35-year old righty swinging Ramon Hernandez is going to take over behind the plate in 2012 for the Rockies. Hernandez played in 91 games for the Reds last year and he was 84 for 298 (.282 avg, .788 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 12 homers and 36 RBIs. He has now played in 1,457 games in his first 13 years in the majors and he is 1,295 of 4,873 (.266 avg, .749 OPS) with 560 runs scored, 161 homers, 723 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Hernandez only had 1 error and 3 passed balls in 82 games behind the plate for the Reds last year. He also threw out 18 of 62 (29%) base stealers and Reds’ pitchers had a 4.24 ERA with him behind the dish. Hernandez is a solid all-around catcher and he should help the Rockies in 2012.
23-year old righty swinging Wilin Rosario comes into this season as the Rockies’ #4 prospect according to Baseball America. Rosario played in 16 games for the Rockies in his first taste of the majors and he was 11 for 54 (.204 avg, .691 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 3 homers and 8 RBIs. Rosario didn’t show much patience at the plate as he whiffed 20 times and walked only twice for the Rockies last year. Rosario also played in 102 games in AA-ball last year and he was 101 of 405 (.249 avg, .741 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 21 homers, 48 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Rosario had 1 error and 3 passed balls in 14 games behind the plate for the Rockies last year. He also threw out a stunning 5 of 8 (62.5%) base stealers and Rockies’ pitchers had a 4.83 ERA with him behind the plate. If Rosario is deemed ready this spring, he will back up Hernandez in 2012. If he’s not ready, he will start the season in AAA-ball.
34-year old righty swinging Wil Nieves will battle Rosario for the backup job this spring. Nieves played in 20 games for the Brewers last year and he was 7 for 50 (.140 avg, .369 OPS) with 2 runs scored. He has now played in 282 games in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 166 of 751 (.221 avg, .557 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 5 homers, 73 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Nieves played in 17 games behind the plate for the Brewers last year and he had 1 error and 1 passed ball. He threw out 2 of 10 (20%) base stealers and Brewers’ pitchers had a 3.84 ERA with him behind the dish.
32-year old righty swinging Steve Holm played in 6 games for the Twins last year and he was 2 for 17 (.118 avg, .343 OPS) with 1 run scored. He has now played in 59 games in his first 3 years in the majors and he is 26 for 108 (.241 avg, .697 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBIs. Holm didn’t have any errors or passed balls in 6 games with the Twins last year. He didn’t throw out any of the 5 base stealers that took him on last year. Twins’ pitchers had a 5.44 ERA with him behind the plate last year. Holm is likely to start the 2012 season in AAA-ball.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2012: B