The Phillies signed 31 year old Rod Barajas to be their starter because they weren’t sold on their catchers that finished up the season. Barajas should like the National League and his new small ballpark. Barajas has decent power as he averaged 15.7 homers per season over his last three years. He should hit at least that many if he gets 400 or more at bats. He hit .256 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs last season, but his power was sapped the last month or so as he had a bad back. Barajas threw out 28% of potential base stealers, but he also had 10 errors and 5 passed balls so he needs to improve on his work behind the plate.
Chances are that 28 year old Carlos Ruiz will be the backup for the Phillies. He hit .261 with 3 homers and 10 RBIs in only 69 at bats for the Phillies. He had a solid season in AAA for the Phillies last year as he hit .307 with 16 homers, 69 RBIs and a .894 OPS. He should have no problem hitting the ball for the Phillies this season. He has to work on his defense though as he only nailed 15% of the base stealers that challenged him. He also made 3 errors and had a passed ball in only 176.1 innings behind the plate and that needs to improve.
The Phillies might actually keep three catchers because Chris Coste is very versatile and can play all over the field. Coste hit very well for the Phillies last season as he hit .328 with an .881 OPS. He also showed power that the Phillies didn’t think he had as he thumped 7 homers and knocked in 32 runs in only 198 at bats! Coste had some problems on defense last season as he threw out 19% of would be base stealers and he made 4 errors and had 4 passed balls. He should make the team as either the #2 catcher or #3 catcher and utility man.
The Phillies used a Rule 5 Pick on 27 year old Ryan Budde. Budde probably saw his chance of making the team end with the signing of Barajas. He had an off year in AAA last season as he only hit .233 with 8 homers and 33 RBIs.
33 year old veteran Dusty Wathan is a trooper that every organization likes to have in their system. He’s a solid veteran minor-leaguer that keeps playing because he loves the game and it plugging away until he gets another shot at the bigs. He was in AAA last season and hit .239 with 5 homers and 27 RBIs. He has played in 3 games in the majors and is 3 for 5 (.600).