2018 AL East Positional Rankings: Infielders - Page 2 of 6 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Paul Folkemer

2018 AL East Positional Rankings: Infielders

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

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Catcher

  1. Gary Sanchez, Yankees
  2. Wilson Ramos, Rays
  3. Russell Martin, Blue Jays
  4. Caleb Joseph/Chance Sisco, Orioles
  5. Christian Vazquez, Red Sox

The slugging Sanchez, coming off a 33-homer, 90-RBI, All-Star season, is far and away the frontrunner among AL East catchers, despite any defensive limitations. And, at 25, he’s one of the youngest of the group, too. It’s scary to think that Sanchez, who has 53 home runs in 177 career games, may only be the third-best slugger in the Yankees’ lineup this year.

On the other end of the spectrum is the punchless Rays, who lost the top four home run hitters from their 2017 lineup this winter. They’ll be counting on Ramos, the former Washington Nationals’ All-Star, to provide some power in his first full season since his 2016 ACL tear. Meanwhile, the 35-year-old Martin — a four-time All-Star — began to show his age for the Blue Jays in 2017. Injuries limited him to the fewest games of his career (91) and a mediocre .731 OPS.

Joseph, for the first time in his career, will enter the season as the presumptive starter behind the plate. He rebounded offensively in 2017 after a zero-RBI 2016 season, and he’s a good game caller, but will he be able to handle a heavier workload? He ultimately could split time with Sisco, the Orioles’ 23-year-old catching prospect, who looks major league ready with the bat but faces questions about his defense. Boston’s primary catcher, Vazquez, is adequate but doesn’t have much upside.

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