Catchers often get pushed up Draft boards because the demand exceeds the supply, and that will be true again this year with a very thin crop behind the plate outside of Georgia.
:: 2018 Draft coverage ::
Georgia Tech's Joey Bart could go No. 1 or 2 overall, making him the highest-selected backstop since the Twins took Joe Mauer with the first choice in 2001. Georgia high schoolers Will Banfield and Anthony Seigler also could also find homes in the first round but neither is a lock. Canadian prepster Noah Naylor likely will get taken in the first 35 picks, though his offensive potential may prompt a move to another position in order to expedite the development of his bat.
The 2018 Draft will take place on June 4-6, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, June 4. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.
Go to MLB.com/Draft to see MLB Pipeline's Top 200 Prospects list, mock drafts, complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.
Below are the top-rated catchers on the Top 200 list:
6. Joey Bart, Georgia Tech
27. Noah Naylor, St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS (Mississauga, Ont.)
34. Will Banfield, Brookwood HS (Snellville, Ga.)
46. Anthony Seigler, Cartersville (Ga.) HS
71. Josh Breaux, McLennan (Texas) CC
104. Kameron Guangorena, St. John Bosco HS (Bellflower, Calif.)
131. Grant Koch, Arkansas
149. Cal Raleigh, Florida State
153. Jacob Campbell, Craig HS (Janesville, Wis.)
166. Nick Meyer, Cal Poly
Top tools (grade on 20-80 scouting scale in parentheses)
Best hitter: Seigler (55)
Seigler is a curiosity because he's a switch-pitcher who can deliver a high-80s fastball with either arm, but he's a top catching prospect because of his all-around tools. A switch-hitter proficient from both sides of the plate, he displays solid bat speed and the ability to make consistent contact to all parts of the field.
Best power: Bart (55)
Bart ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference in homers (16) and slugging (.632) -- numbers that trump Matt Wieters' at Georgia Tech and are the best for a Yellow Jackets backstop since Jason Varitek won the Golden Spikes Award in 1994. The ACC player of the year and defensive player of the year, Bart has improved since understanding that his bat speed, strength and leverage give him plenty of natural right-handed power and he doesn't have to swing for the fences.
Fastest runner: Seigler (45)
A better athlete than most catchers, Seigler has close to average speed and is quick and agile behind the plate. He's toolsy enough that he could profile as an everyday second baseman and fill in elsewhere on the diamond as well, enhancing his value.
Strongest arm: Banfield (70)
Banfield has exceptional arm strength and has logged pop times (mitt to glove at second base) of less than 1.8 seconds. Not only does he have a cannon, but he also has a quick transfer and makes accurate throws.
Best defender: Meyer (60)
Meyer's defense alone should make him at least a big league backup. He's an advanced receiver and framer who moves well behind the plate and has a solid, accurate arm.