Texas Rangers: Spring Training battle for catcher could get interesting

NAGOYA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 15: Catcher Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers is seen in the top of 1st inning during the game six between Japan and MLB All Stars at Nagoya Dome on November 15, 2018 in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 15: Catcher Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers is seen in the top of 1st inning during the game six between Japan and MLB All Stars at Nagoya Dome on November 15, 2018 in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – JULY 11: Jeff Mathis #2 of the Texas Rangers prepares to bat during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park July 11, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. Texas won 5-0. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – JULY 11: Jeff Mathis #2 of the Texas Rangers prepares to bat during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park July 11, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. Texas won 5-0. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images) /

2019 Recap

Last season was a forgettable one regarding the Texas Rangers and the catching group in Arlington. The mix of catchers utilized by the Rangers produced at a historically low rate and were more hinderance than help for the Rangers team. Texas cycled through a number of catching options with Jeff Mathis, Tim Federowicz, Jose Trevino and Isiah Kiner-Falefa all getting time behind the plate. The slash lines for each of those players were fairly unimpressive…

  • Jeff Mathis – 86 G – .158/.209/.224/.433
  • Tim Federowicz – 29 G – .160/.213/.347/.559
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 38 G – .223/.298/.330/.629
  • Jose Trevino – 40 G – .252/.266/.378/.644

As a group, the Rangers catchers hit just .193 last season with an OPS of .539 while driving in just 44 total runs. Defensively, the group wasn’t much better finishing with the fourth worst Fielding Runs Above Average according to Baseball Prospectus at -12.4 ahead of only the A’s, White Sox and Orioles. The only individual that finished with a positive FRAA for the Rangers last season was Jose Trevino at 0.5 and Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s -9.3 finished last on the team and 109th out of 113 qualifiers. That production made it clear that the club needed some sort of upgrade this offseason that could generate something positive at the plate entering Globe Life Field.

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