Welcome back. In case you missed our original rankings series, here are the links to all of our writeups for our preseason Royals top-50 prospects list:
We listed the primary position that each player usually plays during the writeups, but I wanted to go back and kind of do an organizational depth chart if you will for how the Royals system looks at each position. For this exercise I’ll include everyone in the system I think can play each position at the big league level, including players that made our preseason rankings, players who did not, and players who have already graduated. This isn’t an exact science but I’m sure you’ve come to expect that from us by now. Here’s the writeups we’ve done so far:
Here’s a list of everyone I think could play catcher in the big leagues, ranked in order of their ability to do it on Opening Day in 2022.
#1: Salvador Perez
#2: Cam Gallagher
I think Gallagher is one of the best defensive backup catchers in Major League Baseball. MJ Melendez is coming in hot, and Gallagher may not hold this spot for more than a couple months, but I think he’s earned the benefit of the doubt to start the season.
#3: MJ Melendez
This was pretty close between Melendez and Sebastian Rivero, but Rivero offers very little (if anything) at the plate and doesn’t throw as well as you’d like for a defense-only catcher. Melendez may well be the Opening Day catcher in a couple of years.
#4: Sebastian Rivero
Excellent receiver with great hands and feet behind the plate. A slightly above average arm and wet noodle for a bat limit his upside, but he’s a tremendous third catcher on a 40-man roster and could be an adequate big league backup.
#5: Freddy Fermin
Fermin may not be on your radar, and he’s not a tremendous prospect or anything, but he did spend a brief amount of time on the Royals taxi squad last year and has the most experience of anyone left on this list. There are some guys behind him who could pass him up pretty quickly, and this would be something of a doomsday scenario, but Fermin has been a warrior for the Royals in the minors and seemingly has the good graces of the organization.