J.T. Realmuto, Will Smith, Willson Contreras and Salvador Perez are established stars at catcher, while young up-and-comers Sean Murphy, Alejandro Kirk, Cal Raleigh and 2022 rookie standout Adley Rutschman are well on their way to solidifying a spot in that top tier.
However, some teams are better set up for current and future success at the position than others.
Here, we've broken down each team's present and future outlook at catcher, highlighting their current starter and top prospect, followed by a prediction for who will start for each of the next five seasons.
Included with each top prospect is his tier designation based on where he slotted in Bleacher Report's 2023 farm system rankings.
Think of it as the team's five-year plan at the position.
Present: Carson Kelly (Age: 28)
One of the key return pieces in the blockbuster deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals, Kelly has shown flashes offensively during his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but not enough to firmly establish himself as the guy behind the plate. He has two years of team control remaining before he reaches free agency for the first time.
Future: Gabriel Moreno (Tier N/A)
Moreno was the No. 7 prospect in baseball prior to the 2022 season, according to Baseball America, and while he has technically exhausted his prospect status because of time spent on the active roster, his MLB career is still in its infancy. The 23-year-old was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Daulton Varsho to the Toronto Blue Jays, and he will be given every opportunity to take over the starting job this year.
Five-Year Prediction: Kelly (2023), Moreno (2024-27)
Present: Sean Murphy (Age: 28)
Murphy posted a 120 OPS+ with 37 doubles, 18 home runs and 66 RBI last season while once again providing Gold Glove-caliber defense as one of the few bright spots on the Oakland Athletics. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in a three-team, nine-player deal in December and promptly signed a six-year, $73 million extension. Veteran Travis d'Arnaud is in the second season of a two-year, $16 million deal and has a club option for 2024.
Future: Drake Baldwin (Tier 3)
After hitting just five home runs in his first two seasons at Missouri State, Baldwin batted .341/.448/.647 with 19 home runs and 70 RBI in 60 games last spring to send his draft stock soaring. The Braves selected him in the third round of the 2022 draft, and while his arm is average, his receiving skills and leadership give him a great chance to stick behind the plate.
Five-Year Prediction: Murphy (2023-27)