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A Look at Depth: Catchers




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I’ve decided to write a series of posts regarding the depth in the Twins system, or possibly lack thereof depending on how you feel about a particular position. I plan to go position by position in hopes to shed some light on who could make an impact as early as 2023, or who may make an impact within a few years. I was inspired by Nick Nelson’s posts regarding the major league team, but didn’t want to duplicate what he did, so I will only be writing about the guys not on the 40-man roster, because Nick has done a great job analyzing the position at the major league level.

I will start with catchers, where there are more in the system than one probably thinks at the start. I used Roster Resource’s depth chart, which can be found on FanGraphs. Here is a note on each catcher in the Twins system not on the 40 man roster. I’ll list how they were acquired and what level I expect them to play at most this coming season.

  1. Tony Wolters

Acquired: Free Agency, 2023

Level: AAA


The Twins signed Wolters in January to have some depth within the minors if Christian Vazquez or Ryan Jeffers were to get injured. Wolters has bounced around to a few different teams in the past few years, but you likely remember him most as a member of the Colorado Rockies. He is a light hitting, backup, catcher at this point in his career, with a career .235/.321/.314 line in his time in the majors. He’s not a bad depth option because he has some major league experience, but the hope is he doesn’t have to get into too many games this season.

  1. Chance Sisco

Acquired: Free Agency, 2022

Level: AAA


Sisco was in the Twins system this past year as a well as a depth option and even with Ryan Jeffers injury, he was not called up to the ML squad. Once a highly regard prospect after being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft, Sisco never hit much in the majors, which leads to a noticeably clear ceiling. At this point, similar to Wolters, he is a depth option with some major league experience. His career line of .197/.317/337 is not fantastic, but it is nice to have a guy who can fill in a backup roll if needed. I’m not sure on where he compares to some of the other AAA catchers, but it’s never a bad thing to have multiple guys who have some major league experience if an injury does occur.

  1. Grayson Greiner

Acquired: Free Agency, 2023

Level: AAA


You may know Greiner most from his time with the Detroit Tigers, where he played from 2018-2021. He spent the 2022 season with Arizona, where he spent most of his time at AAA but made it into two major league games. Greiner, like Sisco and Wolters, is a depth option at the catcher position. He will likely play most, if not all, of the year at AAA where he will serve as a depth option in case of injury. His ML career slash of .201/.275/.307 is not far off from Wolters or Sisco and profiles as a depth piece where if you see him in the majors for too long, something went very wrong with injuries most likely.

  1. David Bañuelos

Acquired: Trade, 2017

Level: AAA


You may or may not remember, Bañuelos was acquired in December 2017 in a trade with the Seattle Mariners where the Twins sent international bonus pool money to Seattle in exchange for Bañuelos. Bañuelos has slowly climbed the minor league ranks since, finishing at AAA over the last two years. This may sound familiar, but he is a light hitting catcher who is a pretty solid depth piece this year. A career .207/.261/.325 hitter in 5 minor league seasons, Bañuelos has been tried at other positions, but not often, which says to me he is a catcher who can maybe play elsewhere in an emergency. Listed as the 4th possible catcher, at AAA, I would assume one of these guys may get a handful of at bats at 1B as well, but it may not be Bañuelos, since he hasn’t played there since 2017. At this point, he is a depth piece who will likely not see the majors unless something goes horribly wrong with the guys ahead of him on the depth chart.


  1. Alex Isola

Acquire: Draft – 29th Round, 2019

Level: AA


You may be thinking, finally, someone the Twins drafted. Don’t worry, there are a handful of others on this list as well. Isola was a late round pick, who has steadily climbed the minors ladder since being drafted in 2019. He made it up to Wichita, the Twins AA affiliate, this past season, where I would expect him to spend a chunk of the time this coming season as well. Isola is a career .264/.356/449 hitter in the minor leagues, which means his bat is a bit more of a weapon compared to others we have looked at to this point. Isola is relatively versatile as well, having played some 1B over the past two seasons as well. He also represented the Twins in the Arizona Fall League in 2022, where he mostly played 1B and he hit .228/.343/.316 in 16 games. Isola is 24 years old, so he likely projects as a career backup who can provide a little offense as well. I’m interested to see if he can carve a role in future years, but I don’t see 2023 being a year where that occurs, unless he takes a huge step forward combined with injuries occurring at the same time.

