2022 Minnesota Twins Offseason Positional Preview: Catcher
By Otto Johnson
The Minnesota Twins enter the 2021 offseason with numerous questions across the board, and with a large number of positions with major question marks, it’s not so easy for Twins fans and writers to make real predictions at what could happen.
With that being said, we’re going to give it our best at breaking down each position on the roster and what to do this offseason, breaking down major questions, possible free agent additions, prospect call ups, trade options, and a prediction on what the position will look like when the 2022 season begins in roughly five months.
Our first Minnesota Twins Offseason Positional Preview starts with the catchers.
We’re starting of with the catcher position because it’s a position that we as fans really don’t know what will happen. Right now, the team has a good group of players, but it’s possible that it’ll look completely different next year. Let’s get into it.
Who’s currently on the Minnesota Twins Roster?
Mitch Garver: The biggest question at the position for next season is Mitch Garver. There’s no one denying Garver’s ability, but the Twins are trying to avoid getting stuck in mediocrity. If the team is going to enter a rebuild, moving Garver makes a ton of sense. Garver will be 31 to start next year, and with two more years of team control and a cheap salary, he’d be a valuable trade chip.
The only question is whether or not the team plans to contend. If they do, keeping Garver for at least one more year and pushing for one more run makes sense, as he was one of the best catchers in baseball when healthy. If they ship him out, it’ll be a clear signal that it’s time to rebuild.
Ryan Jeffers: Ryan Jeffers is one of the main reasons why the Twins would consider moving Garver. Despite a rough 2021, Jeffers is still the future at the position and would be a solid main catcher. His numbers were only just below average at the position and is due for some positive regression. He’s a lock for the Minnesota Twins roster next year.
Ben Rortvedt: Ben Rortvedt was the Twins’ best catching prospect prior to 2021, mostly because of his defensive ability and okay power at a position the Twins were thin at in the minors. That was a good analysis.
The team saw exactly that in 2021: a little power, solid defense, and a horrendous inability to get on base. He’ll be the top depth guy, and as far as third catchers go, he’s okay, with potential to develop into a solid backup backstop.
Top Minnesota Twins Minor League Catchers
Caleb Hamilton: In a farm system very thin on catchers, Caleb Hamilton stands out as the best. The 26-year-old struggles mightily with hitting for average, but walks a ton and has reached Triple-AAA. He best profiles as an emergency injury replacement, but that may be all the Twins need.
David Banuelos, Steve Berman, Chris Williams: This uninspiring trio of 25 and 26 year olds is like Hamilton with less potential, though they all likely won’t make an appearance unless there’s a disaster.
Jair Camargo and Charles Mack: Camargo and Mack are considered to be the top catching prospects in the system, but both are still well short of their 22nd birthdays and won’t be a factor in 2022 (or 2023 either).
Free Agent and Trade Targets for the Minnesota Twins to Consider
Jorge Alfaro or Nick Fortes: The Miami Marlins have long been considered as a potential trade destination for Garver, as the Silver Slugger winner would solidify the position for the Fish. If they were to make a move, the return would bring back solid young pitching, something the Marlins have a ton of, but it could also bring back another catcher as well.
Jorge Alfaro is more of a proven commodity and has been solid when healthy and comes with two years of control. Nick Fortes is young and flashed solid potential as a backstop, but would cost a little more. Either way, the Twins would have an MLB-ready backstop to pair with Jeffers in addition to some added prospect punch.
Predictions for Next Year’s Minnesota Twins Catching Room
Maybe I’m being optimistic, but I believe the organization when they say they’ve learned from last year and are actually going to try and contend in 2022. Lucky for them, they already have a catching group that’s talented enough and deep enough to win a World Series if Garver stays on the team and healthy.
If they try to contend, the 2022 starting catching group will be Mitch Garver, Ryan Jeffers, and Ben Rortvedt, with Caleb Hamilton as the fourth guy. That’s a very solid group of talent, and the Twins would do well not to break it up.