Draft | Rankings | 4/2/2020

2020 MLB Draft: Top 10 Catchers

Brian Sakowski         Vincent Cervino         Nate Schweers        
Photo: Tyler Soderstrom (Perfect Game)

2020 MLB Draft: Top 400 Prospects | Top 10 RHP | Top 10 LHP | Top 10 OF | Top 10 CIF | Top 10 MIF

As has become customary in catcher classes, there's an established No. 1 in the class (this time NC State's Patrick Bailey), with a really intriguing mix of players behind them. Bailey sets the standard as a true catcher with offensive impact, though Ohio State's Dillon Dingler and prep players Tyler Soderstrom, Kevin Parada, Drew Romo and Jackson Miller also have that sort of upside. There's a nice blend of bat-first players who profile as big league hitters but might have to move positions (Bulger, Susac on the prep side, Wells and Rothenberg on the college side) along with more sure defenders behind the plate (Teel, Guscette on the prep side and Opitz, Donovan on the college side). 

To view where the top 10 college and top 10 high school catchers rank overall, please click on the Top 400 Prospects link above for PG's full draft board.

Top 10 High School Catchers

Rk. Player School Hometown ST
1 Tyler Soderstrom Turlock Turlock CA
2 Kevin Parada Loyola Pasadena CA
3 Drew Romo The Woodlands The Woodlands TX
4 Jackson Miller JW Mitchell Trinity FL
5 Kyle Teel Mahwah Upper Saddle River NJ
6 Alek Boychuk Mill Creek Buford GA
7 Jack Bulger Dematha Catholic Bowie MD
8 Mac Guscette Venice Senior Nokomis FL
9 Daniel Susac Jesuit Roseville CA
10 Corey Collins North Gwinnett Suwanee GA

Tyler Soderstrom
Scout Take: Soderstrom rose to the top of the prep catching class following a strong winter and couple of weeks during the early swing. Scouts love the swing with a loose, lofted stroke from the left side with bat speed and is already beginning to tap into his plus power potential. The combination of hit tool and power make his offensive upside vast while that value could be compounded if he sticks behind the plate. 

PG History: A PG All-American, Soderstrom turned in a strong 2019, beginning with an All-Tournament Team performance at the West MLK Championship. Soderstrom then impressed at the National Showcase in June, collecting Top Prospect Team honors and earning his invitation to the PG All-American Classic in San Diego.

Kevin Parada
Scout Take: Parada is another California prep catcher except Parada is in the Southern part of the state, going to school in Pasadena. The righthanded strength comes through the swing nicely with power that plays due to his ability to impact the ball. The throwing arm is plus with excellent strength out of the hand and he has upside as a power-hitting catcher with a serious arm. 

PG History: A 2019 PG All-American, Parada has turned in an All-Tournament Team performance at all seven of the PG tournaments he has played in. Most notably, Parada took home All-Tournament and MVP honors at the 2018 WWBA World Championship. On the showcase circuit, Parada has turned in Top Prospect Team honors at the National Underclass West Showcase, Underclass All-American Games and National Showcase.

Drew Romo
Scout Take: Romo has perhaps the best professional defensive tools among all the catchers in the draft with pro projection to stick behind the plate to go along with above average arm strength. His tools are top-notch with exemplary athleticism, flexibility, and baseball IQ and to add on top of that Romo is a switch hitter with good feel for the barrel from both sides. 

PG History: Romo has been on the PG circuit since attending the 13u PG Classic in 2015, and first made an All-Tournament Team at 15u WWBA National Championship in 2017. Later that summer, Romo earned Top Prospect List and Team honors at the Underclass All-American Games. After standout performances at many PG events since, Romo impressed at the National Showcase and earned his invitation to the PG All-American Classic leading up to being named the PG Rawlings ‘Finest in the Field’ Defensive Player of the Year for 2019.

