Post Season Report Card–Catcher

All of a sudden, lots of talent behind the plate with many difficult decisions on “who goes where” come next season.

Lehigh Valley

Erik Kratz, 35, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .312/.433/.558 in 77AB with Lehigh Valley; 3HR 15RBI; 19%BB/19%K; 11 games caught with 1 error (.988); 1 passed ball; 1/6 CS (17%); Also played one game at 1B. Kratz was picked up late in the season as the Phils wanted a catcher to add to the September roster in Philly.  Kratz did his typical very competent job with Lehigh Valley.  Grade: B+; 2016: Either retired or with another organization

Gabrial Lino, 22, Acquired from Baltimore in 2012; .234/.277/.329 in 304 AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 3HR 30RBI; 6%BB/25%K rates; .215/.244/.272 for Lehigh Valley; Hit just .188 over last month of year; 83 games caught with 4 errors (.993); 8 passed balls; 31/76 CS (41%).  Although significant difficulties with the bat during the last two months of the season, Lino’s 2015 has to be considered a success as he established himself defensively behind the plate and showed the capability to hit a bit.  Grade: C+  2016: If the Phils have to make a choice between Lino and Moore, Lino has the advantage of being three years younger.  I see him back in Lehigh Valley.

Logan Moore, 25, Phils 9th round pick in 2011;.253/.312/.349 in 229AB between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 3HR 25RBI; 8%BB/19%K; For Lehigh Valley: .276/.338/.351 in 134AB; 62 games caught with 5 errors (.988); 5 passed balls; 29/55 CS (53%).  Moore had another excellent year with the glove and throwing runners out and was much improved with the bat.  I would have liked to have seen him play a bit more in Lehigh Valley as he is Rule 5 eligible and could easily take a spot on a major league roster as a backup catcher.  Grade: B+

Reading

Andy Knapp, 23, Phils 2nd round pick in 2013; .308/.385/.491 in 458AB between Clearwater and Reading; 13HR 84RBI; 10%BB/21%K; For Reading: .360/.419/.631 in 214AB; 11HR 56RBI; 9%BB/18%K; .431 vs LHP; .333 vs RHP; .310 last 30 days; 94 games caught with 7 errors (.990); 10 passed balls; 39/108 CS (36%);  No words to really describe the offensive show he put on when called up to Reading.  Much improved defensive numbers as well, one year removed from Tommy John surgery.  Grade: A; 2016: Lehigh Valley

Rene Garcia, 25, SIgned as a free agent in 2015; .318/.332/.359 in 192AB between Lehigh Valley and Reading; 0HR 22RBI; .292 vs LHP;368 vs RHP; 49 games caught with 2 errors (.994); 2 passed balls; 16/42 CS (38%); Garcia had an outstanding year in his role as a back up catcher; He hit and was excellent receiving and throwing out base stealers.  Grade: A; 2016: Likely elsewhere where he believes he will receive a legit opportunity to play at AAA.

Jorge Alfaro, 22, Acquired from Texas in 2015; Alfaro got in a couple GCL games after recovering from his ankle injury but lost a good portion of his year this year to injury.  2016: Reading starting catcher

Clearwater

Chace Numata, 23, Phils 14th round pick in 2010 draft; .268/.328/.330 in 276AB between Lakewood and Clearwater; 1HR 35RBI; .252 vs LHP; .270 vs RHP; .238 last 30 days; 53 games caught with 3 errors (.992); 12 passed balls; 24/70 CS(34%); Numata missed almost all of 2014 injured and came back to have a good year in 2015 putting up decent offensive numbers and good defensive numbers.  Grade: B; 2016: Numata will have to be Rule 5 protected and will become a free agent after next season. Not a whole lot of room above.  I think he starts back in Clearwater, although he could be let go to find another opportunity in the off season.

Wilson Garcia, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2010; .321/.327/.396 in 53AB between Williamsport and Clearwater; 0HR 5RBI; 2%BB/10%K; 7 games at C without an error; 2/5 CS (40%); Garcia only started three games all year and likely lands as a backup in Lakewood backing up Gruillon until he moves along next year.

Lakewood

Deivi Gruillon, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .221/.273/.335 in 394AB; 8HR 50RBI; 6%BB/25%K rate; .229 vs LHP; .218 vs RHP; .299 last 30 days; 97 games caught with 13 errors (.982); 14 passed balls; 33/102 CS (32%); After a miserable first half of the season, Gruillon came on real strong towards the end of the year, even hitting with some power, and showing off his defensive abilities.  Grade: C+ 2016: I suspect the Phils treat Gruillon the same way they treated Tocci which is more time in Lakewood.  He is young and there is a glut of catching above.

