There’s little doubt that catcher Diego Cartaya is the Dodgers best prospect entering the 2022 season. Cartaya headlines a strong pool of talent in the Dodgers farm system, but where the 20-year-old fits in among the rest of baseball’s top prospects is not as clear.
Over the last few weeks, ESPN, FanGraphs, and The Athletic all released their top 100 prospect lists. Cartaya was listed on each one, but his ranking ranged from a near top-ten prospect to the back half of the top 50.
FanGraphs – Ranked #37
The main contention from FanGraphs was Cartaya’s injury history. Cartaya battled back and hamstring injuries in 2021. In turn, that created a small sample size (31 games). FanGraphs wasn’t ready to “buy” on a prospect who posted a 1.023 OPS in 137 plate appearances in Single-A last year.
However, their group of prospect experts believe that the Venezuelan catcher has the potential to be an impact player.
“There’s extreme variance here because we’re talking about a very young catcher, one who hasn’t played all that much yet, but Cartaya has the ability to be a star.”
ESPN – Ranked #26
ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel seemed to be a little more encouraged by Cartaya’s offensive production in 2021. McDaniel opined that his power should not be overlooked.
“Cartaya hasn’t played much yet in pro ball, all the pieces are here for a 50 hit tool with a good amount of walks, 70 power (30+ homers) and at least average defense. For reference, the No. 1 player on this list is a catcher with a 60 in all three categories…”
Like FanGraphs, McDaniel also likened Cartaya to a fellow Venezulen backstop: Salvador Perez.
Dodgers fans would be fine with LA’s top prospect eventually turning into a seven-time All-Star who’s a perennial contender for Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.
The Athletic – Ranked #13
Between the three publications, The Athletic’s Keith Law had Cartaya ranks the highest. Law is very, very bullish on the catcher’s offensive abilities, but agreed that he needs more seasoning.
“Cartaya is going to be a monster at the plate with patience and power…he’s already so skilled for his age that he has No. 1 overall prospect upside.”
To Law’s point, Jim Callis of MLB.com predicted that Cartaya would be a top-ten prospect come 2023.
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