Catcher Christian Cerda
Christian Cerda could be used as a trade piece for many of the same reasons Adrian Del Castillo could be used in a trade. A catcher who has played above A-Ball, Cerda likely won’t push Gabriel Moreno off of the position. However, Cerda likely has more value as he’s coming off a better season and is younger than Del Castillo.
Cerda stepped to the plate 365 times for the D-Backs’ A-Ball and High-A affiliates, posting a quality .247/.402/.397 triple-slash. He walked nearly as often as he struck out, with a 19.8% BB% and a K% of just 20.8%. Among the minor league catchers in 2023 with at least 300 plate appearances, Cerda had the 10th-highest OBP and 2nd-highest walk rate. Cerda also hit for a respectable amount of power with 11 homers, 20 doubles, and a .151 isolated slugging percentage. This all culminates to a .382 wOBA and 126 wRC+.
The backstop is an extremely patient batter. His lowest single-season BB% is 15.2%. His hit tool is average at best, however. But even a .240-.250 hitter with Cerda’s plate discipline will boost his OBP to above-average levels. Cerda’s power projects as fringe, as his raw power is okay but not great. While Cerda could be a good hitting catcher, there are some questions about his defense. He has real trouble with blocking and has allowed 28 passed balls in 1158.2 career innings. Last season, he allowed 15 in less than 800 innings.
Still, Cerda is probably the Diamondbacks’ best-catching prospect. He hasn’t reached Double-A yet, but it’s still hard to envision Cerda ever getting a good chance in the majors with Moreno unless Moreno comes down with a career-altering injury. If the D-Backs can put Cerda into a trade to get a good starting pitcher or a decent third baseman, they should really consider it.