Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Prospect Report Vol. I -- CATCHER

Everyday for the next couple weeks I'm going to release another positional prospect report. It will detail one player per position/per level for positional players and 5 SPs and 4 RPs per level. Here are who I consider the best Catcher prospects at each minor league level:

AAA - Torey Camacho (24) Arizona Diamondbacks

One more year should be all it takes before “Macho” Camacho finally hits the big show. He has decent power for a gap hitter, but his real strength lies in his pitch calling. D-Back’s management has never seen a youngster call a game quite like Camacho, and that could be the edge Arizona needs in a crowded NL West.

AA - Max Baez (20) Cleveland Indians

You won’t find a better pure Catcher in the entire GAP than Baez. Comparisons to Joe Mauer might not even do him justice, as Baez has earned his nickname of “The Natural” in just a few short years. He’s only 20 years old, but could see the majors as soon as next year.

HiA – Bobby Ray Dixon (21) Oakland Athletics

For a signal caller, Dixon is merely average, but as a power hitter, he is well above that. Bobby Ray has a knack for crushing RHP, and it all stems from his presence in the batter’s box. A’s scout Ralph O’Connor put it best, “He may not be too physically imposing, but Bobby Ray doesn’t back down to anyone.” His most famous moment came in Season 2, when he was plunked in the head in a game against Seattle and went on to hit 2 HR’s in his next two AB’s.

LowA – Juan Juarez (19) Toronto Blue Jays

Although he’s only played one game, Juarez could very well be the best Catcher/DH prospect in the entire GAP (yes, even challenging “Mighty” Max Baez). At only 19, this Venezuelen natural is ready to take on the GAP with excellent power to all fields and a batting eye rivaling Barry Bonds. Don’t look for this kid to be at Low A for too long.

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