The Rangers will likely try to sign a veteran catcher or two before the season starts due to the overrated cast they have behind the plate. It all starts with 25-year old switch-hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He played in 84 games for the Rangers last season and he was 66 for 283 (.233 avg, .661 OPS) with 34 runs scored, 9 homers and 34 RBIs. I’ve been reading about his potential for a long, long time but my eyes think he is a below average player all the way around. He had 7 errors and 2 passed balls in only 83 games behind the plate last season for the Rangers and that is pretty lousy. He did throw out 22% of the runners trying to steal on him and Rangers’ pitchers liked throwing to him as they had a 4.08 ERA with him behind the plate. His shoulder is hurting him right now and the Rangers are concerned about him as they prepare for spring training.
26-year old righty swinging Taylor Teagarden is an even worse player than Saltalamacchia as he has really disappointed the Rangers also. Despite glowing scouting reports, Teagarden continues to look overmatched in the majors. The Rangers should have traded him when his value was high. Teagarden played in 60 games for the Rangers last season and he was 43 for 198 (.217 avg, .644 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 6 homers and 24 RBIs. Teagarden was supposed to be a good defensive catcher but I saw no signs of that last season except his throwing arm. He made 6 errors and he had 5 passed balls in only 60 games behind the plate last season. He did throw out 34% of the runners trying to steal against him last season but Rangers’ pitchers had a 4.56 ERA with him behind the plate which was way worse than Saltalamacchia.
The Rangers tried trading 25-year old righty swinging catcher Max Ramirez to no avail over the winter. He played in 80 games in AAA+Rookie ball last season and he was 66 for 287 (.230 avg, .653 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 5 homers and 45 RBIs. With his main asset being his hitting the Rangers were very disappointed in him last year.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2010: D