San Francisco Giants' Catching Depth
Bengie Molina (Majors) – Bengie is one of my favorite Giants on the current roster, I love the experience he brings to the up and coming club. It is quite amazing to me that he is probably the one guy I would want at the plate with the game on the line when you consider how much pressure is already on a catcher when it comes to handling any pitching staff, much less the developing one we have in San Francisco.
He was a great signing by management and has won the Willie Mac Award both years he has played for San Francisco.
Steve Holm (Majors) – Holm won a roster spot out of Spring Training in 2008 as a non-roster invitee. He was originally slated to be sent into the Giants system at around AA level, but stuck around when all the other catchers except himself and Molina were let go.
He is a converted shortstop that only moved to catcher after the Giants drafted him in 2001, and effectively learned the position by catching many bullpen sessions during his stay in the minor leagues. He is currently 27 and figures to not get much work other then warming up pitchers because of Molina’s usual high work rate.
Todd Jennings (Fresno) – Jennings is a former second round selection that has been with the Giants organization since 2004. I see him as being the main competition for Holm’s major league roster spot. He is going to be 27 during the 2009 season, and had an injury plagued 2008.
He, like Whiteside, Posey and Williams has been offered a Spring Training spot. This could be his last chance to make an impact for the Giants.
Eli Whiteside (Fresno) –Whiteside has spent the past three seasons at the AAA level for three clubs, Baltimore, Minnesota and San Francisco. He is 28 years old. I expect him to be a filler until some of the younger catchers are ready to be promoted.
Adam Witter (Connecticut) – Witter is a 25-year-old catcher currently listed on the depth chart at AA Connecticut. In 100 games and 400 at bat’s there this past season, he hit .238 with 20 HR and 77 RBI.
If this was the Texas League, where the Giants used to play AA ball, I would write off his power, but if they move him through the system with some progression, he might turn into a decent bench bat.
It will be interesting to see what Steve Decker can do with him this upcoming season.
Buster Posey (San Jose) – Posey moved to catcher during his sophomore season at Florida State and was regarded as the best catcher and possibly best overall player when the Giants drafted him fifth overall in last year’s amateur draft.
He won last year’s Golden Spikes award which is given to the best player in amateur baseball. He is a natural hitter that has plus power. The only knock on him so far is his lack of ability in calling games.
In college, the managers decide which pitches to throw and where, and since Posey had never caught before that, this is probably going to be the one thing he is going to wait to develop.
Jackson Williams (San Jose) – Williams is the Giants first round (43rd overall) pick from the 2007 amateur draft. He attended Oklahoma, and batted .205 in his first Single A season which was split between Augusta and San Jose.
I am not sure what the Giants have envisioned for him with Posey starting out the year at San Jose. He seems to be a raw talent that needs to settle in a bit more, and he may take a little while before he gets to the big leagues.
Dayton Buller (Augusta) – A catcher that has spent time all over the Giants minor league system since being drafted 556th overall in the 2001 draft by the Giants, I have no idea why Buller is listed at the short-season A-ball affiliate.
He doesn’t seem to be much of a hitter and I think he will primarily be used as roster filler for a team in the system in 2008.
Matthew Klimas (Augusta) – Klimas has played two straight years of rookie ball in the Arizona Fall League before suiting up for the Green Jackets last year. He is a young catcher that the Giants are probably going to take their time with in the minor leagues.
Nestor Rojas (Augusta) – An un drafted free agent, Rojas has spent time in the Giants system culminating with 16 games spent with Connecticut in 2008. He is going to be 29 during the 2009 season, and is not rated too high by the baseball cube in terms of where they project him as a catcher.
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