The B/R MLB 500's last stop was at the mound. It's now time to check out the guys who make their living 60 feet and six inches away from the mound.
By all accounts, catcher is the most important defensive position on the field. The scoring system we came up reflects that: 20 points for hitting, 25 points for power, 10 points for baserunning, 35 points for defense and, as with all other players, 10 points for health. Add it all up and you get 100 points.
As always, hitting entails more than just what happens after the ball leaves the bat. Results do count for something, but so does the process. Each player's approach will be considered.
Power is less complicated, but results will be taken into account just as much as scouting reports. A player may have tremendous natural power, but his score will be lowered if he has a hard time making it show up in games.
For baserunning, it's all about whether a guy can steal bases (and how well) and whether he can get around the bases better (or worse) than the average player. Spoiler alert: Not many catchers are going to do well in this category.
As for defense, it's about how well catchers do the things catchers are supposed to do: control the running game, limit wild pitches and passed balls, receive the ball and frame pitches. We won't be putting much of an emphasis on calling a good game, as not all catchers have the same pitchers to work with.
For hitting, power, baserunning and defense, keep the following in mind: A score that's, say, 10 out of 20 is not a failing score. That's an "average" score. Anything better is above average. Anything worse is below average.
As for health, that's basically 10 free points unless there's a reason(s) to dock points. The scoring is subjective, but the general rule of thumb is that a player is only getting less than five points if he has a potentially career-altering injury.
Lastly, here's a reminder that the whole idea is to round up guys we'd want on a team in 2014. That means top prospects who could potentially make an impact are in play, and they may be ranked higher than you think. And if there are any ties, the edge goes to the player we'd rather have.
That about does it, so let's go and catch up with the best behind the dish.
Note: All prospect writeups/scores were created by B/R's MLB Prospects Lead Writer, Mike Rosenbaum.