San Francisco Giants Spring Training Preview: Catchers

San Francisco Giants

Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner (right) celebrates with catcher Buster Posey after defeating the Kansas City Royals during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants are heavily invested in their franchise catcher, and for a good reason. Buster Posey’s starting spot is safe, but the competition for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart could get as hot as a sunny dessert day in Scottsdale.

We continue our San Francisco Giants full spring training preview! This time, we look directly at the catchers, so let’s jump right into it!

Buster Posey

The San Francisco Giants are heavily invested in their franchise catcher  and for a good reason. Buster Posey is arguably the backbone of this franchise and will have a permanent spot as the team’s backstop this season.

Bruce Bochy might as well carve Buster Posey’s name into the lineup card for the next five seasons. 

Although I am confident in statements, two scenarios could limit Posey’s time calling pitches in 2017.

The first scenario is comparable to doomsday. Posey suffers another season ending injury like he did in 2011, he’s out for the remainder of the season, and is forced to consider whether his future behind the plate is even an option.

The second scenario is still unsettling for a die hard Giants fan but is bearable compared to the last. The Giants increasingly rely on the backup man as Posey grows older and becomes more susceptible to immobility in his lower half.  The second option is very unlikely to happen this season but will be a legitimate scenario as Posey grows older.

Either option gives the deputy catcher an ample amount of playing time and a vital role on the roster.

Knowing me, I probably just jinxed something. Let’s hope we don’t have a repeat of 2011…..knock on wood.

Apr 14, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley (4) questions a call that allowed San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (not pictured) to tag up and advance to third base in the eighth inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports. Rockies won 4-1.

Apr 14, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley (4) questions a call that allowed San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (not pictured) to tag up and advance to third base in the eighth inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports. Rockies won 4-1.

Nick Hundley

After last season’s disappointment the front office was ready to make critical offseason moves to strengthen the bullpen and bolster the bats. We kissed goodbye some of our favorite Giants to make room for some new additions. One of those new additions in 33-year-old veteran catcher Nick Hundley.  

Huntley signed a one-year $2 million deal with the organization in January and will give the Giants more consistency at the plate than Trevor Brown.  Hundley has spent most of his career behind the plate for the Colorado Rockies, and will be a front runner in the backup competition. Last season Hundley played in 83 games, knocked in 48 RBIs, and finished with a .260 batting average.

Trevor Brown

Now, I could argue that the No. 2 spot behind the plate he’s still a competition between Trevor Brown and Nick Hundley, but Hundley’s veteran experience and consistent bat leave him to be the premier option. He will most likely begin the 2017 season catching for the Sacramento River Cats

Brown’s hitting has kept him from being a top prospect. His defense, and the fact that he’s the incumbent backup, still gives him a shot in the competition.

But, if the competition goes in Hundley’s favor, Trevor Brown should thank him. Instead of playing once every blue moon in relief for Posey, Brown will get more playing time in Sacramento and can hopefully develop power and consistency in the box. 

Tim Federowicz

Judging by his twitter profile, Tim Federowicz is ecstatic to be apart of the San Francisco Giants organization. Seriously,  the man has yet to practice with the team and already he is photoshopping himself into a Giants uniform.

With the recent addition of Hundley, the chances of Federowicz grabbing the No. 2 or the No. 3 spot in Scottsdale are slim.

Federowicz made his Major League debut on Sept. 11, 2011 at San Francisco. (Ha….full circle moment) In 106 career games, Federowicz hit .194/.243/.295 with five home runs and 25 RBIs. Last season he played in 17 games for the World Series champion Cubs. He’s bringing a positive attitude and a world series ring to San Francisco.

Federowicz has a lot to look forward to. Depending on how well he shows in Scottsdale, he could slip into Trevor Brown’s slot as the third catcher on the depth chart.

Aramis Garcia of the San Francisco Giants, while still playing for Florida International

Photo – FIU Athletics

Aramis Garcia

Aramis Garcia is No. 6 on the San Francisco Giants’ Top 30 Prospect list, and will be joining the team in Scottsdale for the third time in his career.

Garcia signed July 28, 2014, after being drafted in the 2nd round from Florida International. The former Conference USA Player of the Year has shown steady growth in the Giants’ farm system.

Garcia needs to improve his defense if he wants to be a serious competitor. But, he is 24 so we can call it a work in progress.

Matt Winn

This is Matt Winn’s second invitation to Spring Training since San Francisco first signed him in June of 2015.

The graduate of Virginia Military Institute began the 2016 campaign as Richmond’s opening day catcher and he hit .250 with a pair of home runs over 15 games with the Squirrels.

Winn shifted back to Augusta on April 29 and would remain in Augusta for the remainder of the season.  The catcher slugged 13 home runs with 49 RBI in 95 games with the GreenJackets.

Josmil Pinto

The San Francisco Giants acquired Free Agent  Josmil Pinto from the Milwaukee Brewers last November. Pinto will have a minor league job for the Giants this season, and will most likely start in Sacramento.

Josmil Pinto made has been active since 2006, but made his first Major League debut with Minnesota in 2013. Since his debut, Pinto has only seen 89 games at the Major League level. Last year alone, he only accumulated 6 plate appearances for Milwaukee, and they weren’t anything spectacular.

In 11 minor league seasons, Pinto has hit .274 for an OPS of .791. He could likely fall into the fifth spot behind either Brown or Federowicz, but who’s counting after four on the depth chart anyways.

Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn as we gear up for spring training!

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