By Larry GLicken

I have said this for ever STOP TAKING CATCHERS WITH FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS. It was sometime ago so you probably don’t recall me e-mailing everyone and saying if Mauer doesn’t turn into one of the best catchers in baseball I wouldn’t draft another high first round catcher again as long as I live. He’s the only catching prospect that I’ve seen that all the scouts said couldn’t fail.

Having every Baseball America since its inception I couldn’t help but notice yeeeears ago that at least 80% of the catchers who made the All-Star game were drafted in the second round or later (often much MUCH later) or worse were  switched from another position. And the vast majority of catchers drafted in the first round either turned out to be all glove no hit duds or outright all hit no glove disasters that had to be moved to another position and who’s bats looked incredibly mediocre compared to their peers once they started that new position.

When you come over the next time see for yourself, I have nearly every Baseball America since 1993 sitting in my living room that I’m sure will back me up.

How long have I felt this way? I finally gave up on the position in disgust when the Cardinals switched Todd Zeile to 3rd base after just ONE SEASON  of throwing up looking at his defense behind the dish. And he was just a second round pick. You don’t know the fit I would have thrown if he was yet another first round bust at the position. And he was the most highly touted catcher in the minors for at least a year.

The only position in sports that came even close to this failure rate for me was tight end which for most of my life suffered from a similar affliction, but at least several of them had great rookie seasons or two good years before petering out or diminishing bit by bit. And over the last decade or so first round TE’s have been as successful impact players as almost any other draft position.

On the other hand was Mauer gonna represent a new era for catcher prospects – I highly doubted it, and Wieter’s is just another wasted first round pick that proved my gut was right. Don’t take them with your first round pick unless scouts and GM’s say he’s a once in a decade prospect. Guys like that I’d draft in the first round at any position in any sport save kicker.

So you can imagine what I thought when Alderson traded Dickey for a 24 year old injury prone catching prospect that hadn’t been able to force the hand of two different GM’s to give him a shot at a major league job in all that time

. (I never EVER give a discount on age for injuries no matter the reason for players 25 and up, as the number of 25yr old’s or older that turn out to be even moderately good regardless of why they were down there that long, are scarce as hens teeth.) How many more red flags did d’Arnaud need to have before Alderson decided not to trade for him? Syndergaard has pulled Alderson’s ass out of the fire on this trade. I’ll bet a years salary it will not be d’Arnaud. History is on my side…

Kevin

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