Blue Jays: Looking at the catching ranks throughout the system

David Corcoran
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides across home plate to score a run on a fielders choice groundout in the second inning during MLB game action as Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays waits for the throw at Rogers Centre on September 4, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides across home plate to score a run on a fielders choice groundout in the second inning during MLB game action as Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays waits for the throw at Rogers Centre on September 4, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 18: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Reese McGuire #70 after a 6-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD – SEPTEMBER 18: Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates with Reese McGuire #70 after a 6-4 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 18, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

3.       Alejandro Kirk – Dunedin Blue Jays – High A Ball

Another 2016 international free agent signing, Alejandro is a thick, hard-hitting catcher.  Some have said that Kirk may not stick at catcher, but I am one to think he may stay at the position.

Kirk started 17 games in Lansing this year where he did not allow a passed ball and threw out 33% of the runners.  Once he was promoted to Dunedin his caught stealing percentage went up to nearly 40%, however has added five passed balls, albeit in three times as many games.  His home run totals dropped from Rookie ball where he hit 10 last year in 244 at bats to just three in 283 at bats this year.  The impressive part of his batting is he has been able to keep a high batting average of .305 in the higher levels and he has exchanged home runs for doubles as he has seen a 150% increase.

4.       Riley Adams – New Hampshire Fisher Cats – AA

One of the more popular Blue Jays prospects, Riley Adams was selected in the third round of the 2017 MLB draft and signed at slot for $542,400.  Adams has caught 56 games behind the plate this year and has allowed just six passed balls, throwing out 29% of the runners (31% in AA).  Adams has been as steady as the come and looks to be at minimum a quality MLB back-up catcher.  A year ago, he likely would have been third or even second but the emergence of Moreno has dropped him down.

5.       Reese McGuire – Buffalo Bisons – AA

One of the better trades that Ross Atkins has done, McGuire was acquired with Harold Ramirez and Francisco Liriano (later traded for Teoscar Hernandez) for dwindling Drew Hutchison.  McGuire impressed with a September call-up last year hitting .290 with two home runs in 31 at bats for the Blue Jays.

In my opinion McGuire should stay with the Blue Jays right now and should be paired with Jansen for the next few years.  McGuire is well above what Luke Maile brings, but I’m not in the organization to have my opinion (yet).  McGuire has thrown out just 26% of the base runners this year, but has not been tested all that much, which could because of his arm strength.  He is also striking out just 15.6% of his at bats (Maile is 24.1% this season and 27% for his career) so McGuire can move runners along.  Bring him up now, which will help with the MLB club, his future as well as freeing up spots for the young catchers climbing the ranks.

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