Hello. The draft is still going. The Mariners, looking for serious baseball men, have chosen a catcher from storied program Florida Sta—
OK, well, there’s also that. Cal Raleigh is a 6’3”, 225 lb switch hitting catcher from Florida State. Let’s see what people have to say:
Cal Raleigh - it’s been a bit of a slow start to the season for Raleigh, named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list. Raleigh’s calling card is his bat, but he’s a fine catcher as well, something that’s always desirable on draft day. - Kate Preusser
Raleigh comes from a baseball family, with a father and uncle who both played at Western Carolina. His dad went on to coach at his alma mater and at Tennessee, while his uncle spent 10 years in the Minor Leagues. The younger Raleigh jumped on the map as a freshman at Florida State, scuffled as a sophomore, but has bounced back with a strong junior season, at least with the bat. The switch-hitting backstop has swung the bat well, especially in the second half of his junior season, using an advanced approach at the plate to hit for average and power while drawing a ton of walks. It’s more power over hit, with some concern over him hitting enough at the next level to tap consistently into that raw pop. Raleigh’s defensive game, however, has not taken the same step forward this year. Not overly athletic, he hasn’t been very agile behind the plate and his blocking and receiving have been inconsistent, as has been his arm. College catching is always hard to find, and Raleigh has done it for three years at Florida State. Teams will be buying the bat here, with the hope that he’ll defend just well enough to stick there as an offensive-minded catcher. - MLB.com
I think, like any good hitter, if you look at hitters and they don’t chase mess and they can see and they’ve got a little hand quickness and forearm strength, they can be successful. He wasn’t that type of player last year. He chased, and pitchers took advantage of it. He just didn’t adjust. This year, they’re not getting him out with that mess down. He’s not chasing that stuff. It’s all a credit to him. Look at the number of walks he’s got this year. He’s setting himself up to get better counts. The 2-0, 3-1s are coming a lot more, and they’re not trying to get him to chase 2-0, 3-1. He’s already proven he won’t do it, so they’ve got a decision to make. Throw a curveball over the plate or try to throw a fastball by him. I would say the other reason that he’s having success is that he’s using the entire field. - FSU Coach Mike Martin
That last is from this article, which notes he is a Boras client and will likely not come cheap. Slot value here is $632,700.
Welcome to Seattle, Cal. May you and your outstanding baseball name mash many dingers for many years here.