The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to have their catcher of the future in Carson Kelly, but there is another catcher in the team’s farm system to keep an eye on.
Jim Duquette of The Athletic ranked the top 10 catching prospects in baseball and one D-backs prospect was included on that list.
The D-backs’ 2017 second-round pick Daulton Varsho ranked eighth on Duquette’s list.
“No one is more athletic behind the plate in the minors than Varsho, who is the rare above-average runner as a catcher,” Duquette wrote.
In 2018, Varsho had a .296 batting average, an OPS of .842 and had 19 stolen bases in his time in A+/Rookie ball.
According to Duquette, Varsho’s hitting ability is what makes him stand out as a catcher and said some see him as an above-average hitter once he’s in the majors.
He also believes Varsho will likely be a regular at the major league level at “multiple positions” for the D-backs.
However, his defense is still a work in progress.
“While Varsho’s defense continues to improve, he needs to work on his backhand a little more,” Duquette wrote.
He also mentions that others believe the D-backs should consider moving him to different positions due to his speed and athleticism.
“Some evaluators think the Diamondbacks should expose him to other positions in the field, at second base or maybe the outfield, much like the Dodgers have done with Smith,” Duquette wrote.
The 22-year-old is currently playing for the D-backs’ Double-A affiliate Jackson Generals and is hitting .260 with an OPS of .786 in 53 games this season.