  1. Kyle Schmidt

Acquired: Draft – 33rd Round, 2019

Level: AA


Drafted out of the University of Richmond in 2019, where Schmidt tore the cover off the ball in his final season, he has slowly climbed the ranks, at an oddly similar pace to Isola. Schmidt’s minors career slash of .211/.296/.290 isn’t quite as potent, but he seems to still be developing potentially at the dish. Schmidt played at Fort Myers, Cedar Rapids, and also at Wichita, where he mostly played catcher, but also got into some games at 1B as well. If Schmidt can hit for more power, even becoming a guy who gets more extra base hits, he could potentially carve out a role as a backup catcher in the future.

  1. Pat Winkel

Acquired: Draft – 9th round, 2021

Level: A+/AA


Winkel has about a year and a half of minors games under his belt, so he still has a ways to go to get to the majors. He played at high-A Cedar Rapids this past year, where he hit decently well, and showed a little bit of power, hitting 6 HRs in 54 games played. As I mentioned, Winkel has a limited amount of minors experience, so plenty of time to still grow going forward, as he is only 23 years old. His career slash of .251/.341/.382 is something to build off, especially at the catcher position.

  1. Noah Cardenas

Acquired: Draft – 8th round, 2021

Level: A+


In the past two season, in just over 100 games, Cardenas has hit .264/.420/.418, which is really fun because that shows he’s hit for a little bit of power, while also hitting for a decent average as well. I know, it’s the low minors, so you can take it with a grain of salt. Cardenas might be a potential piece long term, but will have to continue to perform if he wants to make an impact at the major league level going forward. He’s known for his glove first, and that’s an okay place to be as a catcher, but if he can tap into a little more offensive firepower, he could be a fun piece to watch climb his way into the picture in the next handful of years.

  1. Charles Mack

Acquired: Draft – 6th round, 2018

Level: A+


Mack will be playing his age 23 season this coming year, but it will be his 5th year in the Twins system. Drafted in 2018, Mack has a career slash of .212/.315/346 in the minors. He played a little 1B this past season, so some versatility is always promising. He threw out 20% of potential base stealers, so he will need to improve in that area if wanting to be a long term option at catcher.

  1. Dillon Tatum

Acquired: Draft – 20th Round, 2021

Level: A+


Tatum was drafted in the 20th round out of UC Irvine after hitting .278 with 15 HR in his final year there. In two minor league seasons, he has hit .172/.320/.291, so the bat has not translated as some may have hoped, but it still has time to develop as he is 22 years old. Tatum also played a handful of games at 1B this past year, but his bat will have to improve to truly be a viable option at 1B. He had a 25% caught stealing rate, so not great, but he did only commit 2 errors in 437 chances at Fort Myers as well. He’s a glove first catcher, with some upside with the bat. Keep your eye on how his bat develops this year.

  1. Nate Baez

Acquired: Draft – 12th round, 2022

Level: A


Baez is the one of the newer members of this list to the organization. He has played in a total of 19 minor league games but hit decently well at Fort Myers when called up. He hit 3 HR in 58 PA, so hopefully the power can still continue to develop. In his last season at Arizona State, he hit .319/.403/.562 with 10 HR and 48 RBI. If the bat can continue to develop, he could be a very interesting piece. Baez also played 1B, 2B, 3B and even a handful of games in LF as well in college, so there could be some versatility. I would say the versatility is something to keep an eye on, ad he is someone who could end up at 1B if catching doesn’t work out.

  1. Ricardo Olivar

Acquired: Amateur FA – 2019

Level: A


Olivar was signed as an amateur free agent in July 2019 for $20,000. He struggled in 2021, but figured something out in 2022 as he led the Florida Complex League with a 1.047 OPS over 40 games. Olivar has also played all 3 OF positions and 2B, which makes him a very intriguing prospect. Does he stick at catcher, or does he transition to another position that gets his bat into the lineup a bit more? Time will tell, but as a catcher, he has a decent fielding percentage, but has not thrown out would be base stealers very well at all. He finished the year at Fort Myers in 2022 so I would suspect he spends the entire 2023 season there as well. He is only 21 years old as well, so he could be a sneaky break-out candidate as someone not many people are talking about right now.

  1. Wilfri Castro

Acquired: Amateur FA – 2017

Level: Rookie


Castro was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 and has been in rookie ball since 2018. His minors career line of .204/.338/.305 doesn’t scream a bright future, but sometimes you don’t know with low-level prospects. With having been in the system for a few years, this may be the year that he finally puts something together, as he has only 86 professional games under his belt at this point. For his sake, the hope would be he can at least finish the year in Fort Myers after hitting some at rookie ball.

