Mariners Bright Spot #4: Cal Raleigh is the Real Deal
Another important part of the young nucleus, Cal Raleigh has been known as a great hitter since hitting the walkoff home run to secure the Mariners' ticket to the postseason in 2022 and ending the longest drought in American sports history. He continued to be a productive hitter this year, posting an OPS of .762 and an OPS+ of 112, but he also began to round-out the entirety of his skillset as a catcher.
His pitch framing stayed strong, logging seven catcher framing runs saved in 2023, but he made drastic improvements to his ability to catch runners stealing base. In 2022, Raleigh had a CS Above Average figure of -1, placing him in the 42nd percentile. In 2023, it improved to five, placing him in the 87th percentile. He struggled with blocking pitches this year, falling all the way to -6 Blocks Above Average, in the 13th percentile, but that's a defensive characteristic to fix for next season.
Skilled catchers are hard to find, especially those that are successful at and behind the plate. Raleigh has the potential to be one of most complete catchers in baseball and just 26 years old, the sky is the limit for what he'll be able to accomplish in Seattle.