NL Central Position Rankings: Catcher

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Ranking the Catchers in the NL Central

Catcher's Mask
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In the first in a series of articles breaking down the hierarchy of the NL Central by position, we begin with the catcher. The NL Central is in solid standing with their backstops, boasting veterans with proven skills behind the plate and in the box, along with some youth looking to step up their game.

With all that in mind, take a look at how the NL Central’s catchers stack up.

5. Devin Mesoraco - Cincinnati Reds

Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds
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5. Devin Mesoraco - Cincinnati Reds

Devin Mesoraco Cincinnati Reds
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The Reds say they’ve seen strong improvements in the areas of calling a game and managing the staff, making him ready to take over full time. Mesoraco has been solid at blocking balls and throwing out runners also, but his bat is lagging far behind, posting a .225 average and .282 OBP over 589 career plate appearances.

4. Welington Castillo - Chicago Cubs

Welington Castillo Chicago Cubs
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4. Welington Castillo - Chicago Cubs

Welington Castillo Chicago Cubs
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Castillo made a nice leap forward in 2013, throwing out more than 29 percent of base-runners and showing a knack for blocking balls at a high rate. He can be inconsistent at times, but he’s worked hard to be a major asset in Chicago. He won’t hit for power, but a .349 OBP and .746 OPS at the position is a solid place to be.

3. Russell Martin - Pittsburgh Pirates

Russell Martin Pittsburgh Pirates
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3. Russell Martin - Pittsburgh Pirates

Russell Martin Pittsburgh Pirates
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Martin was a stabilizing presence in Pittsburgh and is a proven, excellent defensive addition. Martin threw out 40 percent of would-be base stealers last year and handles a staff as well as anyone -- especially important with the Pirates’ young hurlers. He will hit the occasional home run, but his offensive prowess is behind him. Martin is a very valuable piece behind the dish.

2. Jonathan Lucroy - Milwaukee Brewers

Jonathan Lucroy Milwaukee Brewers
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2. Jonathan Lucroy - Milwaukee Brewers

Jonathan Lucroy Milwaukee Brewers
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Though Lucroy struggles to throw out base-runners, he’s one of the best in MLB at framing pitches, great at blocking balls and works well with his pitchers. His bat continues to be a valuable asset for the Brewers as he brings terrific all-around value on the field. He has the third-best OPS among catchers the past two seasons (.827), grinds out at-bats, drives in runs and hits with pop.

1. Yadier Molina - St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
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1. Yadier Molina - St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
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Molina earned his sixth consecutive Gold Glove in 2013 and does everything exceedingly well on defense. Most teams don’t even try to run on him as he guns down runners to the tune of an incredible 44.5 percent in his career. He calls great games, blocks everything, picks off runners who stray too far and single-handedly elevates his pitchers to another level.