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Meet the catchers

A few days ago I posted the top ten catching prospects in the game. The Red Sox do have a player on that list in the presence of Kelly Shoppach, but what about the rest of the catchers in the Red Sox system? Well, this is a web site devoted to the Red Sox so while a list of 10 catching prospects in all of baseball may not pertain to the topic at hand, a list of the catching prospects in the Red Sox system would. Here's a bit about 9 of the catchers that the Red Sox have floating around in the major leagues. You will never hear the name of most of these guys again, but it's always good to know what the Red Sox have floating around in their system and it will really impress your buddies if you start breaking out names of guys playing for the Greenville Bombers. I already posted a diary with a link to most of this information already, but in case you didn't see it, here it is again.

Kelly Shoppach - The Sox have the best catching duo in major league baseball blocking Kelly Shoppach and it's too bad because he is a guy listed near the tops of most people's top catching prospects list. Shoppach is known mostly for his defense and for the power in his bat. He strikes out a lot and, like most catchers, can't run, but he produces some pretty solid numbers. He struggled at the plate last year, but after having a little while to adjust, he's doing just fine this year. He does have a low batting average at .257, but walks enough for a .360 OBP and his 14 homers and 9 doubles in 175 AB's give him a very respectable .549 SLG. He could be trade bait or he could be injury insurance. He could be a very valueable piece to the organization. I'd vote for trade bait because I feel that his value will never be higher.

Shawn Wooten - Wooten was a non roster invitee to spring training this year, signed to add a little bit of depth and major league experience to the club. When he's not backing up Shoppach behind the plate, he's in the line up in Pawtucket at either first or DH. So far the signing has not been a good one as his .246/.307/.411 line in 224 AB's shows how much he's struggling. He was the 501st selection of the 93 amature draft by Detroit. He's also been part of the Angels and Phillies organization. He's had some good years at the minor league level, but so far at the age of 33, he's never put it together in the bigs despite getting a few shots.

Alberto Concepcion - Concepcion is known more for his defensive skills than for his light bat. He's hitting .241/.297/.325 as Portland's primary catcher and hits at the bottom of the line up. He hit the ball well in his senior year at USC going .363/.466/.637, but so far at the age of 24 he hasn't got the job done as a pro. He was a second round pick by the Padres coming out of highschool, but decided to attend college instead and fell to the 21st round when the Sox took him in 2002.

Jim Buckley - Buckley is essentially a 25 year old organizational filler. So far the best portion of his professional career was when he hit .236 in 55 AB's in high-A in 2003. He was drafted in the 25th round in 2002, has never hit a thing as a professional, and was called up from his back-up job in Portland when Wooten was called up to the majors in mid-May. In limited playing time so far in Pawtucket he's hitting .158/.289/.184. He's struck out 18 times in 38 at bats. A few days ago he was sent back down to Portland where he will continue to be a backup catcher.

Clint Chauncey - Here is a guy who is 24 years old and is hitting .143/.210/.220...in A ball. He's working in his fourth organization since the Yankees drafted him in the 16th round in 2000 and he has exactly one home run as a professional. I'm willing to be my life on the fact that this guy will never even get a sniff of the big leagues. Chances are good that he's only going to last a year or two before the Sox send him packing and the next time he goes looking for a job in baseball, it's probably not going to be very easy for him.

Jeff Ontiveros - Oniveros was never drafted, but has been in the Red Sox organization since 2002. He's currently 26 and still playing in Wilmington. He's been getting the bulk of the team's time behind the plate and even batting clean up, but his .239/.350/.449 line isn't impressive for someone his age. He's taking the walks and hitting for a little bit of power, but he's also striking out a lot. For a guy his age at that level, his numbers pretty much say that he's not going to go far.

Mitch Stachowsky - In 103 at bats the 20 year old Stachowsky has been Greenville's worst hitter with a pitiful .161/.296/.357 line. 11 of his 17 hits have gone for extra bases and he has walked 14 times, but so far the guy jsut can't hit. He's in his second year as a pro after being selected by the Sox in the 50th round of the 2003 draft. Being taken in the last round of the draft and putting up numbers as poor as he's put up pretty much means his professional career will be a short one.

Salvador Paniagua - Paniagua, 22, has walked 1 time in 127 at bats and has a .252/.258/.433 line. He's getting the extra base hits, but a 35-1 k-bb ratio will never cut it. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Sox in 2001 and has so far had a professional career identical to the numbers he's putting up this year. He doesn't hit for average, doesn't draw walks, but manages an extra base hit every now and then.

Jesus Garcia - The only thing I really know about Garcia is that he's the starting catcher for the Gulf Coast Red Sox, he's young, and Sox Prospects is pretty high on him. He's 18 years old and has a lot of potential. He's a very toolsy player who could develop power, hits for average, and has good speed for a catcher. Even his defense is supposed to be pretty good. In a couple of years he might be a name to remember. Right now he's 18 and all potential.