The Current Top Five Active MLB Catchers
5. Russell Martin, New York Yankees
Martin closes out the top five because of his offensive production rather than his mediocre defense. On the year Martin is batting .271 with six doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI in a powerful Yankee offense. His eight home runs lead all catchers.
Martin has been on base often this year, as he has drawn 18 walks. His on-base percentage sits at .373. Martin has also managed to steal three bases on the year.
If Martin wants to climb this list, he definitely needs to improve the defense. He has only thrown out seven of 28 base stealers and has already made three errors, dropping his fielding percentage to .990. The team's other catcher, Francisco Cervelli, is facing major struggles, batting .158, so Martin will get many more opportunities.
4. Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles
Wieters was the fifth overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Baltimore Orioles and has been one of the most consistent catchers in the league ever since. While his average was down last year, this season he is batting .279, well above the league average of .243. Wieters is one of the largest catchers in the league, standing in at 6’5” and weighing 225 pounds. This year he has belted four home runs and has 25 RBI.
On the season he has thrown out 14 of 28 would-be base stealers...that’s an outrageous 50 percent! Wieters has a cannon for a throwing arm and has not committed a single error in 301 chances this season.
3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey is a young but talented 24-year-old catcher from Leesburg, GA. In college at Florida State he played all nine positions in a single game! This is Posey’s sophomore season, and he hosts a .284 average. Posey seems to be on the upswing though, as his batting average in May is .304. For the season Posey has hit five doubles and four home runs with 21 RBI and has stolen three bases.
Defensively Posey has a fielding percentage of .994 and has thrown out 15 of 36 attempted base stealers. Don’t forget, he also has to handle one of the most talented young pitchers in the game, Tim Lincecum.
2. Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers
Avila currently has one of the strongest sticks out of all active catchers. His slugging percentage ranks No. 1 among all catchers at .524. He has six dingers, nine doubles and 24 RBI. Avila has the third-highest batting average on the Tigers at .290, and only Miguel Cabrera has a higher slugging percentage.
Avila has thrown out 14 of 37 attempted base stealers and has only committed one error on the season.
During the first quarter of the 2011 season Yadier Molina has been the best catcher in baseball. Yadier is from Puerto Rico and has seven years of MLB service, all of which has been spent with the St. Louis Cardinals. He is hitting .317, leading all catchers and ranking 18th in Major League Baseball.
In May, Molina is continuing to swing a hot bat, as he maintains a .350 average. On the season Molina has 11 doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI and an OPS of .822.
Defensively Molina has a fielding percentage of .988, making only three errors thus far, and he has thrown out seven of 20 baserunners.
Published by: Chris Longo (follow on Twitter @Chris_Longo) of Unfamiliar Luminary
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**Stats as of May 21, 2011