  1. Ricardo Pena

Acquired: Amateur FA – 2022

Level: Dominican Summer League


Pena got into 29 games after being signed in April of last year. He hit a little bit, but 29 games is a small sample size to judge a 17, soon to be 18, year old. Lots of time for development for a young prospect, and one I will keep an eye on to see how he is doing over the next few years to see if he is able to develop into a possible top-30 prospect for the Twins.  He will likely spend his time in the Dominican Summer League this coming year and hopefully build off of the development he had this past season.  

  1. Carlos Silva

Acquired: Amateur FA – 2023

Level: Dominican Summer League


The Twins signed Silva, the number 31 ranked international prospect for $1.1 million in January of this year. Jesse Sanchez, of MLB.com stated about Silva: “As for Silva, the right-handed hitter from Venezuela has a compact frame that suits him well behind the plate. He also has the skills to keep him there as he advances through the Minor Leagues. Silva impressed scouts with his pop times and arm strength, which has a chance to be an above-average tool in the future. He shows good footwork along with solid receiving and blocking skills. At the plate, Silva shows plus bat speed and the ability to drive the ball to all fields, especially his pull side. He trains out of the NBS Academy in Venezuela.”

This tells me that Silva is a guy to keep your eye on, but he likely won’t be major league ready for quite some time, as he is only 17 years old and will take quite some time to develop. He’s a prospect to be excited about, but not for probably 5-6 years realistically.


Let me know which catchers not on the 40-man roster you are most excited for, or maybe which you aren’t as excited about. I plan on releasing one of these for each position over the next handful of weeks. Let me know your thoughts!






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The noticeable thing for me is that the Twins have not drafted any of these guys above the 8th round.  That said, I am aware that late rounders can and do make major league rosters, but the odds go down for those chosen later in the draft.

I'd like to see the Twins use a high draft pick on a good catching prospect that can field and hit.  I think they passed on one in the first round last year that went to the Mets, but I had no issues since they got Lee.

At some point you need to use a high pick to get a good prospect.  Maybe this will be the year we see that.

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9 hours ago, Karbo said:

Looks like Silva has potential. Don't have any info on defense which is so important at catcher.

And if the new rules work like MLB plans, the premium defensive positions (esp. infielders) will return to the prominence of the (not that distant) past.

And if this truly happens, the Twins are going to be looking for  a dumb trade partner to swap second basemen.  And maybe 3B if things don't work as well as hoped.

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After Vasquez our depth takes a deep dive. Hopefully Jeffers hitting will come around but even so his arm & blocking leaves much to be desired. When framing is obsolete, so is Jeffers. We need Vazquez to catch at least 80% of the time for the next 3 yrs. And after that?

Isola they want to transition to catcher but they don't focus him there. IMO Olivar can be a good catcher if they focus to develop him at catcher, especially his pop up time because his arm is above average.

Noah Cardenas has a lot of potential on both side of the plate, (I don't care if his power hasn't blossomed yet or if it ever does.) But he's still a few years away. Same with Carlos Silva but he's even further away.

Again I will say we desperately need a very good MLB catching prospect. Since we won't have one for e few years, we need to trade for one, now.

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13 hours ago, Bodie said:

And if the new rules work like MLB plans, the premium defensive positions (esp. infielders) will return to the prominence of the (not that distant) past.

And if this truly happens, the Twins are going to be looking for  a dumb trade partner to swap second basemen.  And maybe 3B if things don't work as well as hoped.

I'm not so worried at 2B yet, wait to see how Polo does. #b I have no idea about Miranda's defense. They do have some youngsters that could fill either or both spots if needed.

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3 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

After Vasquez our depth takes a deep dive. Hopefully Jeffers hitting will come around but even so his arm & blocking leaves much to be desired. When framing is obsolete, so is Jeffers. We need Vazquez to catch at least 80% of the time for the next 3 yrs. And after that?

I don't want to go to every thread to defend Ryan Jeffers, but his weaknesses have been magnified to the point that I believe someone should try to balance the ledger. First of all, Jeffers is considerably younger than the AAA depth at St. Paul. He's 25, Sisco is 28 and Greiner and Wolters are over 30. Jeffers has as much offensive upside as anyone above Low A ball IMHO and the defense isn't all about throwing out runners, although I will acknowledge he is far below average. He handles a staff well and if memory serves, his CERA (catcher ERA) was considerably better than Sanchez last year (I couldn't find a CERA stat for catchers last year).

Vazquez will not catch 80% of games for the Twins. Mitch Garver was on his way to a Silver Slugger and he only caught 80-some (injured about 25 games if memory serves). If Jeffers' bat comes around as it appeared it was when he was injured last year, it wouldn't surprise me to see him alternate fully with Vazquez. 

