Top catching prospects 2023

MLB Pipeline will reveal its 2023 Top 100 Prospects list at 7 pm ET on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a one-hour show on MLB Network and MLB.com. Leading up to the release of the Top 100, we’ll examine baseball’s top 10 prospects at each position.

Even with some big graduations, the crop of catching prospects is pretty deep.

The top two from last year’s list, Adley Rutschman and Gabriel Moreno, are no longer prospects. A little further down last year’s Top 10, Joey Bart, Luis Campusano, MJ Melendez and Shea Langeliers have all lost prospect status. But the list highlighted below has regenerated with some exciting new names.

It starts, of course, with one of the best overall prospects in the game, Francisco Álvarez of the Mets, and the list has a nice blend of Draft picks (six) and international signees (four). There’s a combination of first-round picks (four) and later-round finds, high price tag signs on the international market and some real bargains who have jumped on the map since joining the pro ranks.

The Top 10 (ETA)
1. Francisco Alvarez, Mets (2023)
2. Diego Cartaya, Dodgers (2024)
3. Kevin Parada, Mets (2025)
4.Harry Ford, Mariners (2025)
5. Logan O’Hoppe, Angels (2023)
6. Endy Rodriguez, Pirates (2023)
7. Henry Davis, Pirates (2024)
8. Bo Naylor, Guardians (2023)
9. Drew Romo, Rockies (2024)
10. Edgar Quero, Angels (2025)
Complete list »

Top 10 prospects by position:
HPR | HPL | VS
Thu: 1B
Fri: 2B
1/23: 3B
1/24: SS
1/25: OF
1/26: Top 100

Hit: Parada (60)
The first catcher taken in the 2022 Draft, No. 11 overall by the Mets, Parada keeps thing simple at the plate with a good feel for the barrel. He hit .361 with a .453 OBP at Georgia Tech in his Draft year and that approach could allow him to hit .300 with plenty of pop as a big leaguer.

Power: Alvarez (70)
There likely isn’t another prospect in baseball with more power than Álvarez, both raw and in games. He hit 24 homers as a teenager in A ball in 2021, then 27 more at age 20 at the upper levels last year. His whip-like swing and plus bat speed will continue to produce plenty of home runs in the big leagues.

Run: Ford (60)
Ford, the Mariners’ first-round pick in 2021, doesn’t just “run well for a catcher.” His plus speed plays on the basepaths — he swiped 23 bases in his first full season — and he’s athletic enough to play second base or center field if there was ever a need.

Arm: Davis (70)
While he continues to work on improving the other parts of his defensive game, there are no questions with Davis’ arm, which might be the strongest of any prospect at any position. It plays well with his quick feet and transfer, as well as his accuracy.

Field: Romo (60)
Romo also has a more arm to go with his other outstanding defensive attributes. He’s athletic and agile behind the plate with good hands and blocking skills. Rockies pitchers liked throwing to him as well.

Highest ceiling: Alvarez
An argument could be made to put Cartaya and his overall skillset here, but if Álvarez can be even an average receiver, his offensive upside should make him an All-Star several times over.

Highest floor: O’Hoppe
While none of his individual tools jump off the page, O’Hoppe does everything well and his work ethic points to a future where he plays above his tools as a big league regular backstop for a long time.

Rookie of the Year candidate: Alvarez
Assuming he gets enough at-bats in New York, it’s easy to see Álvarez putting up the kind of numbers to attract plenty of attention from ROY voters.

Highest riser: Quero
The switch-hitter wasn’t even on the Angels’ Top 30 at the end of the 2021 season, but has jumped into the radar with a very strong full-season debut in 2022 that saw him finish with a .965 OPS.

Humblest beginning: Rodriguez
Rodriguez signed for just $10,000 with the Mets back in July 2018 and he’s now knocking on the big league door after a huge 2022 season that saw him reach Triple-A in his second season with the Pirates since coming over in the three-team deal that feels Joe Musgrove to the Padres.

Most to prove: Davis
There’s always a hotter spotlight on former No. 1 overall picks, and Davis did show plenty of glimpses of his offensive potential in his first full season in 2022, but he also only played in 59 games because of wrist issues. A full, healthy season should answer a lot of questions.

Keep an eye on: Yainer Diaz, Astros
He made it up to the big leagues briefly in 2022, but he’s coming off a huge offensive season in the Minors (.306/.356/.542 with 25 homers and 96 RBIs in Double- and Triple-A). That’s nothing new as he’s done nothing but hit in his career, with a .321/.358/.510 line to prove it.

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