Aug 16, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcherKurt Suzuki
(8) walks to the dugout before the game against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Puckett’s Pond looks at the Minnesota Twins’ Catching depth
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This our second piece in a series on the Minnesota Twins’ depth at every position. Yesterday we covered their depth at first base from top to bottom. Today we’re taking a look at the catching depth the Twins possess—from the lowest minors to the major league level. We’ll go in the opposite order of the first base piece. We’ll start with mostly unfamiliar names in rookie ball and work up to the major league tandem.
There are three rookie levels in the Twins system: The GCL Twins, DSL Twins and the Elizabethton Twins. The following catchers are likely to play rookie ball again in 2016: Kerby Camacho, Bryant Hayman, Robert Molina, Jorge Acosta, Jhonathan Alvarez, Darling Cuesto, Oliver Tejada and Rainis Silva. None of these players are top prospects or likely will ever be. Camacho is the only one of the group to have been drafted (11th round of 2015). The others are mainly 17-19 year old amateur free agents. This group was largely unsuccessful in their first tastes of professional baseball. They are all very raw. Cuesto, however, put up some solid numbers in DSL. He slashed .280/.395/.357 in 173 PAs.
Brett Doe, Jorge Fernandez and Brian Navarreto played in Cedar Rapids last year and figure to remain there in 2016. Brian Olson and Brad Hartong played rookie ball last year and are ready to move up to single A. That’s obviously quite a logjam. Hartong mostly played outfield in 2015 and will probably continue to do so. Fernandez played more first base than catcher. That still leaves three primary catchers at single A. Someone may have to drop down to rookie or get bumped up to advanced A. Doe may be a candidate to move up to Fort Myers as he did see some time there last year. Navarreto’s bat is weak but he’s strong defensively. Olson had a .829 OPS across two rookie levels in 2015 and seems solid on the defensive end of things.
Next: A /AA Catching Depth