Jackson Miller
Scout Take: Miller has risen up boards following a monster fall season and the lefthanded hitting catcher continued to rake into the spring. The physicality and athleticism are both significant with excellent bat speed and a smooth stroke from the left side. He's begun to tap into his power a bit but the consistency of the swing and overall hittability to go along with intangibles and baseball IQ make him a high-end prospect. 

PG History: A 28-time PG event participant, Miller has been named to 13 All-Tournament Teams and taken home one MVP award on the PG tournament circuit.  A three-time WWBA Champion, Miller most recently earned All-Tournament honors at the WWBA World Championship following a Top Prospect Team performance at the National Showcase.

Kyle Teel
Scout Take: Teel is another player who hasn't had a chance to get his spring underway thanks to the pandemic, but his lefthanded bat is significant. A Northeast prep player, Teel has a line-drive oriented stroke from the left side and works the ball consistently to all fields with strength. He's got a chance to stick behind the plate and there's reason to project upon the power given his size and barrel control. 

PG History: Teel has earned All-Tournament Team honors at eight of the 10 PG tournaments he has attended, most recently at the 17u PG World Series last July. Teel was a Tournament All-American in 2017 and earned 2nd Team Underclass All-American honors in 2019.

Alek Boychuk
Scout Take: Boychuk is fairly polished as far as prep catchers come with solid skills on both sides of the ball that make him a relatively low risk option among catchers. Boychuk is balanced and agile behind the dish with quiet receiving skills while the offensive game is more geared towards doubles and gap power. He's a strong, athletic kid and he performs well on a consistent basis. 

PG History: A South Carolina signee, Boychuk has attended 30 PG events in his prep career, earning 11 All-Tournament Team selections to go along with three WWBA and one BCS Championship. Boychuk earned both Top Prospect List and Team honors at the 2018 Jr. National Showcase before earning a PG Grade of 10 at the National Showcase last June.

Jack Bulger
Scout Take: Bulger is another Northeast prep catcher with a big arm and big raw power. He's incredibly strong with whippy bat speed from the right side and he can really put a show on during batting practice. He'll have some things to work on to shore up his ability behind the plate but the arm strength is significant and, if necessary, he could slide over to third base with little worry at the pro level. 

PG History: Bulger made his name known on the PG circuit in 2017, earning a 9.5 PG Grade as well as Top Prospect List and Team honors at the Northeast Indoor-NY Showcase. The Maryland native has earned 11 All-Tournament Team honors in his PG career, competing at the Jr. National Showcase and National Showcase as well. Bulger earned an invitation to the PG All-American Classic last August and finished his PG career with an All-Tournament Team performance at the WWBA World Championship.

Mac Guscette
Scout Take: Guscette has a long track record of performing offensively and offers good hittability and balance in the batter's box. He's got a short, quick stroke from the right side and Guscette is a compactly-build, physically well-built catcher. There's good skills and knowledge of the game behind the plate but he'll have to work a bit to be able to stick there long term. 

PG History: A 2019 PG All-American, Guscette has played in 42 PG events during his career. After earning Top Prospect Team honors at the National Showcase and shining at the Classic in San Diego, Guscette rounded out his PG career with an MVP performance and championship at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter. Guscette has totaled 21 All-Tournament Team selections and was a Tournament All-American in 2019.

Daniel Susac
Scout Take: Susac is another prep catching prospect with loud righthanded raw power and a significant arm behind the plate. The arm strength plays easily with excellent carry our of the hand and there's lift and leverage to the righthanded stroke. He looks to work the ball in the air, and though there's some inconsistency to the results of the contact, when he gets into one the power is on full display. 

PG History: Susac made his PG event debut at the National Showcase last June, earning a PG Grade of 10 and earning a spot on the Showcase Top Prospect Team. Susac’s performance at Chase Field earned him a trip to the All-American Classic in San Diego where he had the chance to represent the West in his home state of California.

Corey Collins
Scout Take: Collins missed the latter part of the summer after sustaining an injury to his throwing arm, but the main allure of Collins' profile is the lefthanded stick. There's impressive raw power with a lifted swing geared towards pulling the ball in the air with power and strength. This spring was an important one for Collins because if he could convince scouts he'll stick long term at catcher he had the possibility to really rise up boards. 

PG History: A 37-time PG event participant, Collins finished his PG career with a trip to the National Showcase last June and earned Top Prospect Team honors. Collins has been named to 21 All-Tournament teams in his career and is a two-time Tournament All-American (2016 and 2017).

Top 10 College Catchers

Rk. Player School Hometown ST
1 Patrick Bailey NC State Greensboro NC
2 Dillon Dingler Ohio State North Canton OH
3 Austin Wells Arizona Las Vegas NV
4 Casey Opitz Arkansas Centennial CO
5 Carson Taylor Virginia Tech Duluth GA
6 Michael Rothenberg Duke Boca Raton FL
7 Justin Collins Rice Houston TX
8 Adam Kerner San Diego Agoura Hills CA
9 Matheu Nelson Florida State Largo FL
10 Joe Donovan Michigan Clarendon Hills IL

Patrick Bailey
Scout Take: A likely top 10 overall pick, Bailey is a switch-hitting backstop with the tools to stay behind the plate as well as some serious offensive impact. He's always controlled the strike zone and walked at a high level while showing enough hit tool to get to his substantial raw power from either side, all while projecting out as an above average defender long term with a plus throwing arm.

PG History: A 37th-round draft selection by the Twins in 2017, Bailey earned All-Tournament Team honors at 17u WWBA National Championship in 2016. Bailey earned All-Region honors in the Atlantic Region in 2017 and finished ranked as the No. 222 player in the final class of 2017 rankings.

Dillon Dingler
Scout Take: A player who got to Ohio State with a fair bit of hype, Dingler has consistently improved his performance over the years, Dingler is actually such a good athlete that he started a fair bit in center field as a true freshman. He was slashing .340/.404/.760 prior to the shutdown, really impressing scouts with his athleticism and tools behind the plate along with substantial power at it. He's got a chance to be a first rounder.

PG History: During his high school career, Dingler played at the 2016 17u WWBA National Championship, suiting up with Ohio Elite. Dingler earned Honorable Mention Preseason All-American honors in the Central Region in 2017 and finished ranked as the No. 2 catcher in Ohio’s 2017 class.

Austin Wells
Scout Take: A draft-eligible sophomore, Wells has long been known for his offensive prowess, and it's certainly shown up both at Arizona as well as on Cape Cod. He was OPS'ing 1.116 at the time of the shutdown with more walks than strikeouts, and while most scouts tend to believe that his defensive future likely lies at first base, his lefthanded bat will make him a high draft choice, potentially even in the top 40 picks.

PG History: A 2017 PG All-American, Wells was taken by the Yankees in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Wells earned Top Prospect Team honors and a 10 PG Grade at the 2017 National Showcase to earn the nod for the Classic in San Diego. Wells finished ranked as the No. 65 player in the 2018 class and won a pair of WWBA Championships during his PG career.

Casey Opitz
Scout Take: Optiz was an athletic, undersized prep catcher who garnered a decent bit of draft interest but headed to Arkansas, where he maintained that twitch while filling out his body and really developing his offensive game. It's still a glove-first profile, but one built on athleticism, agility, good receiving skills and a lightning-quick release coupled with solid average arm strength. He's got some extra-base juice at the plate, but his calling card is definitely behind it.

PG History: A 27th-round selection by the Indians in 2017, Opitz attended the 2016 Rocky Mountain Showcase. Opitz earned Top Prospect List and Team honors at the showcase and his report highlighted present tools and polish to catch at a high level. Opitz finished his PG career in Jupiter with the Midland Redskins.

