After a hot start in 2020, what role does Jose Trevino play for the Texas Rangers and their future plans at the catcher position?
The bright spots for the 2020 Texas Rangers have been as rare as seeing a shooting star on a cloudy night. Of the few has been the performance of catcher Jose Trevino. What’s more surprising is how unexpected it was. Trevino wasn’t even with the club when the season started.
Texas began the shortened year with Jeff Mathis and (returning via free agency) Robinson Chirinos. An early season injury to Chirinos meant the call-up of Trevino and he’s made the most of every moment. So much, in fact, that Robinson returned from the I.L. and the Rangers are now carrying three catchers. They simply could not send Jose back down to the alternate training site.
One thing that you must keep in mind is that Trevino is no spring chicken. He’s been in the Rangers’ organization for quite some time. In fact he’ll be 28 years-old come this November.
Entering play on Friday he was batting .333/.349/.548 with a wOBA of .379. Before the season began ZiPS had him projected with a slash line of .239/.265/.361 and a wOBA of .265. The sample size may be small but he is still exceeding expectations.
His bat has been so hot that manager Chris Woodward has had to find other ways to get him into the lineup including having DH for one game with more games at that role likely to come.
Position in Lineup
So where is Trevino best utilized when it comes to putting together the batting order? Statistically you want him hitting fifth where he is batting .333. His next highest average is .294 and that is in the ninth spot. He’s had one game in which he batted third getting one hit. Maybe his bat should see that position more as it is the Rangers’ worst in the lineup. As a team they are hitting .140 in the three hole. Not what you want from the spot that is supposed to protect the cleanup hitter. Long gone are the days of Adrian Beltre-Josh Hamilton-Nelson Cruz as 3,4 and 5 in the lineup. Trevino-Gallo/Frazier-Frazier/Gallo should be the choice for now. Give Trevino more opportunities and see what he can do.
Is Trevino Here to Stay?
Logic says that Trevino is going nowhere. I believe his future is with the team at the major league level with Jeff Mathis being the odd man out. In fact I believe he is the bridge to Texas Rangers prospect Sam Huff. If you don’t know who this kid is then I definitely urge you to google him. He’s the team’s number two prospect at catcher. He’s 6’5″ and weighs 240 and has raw power. Think of him as the next coming of Mike Piazza. That’s how good he is.
Baseball America had projected Huff to be with the Rangers in 2021 but with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the minor leagues he never had a chance to advance this season. He’s never played above high A ball and will need at least a full season in double-A to get used to better pitching.
That is why I see Jose Trevino and Robinson Chirinos as the catcher next season with a 2022 tandem of Trevino/Huff. They will be the catching duo envy of MLB at that time and for years to come.