Sodo Mojo Presents Seattle Mariners Top 30 Prospects: 15-11,
13. Cal Raleigh, C
For a while, it appeared the Mariners 3rd round pick of 2018 wasn’t going to sign a contract, instead opting to go back to Florida State University. However, at the 23rd hour, Raleigh signed his contract and proceeded to destroy the Northwest League.
In short-season Everett, Raleigh slashed .288/.367/.534 with 8 homer and 10 doubles in just 146 games. The switch-hitting catcher has legitimate plus-power, which is his best tool. At Florida State, Raleigh was a team captain who dominated his freshman and junior season.
As a right-handed bat, he shows more of a slashing, “use the whole field” type of swing. Most of his power comes from the left side, but he should be above-average from both sides of the plate.
There are serious doubts as to whether or not Raleigh can stick at catcher. He is a poor framer and a below-average athlete for the position. However, he has nice hands and understands how to work with pitchers.
He was one of just a handful of catchers who called his own games in college and has all the intangibles you can think of for a catcher. His hands and baseball IQ, combined with an average arm that plays up thanks to a quick release, give him a shot to stick at catcher.
The Mariners have no reason to move Raleigh off the position yet. If he does eventually need to move to first base, as some scouts believe is inevitable, his bat does profile quite well for that change.
If he can even become an average defender behind the plate and reaches his ceiling with the bat as well, he will make multiple trips to the All-Star game in his career. The comparison that seems to stick the most is former A’s backstop, Stephen Vogt.
His intangibles are off the charts and he has a real shot to be an impact big leaguer for a decade or more. Whether or not he can play catcher will impact his overall prospect profile, but this is a name to track this winter. If everything goes right, Raleigh could be the full-time catcher by 2021.