Top 5 Catcher’s Heading Into the 2018 Season By: Peter Snyder

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The catcher’s position is not only one of the hardest but one of the most under appreciated jobs in the majors. Kneeling down for 162 games is no easy feat and these five men make it look easy. They also have the responsibility to produce on the offensive side as well as calling a game for a pitcher. The first guy on our list is one of the best catchers of all time, and although the offensive numbers may not be their anymore, nobody has ever fielded the position better than him.

5. Yadier Molina – STL Cardinals

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If you thought I was going to leave this 8 time all star and 8 time gold glove award winning legend of this list, you were surely mistaken. Yadi Molina is a treasure and will be a first ballot Hall of Famer before we know it. Growing up watching Yadi catch has always been a honor. When I was a kid, I would always be so amazed by his arm strength and even today, the man has a cannon instead of an arm. Although Molina’s bat throughout the years has declined slowly and we have seen him become a bottom of the lineup guy, he is still a good run producer and will give you close to 80 RBIs. Also, there is nobody more reliable behind the plate than Molina and the Cardinals are lucky to have him. As for a prediction for Yadi coming into this season, I can’t say. He’s getting older and don’t know how many seasons he has left in him. However many seasons that may be though, I will cherish as Yadi is a once in a generation type player.

4. Salvador Perez – KC Royals

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Salvador Perez is arguably the most fun loving guy in all of Major League Baseball and is the kind of guy that you just want to be you best friend. He has an infectious smile and addictive personality and the two blend together perfectly. He is also a hell of a baseball player. Salvy is one of the better power hitting catchers out there, and finished the 2017 season hitting 27 homers. He also drove in 80 runs and collected 126 hits on the year. Perez also fields his position at an extremely high level and base runners need almost a perfect jump if they want a chance to swipe a bag on the feisty Venezuelan. As for this upcoming season, I think Perez will be one of the highlights to what is gonna be a long and hard year for the KC Royals. I like him hitting for a .280 BA, driving in 80 and hitting close to thirty big flies. If you are reading this Salvy, hit me up, I would love to play a round of golf with you during the offseason.

3. Gary Sanchez – NY Yankees

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I want to make this very clear, I do not think Gary Sanchez is a good catcher at all. I think my little league buddy could do a better job behind the plate, but…the dude is a phenomenal hitter and that’s why he cracks the top 3. If he can improve his defensive skills, he is a top 2 catcher in this league and will be for a long time, but until then his lack of keeping a ball in front of him plagues his status. Sanchez had a very impressive 2017 season at the plate and finished with a .278 BA, drove in 90, and hit 33 homers. He also slugged for .531 and collected 131 hits on the season. Sanchez was a big part of the Yankees lineup and helped them claim the top WC spot in the AL. Sanchez had a decent postseason, but was nothing special and with age he will learn how to preform in the postseason. I like Sanchez to have a big 2018 season and have him finishing with a .275 batting average, driving in 93 runs and hitting 28 homers. It will be interesting to see if Sanchez can clean up his defensive act this year, which would turn him from good, into elite.

2. Wilson Contreras – CHI Cubs

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Willie Contreras is the future of baseball at the catcher’s position. He plays the game the right way. The way that is fun to watch. He has an explosive arm, a gorgeous swing and plays with a swagger to him that people are starting to fall in love with,. Now I understand that this will only be his third year in the majors, so giving him the number 2 spot might seem crazy, but I think he is that talented. His swing is so freaking pure and compact and the dude can throw a runner out like it’s his part time job. Contreras finished the 2017 season with a .276 BA, drove in 74 runs and hit 21 homers. I think his numbers were only improve and have him having a huge 2018 season. I see him hitting for a .300 BA, driving in 90 RBIs and hitting 30 homers. People from Chicago and people from across America will be talking about this man come year’s end.

1. Buster Posey – SF Giants

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The top spot here was easy. Buster Posey is the best catcher in baseball and will be for a long time. Forget about catcher’s for a second, Buster Posey is one of the best hitters in all of baseball. Although you will not see the sheer power numbers from Posey as you would from one of Gary Sanchez, you will get a guy that hits for average and gets on base a lot. Posey finished the 2017 season with a .320 BA, collected 158 hits, had a .400 OBP, and drove in 67 runs on the year. If you could say one thing about Posey’s storied career it would be consistency and I do not think this year will be much different. I like Posey to hit for a .318 BA, collect 160 hits and drive in 70. Posey was a surefire hall of famer by the age of 26 and whatever he does the rest of his career will only help that.

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