The NL Central boasts some of the best franchise catchers in the game today with players like Yadier Molina, Jon Lucroy, and Russell Martin. Each of these players not only makes his team better through offensive contributions, but is also able to be a difference maker behind the plate. While finding a catcher like this is rare, the Pirates and Brewers have others on the way who could be just as good as their predecessors.
Reese McGuire Pittsburgh Pirates
Drafting a high school catcher is very risky. Not only do most high school catchers need work at the plate to become competent big league hitters, but they need to refine their talents behind the plate to work with a staff and become major league ready. In McGuire, the Pirates and many scouts feel that they got the best catcher in the entire 2013 draft. Already he is ranked as sixth best catching prospect in all of the minor leagues by MLB.com. His greatest tools currently as a 19 year old are defense and his throwing arm. With his ever improving skills, Chris King calls the pick “a no brainer” for the Pirates. At the plate McGuire, is has been able to have a steady on-base percentage by keeping his walk rate up and his strikeout rate down. Through several levels of the minor leagues and 92 professional games, he is a .295 career hitter. While he currently has zero career homeruns, the power should come as he grows into his six foot frame.
Clint Coulter Milwaukee Brewers
After a trying summer last season, where Clint Coulter battled injuries and poor play, he has fully shown why he was worth a first round selection in 2012. Behind the plate Coulter has plenty to work on. Although he has a strong arm, he is currently seen as a below average defensive catcher. At the plate however, Coulter has huge upside. Through his first 56 games he has slugged 11 homeruns to tie for the league lead in the Midwest League. He also is the leader is slugging percentage, OPS, and is second in RBIs. These enormous offensive numbers have made him one of the most feared hitters in the league, and earned him a spot on the Midwest League all-star team. If he continues to excel at the plate, he could see a promotion to Brevard County before season’s end.
Statistics Provided by MILB.com and Baseball Reference