2012 TigsTools: Best Defensive Catcher

Casali does great work behind the plate

The Tigers have been reaching outside the organization for defense-first backup catchers over the last couple of years inking Gerald Laird and Brayan Pena to one-year deals, but that could change in 2014 as several prospects have the potential to fill that defensive need. Check inside to see if Curt Casali could defend his claim as the top defensive catcher in the Tigers' system.

Best Defensive Catcher
1. Curt Casali
2. Bryan Holaday
3. James McCann
4. John Murrian
5. Ben Pickar

Casali sat atop this list last year and is deserving of the top spot yet again. He is an excellent leader on the field and he works very well with the pitching staff. His catch-and-throw skills a very good and he is the best in the system at blocking balls in the dirt.

Bryan Holaday isn't the defensive wizard many projected coming out of college a couple of years ago, but he is still a quality defender behind the dish. His catch-and-throw skills are solid and his leadership remains top notch. He has struggled blocking balls in the dirt and hasn't fully absorbed the instruction he has received. While the Tigers considered running with him as their backup catcher in 2013, Holaday needs time to refine his defense and see if he can find some idea of what to do at the plate.

McCann has the most defensive projection of any catcher in the Tigers' system. He is a very physical player that receives well, blocks well and has good catch-and-throw skills, showing sub-2.0 pop times consistently. His defense doesn't wow anyone but he grows on you the more you see him.

Murrian and Pickar round out the top five on this year's list. Murrian is a solid defender with very good leadership traits. Pickar came out of college with a reputation as a strong defender, but the speed of the professional game is forcing him to make some adjustments. He still has plus potential but must improve to reach that ceiling.

Honorable Mention
Gabriel Purroy
Tim Remes

Purroy has long been considered a potential plus glove behind the plate and while he has yet to reach that ceiling, he showed more consistency back there in 2012. Remes was signed as a non-drafted free agent last summer and showed strong catch-and-throw skills, including an easy plus arm.

Projection Kings
Franklin Navarro
Sandy Rodriguez

Franklin Navarro drew rave reviews out of Venezuela in 2012 and while he is very raw, he showed enough promise during Instructs for members of the organization to really begin believing in not only his defensive, but offensive future. Rodriguez is extremely young and very raw but he shows good defensive fundamentals and the potential to improve down the line.

Others Considered
None

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