2012 AL East Preview: Catchers
By Editorial Staff
I know everyone is to the point in the offseason where they are going stir crazy waiting for baseball to return but fear not: pitchers and catchers report in a mere 11 days! So until then, we’ll be taking a look around the AL East and doing a position-by-position comparison of the Yankees division opponents.
Russell Martin – NYY
Russell didn’t have a great season at the plate last year (.237/.324/.408), but it was easy to forget that because he had some timely hits and his defense was strong. Russell got quite a hefty $3.5M raise from the Yankees in arbitration this winter so he’s not the amazing bargain he was last season, but he remains a solid option for the price. (Sidenote: Did you know that Martin’s full name is Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin? I sure didn’t. That is one fantastic name.)
J.P. Arencibia – TOR
Arencibia projects to improve slightly in his sophomore season. Last year he hit 23 home runs and drove in 78 RBI, so look for him to continue to put up good run production numbers.
Matt Wieters – BAL
Wieters is the strongest all-around catcher in the AL East. He’s an exciting young player to watch and has improved steadily since his debut in 2009. In all likelihood Wieters will have another great season. Unfortunately for the Orioles, the rest of the division is simply too strong for them to seriously compete. But Wieters should at least give O’s fans something to cheer for.
Jose Lobaton – TAM
Jose Molina – TAM
The Rays will likely split the catching duties between Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton, so their projections are both included here. There’s not a whole lot to say about these two; the catching position is clearly a weak spot in the Rays offense. But if these two provide solid defense they will meet expectations.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – BOS
With the big bats in the rest of the Red Sox offense they could have pretty much any old scrub behind the plate and still win a lot of games. The fact that Salty is solid defensively and can be counted on for some occasional pop at the plate is a bonus.
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