Joel Fisher, 22, Phils 23rd round pick in 2014; .199/.243/.316 in 171AB; 3HR 14RBI; 4%BB/30%K; .176 vs LHP; .208 vs RHP; .244 last 30 days; 39 games caught with 4 errors (.983); 3 passed balls; 14/27 CS (52%). Abysmal with the bat, decent behind the plate.  Grade: C-;  2016: If Fisher sticks around, it will be as a 3rd catcher bouncing around the lower minor league levels.

Jose Mayorga, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2009; .192/.293/.212 in 99AB between CLearwater and Lakewood; 0HR 8RBI; 14%BB/16%K; 18 games caught with 2 errors (.985); 7/22 CS (32%); 3 games at 1B without an error.  Mayorga has been used very sparingly over the last 3 seasons and with the amount of catchers establishing themselves throughout the organization, I suspect Mayorga’s time with the organization will be coming to a close.  Grade: D

Williamsport

Gregori Rivero, 19, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .219/.237/.386 in 114AB; 3HR 18RBI; 3%BB/14%K; .065 vs LHP; .277 vs RHP; 31 games caught with 3 errors (.987); 16/54 (30%) CS rate; 7 passed balls.  Rivero was playing regularly before going down with an injury, which caused him to miss the last month of the season.  With the missed time, expect him back in Williamsport.  Grade: C

Austin Bossart,22, Phils 14th round pick in 2015; .333/.359/.420 in 138AB; 1HR 19REBI; 0BBB/12%K; .444 vs LHP; .280 vs RHP; .309 last 30 days; 36 games caught with 5 errors (.985); 20/51 CS rate (39%); 6 passed balls; Bossart did a real nice job with the bat and receiving getting more playing time than expected.  Grade: B+; 2016: CLearwater backup

Greg Brodzinski, 24, Phils 18th round pick in 2015; .326/.340/.370 in 46AB between GCL and Williamsport; 0HR 6RBI; 2%BB/4%K; 20 games caught with 1 error (.989); Threw out 6/20 base stealers (30%); 0 passed balls;  Brodzinski was a spare part for the GCL Phils until injuries gave him a shot in Williamsport.  Too much talent for Brodzinski to hang on with very limited upside.  Grade: B

GCL Phils

Rodolfo Duran, 17, Signed as a free agent in 2015; .185/.221/.247 in 81AB: 0HR 10RBI; 1SB; 4%BB/20%K; .190 vs LHP; .183 vs RHP; .219 with RISP; 36 games caught with 4 errors (.977); 6 passed balls; 5/23 CS (22%).  At 17 years old, clearly some work to do.  Grade: D; 2016: GCL

Edgar Cabral, 20, Phils 11th round pick in 2015 draft; .281/.355/.406 in 96AB; 2HR 14RBI; 8%BB/6%K; .227 vs LHP; .297 vs RHP; .302 last 30 days; .333 with RISP; Caught 34 games with 3 errors (.986); 6 passed balls; 13/34 CS(38%).  Cabral had a good rookie campaign, showing competency with the bat and a real nice % of throwing out would be base stealers.  Grade: B; 2016: Williamsport

 

 

30 thoughts on “Post Season Report Card–Catcher

  1. Does anyone know what happened to Jake Sweaney who was a 2013 draftee ? He was considered a decent catching prospect at the time of the draft. Thanks in advance.

  2. Cabral is interesting. Fairly high JuCo pick from this year; just turned 20 a few days ago. If there weren’t so many guys in front of him I would wonder about him starting in Lakewood.

  3. I love the fact that Bossart has been able to do what he’s done at Williamsport. Always root for the underdog.

  4. I’m curious, given all the above names that you seem to see as leaving, what we have left to fill out all the minor league rosters.

  5. Somebody convince me that Jorge Alfaro is not the next Jesus Montero, or for that matter, Gary Sanchez. Creeping into my psyche is that premonition.

      1. Body type similar.
        Canon Arms.
        Poor defensive catchers.
        Montero slightly better offensive peripherals vs Alfaro.

          1. Yes Alfaro seems to be a better athlete.
            Montero though played first base beside catcher and DH.
            He was also ranked top ten prospect by BA for three straight years, mainly based on his exceptional batting peripherals..

    1. I’m puzzled at the thought of Logan Moore being lost in Rule 5. I think if the Phils had any thought of protecting against that risk, they would have added him to the 40 man roster and brought him up in September for a look-see rather than Kratz. It’s hard for me to see any team projecting Moore as a back-up major league catcher in ’16. On top of that, it’s hard to even see him as a back-up- AAA catcher at the start of ’16 in the organization with the worst current record in MLB.

  6. Organization has done a good job of turning a positional hole in the minors into a strength in a couple of years. Will be interesting to see which prospect eventually takes the job.

  7. Also interesting to see that, at one time, Alfaro would have been the leading prospect coming back from the Cole trade, and I still am very high on him. But, IMO, the ranking right now is Thompson, Williams, Alfaro.

