The 2022 Texas Rangers roster as of now: Catchers
Certainties: Jonah Heim, Jose Trevino
Catcher is a position where the Rangers have struggled with consistency over the past two decades. Between 1975 and 2002, only five different players started at catcher for the team on Opening Day. Two of them were Ivan Rodriguez and Jim Sundberg, who combined for 20 of those starts. Since Pudge’s departure after 2002, no catcher has been in the lineup on Opening Day more than two years in a row.
Trevino doesn’t have a ton of upside as a player in terms of investment, but he’s a great clubhouse guy. He’s a proud Texas Ranger and will enter his fifth season with the club in 2022. He’s one of the best framing catchers in baseball and although he probably isn’t breaking through in the lineup at any point soon, he does have defensive value, and I think he’d be at his best serving as a backup for a competitive franchise.
Jonah Heim is about on the same level defensively, but he is an even worse hitter. He did rake 10 home runs in 2021, more than Trevino has in his career, and he doesn’t strike out at a criminally high rate. The Rangers would probably prefer to have more value at the plate from their catchers, but both Heim and Trevino are guys with good defensive value, and as long as they’re bottom-of-the-lineup, glove-dependent players, I wouldn’t expect either of them to be moved in the short-term.
Dark Horse: Sam Huff
Sam Huff is a very… intriguing player. He’s got the size of a classic Major League catcher at 6 foot 5 inches and 240 pounds. He just turned 24 on January 14, so it feels like the team probably wants to get the ball rolling with Huff sooner than later. He’s the only player on the Rangers’ Top 10 prospect list with Major League experience – in case you forgot, he slashed .355/.394/.742 and nabbed 11 hits in 33 plate appearances in 2020, before bouncing between levels in the minor leagues in 2021. He even hit three home runs in 2020! I don’t think there has been a huge rush to get Huff too far too fast, as there are already two very good defensive catchers above him, but his power is tantalizing, and he’s one of, if not the most MLB-ready player in the team’s pipeline. Huff could crack the opening day roster, but it would require Heim or Trevino to be moved. I’d expect Huff to start the year in AAA Round Rock and perhaps get a call up around May or June, but we’ll see what the remainder of the offseason and Spring Training do to help him out.