Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Giants Organizational Depth Charts: Catcher

Like the sands in an hourglass, time is slowly but surely running out on the catching part of Buster Posey's career, which makes the Giants Catcher of the Future search take on a bit more urgency.  Here is my take on the Giants catching depth chart at the end of the 2017 season:

MLB:  Buster Posey is still the first string catcher, but that is not nearly as set in stone as it was even 1 month ago.  Nick Hundley is a free agent, so is not on the depth chart, but by the end of the season, he was playing catcher at least as much as Buster.  Bruce Bochy seemed to be almost gushy over his newfound ability to use Buster at first base more often, and you know what?  Buster seemed to be enjoying it too!  He definitely hits better when his legs get some relief from the squaaaaaat.

With Hundley hitting free agency, Tim Federowicz takes over the back up catcher spot on the depth chart, at least until the Giants re-sign Nick Hundley.  I do wish someone would "Fedex" a serious shot at being at least a backup at the MLB level.  Count me as a "Fedex" fan.

AAA:  Not really anyone at this level to give serious depth.  Trevor Brown has MLB experience but slumped to a sub-.200 BA.  The oft-injured Jeff Arnold likewise hit under .200.

AA:  Aramis Garcia finally got the call up from San Jose and held his own amidst the toughest transition after AAA-MLB in baseball.  Consider Garcia the Giants Catcher of the Future until further notice.

High A:  Matt Winn doesn't hit for a high BA, but has a little bit of pop in the bat.  He has a rep for maturity and handling pitchers.  Has a chance to be a backup MLB catcher.

Low A:  Skyler Ewing, who did a bit of catching in college, is trying to salvage his career from behind the plate after failing to hit well enough to move up as a 1B.  He probably did well enough in this trial to move up the ladder as a catcher.  The longterm odds are against him, though.

Short Season:  Rob Calabrese, a 2017 draftee made it to Salem-Keizer and showed flashes of the offense he generated at a small college program.  He's a project.

Rookie:  Ricardo Genoves is just 18 yo and drew raves from scouts in his stateside debut.  If Aramis Garcia falters on his way to the major leagues, Genoves is probably the next best hope, but it will take a few years to develop him.  Jeffery Parra is more of a project who I am cautiously optimistic about.

DSL:  Nobody hit over .200 at catcher in 2017.

Overall this is a thin position entering a transition at the MLB level and the search for Buster Posey's successor takes on some urgency.  The Giants have a lot riding on the development of Aramis Garcia and Ricardo Genoves.


  1. Miguel Gomez: "Gomez doesn't contribute a whole lot outside the batter's box, however. He has enough arm strength to play a variety of positions, but his lack of speed and quickness makes him best suited for the infield corners or catcher. He has been erratic at the hot corner and offers the most intrigue as a catcher, where he threw out 45 percent of basestealers in the lower Minors."

    He's 24 and probably needs a couple of years should they convert him to catcher full time. But he hit .305 at Richmond, which is no easy feat.

  2. Found this. Will forget about it by the time you get to 2B. Thought it was interesting:

    "For the second year in a row, Panik had the lowest strikeout rate in the major leagues, going to three strikes in just 9.42 percent of his plate appearances. This year, he struck out only 54 times in 573 trips to the plate. He was the only qualified player in the major leagues this season to strike out in less than 10 percent of his plate appearance"

  3. Any word on why Brown struggled offensively? Injured? He was serviceable at the ML level as a back-up and the fact he could play infield was intriguing from a roster standpoint.

    1. Brown hurt his ankle at the end of ST, and had a concussion somewhere along the line as well. I think he was kind of the backup catcher out of convenience more than skill, and took advantage of his opportunities.

      Brown is fine as AAA depth, and as far as his hitting skill... he at least gets along with the pitchers. But if the plan is for Buster to split time at first, I don't think he makes the team.

      Go with Hundley or a similar type for the next couple years, as Garcia makes his way up.