Origins of Major League Catchers

Mar. 14, 2012; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto (18) catches a pitch prior to the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at HoHoKam Park. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Where Do Catchers Come From?

I made a list of catchers who saw regular playing time in 2011 and added a couple of others (Mauer, Posey) who would have if they had been healthy. This gave me a population of 33 catchers. I want to see where regular catchers come from. Here are the results. Note that the teams listed are the teams they played for in 2011.

J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays: First round, 2007, University of Tennessee.
Alex Avila, Tigers:
Fifth round, 2008, University of Alabama
Rod Barajas, Dodgers: Undrafted free agent, 1996, Cerritos JC
John Buck, Marlins:
Seventh round, 1998, Utah HS
Drew Butera, Twins: Fifth round, 2005, University of Central Florida

Ryan Doumit, Pirates:
Second round, 1999, Washington St HS
Ryan Hanigan, Reds:
Undrafted free agent, 2002, Rollins College
Ramon Hernandez, Reds: International free agent, 1994, Venezuela
Nick Hundley, Padres: Second round, 2005, University of Arizona
Chris Iannetta, Rockies:
Fourth round, 2004, University of North Carolina

John Jaso, Rays:
12th round, 2003, Southwestern (CA) JC
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: Third round, 2007, University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Russell Martin, Yankees:
17th round, 2002, Chipola JC
Jeff Mathis, Angels: Supplemental first round, 2001, Florida HS
Joe Mauer, Twins: First round, 2001, Minnesota HS

Brian McCann, Braves:
Second round, 2002, Georgia HS
Yadier Molina, Cardinals:
Fourth round, 2000, Puerto Rico HS
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks: International free agent, 2001, Venezuela
Mike Napoli, Rangers:
17th round, 2000, Florida HS
Miguel Olivo, Mariners: International free agent, 1996, Dominican Republic

A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox:
Third round, 1994, Florida HS
Buster Posey, Giants:
First round, 2008, Florida State University
Wilson Ramos, Nationals: International free agent, 2006, Venezuela
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies:
International free agent, 1998, Panama
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Red Sox: Supplemental first round, 2003, Florida HS

Carlos Santana, Indians:
International free agent, 2005, Dominican Republic
Kelly Shoppach, Rays: Second round, 2001, Baylor University
Geovany Soto, Cubs:
11th round, 2001, Puerto Rico HS
Kurt Suzuki, Athletics:
Second round, 2004, Cal State Fullerton
Josh Thole, Mets: 13th round, 2005, Illinois HS

Yorvit Torrealba, Rangers:
International free agent, 1994, Venezuela
Eli Whiteside, Giants: Sixth round, 2001, Delta State University
Matt Wieters, Orioles:
First round, 2007, Georgia Tech University

33 catchers
First-rounders: 4
Supplemental First Rounders: 2
Second Rounders: 5
Third through Sixth Rounders: 7
Seventh through Tenth Rounders: 1
Later than 10th round: 5
Undrafted North American Free Agents: 2
International Free Agents: 7
North American high schools: 11
Junior College: 3
Four-Year College: 12

Make of this what you will. One thing I notice: there are no high school catchers from California or Texas on this list, but several from Florida.

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