While much attention is given to Chicago Cubs stars like Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, others are quietly doing real good things, including Victor Caratini.
One thing the Chicago Cubs have prided themselves on the past three years is depth. The flashy stars show themselves on the field daily, but talented depth guys help keep the train moving along. Much credit has to go to backup catcher Victor Caratini, who has quietly been solid.
Caratini is just 24 years old and has a lot more growing to do, but the talent is clearly there. After Thursday’s game against St. Louis, Caratini carries a .299/.365/.368 line in 36 games this season. He spent a chunk of the year in Triple-A Iowa, where he hit .313/.409/.478 with four home runs in 32 games. There is nothing really left for him to prove in the minors, and the rest of his development needs to take place in Chicago.
Right now he is mainly hitting singles and not driving the ball. Which is fine seeing as he is getting on base regularly. He has never been a power-hitting type bat. As long as he continues to hit the ball hard and get on base, he will continue to be useful at the plate.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
Caratini’s potential and value
Offensive statistics tell some of the story. Another nice thing about him is that he is versatile, and he has been able to play some first base. Believe it or not, Caratini has played 62 1/3 innings at first.
He has done a pretty good job too, with a DRS (defensive runs saved) of +2 and a 1.000 fielding percentage. The eye test shows that he has made some good picks over at first and is able to field smashes that go his way. May not be a massive sample size, but it is something to note.
Right now his catching metrics show a -2 DRS, but no errors in 116 2/3 innings. There is definitely still room for him to grow behind the plate, but improvements are being made.
So what is his future like? The potential is there to be a real good player, even a starter. Problem is he will not start unless something unfortunately happens to Willson Contreras. Right now the starting job is his with zero questions asked.
This may lead to believe he could very well be trade bait. It would make sense considering the could bring value back for a potential starter. It is hard to fully develop potential like his when he is not playing everyday. Him being dealt would not be surprising, but until that actually happens, keep enjoying his contributions on the North Side.