Alright so this one should be pretty easy as the Buccos have really addressed this position.
Doumit had a good season, when he played. The oft-injured backstop (somewhat) spent way too much time on the DL once again though. Still, when he plays, he offered a really good stick that will be nearly impossible to replace.
Doumit posted the highest SLG of his career last season and his .303 batting average was also a career high. Still his defense was awful, and there is no getting around the injuries. Doumit was probably the best catching option from an offensive standpoint, but the Pirates were never going to exercise his option.
Chris Snyder also ended up on the shelf, with a very serious injury. He has some power, but how much of that remains after a back surgery? I have little problem with him not coming back at a big salary, he was pretty good, but after such a major injury I really question how much he has left.
And that brings us to someone that I don’t think will make the team, Michael McKenry. There is a lot of goodwill towards McKenry for his walk-off homer. That just serves to cover up the fact that he really isn’t any good. McKenry combines no stick with below average defense. I know people think he is a defensive wizard, but that’s because Pirates fans are used to Ryan Doumit.
McKenry is a nice story, nothing more. He probably should not be in this team’s plans, and I have a feeling the Pirates have already acquired his replacement.
Especially since McKenry already has an option.
Obviously I’m not talking about Rod Barajas, whom I don’t care for. Though I guess we should talk about him. Barajas is pretty good defensively, that’s it. He is not great like some would have you believe but he is world’s ahead of Ryan Doumit. He also brings nowhere near the stick. Barajas will struggle a bit with PNC Park, which will limit his best asset, his power.
Barajas also comes with a bit of a reputation for being a lazy player, just ask any Philly fan.
Fox also isn’t a great defensive catcher, but he is passable, like McKenry. Fox has a pretty good bat though, better than Fort’s. In fact he has an OPS of .750 in two of his three big league seasons with 20 or more at bats.
He has shown some minor league power too, hitting 12 homers in 68 games last season at AAA and 17 in 45 AAA games in 2009. He has a career .882 OPS in the minors, though much of that came in the hitter’s PCL. Still numbers like that are something this team could use, and he has hit at least reasonably well in the majors so I like the signing. Very underrated.
I think Fox has the potential to be better than Barajas.