I'd agree that the Twins don't have any stud prospects who are old enough to drink a beer and they would be well advised to draft a good catcher early in this year's draft. 

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Missing from this list: Camargo and 2022 draft choice Andrew Cossetti.

AAA is overloaded with catchers, even forgetting Bechtold and Williams can also play there. Wolters and Greiner provide some actual ML experience as a #3 catcher, if and when needed. They also provide that experience for the staff. The funny thing about the younger Sisco is, his LH bat wasn't bad at all through 2019. And then the wheels came off. But I think that's why he's still around after missing all of 2020 and a chunk of 2022. Banuelos's defense is so well regarded he's been a long stay in camp each of the past couple of seasons. But he's never hit, is probably never going to hit, and I don't know how St Paul manages 4 catchers, even with reserve lists and IL.

At AA, Isola has an interesting bat, especially for a catcher. But even though catchers will play 1B and DH, and occasionally other spots, he's spent less time at catcher than "other" spots. He's got to show he can actually be a viable catcher prospect really soon, or he's only going to ever be a useful journeyman. The bat isn't special enough to play elsewhere. Schmidt has a ways to go, but might offer more long term potential than Isola. The GUY at AA is Camargo. He's got some power and decent bat potential to go along with, reportedly, solid skills behind the plate.

A ball is a collection of Winkel, Cardenas, Tatum, Baez, Cossetti, and Oliver. Winked, Cardenas, and Tatum were all selected in 2021 and have barely played a little over a full milb season. Tatum, so far, is way behind Winkel and Cardenas in production. From the 2022 draft, Baez has all of 19 games and Cossetti one. Oliver looks very interesting if his 2022 production is real maturation. Super young, he's obviously pretty athletic and worth watching and keeping behind the plate for the foreseeable future.


1] CARDENAS: Good glove, good eye, contact ability, power potential.

2] WINKEL: His LH bat shows a little power and decent hit tool. He jumped to A+ after only 21 games in 2021 after being drafted. Not sure he's ready for AA to begin the year, but should see him there at some point. Think Cardenas has more bat potential.

3] BAEZ: He's athletic enough to have played multiple spots in college. Became a full time catcher late. Unpolished, but athleticism screams potential if he puts in the work on both.

4A] CAMARGO: He's started to show power the past 2yrs and had his best season in 2022 as a hitter, though his numbers slid following his promotion to AA, where he spent most of the season. He should begin there again in 2023 with hopes of reaching AAA at some point soon. I'm thinking career backup with defense and a solid bat and power for that role.

4B] COSSETTI: Seeing virtually zero time in 2022 after being drafted,  his college bat tells me he's got offensive potential to hit some and provide power. How good can he be behind the plate? But bat potential and hope for defense places him here.

6] It PAINS ME to place the TD short season hitter of the past year this low. But I just can't right now. Still only 21yo and coming off a tremendous 2022 at FCL, I'm just not sure who he is yet. He's athletic to be sure. And I'm sure he's filled out from the 175lbs of his listed milb weight by now. But he started more games in the OF than catcher 2-1. So is he REALLY a catching prospect going forward? I understand all milb catchers play other spots, but I'd have to see him carry his bat to Ft Myers A ball in 2023 and actually CATCH on a consistent basis before I could think about ranking him any higher than this.

Everyone else is a similar "show me you can actually catch on a regular basis as well as hit". 

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As far as 2023 is concerned, there is no depth at catcher. Zero. Nada.

If Vasquez or Jeffers get hurt, we’re almost guaranteed to give significant innings of negative WAR at the position. Even if they’re healthy all year, there’s a significant chance this could be the case. It’s such an immense organizational black hole, that the large black hole called first base easily fits inside it.

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Jair Camargo is a real prospect, and still quite young. Became a minor league free agent and the Twins got him back. Should start (hopefully strong) at AA.

I'm more worried these days now on depth with actual catching/throwout abilities. Framing is a plus to give the pitcher a target, but with the automated strikezone being implemented in some minors leagues, being crafty behind thee pllate is no longer a plus.

The Twins have Vasquez as a starter for hopefully a strong two years, and maybe Jeffers will develop into a stronger half-time catcher in that time...so the Twins may be pretty set  ffor three seasons, although losing both of  these guys for any length of time will put a strain on the 40-man which has NO backup BACKUP catcher.

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16 hours ago, Russ said:

Where is Jair Camargo on this list?

Oddly, he was not on the list so I missed him! My apologies on that! 

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