Having looked previously at the state of the Kansas City Royals‘ Spring Training pitching staff, it only makes sense to continue on and look at the catchers as well.
The Royals took seven catchers into camp this year and three of them start out on the 40-man roster. They will be competing for (presumably) two spots on the 25-man roster.
We will now look at the non-roster invitees, having looked at the existing roster candidates in part one. As with the pitcher,s there will be a bit of background ahead of a prediction about where they will find themselves on April 1.
Adam Moore came over from the Seattle Mariners organization during the 2012 season, and played a few games for the big league club in September after spending most of the year at Triple-A. He’s never managed to establish himself at the big league level, and a bad injury in 2011 did not help matters. With the Royals having picked up some more depth at catcher over the winter, he looks very unlikely to even make a return to the 40-man roster.
Prediction: Every day catcher at Triple-A, and the call-up in case of injury.
Manny Pina has played a handful of games at the major league level as a September call-up, but the lion’s share of his career has been in the minor leagues, primarily Double-A. He is a decent bat and a good prospect, but it will probably be a while before he is ready to play in the major leagues.
Prediction: Back to Double-A.
Max Ramirez is a minor league catcher/first baseman who is almost exclusively known for his bat. He has already shown considerable power this spring, and that comes as no surprise to the Royals. But the problem is that he is well below average with the glove to the point where he has no regular position. With the Royals well stocked with hitters at the moment, there isn’t a lot of room for advancement for Ramirez, and certainly not without improving his defence.
Prediction: Minor leagues, probably Double-A. Not on the 40-man roster.
Julio Rodriguez is in camp to fill up the numbers and not much else. Several catchers are required to handle all the pitchers in camp, and Rodriguez is one of them. He’s never been higher than Double-A, and most of his career has been even lower. By all accounts, he is an okay player, but not nearly ready for the big leagues, and not in Spring Training to try to prove otherwise.
Prediction: Not a whelk’s chance in a supernova of making the big league roster.