Chicago Cubs: Potential backup catchers for 2018
Victor Caratini, 24, would likely be the best option for the role moving forward. Caratini was shipped to the North Side in 2014 by the Atlanta Braves. A year prior, the Braves had selected Caratini in the second round of the MLB draft.
In 2015, Caratini logged his first full season in the Cubs’ organization. At High-A, the 21-year-old appeared in 112 games and slashed .257/.342/.372. To go along with that, Caratini hit four home runs and recorded 53 RBI.
After earning a promotion to Double-A, Caratini built on his solid 2015 campaign. In 115 games for Tennessee, Caratini saw an uptick in his numbers, slashing .291/.375/.405. Over 412 at-bats, Caratini recorded six home runs and 47 RBI.
Following two solid seasons, Caratini set out to better himself once again. After another promotion, this time to Triple-A, Caratini broke out in a big way. In 83 games, the youngster slashed .342/.393/.558. The noticeable statistic in Caratini’s Triple-A campaign was his new-found power. After recording a slugging percentage around .400 in 227 games between High-A and Double-A, Caratini smashed ten home runs at Triple-A, upping that number to over .550.
Caratini’s reward for ripping up Triple-A for half a season was a call-up to the majors. On Jun. 28, 2017, Caratini made his major league debut. In 31 games for the Cubs in 2017, Caratini slashed .254/.333/.356 with one home run and two RBI.
Caratini is first and foremost a catcher. He has logged over 2,500 innings at the position thus far in the minor leagues. In that time, Caratini amassed a .993% fielding percentage and threw out 30% of would-be base stealers.
Along with his ability to hold down the back-stop, Caratini has also racked up time at both corner infield positions. While the youngster seems to be less skilled at those positions compared to his primary one (14 errors in 1,090 1/3 innings compared to 16 errors behind the dish in 2,500+ innings), his versatility could prove handy during a long season.