Raleigh was Seattle’s third-rounder in 2018 from Florida State. He has moved quickly through his first year of pro ball, performing well last summer in the Northwest League and named an all-star this year in the California League after skipping over Low-A entirely. I got a quick live look at the 22-year-old backstop during the circuit’s mid-season all-star game this June.
A large, broad 6-foot-3, Raleigh has good physicality for catching and the raw power to match. His ability to drive the ball from both sides of the plate is intriguing—especially at a premium position—and he put that pop on display during the league’s home run derby prior to the all-star game. There’s some length to his swing, and despite fairly manageable strikeout rates so far, Raleigh has the look of a hitter that might always come with some swing and miss once he gets to higher levels. He was seen as a bat-first prospect coming out of the draft, and while that’s still largely true, he has made strides blocking and receiving. Raleigh’s arm, transfer, and footwork all are works in progress, but there’s reason to hope he’ll develop into at least a playable, if not average, defender behind the plate.
Raleigh has most value if he sticks at catcher; he only fits at 1B otherwise, and this type of offensive profile is much more generic there. He won’t turn 23 until after this season, and it’s possible to project on his glove considering 2019 is Raleigh’s first full year of pro ball. In the best case scenario, he develops into an average defender behind the plate while getting to the power enough to fit as an offensive-minded everyday backstop. Short of that, Raleigh’s floor is a bopping second option at catcher or standard one-dimensional slugger if he’s forced to move to 1B.