Spring Training Preview: Catchers
SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW – CATCHERS
This spring, 63 players — each member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, plus 23 additional non-roster invitees — will vie for the 25 spots on Dusty Baker’s Opening Day ball club. Over the course of this week, we are introducing these players in their position groups, continuing today with catchers.
March 5 – Starting Pitchers
March 6 – Relief Pitchers
March 7 – Catchers
March 8 – Infielders
March 9 – Outfielders
2015 Season Totals: N/A
Kieboom earned a non-roster invite to 2015 Spring Training and was added to Washington’s 40-man roster following the 2016 season. He boasts above-average defensive skills, having thrown out 41 percent (77-of-189) of would-be base stealers during his Minor League career. This past season, Kieboom hit .248 with 16 doubles, two home runs, 26 RBI and 30 runs scored in 71 games for Single-A Potomac en route to being named a Carolina League All-Star.
2015 Season Totals: .199/.279/.294, 57 wRC+, 9.7% BB rate, 25.8% K rate, -0.3 fWAR
Lobaton, acquired along with left-handed reliever Felipe Rivero and Minor League outfielder Drew Vettleson prior to the 2014 season, enters his third year as the Nats’ primary backup catcher. Known for his glovework behind the plate, Lobaton ranked 16th out of 117 catchers in pitch framing according to Matthew Carruth’s StatCorner. The 31-year-old switch-hitter contributed to the Nats’ wildest win of the 2015 season, going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in a 13-12 win over Atlanta on April 28.
2015 Season Totals: .229/.258/.358, 63 wRC+, 4.2% BB rate, 20.0% K rate, 0.4 fWAR
Ramos, a 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalist, enters his sixth full season as the Nationals’ primary backstop after playing a career-high 128 games played a season ago. “The Buffalo” also notched career bests in hits (109), runs batted in (68) and sacrifice flies (8), while coming within one of his top individual mark with 15 home runs. Behind the plate, the strong-armed 28-year-old tallied 77 assists and threw out 24-of-54 would-be basestealers, a 44 percent clip — 16 percent above the league average.
2015 Season Totals: .250/.250/.500, 97 wRC+, 0.0% BB rate, 25.0% K rate, 0.0 fWAR
A young, athletic catcher, Severino made his MLB debut in 2015. He was tabbed the “Best Defensive Catcher” in Washington’s system per Baseball America. He opened the season with Double-A Harrisburg and eventually made his MLB debut September 20 vs. Miami after having his contract selected on September 1. Severino hit .246 with 13 doubles, five homers, 34 RBI and 33 runs scored in 91 games with the Senators while being named an Eastern League midseason and postseason All-Star.
BRIAN JEROLOMAN…10-year Minor League veteran spent 2015 in Double-A Harrisburg.
JHONATAN SOLANO…Former Nationals backstop hit .314 for the 2012 NL East Division champs.