Max Stassi Will Win the Chicago White Sox Starting Catcher Role

He is battling Martin Maldonado for the job.

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers
Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Reading the title of this article may make some laugh at its premise.

There are going to be those out there that say, “No way that Max Stassi beats out Martin Maldonado for the catcher’s position this year”. After all, look at the pedigree that Maldonado has. He played with a winner in the Houston Astros and has a decent and long career.

When putting Stassi and Maldonado side by side and reading the story of their lives in the major leagues, one will notice that Maldonado may have had a better career while Stassi has a “feel good” story. But, of course, a feel-good story is not going to make someone a star behind the plate. And Stassi has what it takes to be a decent catcher. He should have the edge over Maldonado in terms of playing behind the plate.

When it comes to batting, the two have had a rough season and there aren’t many positives to look at there. Stassi, who has played in eight games, has 16 at-bats. He has two hits one which was a triple and the other a double. His spring slash line is .125/.222/.313 and he has struck out seven times.

Maldonado has had an even more dismal spring, coming to bat 17 times, getting walked twice while striking out five times. He has one hit. His slash line is .059/.158/.59. Maldonado also has a stolen base.

Now these guys haven’t gotten a lot of opportunities this spring but they aren’t making the most of the opportunities that are given them.

Some might say that the job of a catcher is not really to hit but to be much more solid behind the plate. If you have a catcher who’s good at hitting, that’s just a bonus they say. I think that line of thinking is only slightly accurate for catchers. Sure, you want a catcher who can help call a good game and can work well with the pitching staff. But having a catcher that can hit is necessary to a balanced lineup.

He doesn’t have to be Aaron Judge each time he goes out there and hits a home run, but a catcher must be consistent.

Which of these two can and will be the most consistent? I feel that Stassi, although younger and a little less experienced, makes the most sense for the White Sox as a starting catcher.

He’s decent enough and can still learn and grow. He’s 33 whereas Maldonado is 37. You do get more experience with Maldonado but the White Sox aren’t going to let him go no matter what spring training tells us. He can back up and work himself into the lineup. I just think, for the White Sox at the point that they are at right now, Stassi makes the most sense.

Do we know what the White Sox are doing? Are they rebuilding, pushing ahead as if everything is normal or are they waiting to purge more players and start a rebuild in 2025? Neither of these guys are the long-term solution to the catcher position. They are both temporary, holding the spot for one of the young up-and-coming catchers like Korey Lee or Edgar Quero.

It’s going to be a tight race between Stassi and Maldonado but in the end, I think that Stassi takes it with Maldonado sitting close by. The younger catchers will remain in the minors, barring injury, and will continue to learn. Eventually, they will replace the aged veterans and the White Sox will continue building towards being a winner.