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2015 MLB Draft Board: high school catchers to watch

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2015 MLB Draft Board: High school catchers

Here’s a look at the top high school catchers available in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Tyler Stephenson, C, Kennesaw Mountain HS, Marietta, Georgia: Right-handed hitter, committed to Georgia Tech. Stephenson was obscure six months ago but was so good this spring that he has a chance to go first-overall if rumors are to be believed. Scouts like his power and overall hitting skills, and his defensive tools are impressive as well, making him a complete backstop prospect. Target Territory: First round.

Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS, Long Beach, California: Lefty hitter, committed to Tennessee. Impressive power hitter with long track record of success; there are few doubts about his bat. He is mobile for a bigger player and has strong leadership skills, but his glove tools aren’t quite as good as Stephenson’s so he fell a little behind on most boards. He will still be an early pick. Target Territory: First round.

Lucas Herbert, C, San Clemente HS, California: Right-handed hitter, committed to UCLA. Mobile and polished behind the plate and made good strides with the bat this year, showing strong plate discipline and gap power possibilities. Target Territory: Second round.

Elih Marrero, C, Coral Gables HS, Florida: Switch-hitter, Mississippi State commitment, son of Eli Marrero. Very impressive glove as you’d expect given his bloodlines, mobile and athletic if a bit undersized at 5-10, 180. Bat projection will determine draft position, but Target Territory third round for a team that likes the bat.

Caleb Raleigh, C, Smoky Mountain HS, Sylvia, North Carolina: Switch-hitter, Clemson commit, pop-up guy with little pre-season hype but stock on the rise due to power and arm strength, rather raw but upside is considerable. Target Territory: Anywhere from third to 20th round depending on signability.

Nick Fortes, C, Deland HS, Florida: Right-handed hitter, Mississippi commitment, balanced prospect who projects well both offensively and defensively. Target Territory: Could go anywhere between third and 20th round depending on signability and offensive projection.

Domenic DeRenzo, C, Central Catholic HS, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Right-handed hitter, Oklahoma commitment, stands out for big power potential and strong throwing arm, somewhat raw but could go early if signable. TT: Fourth round.

Wyatt Cross, C, Legacy HS, Broomfield, Colorado: Lefty hitter, committed to North Carolina. Had designs on first round until a back injury ruined his spring. A healthy Cross has regular potential as both a fielder and hitter but the injury makes it more likely he’ll go to college. Target Territory: Unknown; fourth round on talent but most likely much later due to medical issues.

Parker Kelly, C, Westview HS, Portland, Oregon: Right-handed hitter, Oregon commitment, brother of Cardinals prospect Carson Kelly. Good power, strong throwing arm, can also play third base and outfield, Target Territory dependent on signability but could go as high as the fourth on merit.

Joey Bart, C, Buford HS, Georgia: Right-handed bat, Georgia Tech commit, strong throwing arm with power potential (like most of these guys I suppose), size and strength present but rather raw. Target Territory: Fifth round on merit but depends on signability.

Mike Hickman, C-OF, Seven Lakes HS, Katy, Texas:
Lefty hitter, Oklahoma commit, strong power bat from left side and has a good arm but played outfield this spring despite past experience as a catcher. Draft slot will depend on defensive projection as much as signability, TT fifth round on merit.

Darren Shred, C, St. Roch Catholic SS., Brampton, Ontario: Right-handed hitter, Chipola JC commit, plus power and a strong throwing arm, has less press attention than the United States guys but looks like a sleeper and should be signable. TT: Fifth round.

Michael Curry, C, Gainesville HS, Gainesville, Georgia: Right-handed hitter, Georgia commitment, seems to get lost in the shuffle but draws good reviews for both power bat and defensive ability, athleticism. TT: Fifth round.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES:

Michael Benson, C, Rancho Buena Vista HS, Vista, California: UCLA commit, excellent defender but needs more offensive development, likely going to college.

Dalton Blumenfeld, C, Alexander Hamilton HS, Los Angeles, California: Loyola Marymount commit, standout size and strength, better bat than others in this range but weaker glove.

Gabriel Cancel, C-INF, Carlos Beltran Academy, Puerto Rico: No college commitment, so signable; athletic and has played a lot of infield but future seems behind the plate, quite raw with the bat. Status depends on offensive projection.

Justin Cohen, C, Riverview HS, Sarasota, Florida: Florida State commit, stands out for defensive ability but questionable bat likely sends him to college.

Brendan Illies, C, Payallup HS, Edgewood, Washington: North Carolina commit, athletic and very skilled on defense but doubtful hitting likely sends him to the Tar Heels.

Garrett Wolforth, C, Concordia Lutheran HS, Spring, Texas: Dallas Baptist commit, another highly impressive defender with questions about the bat.