26-year old righty swinging Chris Iannetta likes to think that he will be the starting catcher in 2010 for the Rockies but he will have to beat out Miguel Olivo for that job. Iannetta played in 93 games for the Rockies last season and he was 66 for 289 (.228 avg, .804 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 16 homers and 52 RBIs. If he doesn’t hit better this season I just don’t see him playing more than 81 games in 2010 for the Rockies. He made 5 errors and had 2 passed balls in 89 games behind the plate for the Rockies last season. Iannetta also threw out 23% of the runners trying to steal against him last year and Rockies’ pitchers had a 4.21 ERA with him behind the plate.
31-year old righty swinging Miguel Olivo has his eyes on beating out Chris Iannetta this spring for the starting job behind the plate. Olivo played in 114 games for the Royals last season and he was 97 for 390 (.249 avg, .782 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 23 homers, 65 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Olivo is a hacker however as he whiffed 126 times last season so it might be hard for him to maintain a average like he had last season. Olivo does have issues behind the plate as he made 8 errors and had 10 passed balls in 103 games behind the plate last year. But, he also threw out 24% of the runners trying to steal on him last season and Royals’ pitchers had a 4.49 ERA with him behind the plate which was pretty darn good when you consider the pitching staff he was working with.
32-year old righty swinging Paul Phillips will likely start the year in AAA and get a call if the need arises for the Rockies. He played in 17 games for the Rockies last season and he was 14 for 45 (.311 avg, .818 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 1 homer and 9 RBIs. Phillips had 1 error and 2 passed balls in 111 1/3 innings behind the plate for the Rockies last season. He only threw out 1 of 17 (6%) base runners trying to steal on him last season but pitchers had a 4.12 ERA with him behind the plate. It’s always great to have a solid vet like Phillips in the minors waiting for a call because he can also help out the pitchers in AAA who are getting ready to pitch for the Rockies.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2010: B-