Spring Training And The Catchers
Mike Napoli is still the darling of Rangers nation. His 2011 season may go down as one of the best in Rangers history, but his contract issues may cause looming issues if not resolved sooner rather than later. So far for 2012 Napoli has been in 4 games and is hitting .500 with an OBP of .700. Yet this information can be a bit misleading since he has had 6 AB with 3 hits and 4 walks.
Yorvit Torrealba has been in 5 games so far. He has had the most at bats of any of the catchers in Major League camp at 12 at bats. He is hitting .250 with a .250 OBP. He has 3 hits with no walks and 1 strikeout.
Luis Martinez has appeared in 5 games. He has 9 at bats with 6 hits including 3 doubles. His .667 BA reflects this information well, but it does put him as the standout for lead AAA catcher. He joined the Rangers following a Dec 21, 2011 trade for minor leaguer Ryan Kelly. He is also part of the 40 man roster.
The non-roster invited catchers are next.
Chris Robinson was a Free Agent signing who spent his 2011 season in the Cubs minor league system. His 2012 spring training has been limited, having played in 6 games but had a mere 6 at bats. His performance will be judged greater after having more experience with Texas.
Dusty Brown has had a very limited spring with experience in only 3 games. He has a .000 BA but an OBP of .500. Dusty joined the Rangers after signing a minor league deal out of Free Agency after signing on November 25, 2011. Dusty Brown is wearing #2 Bobby Valentine’s old number.
Converted 3rd base minor league prospect Tommy Mendonca has done the most with the least so far. In the single game he has been in he has gone 2 for 3. Mendonca was moved to catcher in an attempt to open a path to the majors for him with Adrian Beltre firmly at thirdbase.
So far in this spring training the catchers have had a combined 38 AB and have had 15 hits, 5 RBI, 6 walks and 4 strikeouts. If this was one player then there may be enough to make some judgment on their performance, but being split between 6 it is simply not possible to draw any conclusions from this body of work. Enjoy spring training for what it’s worth; just don’t look at the numbers.