Sep 1, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers catcher Geovany Soto (8) tags out Minnesota Twins right fielder Darin Mastroianni (19) at home plate during the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The next catcher for the Texas Rangers


With the spring training starting in just a little over a month there has already been questions about the catcher for the Texas Rangers.

During the offseason the Texas Rangers re-signed Geovany Soto and signed free agent J.P Arencibia.  Both catchers signed a one year contract this offseason.

They passed on the top catcher free agent Brian McCann and even Kurt Suzuki.  To me, that leaves the question on who will be the next catcher for the Texas Rangers.

Mainly if Daniels wanted a long-term solution with either Soto or Arencibia.  My guess is Jon Daniels is holding out and waiting to see what their top catcher prospect Jorge Alfaro will do.

Before this season, Alfaro had some disciple issues at the plate.  But, this year he has been able to refine some of his skills throughout the year.  With the Texas Rangers minor league team in Hickory, he batted .265/.346/.463/.809.  He was able to throw out 31% of base stealers , but had 28 passed balls with 11 errors over 82 games.

Most recently, Jorge Alfaro played in the Arizona Fall League.  He was named to the AFL Fall Stars team and won the title with his team.  He finished second in batting average with .386/.438/.500/.938.   To put that in prospective, Alfaro is in the almost in the top 10 in every batting category.  Alfaro also does bring some power to the plate.  In the AFL he hit 5 home runs, 6 was the most hit in the league.

Some of the traits that Alfaro brings to the backstop position are his abilities to frame the ball, quickness and to block balls in the dirt.  His ability to frame the ball in the strike zone helps pitchers get strike calls from the umpire.  These are qualities that pitchers love and sometimes isn’t found in catchers his age.

Along with his bat and defensive skills, Alfaro is a leader.  This helps the young catcher command a game and call pitches.  This is a quality that is easy to see in current catcher Geovany Soto.

 

Next year, Rangers fans most likely able to get a first hand look at him.  It appears that next season he’ll be playing AA ball in Frisco.  This is a big step up for the young catcher.

Some say that Jorge Alfaro maybe the next Ivan Rodriguez.  My guess is that we may see him in a Texas Rangers uniform as early as this year.  I see him as Jon Daniels long-term solution for the Texas Rangers’ need at catcher.

Notes:

  • Ranked 88 by MLB.com in the pre-2013 prospect list.
  • Ranked 1st by MLB.com for the Texas Rangers top 2013 prospect.
  • Signed in January 2010 out of Columbia at 16 with a $1.3 million signing bonus

 

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Tags: Geovany Soto J.P. Arencibia Jorge Alfaro Texas Rangers

  • MidniteTease

    Some interesting puzzle pieces:

    A) Soto and Arencibia were both considered premium catching prospects only a few years ago.

    B) Alfaro is currently one of the best catching prospects in MLB

    C) The Rangers currently have on staff one Hall of Fame catcher in Ivan Rodriguez and another All-Star Catcher noted for leadership and his work with pitchers in Bengie Molina.

    I propose that Soto and Arencibia are considered more than just stopgaps; Texas wants to give it’s best shot at boosting one of those guys up to be a multi-year contributor.