For the Minnesota Twins in 2018 the catching position took a hit early when Jason Castro had his season cuz short from an injury. The injury opened the door for Mitch Garver and Willians Astudillo to get a lot of looks. With Castro returning this year, which one of Garver/Astudillo should be the backup? Or should Castro be the backup?
Jason Castro: With only 63 at bats for Castro last season he was only able to bat .143 AVG and an extremely lackluster .495 OPS. Of course, Castro is regarded as a great defensive catcher and pitch framer and not so much for his bat. He will likely remain the starter this season but if he can’t start to hit around at least .240 with an OPS of .720 then he may lose that spot. Per RotoChamp he is projected to hit only .219 with 8 HR and 31 RBIs. This would be a disappointing performance and I expect him to split time with Garver down the road.
Mitch Garver: Garver was a pleasant surprise for Twins fans last year playing in 102 games with a .750 OPS along with 7 HR and 45 RBI. Many people thought Garver deserved more playing time last year instead of veteran Bobby Wilson (traded to Cubs) but Garver is lacking in defense which is why he will not be the starter this year. Per RotoChamp.com Garver is projected for a .270 AVG with 5 HR and 31 RBI. I feel he will have more homers and RBIs because I would bet on him splitting a lot of time with Castro against lefties.
Willians Astudillo: One of the most exciting players to watch and already a fan favorite after just 30 games, it is unlikely he will be on the opening day roster and it is also possible he will be removed from the 40-man completely with the Nelson Cruz signing. Astudillo hit .355 with 7 HR and 35 RBIs along with only a 16.8% strikeout rate. He had a memorable walk off home run as well as some of the most memorable moment by one player –> https://youtu.be/euIc7RwzFwQ
if he does make it on to the roster he is projected a .277 AVG with 8 homers and 33 driven in. He would probably be more of a utility man than a catcher. Who knows, he may even pitch again.
This is my first of the position outlook series, go check out the others coming soon. Tomorrow: 1B