X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

MLB

Ranking the Top 10 Catchers to Watch on Opening Day 2014

1 of 21
NEXT

Ranking the Top 10 Catchers to Watch on Opening Day 2014

Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals
Getty Images

It could be easily argued that the most important position on the field is the one behind the plate. Whichever man is the catcher for each MLB team this Opening Day will have a hand in every single play on the field that day for his team. They are important enough that going into each season there are at least a couple of catcher MVP candidates in each league. With that in mind here are 10 catchers to keep an eye on this coming Opening Day 2014.

10 – Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina St Louis Cardinals
Getty Images

10 – Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals

Yadier Molina St Louis Cardinals
Getty Images

Whether or not you are a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, it is very difficult not to be a fan of Yadi. This guy is the picture of what every MLB team wants their everyday catcher to be. He is respectful of the game and his fellow players, commands respect from behind the plate and produces like an MVP. Who wouldn’t want to watch him play?

9 – Dioner Navarro – Toronto Blue Jays

Dioner Navarro Toronto Blue Jays
Getty Images

9 – Dioner Navarro – Toronto Blue Jays

Dioner Navarro Toronto Blue Jays
Getty Images

From the looks of things the Blue Jays plan on surprising a few people this season with basically the same team they disappointed with in 2013. One major change is behind the plate where Navarro will be handling the everyday duties. If you for some reason have not heard of him, allow me to introduce you. This is the main name that experts and non-experts thought the Cardinals should go after when Molina was injured. That about says it all.

8 – Ryan Hanigan – Tampa Bay Rays

Ryan Hanigan Tampa Bay Rays
Getty Images

8 – Ryan Hanigan – Tampa Bay Rays

Ryan Hanigan Tampa Bay Rays
Getty Images

As the Rays get ready for another attack on the big payroll teams of the AL East, they might finally have the everyday catcher they have desired. Likewise Hanigan should get the chance to prove that he can do the job behind the plate as well as anyone. This will be fun to watch. Will he take charge or fall into a half and half platoon?

7 – Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies

Carlos Ruiz Philadelphia Phillies
Getty Images

7 – Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies

Carlos Ruiz Philadelphia Phillies
Getty Images

There were not a ton of players on the market at catcher that the Phillies were interested in because they knew they could re-sign Ruiz. They did just that. Don’t let the fact that the Phillies have struggled shade how good he can be.

6 – Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians

Yan Gomes Cleveland Indians
Getty Images

6 – Yan Gomes – Cleveland Indians

Yan Gomes Cleveland Indians
Getty Images

When Gomes took over behind the plate for the Indians last season, things really picked up. Going into 2014 we are all looking forward to seeing what he can do on an everyday basis all season long. Will he get started with a huge game on Opening Day? It would be great to see if he did.

5 – Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals

Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals
Getty Images

5 – Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals

Salvador Perez Kansas City Royals
Getty Images

When the next crop of elite catcher names are released sometime soon by whomever decides such things; they should make sure they include Perez. The Royals have sneakily grown into the best defensive team in MLB. That starts behind the plate with Perez and he is killing the ball this spring.

4 – Jason Castro – Houston Astros

Jason Castro Houston Astros
Getty Images

4 – Jason Castro – Houston Astros

Jason Castro Houston Astros
Getty Images

Will the Astros win it all? Probably not. Will they win more games than previous seasons? Probably so. Starting with game one, whatever games they win will probably come down to contributions in some way by Castro. He is one of the more talked about young catchers in MLB for a reason. Give a watch and find out.

3 – Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
Getty Images

3 – Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey San Francisco Giants
Getty Images

Posey had a down season last year but he still led the Giants through the storm of 2013. He probably became more the leader that they need him to be during the down season than he did winning the MVP in 2012. Watch on Opening Day and see if you don’t see more of a Molina-like command of the game.

2 – Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Miami Marlins

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Miami Marlins
Getty Images

2 – Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Miami Marlins

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Miami Marlins
Getty Images

While some might argue that Salty is far from one of the elite catchers in the game, he is plenty elite enough to lead the Marlins. Actually because he is from near the area, it couldn’t be a better move. Not only will he be great on the field but he should also be another popular player that brings people out to the ballpark.

1 – Brian McCann – New York Yankees

Brian McCann New York Yankees
Getty Images

1 – Brian McCann – New York Yankees

Brian McCann New York Yankees
Getty Images

The Yankees didn’t break the bank on McCann because he isn’t a money-hungry kind of guy. He is a catcher. Rarely will you see a catcher as the wealthiest player in baseball. What McCann should bring to the Yankees however will be worth double what they paid. If he can start with a great day one, the rest of the season could be theirs for the taking.