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Vancouver Canadians 2012 Catchers

As I mentioned in my last piece, as news for the Canadians will be light during the off-season, I’m going to run a series of posts looking at each position, who manned it in 2012 for the C’s, and where those players may end up in 2013.  I was having a think and decided I would not include the ‘released’ option in my 2013 predictions.  Just seems a bit cruel for me to flippantly say someone will be out of a job next year, and hey, the Jays have 7 minor league teams to man next season, so they’ll need lots of players to fill those positions.  Hence the term Organizational Filler, which we’ll be using instead.

The Canadians employed four catchers this past season, with Tucker Frawley and Dan Klein sharing the bulk of the games.  Both were 2012 draft picks, as part of the Jays strategy of drafting college seniors in the middle rounds, signing them on the cheap (Frawley only got $5k despite being picked in the 8th round), and allocating their bonus pool towards the upper two rounds.

I’d have to check this, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Tucker Frawley is the only player in Northwest League history (bold statement) with more than say 80 at bats who sported an ISO of 0.  In his 94 plate appearances, Tucker managed just fifteen hits, none of which went for extra bases.  He caught nine base-runners at a healthy 32% clip, which, I’m guessing, is what got him the start the last couple of playoff games.

He’ll be 24 when the short season opens in 2013, but with his offensive skills lacking, I think he’ll repeat in Vancouver.  He’ll be old for the level, but as said above, teams will need players.  Organizational Filler.

Dan Klein had, statistically speaking, the best year amongst the C’s catchers (really doesn’t say a lot).  Of the Canadians regulars (and I’ve arbitrarily set that at 90 plate appearances), Klein ranked fourth in walk percentage at 12.3%.  Of course, he offsets this with a very healthy 29% strike out rate.  His ISO was a decent .147, so showed off a bit of power, an ability to get on base, but struck out too much.

Defensively, Klein also threw out 32% of base-runners.  I’d say, if anybody from the four Canadians gets promoted, it’s Klein.  Lansing’s catchers weren’t all that exciting either.  Let’s go out on a limb. Klein for long season 2013.

The other two catchers who saw time in Vancouver this season are both Venezuelan, were signed by the Jays as 17 year olds, and started their careers in the Dominican Summer League.  That’s where the similarities end though.

2012 was Leo Hernandez‘ sixth season in the Jays organization and third in a row where his appearances behind the plate diminished.  After a reasonable 2011 in Bluefield this season was definitely a step back.  In only fifty plate appearances, Hernandez had five hits and a walk for a .122 OBP.  I know I promised I wouldn’t predict released, but I really don’t know what to say about Leo’s prospects for 2013.  A repeat year in Vancouver?  Sure, why not.  Organizational filler it is.

Santiago Nessyspent the bulk of the season in Bluefield where he sported a .256/.320/.456 slash line.  More importantly he led

the team in home runs with eight.  He does have some pop.  After a late season call up to Vancouver, his numbers dropped dramatically, but with only 25 plate appearances, the sample size is too small to pass any judgements.

More importantly, he’ll be only 19 when the season starts next year so I am pretty confident the Jays will look at a short season assignment next season.  My colleague at Jays Journal, Kyle Matte, mentions Nessy’s weight and fact it may need monitoring.  Unfortunately I didn’t actually get to see Nessy in person this season so can’t comment if there will be any issues.

Kyle also highlights Santiago’s strengths defensively.  I’m going to let emotions cloud my judgement on this one.  I’m calling for an assignment to Vancouver in 2013 (at least to start) as I really want to see Nessy launch some bombs at the Nat.

So there you have it, of the four catchers who saw time at the Nat, I’m predicting that three will be back next season (one I’m forcing myself to due to my no release clause).  Obviously things will change with the draft and other factors, although I doubt there’ll be any trades involving the players I mention.  That being said, come the release of the 2013 roster, we’ll check back to my positional articles and see how we did.


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