Carson Taylor
Scout Take: Another draft-eligible sophomore, Taylor started pretty much every game in 2019 as a true freshman between catcher and first base, and hit in the middle of the lineup. He was off to a torrid start in 2020 with a 1.231 OPS and more walks than strikeouts, and has leapt onto the draft map as a result, potentially in the top 5 rounds. He controls the zone well at the plate and has juice from both sides of the plate, and there's enough athleticism to go along with an above average arm to believe in him staying behind the plate long term.

PG History: An Honorable Mention Underclass All-American in 2017, Taylor made 11 All-Tournament teams while competing in the 643 DP program during his prep career. A two-time WWBA Champion, Taylor performed at a high level at prestigious events on the PG circuit and was named a Tournament All-American in 2016.

Michael Rothenberg
Scout Take: Rothenberg has performed well and was off to a torrid start in 2020 prior to the shutdown, with a '20 season OPS of 1.156 in an obviously limited sample. He's extremely physical and could move to first base in professional baseball, though he does have some agility and plus arm strength. His calling card is substantial raw pop from both sides of the plate, which he does get to with some frequency.

PG History: A 2016 National Showcase alum, Rothenberg earned Top Prospect Team honors at the event and also performed well at the 2015 Jr. National Showcase and 2014 Florida Underclass Showcase. Rothenberg was a four-time All-Tournament Team selection at PG events and finished ranked as the No. 210 player in the 2017 class.

Justin Collins
Scout Take: Collins jumped onto draft radars as an underclassman in 2019 thanks to his defensive tools and intriguing power from the right side. He didn't perform well to start the '20 campaign, but he has a good defensive profile that'll still give him some draft upside. He's got excellent catch-and-throw skills with a plus arm and there is intriguing righthanded power there, so the upside still remains pretty solid. 

PG History: Collins, who was part of a Texas Drillers team that won the 2015 WWBA South Qualifier during his PG career, turned in four All-Tournament Team selections in high school. The Rice commit attended the 2014 National Underclass South Showcase as well.

Adam Kerner
Scout Take: Kerner made an immediate impact upon arrival to campus as a freshman, OPS'ing .895 for San Diego. He's developed well as a defender and now claims some of the better defensive tools in the class, with athleticism and agility behind the plate as well as solid average catch-and-throw skills. He's got quality contact skills at the plate with feel for the strike zone, but power concerns do limit the profile some. 

PG History: A 37th-round selection by the Cardinals in 2017, Kerner attended the National Showcase in 2016 and earned Top Prospect Team honors at the event. Kerner earned a pair of All-Tournament team honors in his career and won the 2014 PG/Evoshield National Championship with GBG Marucci.

Matheu Nelson
Scout Take: A draft-eligible sophomore, Nelson seems likely to head back to Tallahassee this year, especially if the draft only goes five rounds. He's got good contact skills with some extra-base pop as well as the ability to at least be serviceable behind the plate defensively, and could garner some draft interest this year, though he seems more likely to be a key piece in the college catching crop of 2021. 

PG History: Nelson earned a PG Grade of 10 at the 2017 National Showcase, earning Top Prospect Team honors. The Florida native was selected in the 39th round by the Phillies in 2018 and finished ranked as the No. 144 player in the 2018 class. Nelson was also a 10-time All-Tournament Team selection at PG events.

Joe Donovan
Scout Take: A stalwart behind the plate for the Wolverines, Donovan's profile is almost entirely made up of his defensive abilities, and he's lauded for his leadership skills and overall makeup as well. He's got good arm strength behind the dish and moves well with good overall defensive skills, and while the offensive impact hasn't been there consistently, he has the ability to drive the ball out of the ballpark and should be a huge piece to the '21 Michigan club should he return. 

PG History: A 33rd round selection by the Cubs in 2017, the Wolverines’ catcher was a two-time High Honorable Mention Underclass All-American in high school. Donovan competed at the 2016 WWBA World Championship in Jupiter with the Chicago Scouts Association and finished ranked as the No. 1 catcher in Illinois’ 2017 class.

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