I have seen Pinto play in multiple games over the last 3-4 years and he has been improving as a catcher on an annual basis, which is what you expect from a catcher. About game calling: the only way for a catcher to improve his game calling skills is to catch veteran pitchers and work with veteran pitching coaches. This does not happen at AAA but in the majors. Pinto is more than adequate defensive catcher. Much better than Doumit was last season. He will be fine as a starter.
He's not a grade A prospect for a lot of reasons, but most orgs would be pretty happy with a guy like this in their system, and he'd be a top 3 prospect in a number of systems.
And while I think he has a pretty good bat, I'm unconvinced that he can post an OPS north of .800 in MLB. I'd love to be wrong, just a bit skeptical is all.
That's not based on a September call-up. It's based on his minor league track record.Quote:
I think we need more than a month's worth of at-bats before we declare his floor is a solid starter.
Which is kind of my point... LeCroy had a bat that should have played even at DH but it never came together... Banking on Pinto's bat carrying outside of catcher is a bit of a leap of faith.
Again, not down on Pinto, just tempering expectations a bit.
Let's hope he doesn't follow Parmalee's path...different players, but similar kind of hope after break out AA/AAA and enormous September.
Let's just hope he really doesn't have a "bad back".
"he's not been old for his age"
Maybe he has some Yogi Berra in him.
I thought one of the complaints with Pinto is he isn't a particularly good receiver - glove is moving, doesn't make it easy for the umpire, etc. He has room to improve for blocking pitches but he can throw. I would like to see the Suzuki/Pinto "replacing the Chevy with two used cars" platoon.
PINTO - you are not going to find a better offensive catcher. His defense is much improved. I think he is here for the long haul....but I am a little prejudice - he frequented my dinner table many nights when he played in Elizabethton.
Pinto's first 2 years of full-season ball (2010 and 11) were so suspect, that no national or local ranker had him above #38 on the Twins prospect lists-even after his 2012 breakout-- his OPS/wRC+ numbers were no better than mediocre in "10 and '11, even as a Catcher- and his fielding has always been a question mark (although he is certainly better than LeCroix). No question the light switched on at the plate in 2012. While what he's done the last 2 years as a batter are encouraging, he still has a ways to go before he's a certified major league backstop.