Excitement is building with less than a week left before the Minnesota Twins open Spring Training. One position Twins fans should keep an eye on is catcher.
The Minnesota Twins have veteran Jason Castro behind the plate for the 2018 season. However, he is not the future at the position. Castro hit .242 with 108 strikeouts while playing in 110 games last season.
Castro sported a .333 on base percentage in ’17, drawing 45 walks over 407 plate appearances. He has never been known as a power threat, but Castro is solid with the bat. However, his offensive output does not cover for his defensive limitations.
Castro caught 26.4% of would be base stealers last season and allowed five passed balls. He is, at best, an average MLB starting catcher and the Minnesota Twins will need more from him to take the next step in 2018.
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Who will be in camp to challenge Castro?
The Twins do not have a lot of quality depth at catcher throughout their system. Mitch Garver saw some time behind the dish in ’17, but his future lies at first base or designated hitter. Garver showed during his Minor League career an ability to hit for good average. However, he has not inspired confidence in his ability to stick behind the plate.
Out of the trio of Willians Astudillo, Brian Navarreto, and Bobby Wilson only Wilson projects to see time in the Majors in ’18. Navarreto has not played above Double-A for the Twins, and Astudillo has only 128 plate appearances above Double-A. Wilson on the other hand has been up and down between the Majors and the Minors many times in his career.
He didn’t see any time in MLB last season, and at 32, he is organizational depth at this point in his career. Wilson has proven to be an adequate backup catcher in the past. If Garver can’t put it all together defensively, Wilson or Astudillo will have an opportunity to contribute. However, this is Castro’s job to lose and no player on this roster will push him for starts in ’18.
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