**Minor League Prospect Notes, June 28, 2012
Today let's look at some very early returns for top catchers from the 2012 draft.
**Arizona Diamondbacks first round pick Stryker Trahan is off to a great start in pro ball: 8-for-18 (.444) in six games for the Arizona Rookie League Dbacks, with two homers, a double, and seven walks. Well, he's off to a great start with the bat anyway: his defense is another matter. Starting five games behind the plate, he's already committed four errors, given up three passed balls, and allowed 15 steals without catching anyone. Small sample size and all, but it seems clear that he has quite a bit of work to do on defense.
**Pittsburgh Pirates catching prospect Wyatt Mathisen, drafted in the second round from a Texas high school this spring, is off to a great start with the bat in the Gulf Coast League: 10-for-18 (.556) with a double and two walks in his first five games. He's also stolen three bases. No read on his defense yet: he's been DHing so far, but the fast offensive start is nice to see.
**Milwaukee Brewers catching prospect Clint Coulter, another first round pick from high school earlier this month, is off to a slow start in the Arizona Rookie League, 3-for-19 so far, although two of his hits have gone for extra bases with a triple and a home run. He's drawn one walk. Like Trahan, he's had problems with the glove in the early going, giving up an error in three games, five passed balls already, and letting seven men steal without catching anyone.
**Colorado Rockies 2012 third round pick Tom Murphy, a catcher from the University of Buffalo, is playing well so far for Tri-City in the Northwest League, 8-for-20 (.400) with four walks and a home run. He's playing adequately so far on defense, with one passed ball in five games, no errors, while catching two of seven runners (29%). Not great, but his greater level of experience and polish compared to the high school guys is obvious.
**New York Mets first round supplemental pick Kevin Plawecki out of Purdue has mixed results in pro ball so far; 4-for-21 (.190) with a homer, but with good plate discipline just like he showed in college (three walks, two strikeouts). He's errorless in five games and has caught two of five runners (40%), but has also coughed up three passed balls already. Interesting note: he gave up three passed balls all spring for Purdue.
In all of these cases, the sample sizes involved preclude any broad conclusions, but it is interesting how the stats do match the scouting reports in most respects: Trahan and Coulter are quite raw behind the plate, Murphy and Plawecki more experienced and refined, but not perfect.
**The Mid-Season Top 120 Prospects List will be released on Monday, July 2nd.