Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Who's Who of Minor League Free Agent Catchers

Here is the first part of your list of minor league free agent hitters. Catch the pitchers list here.

CATCHERS (ages as of April 1, 2010)

Robby Hammock (R/R, 32 years old): Career major league line of .255/.313/.409, but hasn't surpassed a .300 OBP at any level since 2007. Career CS% of 30%. Can play corner infield and outfield positions. Caught Randy Johnson's perfect game.

Orlando Mercado, Jr. (R/R, 25 years old): Zero power, but awesome plate discipline. More BB's than K's every year since 2003 (when he was 18 years old and in rookie ball). Supposedly a good defensive catcher but possesses a below average arm. Son of former ML catcher Orlando Mercado, Sr.

J.R. House (R/R, 30 years old): Career AA line: .290/.351/.437. Career AAA line: .293/.352/.458. Only 63 PA in the majors. Can also play 1B/3B. Despite defensive question marks behind the plate, I'm surprised nobody has given him a real chance.

Vance Wilson (R/R, 37 years old): It would have been easy to tell him to hang up the spikes after missing almost all of 2007 and 2008 to Tommy John surgeries (yes, two of them), but he rebounded well in 2009 and posted his highest isolated slugging at any level since the late 90s (albeit in AA). Maybe he's got another year or two left in him.

J.D. Closser (S/R, 30 years old): Good batting peripherals, but a pretty bad defensive catcher. Think of him as a mid-2000s Matt LeCroy without the ML track record.

Chris Stewart (R/R, 28 years old): Similar to Mercado, Stewart has good on-base skills but non-existent power. With good defense, Stewart will continue to stick in AAA for some time and will probably get a decent chance of being a ML backup at some point.

Brandon Yarbrough (L/R, 25 years old): Lots of walks, lots of strikeouts, a BABIP-inflated batting average and below average power. But since he's a lefthanded hitter and has thrown out 35% and 39% of would-be basestealers in the last two years, he's worth a chance.

Kyle Phillips (L/R, 25 years old): Consistent .300 hitter in the minors with BB rates between 7 and 9%. FanGraphs calls his defense "questionable" but I think he can make it as at least a ML backup.

Luke Montz (R/R, 26 years old): What a difference a year makes. Went from an awesome 2008 season to not being able to break a .190 batting average in 2009. A .200 BABIP will do that to you, though. I'm guessing he'll bounce back to a .250/.350/.410ish line in 2010 for somebody in AAA.

Hopefully the infield and outfield lists will be done soon! Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Montz won't do it here... the Nats showed him the door after the season.


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