After the promotion of top prospect Devin Mesoraco and the trade of Yasmani Grandal the Reds are now…
Catchers in this site's top 30 prospects: Tucker Barnhart
Probably the top candidate to make a splash is Joe Hudson, a sixth round draft last year out of Notre Dame. He rates high defensively and the main concerns with his game are at the plate where he improved significantly during his final season with the Irish. He's closing in on his 22nd birthday and will likely debut professionally with a short season at Billings.
Danny Vicioso is a 24 year-old veteran of the Dominican leagues who hit .290 in a half season at Bakersfield last year. Plate discipline has been slow to develop along the way and he walked only three times in 134 plate attempts there. Defensively he threw out 25% of opposing runners. In 2011 he hit .341 in almost 100 plate appearances at Billings.
Mark Fluery is a 09 fourth round selection out of the University of North Carolina. He hit .278 at Bakersfield in 2011 but came back to finish below .200 last year. Soon to be 25 years old, he'll try and right the ship this year to avoid falling into the role of minor league filler.
Yovan Gonzalez is a late-round selection from 2009 that handled most of the action at Dayton last year. His bat started strong, but his average eventually declined to .230 at season's end. He spent most of 2011 at Billings where he hit .262 and defensively he's thrown out nearly 40% of opposing runners over four minor league seasons.
Daniel Paula hit .341/.391 OB as a teenager in the Arizona League last year without much success at throwing out runners. Now twenty, the path should be cleared for him to work on that either at Billings or in single-A in 2013.
Fray Sosa hit .253 with a .344 OB% in almost 100 plate appearances at Billings last year. Defensively he threw out over 30% of opposing runners and the 23 year-old should get some action in single A.
There's not much there compared to other positions. Then again, the Reds haven't invested much in terms of draft choices on catchers outside of Mesoraco and Grandal. Dioner Navarro was a pleasant surprise last year when he had a solid season at Louisville and played well for the Reds in September which was rewarded with a spot on their postseason roster. It's not surprising that the veteran elected to take his chances elsewhere in 2013 to have a better shot of making an opening day roster. They've hitched their wagon to Mesoraco for the future and are very grateful to have Hanigan's services for now.
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