Ranking the Top 10 MLB Catcher Prospects Heading into 2014

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Ranking the Top 10 MLB Catcher Prospects Heading into 2014

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The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

More times than not when a team has a catcher that is considered one of the top players in the league, they are going to be a successful team. Brian McCann, Yadier Molina and Buster Posey have proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt with Posey’s team winning the World Series in 2012 and Molina’s getting a couple of wins away from the same in 2013. Even if they are not considered one of the best in the game however, every team’s starting catcher is certainly among that team’s most valuable players.

There is just no way to replace what the backstop does. Catchers are so valuable in fact that even the backup catcher is highly considered because that too is a very valuable position. They are the future managers of the game because they manage every play and every pitch from behind the dish. Think of Brad Ausmus, Mike Matheny and Joe Girardi just to name a few. This is not a trend that will stop because catchers are accustomed to the pressure of the game.

They feel it on every pitch and in every game. Because of the high value of the position and the simple fact that no team can get by without at least two good major league caliber catchers, the up and coming catching prospects are vitally important. What follows is the ranking of the top 10 catching prospects in all of baseball. Here are your future MVPs and future leaders of the game. Leave a comment in the space below if you feel the urge.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10 – Tom Murphy

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Murphy is the #6 overall prospect of the Colorado Rockies and isn’t missing chances to shine in the minors. He has proven to have all of the defensive tools for the catcher position and his offensive game has huge potential that his 22 homers and 83 RBI confirmed in his most recent season.

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9 – Nick Ciuffo

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ciuffo is the #7 prospect in the vaunted Tampa Bay Rays farm system even after only being drafted in 2013. He has potential across the board. Both offensively and defensively he looks more than capable of handling catching duties. Perhaps more promising than either of those is the natural leadership that he shows.

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8 – Reese McGuire

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

McGuire is the #8 prospect of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has plenty of time to develop as he isn’t expected to be MLB ready for a few years yet. Still his offensive and defensive skills seem to be nearly in place and are most certainly on schedule already.

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7 – Stryker Trahan

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Trahan comes in as the Arizona Diamondbacks #8 prospect. Trahan has the skills to be a catcher but his offensive skills could lend themselves to him getting moved to an outfield spot to produce as a corner outfielder as well.

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6 – Blake Swihart

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The #10 Boston Red Sox prospect, Swihart is more than enough reason for fans to be optimistic for their catching future. His offense is there basically and hid defensive skills are in need of some work but are certainly there.

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5 – Christian Bethancourt

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Bethancourt is the #3 Atlanta Braves prospect and was being groomed as the everyday starter in replacement of Brian McCann well before McCann left. Still, the emergence of Evan Gattis in the position gives Bethancourt time to allow his offensive skills to develop further so that they match his awesome defensive work.

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4 – Jorge Alfaro

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alfaro is the catcher of the future for the Texas Rangers who he remains the #1 prospect for currently. His defensive skills are there and his offense is readily improving. He has a little time left to develop but for sure they don’t need to block his progress by signing a big name catcher for a while. They very likely only need to bridge the gap between now and when Alfaro is ready.

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3 – Austin Hedges

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hedges is the #2 San Diego Padres prospect and highly thought of all around the game. His arm and all around defensive skills are wonderful already but his offense needs a little work. That is okay because he has time to get the work done. When he’s ready, he’ll be good enough to make anyone proud.

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2 – Gary Sanchez

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The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez is the New York Yankees #1 overall prospect and has a few years of work to do in order to be ready for a catching job. That is fine because Brian McCann is the catcher for the Yankees now and that should give Sanchez plenty of time to grow and a nice target to aim for.

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1 – Travis d’Arnaud

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets #2 overall prospect, d’Arnaud should be the starting catcher for them when spring training camp breaks this coming season. He showed what he is capable of last season and fared well enough in his September call-up to prove he is ready for the job next season.

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