Seattle Mariners Cal Raleigh gets major respect before 2023 season

Oct 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Diego Castillo (63) is
Oct 15, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Diego Castillo (63) is / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners are not a team we usually hear a lot about during the off-season when it comes to media, fans of other teams, or just on social media in general. But, after a magical season in 2022 that ended a playoff drought, the attention is higher than usual, and people have their eyes on the team in the Northwest.

When it comes to talent overall, the Mariners have it. Have they in years past? Not usually, no. Well, not as much as other teams. You always have your New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers which have payrolls that can afford to have top-five players at every position. The Mariners are not used to having a top player at any position.

But this year it seems one player in particular is getting everyone’s attention, and people might be sold on him as a top catcher in 2023.

Cal Raleigh, a fan favorite if you will, was voted by MLB Nerds, a popular Twitter page with around 40 thousand followers, as the sixth-best catcher in all of baseball. Above him are Adley Rutschman, J.T. Realmuto, Sean Murphy, Will Smith, and Alejandro Kirk.

Getting that type of recognition is great, especially when you factor in that Raleigh is just 26 years old and entering his third season as a pro. Raleigh had a better season in 2022 did than he did in 2021, but he also had way more tape to show.

In 2021 Raleigh saw himself only get to play in 47 games, whereas this last season he played in 119, which is more opportunities to show what he can do. He did just that as he showed he could be a power hitter as his 27 led all catchers in baseball last season.

Raleigh is most definitely a top-10 catcher heading into the new season. His 3.8 WAR and .774 OPS would be a good argument against anyone that thinks he can’t be one. Is the season he just had a top-10 catcher season? Not necessarily, but it does show that there are only improvements from there, and 2023 will be better for the now third-year two-way star.

The former Florida State Seminole has a bright future and is a key part of a young Mariners team that is finally making a name for itself in a tough division. If Raleigh can only get better from last season, where he hit .211, and even then people still considered him top 10, just think about what he can do with a full year under his belt now.