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2016 TigsTools Detroit Tigers Prospect Tools: Best Defensive Catcher

Catcher is undoubtedly the most demanding defensive position on the diamond. Good backstops must catch explosive velocity and devastating breaking balls, block pitches in the dirt, learn their pitchers’ strengths and opposing hitters’ weakness, and control the running game. The position appears to be weak across all of minor-league baseball right now, and the Tigers are no exception, but Detroit does have a few young backstops with the defensive chops to see the majors one day.


Best Defensive Catcher


1. Austin Green

2. Arvicent Perez

3. Will Allen

4. Kade Scivicque

5. Elys Escobar


Austin Green is a somewhat under-the-radar name even to those who follow the Tigers system, but the 2013 13th-round pick out of San Diego has slowly climbed through the system, reaching AA Erie in 2015. The 26-year-old has steadily improved as a receiver, he handles the pitching staff well, and he has a strong arm that has helped him nab 32% of potential basestealers in his pro career.

Arvicent Perez hasn’t been on the field much in his career (just 161 games in four seasons), but when he is, he showcases impressive receiving and blocking skills, and he displays a strong, accurate arm.

Like Green, Will Allen is a somewhat unheralded 13th-round pick (‘14) who has shown promise as a catcher. His big frame is ideal for handling the rigors of the position and he has solid raw arm strength, though he is still working his way back from a torn labrum in 2014. Allen has also spent some time at first base, and his bat has shown enough potential that he may move to first permanently if his arm doesn't fully recover.

Taken in the 4th round out of Louisiana State in last year’s draft, Kade Scivicque has shown the skills to be a well-rounded catcher. He has a sturdy build, shows promise as a receiver and leader, and has an average, accurate arm that let him throw out 50% of would-be basestealers in 2015.

Still just 19, Escobar has already made a name for himself thanks to good receiving ability, a very strong arm, and all the tools to potentially be a plus defender in the future.


Honorable Mention

Grayson Greiner

Franklin Navarro


The Tigers invested a 3rd-round pick on Greiner in 2014, hoping he could be a solid two-way player. The offensive half of that equation collapsed in 2015, but Greiner still flashed some defensive tools. He’s athletic for his size (6’5”), handles velocity well, shows promise as a game caller, and has above-average arm strength, though he struggles with his footwork and transfer.

Navarro's defense is still a work in progress as he looks very raw, but he has shown enough flashes that he could project to be average defensively if he makes strides in his game behind the plate.


Projection Kings

Jheyser Azuaje

Andres Sthormes

Like Escobar, Sthormes and Azuaje are young catchers who have flashed signs of being above-average defenders in the future. Sthormes has an average arm and is an atypically good athlete for a catcher, while Azuaje also owns a solid arm and promising defensive tools.


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