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White Sox: Who will earn backup catcher spot?

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May 30, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Adrian Nieto (17) during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

With spring training taking place next month, now is a good time to start looking toward some battles that will be taking place in late February and all through March.

One of the battles to look forward to this spring is who will be the catcher who earns the backup spot behind Tyler Flowers for the Chicago White Sox.

Sep 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers (21) throws out Detroit Tigers center fielder Ezequiel Carrera (not pictured) on an attempted butt in the seventh inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s assume Flowers will be the starting catcher for the White Sox, as they just avoided arbitration with him this past week. The White Sox and Flowers agreed to a $2.675 million one-year deal, so most likely his spot as the top catcher for the White Sox is safe.

Now that leaves Adrian Nieto, Rob Brantly and Kevan Smith as the other three catchers on the 40-man roster who will be battling for the one spot behind Flowers on the White Sox MLB roster.

Also this offseason, the White Sox signed George Kottaras to a minor league deal on Dec. 20, as he’s not on the 40-man roster.

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Last season, Nieto was the backup catcher, and this offseason the White Sox claimed Brantly off waivers from the Miami Marlins on Dec. 8. Smith was drafted by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Looking at these four catchers (excluding Flowers), it should be interesting to watch as spring progresses, but here are my rankings of who I believe the ’15 backup catcher for the White Sox will be and why.

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