Could Any Non-Roster Catchers make the LA Angels rosters?
The LA Angels have been invited six catchers to next week’s Spring Training camp and with that position being very thin at the Major League level one of them may make the roster as a third catcher or even as a back-up catcher.
The group of LA Angels non-roster invitees at the catcher’s spot has two names that caught my eye. the first one is someone many of you have never heard of and that is Tony Sanchez. Sanchez has played parts of three seasons all with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Sanchez never set the league on fire, but he was decently effective in his time in the majors. Sanchez played 51 games for the Pirates between 2013-2015. He hit .259 batting average with four homers and 18 runs batted in. Sanchez has a solid .982 fielding percentage as well.
However, on the negative side Sanchez has only thrown out five of 25 would-be base stealers and he did not play in the majors last season. So his potential to make the Angels is a pretty major longshot, his big league experience, although it is minimal does give him a leg up on other candidates who have never been in the majors.
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The other potential candidate that I think has an outside chance of making the Angels opening day roster is a familiar name to many Angels fans and that is Taylor Ward. Ward is the first round draft pick from 2015 for the Angels. Ward in two season batted a combined .279 with 13 homers and 87 runs driven in. He also has shown good plate discipline which has led to a .365 OBP.
What sets Ward apart from the rest of the group of non-roster catchers is his amazing defense. Ward has a .992 fielding percentage and he has thrown out 38% of would-be base stealers. Ward also played really well in the Arizona Fall League and he may be ready to make a jump to the majors if he has a good Spring.
Ward hit .249 with 10 homers and drive in 49 runs, but he would take a big step forward when he played in the Arizona Fall League. It is a longshot that Ward would make the roster, but don’t be surprised if you see him get called up sometime during the 2017 season.
2016 1st round pick Matt Thaiss was drafted as a catcher out of Virginia, but he has been playing only designated hitter and first base so far in the minors, so you will have to wait a few days to here about him in the infielders section. I hope you enjoy this. Stay tuned.