It is very difficult to find quality catchers in the MLB these days especially ones that can provide some offensive ability. However, these are the top 10 catchers entering the 2018 MLB season.
10. Tyler Flowers – Team: Atlanta Braves
Tyler Flowers is one of the most underrated catchers in the MLB probably because he hasn’t been known to be a very consistent batter during his time in the MLB. However, his bat finally caught up to his defensive skills as he hit a respectable .281 with 12 home runs for the Braves. Flowers is clearly an above average starting catcher right now and hopefully his last couple of years of offensive success wasn’t just a fluke.
9. Welington Castillo – Team: Chicago White Sox
Welington Castillo is one of the premier catchers in the MLB mostly because of his offensive abilities. In fact, Castillo had 20 home runs last season for the Orioles and he showed that he has rare power for a catcher. He also hit a very respectable .281 for Baltimore and he drove in 53 RBI’s as well. The problem for Castillo is that he isn’t a very good defensive catcher, although he was very good at throwing runners out last season. Either way, the White Sox made a wise decision to sign him to a 2-year/$15 million contract this offseason as that could prove to be a good bargain deal since Castillo is an above average catcher.
8. Mike Zunino – Team: Seattle Mariners
Mike Zunino seems to have finally reached his full potential since he proved that he has tremendous power especially for a catcher as he hit 25 home runs last season. Zunino still struggles to make contact as he strikes out a lot and he only hit .251 last season. However, when he does make contact with the bat then he has the potential to do some serious damage. His defense is just about average, but as long as he continues to show off his power then he should be considered an above average catcher in the MLB.
7. Yasmani Grandal – Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Yasmani Grandal is a very good hitter for a catcher as he has tremendous power as proven by his 22 home runs for the Dodgers last season. However, he does struggle to make contact with the bat as he only hit .247 in 2017 and that was actually good by his standards. Grandal is also a good defensive catcher for the most part, but he needs to stop allowing so many passed balls. Either way, he is an above average catcher in the MLB and his power is tremendous especially for a catcher.
6. Willson Contreras – Team: Chicago Cubs
Willson Contreras has become a tremendous offensive force for the Cubs and he is still only 25 years old. Contreras is already one of the best catchers in the MLB, but he has the potential to become an even better player in 2018. Contreras is an above average defender and he has been since he entered the MLB. However, his offense finally caught up to his defensive skills as he showed his power with 21 home runs and he hit a respectable .276. Contreras still has room to grow offensively and defensively in order to become a top 5 catcher, but he isn’t too far away.
5. J.T. Realmuto – Team: Miami Marlins
J.T. Realmuto has really become a terrific catcher in the MLB and he is still relatively young as he will be 27 before the 2018 season begins. Realmuto is arguably the most athletic catcher in the entire MLB and that is what makes him so unique. However, he is a good defensive catcher and his offense has really come along tremendously as well. Realmuto finally developed some power as he hit a career-high 17 home runs for the Marlins last season to go along with a good .278 batting average. Realmuto might not be with the Marlins for long as he wants to be traded as the Marlins start what could be a very lengthy rebuild. We’ll see how long Realmuto stays in Miami, but he has quickly become one of the best all-around catchers in the MLB.
4. Salvador Perez – Team: Kansas City Royals
Salvador Perez could be the face of the franchise for the Royals in 2018 especially if Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer sign elsewhere in free agency. Perez is arguably the best offensive catcher in the MLB as he hit a whopping 27 home runs to go with a respectable .268 batting average last season. He is also known as being a good defensive catcher, although he is a very poor pitch framer. Perez is a good all-around player and he is clearly now the best player that the Royals have on their team.
3. Yadier Molina – Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina has been a top 3 catcher in the MLB for many years mostly because he is an elite defensive player. However, he doesn’t receive enough credit for what he provides offensively as he hit 18 home runs and had a .273 average for the Cardinals last season. Molina turns 36 years old in July, yet he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down as he continues to be an elite catcher and the face of the Cardinals franchise.
2. Gary Sanchez – Team: New York Yankees
Gary Sanchez is not a very good defensive catcher and that is what holds him back from being the best catcher in baseball. However, his offense is unlike anything that I have ever seen from a catcher as he has ridiculous power and he has proven to be one of the elite hitters in the MLB. Sanchez hit a whopping 33 home runs last season for the Yankees to go along with a very good .278 batting average. He is by far the best hitting catcher in the MLB, although he will need to become a better defender in order to be considered the best catcher in the MLB.
1. Buster Posey – Team: San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey doesn’t have the power numbers that most of the catchers on this list have as he only had 12 home runs for San Francisco last season. However, Posey is still a terrific offensive catcher as he had a remarkable .320 batting average to go with 67 RBI’s. He also provides much above average defense as he doesn’t allow much to get past him since he only allowed 1 passed ball last season. Posey does basically everything very well and that is why he is still the best catcher in the MLB.