I figured I'd put our two catchers together, since a prediction for one of them will effect the other's numbers. Let's start with J.P.
As you all know, Arencibia had a terrific season in Vegas. He hit .301/.359/.626 with 32 home runs and 85 RBI. He was named the PCL MVP. And we all remember his first game for the Jay, hitting a home run on the first major league pitch he saw and getting another homer later in the game. Cito didn't use him much after that, preferring to give John Buck a chance to get 20 home runs than to give JP experience in the majors. His major league numbers:
|2010 - J.P. Arencibia||11||35||3||5||1||0||2||4||2||11||0||0||.143||.189||.343|
I wouldn't read anything into his first 35 major league at bats.
The knock against him was 'game calling'. I hoped we wouldn't hear any more about that after he caught the game the Jay won 1-0 against the Mariners and Felix Hernandez. The Jays had five pitchers take part in that shutout. Shaun Hill had his best start for us, going 5 innings allowing just 4 hits, 1 walk and struck out 7.
I asked Pat Hentgen about him and Pat said that he talked to the Vegas pitchers and they all said they liked throwing to him. Hentgen said that generally Triple-A pitchers aren't the happiest people in the world, as they figure they ought to be in the majors, so having them like a catcher is a good sign.
For me, his stats this year aren't as important as getting him established as a catcher in the majors. I'd like to see him get 400 at bats. Let's guess a batting line of .240/.290/.420 with 15 homers and 50 RBI.
Jose Molina is your prototype journeyman back up catcher. Doesn't hit much, has a good arm and is very likable. He seemed to have troubles blocking balls in the dirt last year. Jose seemed to match up well with Brandon Morrow, though I'm not sure if it was something special between them or if he started catching Morrow when Brandon started pitching well. Either way, I'd let them continue together.
Jose hit great in the first half of last season (.282/.351/.400) but dropped off in the second half (.27/..253/.354). At one point he had the best batting average on the team. Oh the fun of small sample sizes. For the season as a whole he hit:
|2010 - Jose Molina||57||167||13||41||4||0||6||12||9||36||1||0||.246||.304||.377|
Which is pretty much the top end of what you could hope for from him. He is 36 this year so I wouldn't expect him to suddenly learn to hit now.
Bill James figures he will hit .226/.278/.333 in 206 at bats, 4 homers and 17 RBI. Sounds about right to me.
I'll go .220/.265/.340 in 200 at bats, 5 home runs and 15 RBI.
What do you think we will get from our catchers?