It’s looking more likely that Tuffy Gosewisch will be the Dbacks starting catcher come Opening Night. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
5. Diamondbacks: 0.3 WAR (#30)
As you will find out later in these rankings, the N.L. West contains the two extreme teams at the catcher position, with the Diamondbacks projected to have the worst catching value in all of baseball.
The catcher’s position might be the most intriguing question in spring training, and at the same time it might be the position that worries Dbacks fans the most. Tuffy Gosewsich who is going to be given the opportunity to start the majority of the games, has only fifty five games of major league experience, Oscar Hernandez was drafted in the Rule 5 draft, and Peter O’Brien is probably still a year away.
However, that is not to say that all three don’t have upside, which is one of the main reasons why the Diamondbacks front office was comfortable trading veteran Miguel Montero to the Cubs this winter.
Gosewisch is a really good defensive catcher, and some pitchers in particular Trevor Cahill seemed to do better last season when Tuffy was behind the plate. If he can provide even minimal offensive production, he could still be of real value. He is projected for a .256 wOBA in 384 plate appearances.
Hernandez has really advanced tools behind the plate for how young he is, and his work ethic is off the charts. He is constantly writing notes during bullpen sessions because he believes that is the way he can get better. I am intrigued by what kind of impact he can make. Many Diamondbacks scouts believe he is major-league ready.
O’Brien is the Diamondbacks catcher of the future, and based on what the organization has been saying, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the starting catcher in 2016. His talent and potential are there, and like Hernandez he has a great work ethic. His power is ridiculous, and while many scouts believe he cant stick behind the plate, he has been working his butt off on his defensive game, and it has shown so far in camp.
They also brought in veteran Gerald Larid to provide some veteran leadership. It will interesting to see which catchers actually make the team. I think this catching group could surprise a lot of people.