Chicago Cubs: How valuable was Victor Caratini to the 2019 Cubs?

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs backup catcher Victor Caratini had a big impact on the 2019 season, but how valuable was the switch-hitting catcher to the team?

Victor Caratini was an extremely talked-about name going into the offseason last year. Many people were hoping the Chicago Cubs would go out and sign a veteran to back up Willson Contreras. People thought that a veteran would be a better fit for the club than the 26-year-old.

Caratini silenced some of those doubters during his 2019 season as he proved that he is one of if not the best backup catcher in all of baseball. In just his second full year in the big leagues, he has proven that he belongs. He batted .266 with 11 homers and driven in 34 all were career-highs. Very solid numbers out of your backup catcher.

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Caratini started the season off on fire before breaking a bone in his hand. At the time was a huge blow for the Cubs as he was one of if not the hottest hitter on the team during the first few weeks.

The Cubs dealt with injuries all season and no one benefited by those injuries more than Caratini who saw much more playing time then even he was probably expecting this season.

Playing in 95 games in 2019 after only playing in 107 in his first two seasons, he took a big step forward. With Contreras and Anthony Rizzobeing hurt at different points of the season Caratini saw action behind the plate and at first base. He showed some of his versatility being able to play multiple positions, and he even pitched this season.

He proved that when he got more opportunity to play that he could be a very impactful piece. As the season progressed he became Yu Darvish‘s personal catcher. We all know how good Darvish was in the second half and some of the credit has to go to Caratini.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Caratini this offseason. As there are talks about Contreras being the most valuable asset to trade during the winter. There is also the possibility that with Miguel Amaya in the minor leagues that Caratini could get traded this winter. Whatever happens this winter, Caratini proved exactly how valuable he was this season.

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The real trick for the Chicago backstop? Follow up a breakout 2019 campaign with a solid 2020 season as the Cubs look to get back to the top of the National League Central and return to the postseason after a one-year hiatus.