Today marks the fifth and final post of our five-day series highlighting current MLBers who hail from hometowns located in (or near) Reds country. As we continue our quest to assemble the best 25-man roster possible, we now turn out attention toward the only position located behind the dish -- catcher.
In case you've missed the first four days worth of posts, here is some info to help better detail what we're trying to accomplish here:
The main goal in making this squad is to only choose players who come from within the geographical reach of Cincinnati, but without crossing too much into the regions of other MLB franchises (sincere apologies to the Indians, Cardinals, Pirates, Orioles, or Braves if I did).
The following is the general criteria I used when assembling the roster:
**The player(s) must currently be active in the MLB ranks
**The player(s) must have either been born, raised, attended high school or attended a university in any of the following states: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, or Tennessee.
**The player(s) must demonstrate excellence at their respective position
**The player(s)' age and potential were also taken into consideration
So, without further ado here is what the (somewhat)homegrown Reds catching core would look like:
Chris Iannetta C Los Angeles Angels
College: University of North Carolina
2011 stats: .238 BA, .370 OBP, 14 HR, 55 RBIs
Career stats (6 years): .235 BA, .788 OPS, 236 RBIs, .995 FLD%
Drew Butera C Minnesota Twins
Hometown: Evansville, IN
2011 stats: .167 BA, 9 2Bs, 23 RBIs, 43% CS
Career stats (2 years): .178 BA, .481 OPS, .987 FLD%, 36% CS
Whew. Slim pickings as far as MLB catching talent goes around the Ohio Valley region. After digging through a pile of research, these are the two backstops I came up with -- and I had to cheat a little for one of them. Although the state of North Carolina isn't on the list of allowable home states, I do consider Chapel Hill (UNC) to be home to plenty of Reds fans. As far as Butera goes, he would provide good defense toward the late innings of games while his hitting leaves much to be desired. Overall, the catching unit would definitely be the weakness of the imaginary All-Region Reds Team.
Group Grade: C+
Be on the lookout tomorrow as I wrap up the series with a final recap post.