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Best tools: 2016 fielding and throwing ranks

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina once again rank highly in both the glove and arm rankings at their respective positions. Getty Images

It's "best tools" week! For a second straight year, Keith Law lays out his rankings (and reasonings) for the players with the best tools in baseball. Earlier this week, he ranked players in the four key hitting/speed tools that scouts use to evaluate players. Today he looks at the fielding tools: top gloves and arms at catcher, the infield and the outfield. (See last year's fielding rankings here).


Best catcher glove

1. Buster Posey, Giants
2. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
3. Russell Martin, Blue Jays
4. Jonathan Lucroy, Rangers
5. Francisco Cervelli, Pirates

These five catchers are all above-average receivers, framers and game-callers, and all have been doing it for a little while (or a long while), giving me more confidence in the rankings here, because it is one of the hardest tools to evaluate visually and the statistics we have to measure catcher defense remain imprecise and/or nonexistent. As with last year's list, Yasmani Grandal, an excellent framer, doesn't make the cut, because he's a poor receiver and even worse at calling a game. Salvador Perez, praised as a good receiver, doesn't make the cut, because he's a consistently below-average framer. Kevin Plawecki might have made this list if Mets manager Terry Collins hadn't killed him in May with his comments to the media.


Best catcher arm