Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan Provide Catching Depth for the Cincinnati Reds

Michael HammonsCorrespondent IApril 3, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - MARCH 31: Ramon Hernandez #55 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates at home plate with teammates after hitting the game-winning home run in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in the opening day game at Great American Ballpark on March 31, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 7-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Numerous guys on this Cincinnati Reds team are getting a lot of well deserved praise these days.

In the infield, you have MVP Joey Votto and gold glovers Scott Rolen and Brandon Phillips.

The outfield consists of potential up and coming stars such as Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce.

In terms of pitching, we are all well aware of Aroldis Chapman, and other younger players such as Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

However, there is one position on this team that doesn't seem to get much press, but they produce at a rate that ranks at or near the top in Major League Baseball.

Neither Ramon Hernandez nor Ryan Hanigan will ever be mistaken for "stars," but combined, they bring the whole package of defense and hitting.  

Last season, they combined for highest batting average among catchers with a .298 average, and their 91 RBI's were second in the National League.

In the recently completed three game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, they combined for two home runs and seven RBI's, as they pick up up where they left off in 2010.

In examining each catcher individually, Hanigan was signed to a three year deal this offseason. Though he may just be keeping the seat warm for probable future replacements Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal, Hanigan has always been a player that Reds pitchers feel comfortable with.

Also, he is one of the more patient hitters on the team, with a career on base percentage of .381.

Hernandez was a pretty big question mark coming over from Baltimore a few years ago. There were whispers that he didn't have the best of attitudes, but since coming to Cincinnati, he has been a consummate professional.

His hitting has been about on par with what people thought he could produce, but defensively, he's been a very nice surprise, even as he creeps up into his mid 30's.

In all likelihood, it will be his final season in Cincinnati, as he was signed to only a one year deal, but with the aforementioned prospects, and Hanigan, the team is set up for an extended run of excellence at the catcher position for years to come.