The Rangers struggled to find a catcher that they could rely on in 2010 until Jon Daniels made a move to acquire Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants.
Molina solidified the position and came up with timely hits for the Rangers in the regular season and the playoffs. However, Molina looked a bit sluggish in the playoffs where he hit under .200.
In 2011, Molina will not be back. Early in the offseason, the Rangers signed Yorvit Torrealba to catch, but more recently they have traded for Mike Napoli who figures to catch and fill the designated hitter spot.
The position was a spot of weakness after former prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia struggled to develop at the dish and in the field. Saltalamacchia’s career was also bothered my injuries and arm troubles.
Napoli batted just .238 in 2010 but he slugged a career high 26 homers while driving in a career high 68 runs. In the Texas heat and lineup, Napoli could be primed for a good season in a Rangers uniform. Napoli will catch and play designated hitter so he should get plenty of at-bats to get in a rhythm.
Yorvit Torrealba played for the San Diego Padres last year. His stats can be seen below:
|162 Game Avg.||162||510||57||131||29||3||11||66||.257||.320||.388|
Torrealba hit .271 in 2010 in only 95 games. Only once in his career has he played over 100 games and that came in 2007 when he played just 113 games. The fact remains that he has never been a number one catcher for any team. As a result, the Rangers should not count on getting more than half of a season worth of productivity from Torrealba who will turn 33 in July.
The Rangers have two final catching options if Torrealba is out and Napoli is playing DH. Taylor Teagarden who batted just .155 in 28 games last season is listed at third on the Rangers depth chart according to texasrangers.com.
The final catching option for the Rangers is Matt Treanor. He will turn 35 during Spring Training and hit .211 with 27 RBI’s in 2010.
The Rangers will rely most heavily on Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba, but they have solid organizational depth at the position even if three of the top 4 are not often productive consistently on offense.
Tags: Adrian Beltre Bengie Molina Frank Francisco Jarrod Saltalamacchia Jon Daniels Josh Hamilton Matt Treanor Mike Napoli Nelson Cruz San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Taylor Teagarden Texas Rangers Toronto Blue Jays Vernon Wells Yorvit Torrealba