Around the System–Catchers

Lehigh Valley

Erik Kratz, 31, .277/.376/.509 in 159 AB’s; 10 HR 28 RBI; 12% bb rate, 18% k rate; .375 vs. LH, .234 vs. RH, .275 with RISP, .266 since May 1. 47 games caught with 2 errors, and 6 passed balls. 30% CS rate. Kratz should have been in the majors backing up Ruiz the last 6 weeks.  Doing everything he can at AAA.

John Suomi, 30, .259/.302/379 in time throughout the system this year (58 AB’s); 1 HR and 5 RBI. Organizational guy.


Tuffy Gosewisch, 27, .268/.320/.420 in 157 AB’s; 6 HR and 32 RBI; 6% bb rate, 13% k rate; .317 vs. LH, ,.250 vs. RH, .364 with RISP, .264 since May 1. 48 games caught with one error, 3 passed balls, 35% caught stealing rate. Gosewisch belongs in AAA. Very good defensively, much improved offense.

Tim Kennelly, 24, .183/.240/.323 in 93 AB’s; 1 HR 14 RBI; 6% bb rate, 25% k rate; .130 vs. LHP, .200 vs. RHP, .207 with RISP. 21 games caught with 4 errors and 3 passed balls, 26% CS rate. Has also played 7 games in the OF without an error. Very rough year thus far.


Sebastain Valle, 20, .343/.355/.482 in 166 AB’s; 3 HR 22 RBI; 1% bb rate, 22% k rate; .367 vs. LH, .333 vs. RH, .326 with RISP; .398 since May 1. 41 games caught with 2 errors, 3 passed balls, 34% caught stealing rate.  The complaint on Valle is that he doesnt walk. The guy is hitting .343 and mashing with RISP, with a very high rate of caught baserunners.  Give him a break.  Continuing to move near the top of the prospect charts.

Kyle Lafrenz, 24, .192/.250/.269 in 78 AB’s; 1 HR and 5 RBI; 6% bb rate, 20% k rate. Has caught 22 games with one error, 4 passed balls, 23 % CS rate. When I saw him in Spring Training he impressed me.  The numbers now, not so much.


Jeff Lanning, 24, .308/.386/.415 in 39 AB’s; 3 HR and 8 RBI. Has caught 11 games with two errors and 1 passed ball. 19% CS rate.

Cameron Rupp, 22, .219/.308/.325 in 151 AB’s; 2 HR and 13 RBI; 9% bb rate, 29% k rate; .205 vs. LH, .224 vs. RH, .190 with RISP; .218 with RISP. Has caught 48 games, 5 errors, 2 passed balls and 25% CS rate. Rupp has disappointed with very weak hitting.  While we knew it may be a problem when drafted, the extent of his hitting woes couldnt be anticipated.

Torre Langley (23) and Chace Numata (18) are on the Lakewood DL


Francisco Diaz, 21

Robert Stumpo, 23


Angel Chavarin, 20

John Hill, 22

Logan Moore, 20

24 thoughts on “Around the System–Catchers

  1. The Valle BB/K rate is a legitimate concern. I’m hardly jumping all over him for it, but I can’t just brush it aside and pretend it hasn’t happened.

    1. Given his high average, I’m surprised at his lack of power, just 3 HR and 15 extra base hits in 166 AB for for .isolated power of .139, down from his .175 and .172 of the past 2 seasons. 22 RBI were also lower than I would have guessed, but they go with his lack of power so far I’ve long been a Valle fan because of his HR power as a catcher. My hope and guess is that over the summer months his HR and BB rates will both start to return to his career levels. He has just 169 PA so far and should end up with over 400, so this could just be him getting used to a new league and a blip on his stats when his career is over. Remember, he is still very young and catchers tend to spend more time in the minors than other position players, so he has lots of time on his side. On a positive note, I am encouraged by his defensive stats and the success his pitchers are having.

      1. Lack of power might be partly a Clearwater effect. It’ll probably return in Reading. Also, Valle is only 20 and probably has not yet hit is power peak.

