Sunday, December 2, 2012

Positional Depth Analysis: Catcher

Just a year ago, the Giants had 3 legitimate catching prospects, to go along with one of, if not the best catcher in the league starting for them at a fairly young age.  Now, with Hector Sanchez backing up Posey, and Tommy Joseph traded mid-season, the Giants have much less minor league catching depth.  That being said, the Giants still have have legitimate prospect in Andrew Susac.  Not only that, but Hector Sanchez is great off the bench for San Francisco, and Tommy Joseph allowed the Giants to reel in Hunter Pence.  So the Giants are currently gaining the benefits of all of last years catching depth right now.

As I see it, the minor league catching depth looks like this:
Andrew Susac. . . .

Okay that's pretty much it for the intriguing guys at this point, but how much do you really need with Posey and Sanchez doing what they're doing at the major league level.  My top three catchers, in order, for the Giants minor league teams are:

  1. Andrew Susac
  2. Dan Burkhart
  3. Alex Burg
Susac is, like I said earlier, intriguing.  last season, in 100 games, he hit only .244/.351/.380, with 9 homeruns and 52 RBI's. other than the lower batting average, his 100 strikeouts worry me.  Now he's definitely not all bad.  the 16 doubles and 9 homeruns were not bad, and he did get on base pretty well. called him "an improving defensive catcher", and also compared him to Carlos Santana of the Indians.  His season at San Jose was definitely not what most were probably hoping it would be, but I definitely wouldn't write him off just yet.  He will either repeat at San Jose, since there isn't much of a reason to rush him, or he will move up to AA richmond.  He will be fun to watch either way and I would love to see if he can get the strikeouts down and the batting average up.  At this point I really see Susac becoming a back-up, but he could become more

Burkhart is very intersting.  He was a tenth round pick in 2010 who was said to be a "good defensive catcher with a good batting eye and a questionable power ceiling", by  This season at San Jose, he hit .298/.362/.439 with 2 homeruns and 19 RBI's in 34 games.  It's a little bit of a small sample size but the bat looks good, and as a good defensive catcher, he doesn't need too much of a bat to be productive, but it's always welcome.  He was also one of the few catchers known for being "one of the few catchers in the college game trusted to call his own pitches".  That kind of maturity is definitely impressive, because you love a catcher that can handle the pitching staff.  He was a little old for A ball at 23 years old, but result are results and you can't be too disappointed what he did.  I think he will be at AA next season, if not because he earned it because he will just be too old for single-A.  I see him projecting as a solid major league backup, maybe more.

Alex Burg's best attribute, in my opinion, is his versatility.  He can play many infield positions, which may be his way to the major leagues.  He hit .252/..341/.429 with 10 homeruns and 43 RBI's in 100 games.  I'm hesitant to think too much of him because he is 25 years old at San Jose, so his days of being thought of as a legitimate prospect are numbered. also has him listed at third so I don't know if he's really thought of as a catcher as much as a utility guy.  He will probably move up next year so hopefully he makes more offensive progress soon.

The Giants catchers are full of question marks and potential, but the Giants aren't exactly in need of catchers at this point.  Other notables would be Trevor Brown out of the tenth round of the 2012 draft and Johnny Monell, although he is getting a little old as well.  I see Monell becoming a back-up some where soon.  thanks for reading!

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