First it was Khris Davis in 2010 that set the single-season home run record in Appleton by smashing 22 home runs. Then in 2013, Victor Roache matched Davis by hitting 22 of his own. This season, catching prospect Clint Coulter joined the duo by hitting 22 as well, including two on the final day. Although presently, catching is as good as it has ever been for the Milwaukee Brewers, Coulter is proving that the future is very bright as well.
In 2013, Coulter was too young for the Midwest League and it showed. At the age of 19, he was playing years below the league average, and he was outmatched. Through 33 games, he batted just .207 and did not have the look of a former first round pick.
This season however, Coulter became one of the most feared batters in the league. He terrorized opposing pitchers, by not only leading the team, but also the league in homers and OPS. He also finished the season second in the league in slugging percentage and RBIs, too. This season showed that he has officially arrived.
A trend has started throughout the league that established catchers with powerful bats have been moved out of the catcher’s position and onto a less grueling one. This season both Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana have handed in their chest protectors for an infielder’s glove. Others like Buster Posey and even the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy have seen time in the infield as well.
Although he takes pride in his defense, a permanent position switch for Lucroy is not out of the question at some point. Coulter is still at least a year and a half away from contributing at the major league level, but his powerful bat may be enough to make the move happen. After his trying season in 2013, some were ready to write Coulter off as another wasted high school draft pick, but he proved this year that Brewers fans need to think again. Coulter’s day will come in Milwaukee, and when it does, expect big things.