Brewers News

Addressing the Milwaukee Brewers Options at Catcher

stevenjewell
Jun 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Andrew Susac (34) exchanges high fives in the dugout after scoring a run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Andrew Susac (34) exchanges high fives in the dugout after scoring a run against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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OPTION 4: Josmil Pinto || MLB plate appearances: 280 || MLB OPS: 784

Defensive reputation: very poor (as of 2014)

If Pinto was even a passable defender behind the plate, he would likely still be catching for the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, his defense in his most recent stint in the Majors in 2014 was met with harsh criticism.

That season, he allowed 20 stolen bases at the Major League level, and caught zero would-be basestealers. The link above also labels Pinto as the worst pitch-framer of 2014 and features a particularly blunt assessment of the catcher’s abilities from then-Twins closer, Glen Perkins. He was quoted saying that Pinto is “surely not at the big-league level as far as catching for me.”

That says essentially everything that needs to be said about Pinto. His offensive performance has always been well above-average for a catcher, but teams are understandably reluctant to use a backstop that pitchers openly dislike throwing to.

However, Pinto does continue to hit, slashing .327/.389/.512 with 15 doubles and seven homers in 244 plate appearances this season with the Sky Sox. And all this comes from a 27 year old whose most recent Big League experience came when he was just 25.

Interestingly, Pinto has played 23 games at first base this season, and while his Major League production may not scream “first base bat,” positional versatility is never a bad thing. Pinto is also throwing out one-third of base stealers this season, roughly in line with his minor league average.

If the Milwaukee Brewers can make strides with Pinto both behind the plate and, perhaps more realistically, at first base, he could see an opening with the Crew should Chris Carter be traded in the off-season. The addition of Susac, however, has definitely put his Big League future with the Brewers in doubt.

Next: Top 10 Prospects Post Trade Deadline

In summary: The Brewers aren’t winning right now. Susac certainly looks like the future at catcher, but being out of playoff contention allows the Crew a unique opportunity to give several players a chance at fulfilling their potential.

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