        1. Well sure. He’s a good prospect. He was before the season started, he still is, and the defensive growth is welcome. He’s 20 in high A.

          But looking at his offense only, you have a guy whose power has leveled off (yes, probably for the time being only) when adjusted for context, whose BB % has plummeted to the lowest level I’ve ever seen, and whose only growth offensively is a clearly unsustainable BABIP driven increase in BA. Assume a still robust .330 BABIP and his average would be .263. His current BABIP is .429!!!

          I’ve hesitated to say much about Valle (a) because I find his performance genuinely puzzling, and (b) because looking at the whole picture he is still a heck of a prospect, but looking solely at his hitting, he has gone a little backwards this year by any reasonable standard.

          it will be interesting to see what happens around here when his BA returns to earth.

    2. Jon Mayo- latest Prospect Watch–has Seb Valle ranked 10th among all minor league catchers.

  2. Thankfully Schneider will be back in a couple of days so the constant bemoaning about how Kratz should be in Philly over Sardinha can go away. Sardinha vs. Kratz was really meaningless to everyone except for Mr. Kratz himself.

    Sardinha has 43 plate appearances in his 6 weeks and acquitted himself just fine.

    1. Hopefully when Schneider comes back the Phillies DFA Sardinha and he gets claimed by another team. Then if there is another injury, Kratz will have to come up. Hopefully, there isn’t another injury though.

  3. If Kratz were on the Phils he might be the best RH bat off the bench to face lefties. Of course, being a “second catcher”, they wouldn’t use him anyway.

  4. You know going over it, I see that following the season, Gosewisch and Kennelly will be 1st+ 6 year minor league free agents. Valle and Lanning Will be Rule 5 eligible, Langley, Kratz, Suomi, and the MLB Sardinha and Schneider will have expiring contracts. So they might change some things from September 1 on to next April.

    1. My predictions:

      Schneider retires
      The phils sign a fa to backup chooch
      Kratz doesn’t resign
      Tuffy goes to lehigh
      Valle goes to reading

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kratz return. I doubt that Gosewisch is a guy teams want to carry as their team’s first option out of the minors. Kratz is from the Lehigh Valley, so the Ironpigs are a good option for him even if he’s not a major leaguer.

      1. Rule 5 eligible this season would be 2008 College draftees and HS (under a certain age, complicated) from the 2007 draft. HS signees in 2007 draft would have started plau in the 2007 season. Valle signed his contract on 10/6/06 and began play in the 2007 season.

  5. I remember an episode of “Dexter’s Lab” where Dex made a turtle bionic. There was a montage of the turtle doing all kinds of super things, then him on the trailer (ala six million dollar man) going at…. 5 MPH! Dexter explains “You must understand that, for a turtle, this is very fast!”

    For a catcher, Valle is doing very well, and I won’t complain about his 1% BB rate as long as he hits.

    1. i remember suggesting kratz should have been in philly over sardinha 3 weeks ago. appartently pp agrees. good man. sardinha joins my baseball cards of mack burke and valmy thomas. “sardinha acquitted himself quite well” with who. one of the few players i will ever say stinks.

    2. btw valle,s numbers look great except for the obvious lack of walks. next catcher.

  6. Does Numata get a chance to play at Lakewood, or is putting him on their DL just a numbers thing?

    1. Don’t know what the injury is, and outsiders may not have a way of knowing for now. Seems like once they get all the Catchers into place (if there are any more to come) then Langley and Lanning might go as future prospects seem iffy. Then you got to look at how what they have at WPT (Stumpo and F, Diaz) and GCL ( Angel Chavarin and the College signees Logan Moore (JC) and John Hill) If starters emerge or a good platoon emerges , then maybe they leave Numata at Lakewood, and he can give Rupp a little help, until season’s end, maybe he can jump up a bit.

      1. Numata seems to young and inexperience at C to be at Lakewood so I think it is a shuffled roster move. Stumpo or Diaz who are older and have long been Catchers would be better choices for time at Lakewood. I actually expected Numata to be the main catcher at WPT, assuming the organization liked his progress and wanted to continue his prospect growth.

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