MLB

The 15 Best Catchers In baseball

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Top Catchers In Major League Baseball

Yadier Molina
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

In the past few years we have seen a lot of good catchers retire, in guys like Jason Varitek, Jorge Posada and possibly the best defensive catcher of all time, Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez.

All three of them have retired in the last three seasons. Those three men were the class of catchers for a decade and now they are all gone.

But the catching position has possibly grown stronger as a whole, with young guys like Buster Posey, Matt Weiters and J.P. Arencibia, and veterans like Yadier Molina, A.J. Peirzynski and Joe Mauer.

The catching position is young and strong. This is possibly the best crop of catchers that there has been for decades.

To be a big league catcher now you have to be able to hit. It is no longer a strictly defensive position. Mauer has led the league in batting average multiple times, Weiters and Arencibia were called up very young for their power when hitting and Posey won the National League MVP last year. And it wasn’t for his defense.

Molina is the guy I have mentioned that is here because of his defense. Like Rodriguez it can be argued that Molina is the best defensive catcher of all time. The entire Molina family is amazing defensively.

But even Molina hits well. He is the leader of the St. Louis Cardinals offensively. He has taken a huge part of the production that was left by Albert Pujols a couple of seasons ago.

The crop of catchers in the majors right now is definitely one of the best baseball as a whole has ever seen.

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#15 Wilin Rosario

Willin Rosario
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This is Wilin Rosario's third season in the major leagues and his second full. He hit for a .270 average and 28 home runs last season in his first real season.

Rosario has a lot of potential and is one of the best offensive catchers in the game.

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#14 Salvador Perez

Salvador Perez
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Like Rosario, Salvador Perez is in his third season with a big league club. But Perez will have his first real season this year.

We will see if Perez can fill his expected potential in a season with more than 80 games played.

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#13 Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners paid a large price for Jesus Montero two seasons ago when they traded Michael Pineda for him. Montero played well last year, but not as well as the Mariners were expecting.

With the fences coming in at Safeco Field we will see if Montero can be the power hitter the Mariners need him to be.

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#12 Jonathan Lucroy

Jonathan Lucroy
Benny Sieu-USA Today Sports

Jonathan Lucroy has been the main catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers for three seasons now. He doesn't hit for great power but his average is generally up around .270.

Lucroy will be tested this year by trying to play around 120 games like he did in 2011.

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#11 J.P. Arencibla

J.P. Arencibla
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

J.P. Arencibia has a lot of power offensively, but his defense has been in question.

He will be challenged even more defensively this season when he has to catch knuckle balling ace R.A. Dickey.

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#10 Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Santana looks like he should have some well documented weight problems. But you aren't fat if your producing.

Santana has a lot of power but may be moved out from behind the plate this season or next.

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#9 Miguel Montero

Miguel Montero
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

After being in the majors for a few years with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miguel Montero finally broke out two seasons ago. He did play very well last year, but not up to the level from 2011.

I doubt Montero can continue to play 140 games per season, especially in the heat of Arizona. But he will still be very good.

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#8 Matt Wieters

Matt Wieters
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Wieters was a very noted prospect a few seasons ago and I can't say he has lived up to his expected potential. Yet.

Weiters has been very good and definitely has the possibility to get better.

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#7 Joe Mauer

 Joe Mauer
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Mauer would have been number one on this list a few seasons ago. Back while he was playing in the Metrodome, but Target Field has had a big effect on his numbers.

Mauer is definitely going to be moved to first base within a year or two so the Minnesota Twins can protect their hometown kid.

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#6 AJ Pierzynski

A.J. Pierzynski
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Pierzynski has been very good over the last few seasons for the Chicago White Sox. And now moving into Rangers Stadium in Arlington his offensive numbers will only go up.

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#5 Brian Mccann

Brian Mccann
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Mccann has been very good over the last few seasons for the Atlanta Braves, but he has had some very series injury issues.

If Mccann could stay healthy then he would be one of the best catchers baseball has seen for a while.

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#4 Alex Avila

Alex Avila
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Avila showed last year that he has the ability to play more games behind the plate than any other catcher in the league.

There is no way Avila can play 141 games again like he did in 2011, but I'm sure the Detroit Tigers would love to get 120 out of him.

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#3 Russel Martin

Russel Martin
Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Russel Martin has been very good for the New York Yankees over the last few seasons. I can see his move into Pittsburgh this year going one of two ways.

Either taking the pressure of playing in New York off will allow him to play much better than he has or not having the pressure to succeed might make Martin relax and fall off a bit.

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#2 Buster Posey

Buster Posey
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

What, Buster Posey isn't number one? Not in my book. Now don't get me wrong Posey is definitely the best offensive catcher in the league and definitely deserved his MVP last season.

There is one man who is so far ahead defensively, though, that I couldn't let Posey be number one.

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#1 Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Yadier Molina is number one for me.

His defense is so far ahead of anyone else in the league that even if he struck out every single at bat I would still have him in my top 10. But he is no longer an offensive problem for the St. Louis Cardinals, he is one of their best hitters.

Many people may question my choice to put Molina at number one instead of Posey, but to me there is no competition.