Jarrod Saltalamacchia - #39 (Catcher)
Bats: Both, Throws: Right
Age: 25, Size: 6'4" 235 lbs
Acquired: Via trade with the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2010
Contract: Pre-Arb (ST 2.137) Arb Eligible in 2012
Comments: "Salty" as I will refer to him in this comment section, was acquired mid-season by the Sox last year for minor league players Chris McGuiness, Roman Mendez, Michael Thomas and cash. Originally drafted in the 1st round into the Braves system, Salty was considered one of the upper-echelon prospects in the game (ranked #18 in 2006 by BA). In High A ball as a 20-yr old in 2005 he managed a 0.912 OPS with 35 2B and 19 HR. In 2006 he had a down year at AA with a 0.733 OPS. He made it to the big leagues in 2007 with Atlanta, then was subsequently packaged off to Texas in the Teixeira trade along with Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Elvis Andrus (think Atlanta might want that one back?). Between the two squads he managed a 0.732 OPS in 329 PAs with 11 HR that year. He played a part time role in Texas during the 2008/2009 seasons, never really making an impact as a bat or with his defense. Boston picked him up last year and he managed to appear in 10 games with the squad, with the only bright spot is he walked more than he K'ed (6 to 4).
Career Stats (minors in parens):
PA: 899 (1911)
BA: 0.248 (0.271)
OBP: 0.315 (0.366)
SLG: 0.386 (0.458)
OPS: 0.701 (0.823)
Unique Fact: Jarrod's last name has 6 syllables. His older brother Justin appeared in the Braves rookie league in the 2003 season
Analysis: Salty comes into the 2011 season with the catcher's starting job to lose (at least against righties). He has shown power in his past as well as on-base ability and is still only 25 so there remains a chance that he puts it all together. His career splits vs. righties make him look like a remarkably better player. Besides the aging Varitek or the soft-hitting Wagner, or the no-defense Ramirez - the Sox really do not have a better option.
Projection: 0.249/0.323/0.422 wOBA - 0.329 12 HR
Tomorrow: Marco Scutaro