The Yankees signed ex-Dodgers catcher Russell Martin to replace Jorge Posada. Without Martin, the Yankees would have relied on uber prospect Jesus Montero for the starting catching duties. Now that Martin is officially signed, Montero will likely start 2011 in Triple-A. The majority of voters agreed.
But Montero isn’t the only highly touted prospect in the Yankees’ system. Yankees catching prospect Austin Romine played all of last year in Double-A and is said to have better defense than Montero and a solid bat. Here’s what Yankees Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman had to say about the catching situation.
“[Montero and Romine] need to catch, so that’s something we’ll deal with if we get there. I wouldn’t want them to split right now.”
Based on that comment, here’s a look at the Yankees’ depth at catcher last year and next year.
|2010 Yankees Catching Depth||2011 Projected Catching Depth|
|New York Yankees||New York Yankees|
|1. Jorge Posada||1. Russell Martin|
|2. Francisco Cervelli||2. Francisco Cervelli|
|Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees|
|1. Jesus Montero||1. Jesus Montero|
|2. Chad Moeller/Rene Rivera||2. Gustavo Molina|
|Trenton Thunder||Trenton Thunder|
|1. Austin Romine||1. Austin Romine|
|2. Jose Gil/Rene Rivera||2. Jose Gil/ |
Pretty similar, eh? If you were wondering, the Yankees signed Gustavo Molina a couple weeks ago. He played for the Red Sox last year (mostly in Triple-A).
Remember, the Yankees still have great depth at catcher below Double-A. Baseball America ranked Gary Sanchez as the second best prospect for the Yankees. At just 18 years old, he’ll likely start 2011 in Single-A. I’ll be keeping a close watch on his performance, and the Yankees certainly will be too.
New poll: Can the Yankees win the AL East without Andy Pettitte?