29-year old lefty swinging Joe Mauer is still a great hitter, but he’s turning into a big time liability behind the plate, when his knee is healthy enough for him to play catcher. He played in 147 games for the Twins last year and he was 174 of 545 (.319 avg, .861 OPS) with 81 runs scored, 10 homers, 85 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He has now played in 1,065 games in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 1,270 of 3,933 (.323 avg, .873 OPS) with 626 runs scored, 94 homers, 587 RBIs and 43 stolen bases. Mauer played in 74 games (72 starts) behind the plate last year for the Twins and he had 3 errors and 1 passed ball. He only threw out a pathetic 5 of 61 (8.2%) runners trying to steal against him last year and Twins’ pitchers had a 4.90 ERA with him behind the dish. 29-year old righty swinging Drew Butera, 25-year old lefty swinging Chris Herrmann, 27-year old righty swinging Eric Fryer and 31-year old switch-hitting Ryan Doumit will compete for the right to back up Joe Mauer in 2013. Butera played in 42 games for the Twins last year and he was 22 of 111 (.198 avg, .550 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 1 homer and 5 RBIs. He has now played in 184 games for the Twins in his first three years with the team and he is 89 of 487 (.183 avg, .497 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 5 homers and 41 RBIs. Butera played in 41 games (32 starts) behind the plate for the Twins last year and he had 1 error and 4 passed balls. Butera threw out only 4 of 27 (14.8%) base stealers and Twins’ pitchers had a 4.04 with him behind the dish. Herrmann came into 2012 as the Twins’ #14 prospect according to Baseball America. Herrmann played in 7 games for the Twins last year and he was 1 for 18 (.056 avg, .161 OPS) with 1 RBI. He also played in 127 games in AA-ball last year and he was 135 of 490 (.276 avg, .741 OPS) with 91 runs scored, 10 homers, 61 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Herrmann played in 3 games (2 starts) for the Twins behind the plate last year and he had 1 passed ball. The only runner that stole on him last year and Twins’ pitchers had a 3.79 ERA with him behind the dish. Fryer played in 6 games for the Pirates last year and he was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .650 OPS) without any runs scored or RBIs. He also played in 65 games in AAA-ball for the Pirates last year and he was 33 for 162 (.204 avg, .504 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 0 homers, 10 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Fryer has now played in 16 games in his first two years in the majors and he is 8 for 30 (.267 avg, .620 OPS) with 5 runs scored and 1 stolen base. Ryan Doumit can play C, 1B, OF and he is the guy who DHs the most for the Twins. He played in 59 games (56 starts) behind the plate for the Twins last year and he had 2 errors and 2 passed balls. Doumit threw out 6 of 37 base stealers (16.2%) and Twins’ pitchers had a 5.08 ERA with him behind the plate. The Twins would rather have someone else handle the backup catching other than Doumit because of his defensive limitations.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2013: B