Draft | Story | 6/3/2019

PG Top 10: Catchers and the Draft

Blake Dowson        
Photo: Adley Rutschman (Scobel Wiggins)

2019 MLB Draft Preview Index

The list of catchers that have gone in the Top-3, or even Top-10, of the MLB Draft is not very long. Catchers are seen in the scouting community as a risky proposition, therefore backstops typically fall a bit in the draft. That will likely change this year, though, as Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick by Perfect Game. Below is a Top-10 list of the highest drafted catchers of all-time, headlined by a guy that just finished what could be a Hall of Fame career.

Rk. Player Drafted Year Team Career
1 Joe Mauer 1st 2001 Twins 15 years in MLB
1 B.J. Surhoff 1st 1985 Brewers 19 years in MLB
1 Danny Goodwin 1st (twice) 1971, 1975 Cubs, Angels 7 years in MLB
1 Mike Ivie 1st 1970 Padres 11 years in MLB
1 Steve Chilcott 1st 1966 Mets 7 years in Minors
6 Joey Bart 2nd 2018 Giants Currently Class A-Adv
6 Ben Davis 2nd 1995 Padres 7 years in MLB
6 Tyler Houston 2nd 1989 Braves 8 years in MLB
6 John Stearns 2nd 1973 Phillies 11 years in MLB
10 Mike Zunino 3rd 2012 Mariners Currently in MLB
10 Jeff Clement 3rd 2005 Mariners 4 years in MLB
10 Eric Munson 3rd 1999 Tigers 9 years in MLB
10 Mike Lieberthal 3rd 1990 Phillies 14 years in MLB
10 Jay Schroeder 3rd 1979 Blue Jays 4 years in Minors
10 Barry Foote 3rd 1970 Expos 10 years in MLB
10 Martin Cott 3rd 1966 Astros 3 years in Minors

Although catchers are seen as risky that high in the draft, 10 of the players on the list above lasted at least seven years in MLB, with Joey Bart and Mike Zunino yet to finish their careers. When teams do feel compelled to take a catcher among the first three selections of the draft, it is typically for a good reason.

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