Last season, Eric Kratz found his big break in the MLB. In his third season in the majors, and second with the Philadelphia Phillies, Kratz split time with Brian Schneider when Carlos Ruiz injured his foot. Ruiz will be serving a 25 game suspension to begin the 2013 season due to adderall use. With Ruiz sidelined and Schneider now retired, the catching role will fall to Kratz for at least the first 25 games this year.
Growing up about 40 miles outside of Philadelphia in Telford, PA, Eric Kratz grew up watching and cheering for the Philadelphia Phillies. He talked about what an honor it was to play for his hometown team last season and to have a significant impact. After being selected in the 2002 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, he spent the next seven years in the Blue Jays’ minor league system. In 2009, Kratz signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and played the first half of the season playing for Pittsburgh’s triple- A affiliate. He made his MLB debut on July 17, 2010 and played nine games for the Pirates that season.
Before the 2011 season, Kratz signed a minor league contract with the Phillies and spent most of the year with the Phillies triple- A affiliate, making two appearances for the Phillies and had two hits in six at bats. Last season, Kratz played in 50 games for the Phillies, had a .248 average and hit 26 RBI. His most important contributions came from clutch hits during the second half of the season for the Phillies and helped him become popular among fans and players.
This season Kratz will hope to continue his success with the Phillies while filling in for Carlos Ruiz. At 32, Kratz is making his biggest impact in the majors so far in his career, he realizes this is his time to make a name for himself on this team and in the majors. It seems like we can continue to expect Kratz to do a great job filling in behind the plate.