(Editor's note: The following was first published on d1baseball.com. The original includes a list of the top 50 catchers entering the 2023 college baseball season. Use code Save23 for a discounted subscription.)
When we put together our preseason All-America teams, we followed one guiding principle: If we were building a team to win the 2023 national title, which players would we choose? We use the same philosophy to construct our Player Rankings (formerly Power Rankings) — think of them as an extension of our preseason All-America teams.
These are NOT professional prospect lists, though they do take pure talent into consideration. Players who proved themselves against top competition in summer ball and look poised for breakout years might rank higher on the list than other players who had gaudier stats from last spring. We considered past performance and offensive statistics, but we also try to keep the numbers in context, because some leagues or ballparks are more offensive than others, and some leagues simply have more talent than others — so all stat lines are not created equal. So we take an amalgam of past numbers, raw talent, defensive ability (especially at premium positions), makeup and reports of development over the summer and fall.
Finally, remember that there are nearly 300 Division I teams, and we’re ranking roughly the top 15 percent at each position. These lists reflect our projections of which players will be the best of the best this spring, but many good players in the remaining 85 percent just didn’t make the cut. We’ll revisit the Player Rankings over the course of the season and make adjustments as players prove themselves on the field.
With all that said, here’s a look at the top 10 catchers in college baseball heading into the 2023 season. Preseason All-Americans Luke Shliger (Maryland), Michael Carico (Davidson) and Kyle Teel (Virginia) lead the way.
|1||Luke Shliger, Maryland|
|2||Michael Carico, Davidson|
|3||Kyle Teel, Virginia|
|4||Jack Payton, Louisville|
|5||Calvin Harris, Ole Miss|
|6||Cooper Ingle, Clemson|
|7||Hudson White, Texas Tech|
|8||BT Riopelle, Florida|
|9||Caleb Lomavita, California|
|10||Jorge Corona, Louisiana Tech|