Rule 5 Catchers

If teams expand their rosters to 28 as has been mentioned, we might see more rule 5 guys getting a chance. One type of player that could easily be added for depth is a catcher. Catchers take a huge amount of wear and tear during a season. The most games started by a catcher last year was 120 by Salvador Perez of the Royals. Only 13 started 100 games. The backup catcher can be expected to play much more than any backups at any other position. Last year the Tigers had 5 starting catchers… Haase, Rogers, Ramus, Garneau and Greiner, all had between 61 and 18 starts. A rule 5 guy could easily be snuck into 20 games as a starter and maybe come in and do mop up work in a blowout.

He could use the time learning from major league coaches, learning from the players and enjoying a year as a big leaguer. This would be very valuable experience to a young player and if he’s sent down the following year, that experience can be passed onto the other minor league players.

Here’s a short list of potential Rule 5 eligible catchers who might get drafted for 2022...

Yankees : Josh Breaux - Breaux is very similar to Gary Sanchez. A guy that is listed as a catcher with huge power from the right side but also huge strike outs and very poor behind the plate. He has an excellent arm, he can cut down the base runners, but he has been playing mostly DH because his defense is so bad. Someone might take a chance on him as a backup catcher and a right handed bat off the bench. He has played some at AA. 36 homers in 177 games played. .259/ .305/ .482. He is ranked 18th on the Yankee top 30 prospects. 24 years old.

Royals : Freddy Fermin - He’s a defense first catcher that has some hitting ability. He has hit .268/ .345/ .389 in his minor league career. He has 2 seasons with double digit home run power. 26 years old, someone may take a chance on him as a backup.

Diamondbacks : Dominic Maroglio - 26 year old catcher that has not played AAA yet. He has a strong arm. Quite a few passed balls. He’s a decent hitter. Minor league totals of .278/ .352/ .413. He has played some 1B and OF. Someone again might take a chance on him as a backup catcher PH/DH.

Rays : Blake Hunt - Hunt was a top 30 prospect in the Padres system before being traded to the Rays. He is considered a solid defensive catcher with potential for a powerful swing from the right side. Someone could make him a solid backup for now and then move him to the minors to work on his hitting in 2023. He’s 23 years old. Slash of .242/ .326/ .381 in his minor league career.

Padres : Brandon Valenzuela - 21 year old switch hitting catcher who is a solid defensive catcher. He’s the Padres number 19 prospect in a very solid prospect class. He has very little power but he has a strong OBP. .276/ .390/ .372 slash. "Valenzuela is a defense-first catcher who draws high marks for his makeup and leadership qualities. Pitchers love throwing to Valenzuela, who has a knack for pitch-calling and game management and projects as an above-average receiver." He has only played as high as A+ ball, but someone may try to stash him on their roster.

Giants : Ricardo Genoves - 22 year old right handed hitting catcher/1B. Slash line of .261/ .343/ .398, known as a defense first catcher who has recently improved his hitting. Still strikes out quite a bit, but has added some power. One of the youngest players at AAA last year.

I could see a team like the White Sox taking on a young catcher like Valenzuela to be a backup late in games and giving Grandall a break. Or a team like the Rangers taking on Breaux and see if he can hit major league pitching. Or even the Mets picking up Hunt as backup to McCann. Rule 5 draft is an inexpensive way to add quality young players to your roster. With expanded rosters, I can see the Rule 5 gaining in popularity.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.