Hard to believe that the Phillies minor league catchers are generating the most offense of any position in the Phillies system. In the Sunday night’s update of the Baseball Ross +/- Offense Ratings, only 15 players had positive numbers including seven catchers.
Reading’s catcher Tommy Joseph had a big week to lead all players with a +6 followed by Lehigh Valley’s catcher Sebastian Valle and Lakewood’s Willians Astidillo both with a +5. Astidillo has also serves as a DH and plays first base. Other catchers on the positive side of the offensive list are the IronPig’s Cameron Rupp +4, Clearwater’s Gabriel Lino +3, Reading’s Lars Davis and Lehigh Valley’s Koyie Hill both at +1.
Eight other position players made the positive list including Lehigh Valley’s Leandro Castro +5 and Tyler Hanson +4; Reading’s Cameron Perkins +4, Carlos Alonso +3; Clearwater’s Pete Lavin +3; Lakewood’s J.P. Crawford +2; Reading’s Cesar Hernandez +2, and Aaron Altherr +1. All other Phillies players now on a farm team are in minus territory on this metric.
This offensive plus/minus metric is simple: It is adding together a player’s runs scored and runs batted in and subtracting games played to get a plus/minus rating. This will tend to favor home run hitters obviously but still rewards players getting on base, coming around to score and getting base hits with runners in scoring position.
Leandro Castro and Carlos Alonso get positive ratings because of factors than hitting home runs. They have hit only one homer this season. Castro is hitting only .212 overall but .282 with runners in scoring position for 13 RBIs and has walked 13 times. He has scored 19 runs and Alonso knows how to work a walk and run the bases for 22 runs scored.
Not surprisingly the catchers are not know for base speed but the Phillies catchers are hitting more home runs than any other position players. Of the 81 homers hit by Phillies minor league teams this season, 21 of them have been hit by catchers.
Of the catchers, Tommy Joseph is tied with center fielder Pete Lavin and Reid Brignac now with the Phillies, in leading all players in the Phillies minor league system with five homers.
Cameron Rupp has four homers in only nine games. He looks soon to be ready to get off the disabled list after we watched him catch five innings and hit a line drive single to left in Saturday morning’s extended spring game at the Carpenter Complex.
Sebastian Valle hit a couple of homers with men on base including a 5 RBI game last week to move into positive ratings territory.
If the Phillies farm teams are to be competitive the rest of the season they need more offensive punch and not just pop from the catching position.