Ranking the 5 AL West catchers entering the 2023 season
2) Jonah Heim - Texas Rangers
Jonah Heim is a former Oakland Athletic who broke out in 2022 with the Rangers. His bat was nothing more than average, as he slashed .227/.298/.399 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI. His 98 OPS+ was a smidge below average. Where Heim really excels is with his glove.
Heim ranked in the 98th percentile in pitch framing according to baseball savant which is outstanding. He ranked tenth among all catchers with a 2.8 fWAR, a mark far better than the four other catchers listed (0.6 fWAR combined).
Heim being the terrific defender he is combined with the 16 home runs he hit last season makes him the second-best catcher in this division and potentially one of the ten best in all of baseball.
1) Cal Raleigh - Seattle Mariners
Cal Raleigh is another young catcher who broke out in 2022. He hit 27 home runs for Seattle and had a 122 OPS+. He ended up hitting right in the middle of the Mariners' order, often hitting cleanup for Seattle in the postseason. Raleigh had numerous big home runs for them down the stretch including the one to send them to the playoffs.
Raleigh had a 4.2 fWAR this past season which ranked fourth among all catchers. In addition to his big power bat, he ranked in the 81st percentile in framing and accumulated 14 DRS. He will be a thorn in the Angels' side for years.