prospects in baseball five years ago while with the Yankees before being traded to the Mariners and looking like he was going to be a bust, with scouts questioning his defensive abilities behind the plate and his work ethic and maturity off the field, before once again finding his form and getting back on the uphill path to being a top catching prospect once again.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 by the Yankees for a $3 million signing bonus his great raw power and strong arm were back on display during the Arizona Fall League as he hit seven home runs and threw out 62 percent of would be base stealers to put the final touches on a 2015 season that saw him also make his Major League debut in September.

His combination of bat speed, power and loft in his swing from the right side of the plate allows him to drive the ball a long ways but he can work on his plate discipline as he can get overly agressive which hurts his ability to hit for a high average. If he can continue to show improvements in his ability to not chase bad pitches while also getting more polished with his receiving and blocking to keep him at the catcher position he has the potential to be an All-Star.

The third and finale catcher that makes my short list is Dom Nunez. While in high school at Elk Grove in 2013 he showed off his strong arm while playing catcher and shortstop and it was at the catcher position that saw him named to the All-State second team before being drafted by the Rockies in the sixth round and signing for $800,000.

Struggling during his first season while playing the middle infield he made the switch back behind the plate in 2014 and along with the change back to being a full-time catcher his bat started to find solid contact with the baseball as he hit .313 with 40 runs batted in during 46 games to move up into the Top 10 of Rockies prospects by Baseball Prospectus. Compared by one club official to Carlos Gonzalez he controls the strike zone while trying to hit the ball to the center of the field with enough power to pull the ball.

It was a tale of two halves of the season for him last year in A-South Atlantic League as he hit just .216 with only six extra base hits during his first 187 plate appearances before catching fire in the second half to finish the season hitting .282 with 13 home runs and 53 runs batted in.

While he originally was set to play infield it’s no surprise that behind the plate looks to be his home as he is an advanced defender that moves well and has a strong arm with the only knock on him being his accuracy throwing the baseball needing to be improved. As he continues to face older competition and excel it’s hard to not expect him to be playing in Colorado perhaps as soon as 2018 with him likely to start this season back in Northern California with the Modesto Nuts in the A-California League.

Source: mlbtopprospect.com

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