Colorado Rockies: Rule-5 Draft Targets – Catcher


The Colorado Rockies recently DFA’d four players, with one being Wilin Rosario; thus, could the Rockies pursue a catcher in the upcoming Rule-5 Draft?

On November 20th, the Colorado Rockies designated four players for assignment, including Wilin Rosario, Rex Brothers, Tommy Kahnle, and John Axford. Thus, the Colorado Rockies need to fill their bullpen in the upcoming months to prepare for the 2016 season. With the Rockies letting Axford go, it looks like Miguel Castro assumes the closer role entering next season; however, he is only 20 years old. However, with Rosario likely gone next season, should the Colorado Rockies pursue a catcher in the upcoming Rule-5 Draft?

-= Related: Colorado Rockies Add Three Prospects to 40-Man Roster =-

When the Colorado Rockies’ DFA’d the four players, they made room for Trevor Story, Raimel Tapia, and Antonio Senzatela. Each one of the aforementioned prospects was eligible to be selected in upcoming Rule-5 Draft, so the Rockies made the smart move in adding them to the 40-man roster to protect them from being selected. However, throughout the MLB, several notable names, at each position, present upside for a team willing to take on the prospects. With the Rockies designating Wilin Rosario, in addition to their pitchers, the team might look to add a catcher to the roster. 

More from Mile High Maniac

Two catchers present viable options for the Colorado Rockies in the upcoming Rule-5 Draft. Willians Astudillo (Atlanta Braves) and Taylor Davis (Chicago Cubs) look to be front-runners for the most capable catchers available in the draft. Keep in mind that, if the Colorado Rockies were to select any player in the draft, they would have to stay on the MLB roster for the duration of the season to remain with the team. Astudillo is a high-contact bat that rarely strikes out. In over 400 plate appearances, he struck out just 10 times, and he is capable of playing four positions (catcher, first base, third base, and left field).

Astudillo played 107 games for the Clearwater Threshers (High-A), and he possessed an impressive .314/.348/.384 slash line. However, a hitter that makes a jump from High-A to the MLB presents a high chance of struggling at the plate. Astudillo draws comparisons to Carlos Ruiz; however, he has a ways to go to live up to those comparisons. Thus, the Colorado Rockies probably steer clear of him and rely on the duo of Nick Hundley and Tom Murphy. In addition to Astudillo, Taylor Davis presents a viable option with a nice bat and solid defense. 

More from Colorado Rockies

Davis is not a big player, but he has a high catcher-IQ and above-average blocking ability. Also, Davis played in Triple-A last season, so he has more experience than Astudillo. Davis posted a .309/.361/.444 at Iowa, showing he might be able to make an impact at the MLB level. Taylor Davis split time between Double-A and Triple-A in the Chicago Cubs farm system, and his combined numbers looked pretty impressive. He finished the 2015 season, split between two leagues, with a .311/.361/.483 slash line while playing in 104 games. Davis finished with nine home runs and 43 RBI and struck out just 48 times in 360 plate appearances.

Next: Colorado Rockies: Future Trade Partner with Braves?

Taylor Davis presents more immediate upside than Willians Astudillo, but it remains to be seen if either gets a chance at a MLB roster next season. The Chicago Cubs have a log-jam at catcher; while, the Atlanta Braves just re-signed A.J. Pierzynski for next season. Also, the Braves want to see if Christian Bethancourt develops into the catcher they hoped. The Colorado Rockies do not technically need a catcher for next season, but Davis might look more appealing as a backup than Murphy. Nick Hundley enters the 2016 season as the go-to option behind the plate, so any catching addition would be merely for backup purposes.