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June 4, 2011
Dallas Jackson is the Senior Analyst for RivalsHigh. Email him your question, comment or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.
Let's call it the year of the catcher.
From Jorge Posada being the last one to realize he can't do it anymore to Joe Mauer perhaps wondering if he shouldn't be doing it anymore to Giants management asking if Buster Posey should be doing it, some of the games best may be moving from behind the plate.
It's a position so mentally and physically demanding that top stars (see Bryce Harper) often are steered away from the position from the day they turn pro and investments (see Victor Martinez) are quickly moved away from behind the plate to avoid further knee injury.
The position, however, isn't going away. Getting a good catcher - one who can do more than just manage the game - gives you a tremendous edge. So it's no surprise that our final mock draft before the MLB draft on June 6-7 features a handful who can play the position in the first round.
Blake Swihart, easily the best high school catcher in the draft, figures to be the first one taken. Whichever team selects the heady player will have to pay him enough to steer the Rio Rancho (N.M.) Cleveland High star away from his dream school, the University of Texas. We have him going No. 19 to the Angels who have seemingly fell in love with the backstop.
Andrew Susac, a draft-eligible sophomore at Oregon State, and Nicky Delmonico, a senior at traditional high school power Knoxville (Tenn.) Farragut, also figure to go in the back half of the first round.
Whether any of the players have the career of Mike Piazza or are quickly moved to another position like Harper is still to be determined.
With that, our latest mock draft: