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A. Cavatica
01-11-2004, 11:24 PM
I am really worried about the lack of quality catching in the organization. If he improves with age, Olivo could be very good, and now that he's been marked down, Alomar is a serviceable backup. But behind that we have Burke and Rivera, who I see as stopgaps, and Hankins (who caught some in the AFL, probably as a desperation move to prolong his career). And I don't think we have a solid prospect at any level.

Rex Hudler
01-11-2004, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by A. Cavatica
I am really worried about the lack of quality catching in the organization. If he improves with age, Olivo could be very good, and now that he's been marked down, Alomar is a serviceable backup. But behind that we have Burke and Rivera, who I see as stopgaps, and Hankins (who caught some in the AFL, probably as a desperation move to prolong his career). And I don't think we have a solid prospect at any level.

That is an accurate assessment.

CubKilla
01-12-2004, 01:34 AM
Catching has become a joke. If a C can hit .220 in the ML's and display a little power, he's a starter on most MLB teams.

Most ML farm teams are concerning themselves with pitching and versatile players out of the draft. Catchers are an afterthought it seems now-a-days.

It will be interesting to see if Maurer is to C what Prior is to P.

Daver
01-12-2004, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by CubKilla
Catching has become a joke. If a C can hit .220 in the ML's and display a little power, he's a starter on most MLB teams.

Most ML farm teams are concerning themselves with pitching and versatile players out of the draft. Catchers are an afterthought it seems now-a-days.



No,there are seriously few catchers to be had even in the amatuer draft.In the highly competetive world of HS and college athletics catchers that can hit are usually moved to 1B/LF,both to have their bat in the lineup everyday,as well as to protect them from injury,because it is in the coaches best interest to do this.

Mauer was an overall number one pick because he is a catcher that CAN catch and hit,mainly because he and his dad fought against his being moved out of the position in school,but he is the exception rather than the rule.

The vast majority of your everday catchers in HS and college are playing that position because their bat was not good enough to provide the need to move them out of the position.I don't see the trend changing anytime soon.

Tekijawa
01-12-2004, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by Daver
Mauer was an overall number one pick because he is a catcher that CAN catch and hit,mainly because he and his dad fought against his being moved out of the position in school,but he is the exception rather than the rule.


Mauer was the over all number one pick, because the Twins knew they couldn't afford Prior...

Rex Hudler
01-12-2004, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by Daver
No,there are seriously few catchers to be had even in the amatuer draft.In the highly competetive world of HS and college athletics catchers that can hit are usually moved to 1B/LF,both to have their bat in the lineup everyday,as well as to protect them from injury,because it is in the coaches best interest to do this.

Mauer was an overall number one pick because he is a catcher that CAN catch and hit,mainly because he and his dad fought against his being moved out of the position in school,but he is the exception rather than the rule.

The vast majority of your everday catchers in HS and college are playing that position because their bat was not good enough to provide the need to move them out of the position.I don't see the trend changing anytime soon.

Can't argue with that at all.... Kids play so many games today, with traveling teams, all-star teams, etc. that a lot of catchers get injured before they are ever thinking of being drafted.

The Sox have used reasonably high draft picks to draft catchers recently, they just have not had any luck at signing them. Their have been three catchers the Sox recently drafted high with high round picks. Jonathan Zeringue, now playing outfield at LSU and was listed as a pre-season 2nd Team All-America by BA. Tony Richie who chose Florida State over the Sox and starred there, only to be drafted by the Cubs in the 4th round last year. Lou Palmisano was drafted by the Sox two years ago and went to a JC instead. He was drafted by the Brewers this year in the 3rd round and promptly became the #3 prospect in the Pioneer League this year, which included the Great Falls White Sox. So you can't say the Sox haven't tried, they just haven't been able to get guys signed for one reason or the other.

Daver
01-12-2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Tekijawa
Mauer was the over all number one pick, because the Twins knew they couldn't afford Prior...

Mauer was the number one overall pick because the Twins had no intention of making the mistake the Cubs made when they signed a draft pick to a Major League contract as opposed to a Minor legue contract.

voodoochile
01-12-2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by Daver
Mauer was the number one overall pick because the Twins had no intention of making the mistake the Cubs made when they signed a draft pick to a Major League contract as opposed to a Minor legue contract.

Is that still considered a mistake? I mean the guy made it to the majors and competed for a Cy Young in his second season, right?

Daver
01-12-2004, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Is that still considered a mistake? I mean the guy made it to the majors and competed for a Cy Young in his second season, right?

And he is now three years away from FA,when it would be more like seven had he signed a minor league contract.

MarkEdward
01-12-2004, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by Rex Hudler
So you can't say the Sox haven't tried, they just haven't been able to get guys signed for one reason or the other.

It would've been nice to see the Sox pick up at least one catcher in the draft, though. Richie, Jake Fox, and Landon Powell were all available in the later rounds. Mitch Maier would've been a stretch for our first pick, but I wouldn't have been disappointed if Williams selected him. We didn't even take a catcher until the 21st round.

