With the MLB regular season just 17 days away, let’s take a look at the American League starting catchers. These are the backstops who are projected to receive the most playing time for their respective team. Some may turn in up near a 50-50 platoon (ex. Chance Sisco and Caleb Joseph). While the top American League catcher wasn’t hard to pick, many toward the middle and end could be considered interchangeable.

1. Gary Sanchez - New York Yankees

2017 stats: 525 PA, .278 BA, .876 OPS, 33 HR, 20 2B, 90 RBI, 79 R, 2SB, 38% CS

Fifty-three career homers in 674 at-bats.

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The sky is the limit for the 25-year-old Sanchez although his league-leading 16 passed balls is hopefully an issue that can be corrected.

2. Salvador Perez - Kansas City Royals

2017 stats: 499 PA, .268 BA, .792 OPS, 27 HR, 24 2B, 80 RBI, 57 R, 1 SB, 27% CS

The five-time All-Star makes up for a low on-base percentage with the pop in his bat.

Also a four-time Gold Glove winner, his home run total has gone up in all seven of his seasons.

3. Welington Castillo - Chicago White Sox

2017 stats: 365 PA, .282 BA, .813 OPS, 20 HR, 11 2B, 53 RBI, 44 R, 0 SB, 49% CS

Castillo led the American League with the Orioles last year, throwing out 49 percent of base stealers. The 30-year-old had career-highs in homers and batting average in 2017.

4. Mike Zunino - Seattle Mariners

2017 stats: 435 PA, .251 BA, .840 OPS, 25 HR, 25 2B, 64 RBI, 52 R, 1 SB, 24% CS

Zunino still strikes out a ton, but he finally showed why the Mariners drafted him third overall in 2012. He entered last season with a career .195 batting average.

5. Jonathan Lucroy - Oakland Athletics

2017 stats: 481 PA, .265 BA, .716 OPS, 6 HR, 21 2B, 40 RBI, 45 R, 1 SB, 27% CS

The 31-year-old Lucroy [VIDEO] hit .310 in 46 games after being traded to the Rockies last year.

He will look to have a season similar to his All-Star years of 2014 and 2016, the former where he finished fourth in National League Mvp voting.

6. Wilson Ramos - Tampa Bay Rays

2017 stats: 224 PA, .260 BA, .737 OPS, 11 HR, 6 2B, 35 RBI, 19 R, 0 SB, 17% CS

Ramos didn’t make his season debut last year until late June, recovering from a torn ACL. He finished 17th in National League MVP voting in 2016 while also taking home a Silver Slugger.

7. Robinson Chirinos - Texas Rangers

2017 stats: 309 PA, .255 BA, .866 OPS, 17 HR, 13 2B, 38 RBI, 46 R, 1 SB, 25% CS

Chirinos became the Rangers’ top catcher once they traded Lucroy to the Rockies and put together his best season. He hit .306 in 41 games in August-September.

8. Brian McCann - Houston Astros

2017 stats: 399 PA, .241 BA, .759 OPS, 18 HR, 12 2B, 62 RBI, 47 R, 1 SB, 13% CS

The 34-year-old McCann hit at least 18 homers for the 12th straight season. His OPS is just .739 since 2012 though, and base runners enjoyed taking the extra bag off him as he threw out only eight of 62 base stealers.

9. Russell Martin - Toronto Blue Jays

2017 stats: 365 PA, .221 BA, .731 OPS, 13 HR, 12 2B, 35 RBI, 49 R, 1 SB, 20% CS

Despite the low average, Martin has always been a strong on-base guy as he walked 50 times last year in 365 plate appearances. After leading the American League throwing out 44 percent of base stealers in 2015, that number has dipped to 15 and 20 percent over the last two years.

10. Martin Maldonado - Los Angeles Angels

2017 stats: 471 PA, .221 BA, .645 OPS, 14 HR, 19 2B, 38 RBI, 43 R, 0 SB, 39% CS

While Maldonado owns a career .218 batting average, much of his value comes from being a superb backstop. He took home his first Gold Glove in 2017.

11. Yan Gomes - Cleveland Indians

2017 stats: 383 PA, .232 BA, .708 OPS, 14 HR, 15 2B, 56 RBI, 43 R, 0 SB, 42% CS

Gomes’ batting average is only .215 since winning a Silver Slugger in 2014. He does exhibit a strong arm as his caught stealing percentage has been above league-average in each of his five years with Cleveland.

12. Jason Castro - Minnesota Twins

2017 stats: 407 PA, .242 BA, .720 OPS, 10 HR, 22 2B, 47 RBI, 49 R, 0 SB, 26% CS

Castro’s .242 batting average last year represented his highest mark since 2013, although his 10 home runs were his least since 2012.

13. Christian Vazquez - Boston Red Sox

2017 stats: 345 PA, .290 BA, .735 OPS, 5 HR, 18 2B, 32 RBI, 43 R, 7 SB, 42% CS

Vazquez took the lead catcher spot away from Sandy Leon last year with a solid season at the dish. He doesn’t have much pop but has shown a strong throwing arm in his three years with the Red Sox.

14. Chance Sisco - Baltimore Orioles

2017 stats: 22 PA, .333 BA, 1.232 OPS, 2 HR, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R, 0 SB, 0% CS

The 23-year-old Sisco was excellent at the plate, albeit in a very small sample with the Orioles last year. He has a career .310 batting average in 132 games at AA and .267 in 101 games at AAA.

15. James McCann - Detroit Tigers [VIDEO]

2017 stats: 391 PA, .253 BA, .733 OPS, 13 HR, 14 2B, 49 RBI, 39 R, 1 SB, 30% CS

The 27-year-old McCann improved at the plate last year, raising his OPS by over 100 points from 2016. His strikeouts also dropped from 109 to 89 despite 18 more plate appearances.