As the Milwaukee Brewers’ need for an eventual third baseman draws closer, they might have swooped up an answer in Vinnie Catricala. On Thursday, the Brewers picked up Catricala as he was not protected by the Oakland Athletics for the Rule 5 Draft.
Catricala, 25, played for the Seattle Mariners and A’s Double-A affiliates in 2013. He was once considered a top prospect in the Mariners’ organization and in 2011 took home the honors of being named Player of the Year in the organization.
After a rough 2012 and a lukewarm start to 2013, Catricala was traded to the A’s just this past August where he would remain until a few days ago. However, you may recognize him from the famous “one pitch strikeout” that happened earlier this year.
There’s always skepticism mixed in with a 25-year-old prospect who hasn’t made his major league debut, but Catricala could be close. He has in fact played in Triple-A ball, as he did in 2012, but only saw action in Double-A this past season. Overall in 2013, Catricala hit .235/.292/.328, which were numbers way under his previous seasons in the minors. Still, he owns a career .285/.355/.445 slash line in just five years of minor league baseball.
Does Catricala have a chance to make the Brewers’ 25-man roster at all this season? Perhaps, because the team does have a certain lack of versatile infielders, which Catricala is since he has played first and third in the past. He’ll more than likely start the 2014 season in Triple-A Nashville, which is a positive sign for him going forward.
He may stand a better chance to make the team in the long run than Wei-Chung Wang who was also selected in the Rule 5 Draft as he’ll have more time to work in the minors. The Brewers don’t yet have an answer for third base if Aramis Ramirez faces anymore time out of the line-up. Taylor Green is not on the 40-man roster, so the team only has Jeff Bianchi as the back-up third baseman and infielder.
What do you think about Catricala? Is he someone you would like to see up with the Brewers next season or will he remain a prospect and nothing more? Let us know your thoughts.