  8. I know MLB doesn’t update their rankings other than to remove guys who hit the Innings and at-bats thresholds, but I didn’t realize that Alfaro is now their #1 Catching prospect in all of baseball.

  9. Jim P, what are your thoughts on Numata and where he slots in on the catcher’s list? You have probably seen him more than anyone. I’m wondering if there will be room for him somewhere.

    1. Yes. I talked to Mike Compton during an XST game. Numata had just crushed a ball over the right field fence at the Blue Jays minor league complex. To the group I was sitting with, I remarked, “Wow, did you see that!”. Coach Compton turned and said, “Now you see why we like him”. We continued to talk and I found out that they DO really like Numata, and for more than just that display of power. Later, I learned through Josh Appel (one of the Threshers’ announcer) that in an interview Coach Shrenk stated that Numata has the best “pop time” in the organization. So, yeah, I would think that Alfaro’s arrival and expected starter’s role in Reading would relegate Numata to starter in Clearwater. In addition to his good defense and decent offense, he seems to have the type of character that organizations value. While it is a possibility, I would be surprised if they let him go to another organization in the off season.

      1. I was most comfortable when Numata was the starting catcher. Knapp was NOT the liability behind the plate in Clearwater that everyone seems to believe that he is. But, Numata was a little steadier. And while Astudillo is extremely capable, he scares me. He has a shooting guard’s mentality. He hasn’t seen a throw he doesn’t think he can make. Infielders have to be alert when runners are on base. That type of aggression isn’t a bad thing, but I would be more comfortable if the catcher had more than 23% (32 of 140) of a team’s starts at catcher.

        1. Astudillo is one of the more interesting players in the organization – interesting in that he just doesn’t fit into any box that would allow him to be a major leaguer, but he has what appears to be some major league skills – some actually insane major league skills (he always hits over .300 and must have the lowest strikeout percentage in professional baseball – he NEVER strikes out). Astudillo will, to my mind, be a victim of the change in the way in which major league rosters are composed.

          These days major league rosters have 12 pitchers. Do they really need 12!? I really don’t know if you need 12 pitchers – a team might be more effective with 11 and another position player. Back when I was young, it was simple – there were 10 pitchers and 15 position players. And every team had a pinch hitting specialist. These days, pinch hitters are not that good and kind of random – it’s a guy with a day off or a utility guy – but it’s typically nobody special. Back “in the day” your pinch hitting specialist could freaking hit – he wasn’t always a power hitter (sometimes he was however), but he would come up in very difficult situations against the other team’s best relief pitcher and either work a walk or get a hit with surprising frequency (Rusty Staub was amazing at this, as was Greg Gross). I miss the old pinch hitter – frankly, I think a great pinch hitter is probably a lot more important than a second LOOGY – guys who, frankly, are usually awful pitchers or have a very narrow skill set.

          So why do I mention this? I mention this because, back in the old days, Astudillo would have a perfect role on a major league team. He never strikes out and he makes great contact – the dude can flat out hit. He could be a great pinch hitter and could justify his existence by being a third catcher (thus giving the team more flexibility on its first and second string catchers). But who knows, maybe some maverick will again toy with the idea of only carrying 11 pitchers (doubt it) and if so, watch for guys like Astudillo who probably has something like 65 or 70 hit tool – he has almost nothing else, but that, combined with the fact that he’s a catcher, might be enough for a pinch hitter.

          1. Catch…as soon as I started reading your post, I thought of Smokey Burgess, 3rd string catcher, just ok behind the plate, but could walk up to the plate in mid-January and hit a line drive somewhere. Spent some time with the Phils too. Based on your points, which I agree with, I don’t know where he would fit in today’s game.

          2. American League teams can get by with 11 pitchers since you’re not pinchhitting for them. Astudillo, to the extent that he has a ML future, would have it with an AL team.

      2. Numata seems like he has the base to be a good player. Good skills behind the plate, doesn’t strike out much at all and walks a decent amount. From looking at his numbers it just seems like when he hits the ball it doesn’t go anywhere. It’d be nice if he could bring some of that XST power to real games.

      3. IMO, Chase Numata will not be protected on the 40 in November, or 39 if the Phillies decide to participate in the Rule 5 draft, but he probably will not be selected so he should be starting in CLW..

        1. I think he is a prospect, but I agree, I don’t think he’ll be protected and I dont think he’ll be selected. Mostly because he’s only in A-ball. I think Logan Moore is the guy that could get selected. A LH hitting back-up catcher is too easy to hide on a bench as the 25th man.

          1. I think the Phillies get the first selection in this year’s Rule5, so they will have the whole field to scout and select from, and I think they will make another selection…..so they will only be able to protect 39 prior to the draft. Of course, that shouldn’t be too difficult..

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