Our 2022 season report card series continues. Previously, we have looked at the outfielders as well as the infielders. Today, we will take a look at the Brewers that played catcher last season.
Prior to the start of the regular season, there was some drama surrounding the catcher position. With Opening Day nearing, Pedro Severino tested positive for the banned substance Clomiphene. Severino was a new addition to the team for Manny Pina signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. This left the Brewers without a backup catcher for 80 games and also made him ineligible for the postseason.
In correspondence to Severino's suspension, the Brewers went out and acquired Victor Caratini. Caratini and Omar Narvaez would go on to play the vast majority of the games behind the dish in 2022. Alex Jackson did have to play in an emergency situation and Mario Feliciano got his feet wet in the big leagues as well.
For the purpose of the report card article, only Narvaez and Caratini will receive 2022 season grades.
Omar Narvaez 2022 Season Grade: F
A year out from being an All-Star, Omar Narvaez had a dreadful offensive 2022 season. He received just 296 at bats, hit for just a .206 batting average, .292 OBP, .305 SLG, and a 71 OPS+. Due to his poor performance, Victor Caratini appeared in more games than he did.
Unfortunately for Narvaez, this was a contract year for him. In two out of his three years as a Brewer his offensive performance has not been good. While this does make him a buy-low candidate on the free agent market, the question the Brewers must ask themselves going forward is will he bounce back next year similar to how he did in 2021 after a poor 2020?
Victor Caratini 2022 Season Grade: D+
To begin the season, Victor Caratini got off to a good start. In a very short amount of time he had to learn a new pitching staff and often worked with Corbin Burnes, who utilized the pitch com system. Despite constantly dealing with having to learn his new pitchers, Caratini had a 128 OPS+ at the All-Star break.
The second half of the season was a different story. He hit just .159 with a 42 OPS+ the rest of the way. Overall his season batting average finished below the Mendoza Line. Disappointing as he was at the plate, his first half success makes his season not a total failure, although still not good.
As it stands today, Omar Narvaez is a free agent and Victor Caratini was tendered a contract. Mario Feliciano is on the depth chart along with the recently re-acquired Payton Henry and Alex Jackson. Odds are the Brewers will make at least one more transaction involving the catcher position this offseason.