On the plus side, Matt Deuchler (a catcher drafted in the 40th round out of James Madison) hit .300/.356/.438 for Great Falls in 80 ABs.

Daver
01-12-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
It would've been nice to see the Sox pick up at least one catcher in the draft, though. Richie, Jake Fox, and Landon Powell were all available in the later rounds. Mitch Maier would've been a stretch for our first pick, but I wouldn't have been disappointed if Williams selected him. We didn't even take a catcher until the 21st round.

On the plus side, Matt Deuchler (a catcher drafted in the 40th round out of James Madison) hit .300/.356/.438 for Great Falls in 80 ABs.

Maier fell a ton,and was considered out of shape at draft time,there has also been talk of moving him to LF to better use his bat.

Deuchler is not a bad hitter,but he is also not the worlds greatest defensive catcher,hopefully his skills can be improved as time goes by.

voodoochile
01-12-2004, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by Daver
And he is now three years away from FA,when it would be more like seven had he signed a minor league contract.

How many years has he been in their organization? Even if everyone he didn't pitch in the majors was added on, they would at most have 2 more years and I think that number is 1. He made it to the big leagues real fast, IIRC.

Daver
01-12-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
How many years has he been in their organization? Even if everyone he didn't pitch in the majors was added on, they would at most have 2 more years and I think that number is 1. He made it to the big leagues real fast, IIRC.

He has two seasons of Major league service time to his credit,after five you are eligible for arbitration.Had he signed a minor league contract they could have controled his service time easier by sending him down before he hit the plateau.The Cubs gambled,and it may payoff,but the Twins were not going to play that game.

DrCrawdad
01-12-2004, 05:47 PM
IIRC Mark Johnson was released by the A's. Was MJ signed by anyone?

voodoochile
01-12-2004, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by Daver
He has two seasons of Major league service time to his credit,after five you are eligible for arbitration.Had he signed a minor league contract they could have controled his service time easier by sending him down before he hit the plateau.The Cubs gambled,and it may payoff,but the Twins were not going to play that game.

Yeah, in most cases it is a bad idea, but in Prior's case, the flubbies made out like bandits. It is going to cost them very little and has already lit a fire under the franchise that he is in no small way a part of.

I agree though it's not smart to expect that kind of thing very often. The last guy I recall it happening with was Todd Van Poppel who was the Prior of his day before falling on his face as a starter and finally struggling back to become a mediocre middle reliever.

dickallen15
01-12-2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
Yeah, in most cases it is a bad idea, but in Prior's case, the flubbies made out like bandits. It is going to cost them very little and has already lit a fire under the franchise that he is in no small way a part of.

I agree though it's not smart to expect that kind of thing very often. The last guy I recall it happening with was Todd Van Poppel who was the Prior of his day before falling on his face as a starter and finally struggling back to become a mediocre middle reliever.

Van Pimple was a high school pitcher. Prior was dominating at USC. Its a huge difference. I don't think there is any question it paid off for the Cubs. He is winning and dominating. Why hide a guy in the minors if he is ready to win now?

Rex Hudler
01-12-2004, 07:18 PM
Prior was called up the same year he began playing, so the only difference in signing him to a Major League contract was about a month or two of service time.

Arbitration eligibility comes after three seasons (two in some cases - likely Prior's). Free agency follows after six seasons.

From the MLBPA CBA:
Salary Arbitration
The following salary arbitration procedure shall be applicable:
(1) Eligibility. The issue of a Player’s salary may be submitted
to final and binding arbitration by any Player or his Club, provided
the other party to the arbitration consents thereto. Any Club, or any Player with a total of three or more years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with less than six years of Major Leagueservice, may submit the issue of the Player’s salary to final and binding arbitration without the consent of the other party, subject to the provisions of paragraph (4) below.

In addition, a Player with at least two but less than three years of
Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if: (a)
he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immedi-ately preceding season; and (b) he ranks in the top seventeen percent (17%) (rounded to the nearest whole number) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season. If two or more Players are tied in ranking, ties shall be broken consecutively based on the number of days of service accumulated in each of the immediately preceding seasons. If the Players remain tied, the final tie breaker will be by lot.

A. Cavatica
01-12-2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by DrCrawdad
IIRC Mark Johnson was released by the A's. Was MJ signed by anyone?

Not that I've seen. He'll catch on with someone, though. Lefty catchers always hang on longer than most.

Daver
01-12-2004, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by A. Cavatica
Not that I've seen. He'll catch on with someone, though. Lefty catchers always hang on longer than most.

Especially former first round draft picks.......

A. Cavatica
01-12-2004, 08:17 PM
MJ signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee in December.

MarkEdward
01-12-2004, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by A. Cavatica
MJ signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee in December.

He has a good chance to make the team, too. Chad Moeller will probably start. Eddie Perez and Keith Osik are no longer on the team, and the only other catcher on the Brewers' 40-man roster is Kade Johnson, who hit .192/.271/.296 in AA last year.