The Chicago White Sox catching position is bad, really bad. How bad exactly? They don’t even have an MLB starting catcher anywhere in the organization. While they will look high and low this offseason (waiver wire, rule 5 draft, etc. etc.) the position could use an upgrade. Here is a look at just how bad the team’s catching position is.
Tyler Flowers: 2015 MLB starting catcher
.239 BA 9 HR 39 RBI 21 BB 104 K
What really sticks out to me is the K/BB rate. Considering it is 4/1, there is no way he can be a starter at the MLB level only hitting 9 home runs in 112 games played. While Flowers had a decent 2014, 2015 was a struggle to say the least.
Geovany Soto: 2015 MLB backup catcher (free agent)
.219 BA 9 HR 21 RBI 21 BB 63 K
Soto had another horrible K/BB rate for the White Sox in 2015. It was 3/1, which is better than 4/1 but not by much. He hit the same amount of homers as Flowers (9), and had less RBI’s (21) in less games (78). Soto’s career has been derailed by injuries, and probably won’t even be back in 2016.
Rob Brantly: 2015 AAA catcher (September call-up)
Brantly hardly got on the field for the White Sox in 2015, and when he did, Brantly failed to produce. Brantly hit under .200 (.121), only one homer, and six RBI’s. It is unlikely that he has any real future on the South Side of Chicago
Adrian Nieto: 2014 MLB backup catcher (minor leaguer in 2015)
Nieto may have the most potential of the bunch. While he struggled in his rookie campaign, hitting only .236 with 2 HR and 7 RBI’s he still has the ability to be a serviceable major league catcher. While it is unlikely that he will ever be a full-time starter, Nieto has the ability to be a serviceable backup in the future even though he struggled in the minors this past year.
Overall, if the White Sox are going to find a quality MLB starting catcher soon, he will be coming from outside the organization. While Flowers has proven to be a backup or minor leaguer who struggles to make contact, he starts on the South Side.
I understand quality catching is something that isn’t easy to find in the major leagues. Most of the good teams have a good backstop. Look at the last five World Series Champions. All had legit MLB catchers (4 had All-Stars and the only team who didn’t have an elite catcher was Boston in 2013, but they had multiple competent backstops).
All in all, if you want to win big in baseball (playoffs or a championship) you might want to get a good catcher. While I understand the White Sox has many needs (and more pressing ones), the quicker they can solidify the backstop the better.