Next up on our list is the potential “catcher of the future” for the Mariners, Cal Raleigh. Raleigh actually tied with our #8 prospect, but you guys broke our tie, landing Raleigh at spot #9. Raleigh had a big 2019, slugging 29 home runs in his first full season of pro ball.
Raleigh was simply too good for High-A Modesto and when Logan Gilbert got called up to AA Arkansas, Seattle decided to keep his partner in crime together. Raleigh has vastly improved his defense behind the plate and now is earning solid-average defensive grades.
Raleigh’s best tool is still his power and depending on the ball he gets to hit in the future, a 25-30 home runs season isn’t out of the question. The biggest question remaining for Raleigh is his hit tool. The switch-hitter’s gameplan and approach are geared to take advantage of his power, but he’ll need to make more improvements going forward.
Raleigh needs to make more consistent contact to reach his ceiling. As a switch-hitting catcher with at least passable defense and plus power, Raleigh could be a multi-year All-Star.
Raleigh will start 2020 in AA Arkansas and will have a chance to make his big league debut late in 2020. An above-average bat and passable glove from a catcher is rare and Raleigh has a pretty good shot to get there. Mariners fans could be talking about him breaking with the team in 2021, but if he can’t improve his contact rates, it could take until 2022.