District on Deck is ranking the NL East to see how the Washington Nationals stack up at each position. The series continues today as we compare the NL East catchers.
The catcher position is critical as they have the responsibility of handling the pitching staff, controlling the running game and contributing in the lineup. As we march on with our National League East 2017 Preview by ranking the best performers at each position, there is a stable group which comprises the division’s catchers. Read on to see where Washington Nationals Derek Norris ranks among other catchers in the NL East.
Last season, Travis d’ Arnaud was the best in the rankings, but injuries prevented him from having a stellar campaign with the New York Mets during the 2016 season. Tyler Flowers will be back for his second season with the Atlanta Braves, while J.T. Realmuto and Cameron Rupp will look to build on an impressive year for the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies, respectively.
There are two backstops in Carlos Ruiz and Wilson Ramos that were in the rankings last year, but won’t be this time around. Ramos signed a multi-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays during the offseason and Ruiz was traded to the Seattle Mariners.
The NL East has a strong group of catchers, as there’s a mix of veterans and youth. Flowers has the most experience among the quintet considering he’ll be entering his ninth season in MLB. Norris isn’t too far behind with the upcoming 2017 season marking his sixth year in the Majors.
The young studs in Realmuto, Rupp, and d’Arnaud all have less than six years of experience, but the future is bright for each of them.
So, let’s look at how we rank the catchers in the division, starting with number five.