Mariners 2024 Player Rankings: Cal Raleigh remains in the top 5

Cal Raleigh seems to be a leader of this club. He shows emotion, stands up for his team and performs. He checks in at #5 on our 2024 player rankings
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians
Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Cal Raleigh just beat out Logan Gilbert for the #5 spot in our 2024 player rankings, which is a testament to how deep this team is with its young talent. Gilbert is a top 5 player on many teams around the league, but 1 vote proved to be the difference. There is no shame coming in 1 vote outside the top 5 when you factor in who the number 5 player on our list was.

Cal Raleigh checks in at #5 in our 2024 Mariner player rankings

Cal Raleigh was really good in 2023, and I mean really good! He compiled 4.2 fWAR in only 119 games. How do you build upon one of the best seasons from a Mariners catcher of all time? How about increasing your batting average and on-base percentage by over 2 points? How about hitting 30 home runs, the most by a Mariners catcher in team history? Not good enough? How about cutting your strikeout rate by 2% and becoming one of the better defensive catchers in baseball?

These are all the things that Cal Raleigh did to show that he deserves to be in the conversation with the best of the best. He came in at 3rd in fWAR in all of baseball behind William Contreras and Adley Rutschman. He slashed .232/.306/.456 with 30 home runs and improved his walk and strikeout rates. He put up a 111 wRC+ and had the highest defensive WAR according to Fangraphs. Cal Raleigh is arguably the most well-rounded catcher in all of baseball.

As I stated in my 2023 report card for Cal Raleigh, I think there is another gear that he can reach, that will propel him, not only into the best catchers in baseball but possibly top 10 in the MVP conversation. I think we have seen about 80%-85% of Cal's full potential and that extra 15%-20% would put him right there in the 5.5-win player range which is about top 10 in the American League. I think as Cal comes into his age 27 season; we really see him continue to make those strides to become a truly elite baseball player.

Cal Raleigh is a huge leader for this team as well. You can tell by his presence behind the plate and when he comes out for a mound visit, the pitchers respect him and love to work with him. You can tell that he is a leader in that clubhouse with JP Crawford. He wants to bring postseason baseball to Seattle, and knows what it takes and has no issues calling out ownership to do that for Mariners players and fans. Cal Raleigh is a man of the people and I expect him to put up another top 5 season for the Mariners.