Sep 5, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21) slides safely home for a run against Houston Astros catcher Matt Pagnozzi (44) during the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pagnozzi has the genetics to be a catcher.
His uncle, Tom Pagnozzi, played for 12 years in St. Louis, appearing in one All-Star game and winning three Gold Gloves from 1987-1998.
Whereas Tom made his major league debut at age 24, it took Matt a couple years longer, breaking into the bigs for the Cardinals at age 26 in 2009.
The Brewers will be the fifth major league club that the 31-year-old back-up backstop has played for. He has played in 43 games and has 92 at-bats, while hitting .272 with 13 RBIs.
Ah, the life of a third-string catcher.
Pagnozzi was selected by the Cardinals in the 8th round of the 2003 June Amateur Draft. He played 59 games for New Jersey in the New York-Penn League (A-), hitting just .178 but getting a promotion to Peoria in Class A Midwest the following summer. He threw out an amazing 51% of the 69 runners that tried to steal in 2003.
At Peoria, he hit thirty points higher in 215 ABs.
The next two years he split time between Advanced A and AA, all the time batting around .200.
In 2007-2008, he bounced around AA and AAA, hitting a bit better (~.230) and gunning down base stealers at a 35% clip.
Pagnozzi has played at the AAA level since 2009, bouncing around between the following organizations: St. Louis, Colorado, Cleveland, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. In the big leagues, he has played for the Cards, Rockies, Pirates, Astros, and Brewers.
The 6’2, 215# catcher has a career minor league average of .219 and an OPS of .615.
Normally a hitter with those numbers would have been released long ago, but a good defensive catcher is worth his weight in gold, all puns aside.
Pagnozzi will give manager Ron Roenicke a little flexibility behind the plate, and any offense Pagnozzi provides is a bonus. Look for him to come in late in games as a defensive sub or maybe get a start or two in the next few weeks.