In the leadup to the Miami Marlins Spring Training opener on Saturday, we’re breaking down the roster.
What will the Opening Day roster look like for the Miami Marlins? We know a few things, but we don’t know everything, and that’s why they play the games. On Monday, we broke down the starting rotation, on Tuesday the outfield, and yesterday the bullpen. Today we take a look deep inside the catcher corps. Tune in tomorrow for a dive into the infield.
What do we know for sure now that J.T. Realmuto has departed for the northern fields of Philadelphia? The one thing we can count on is that the new starter going in is Jorge Alfaro, part of the haul gained in the deal.
Miami Marlins Starting Catcher
Alfaro is just 25-years-old coming into the 2019 campaign, with just over a year of service time. Despite short looks in 2016 and 2017, the 2018 season was his official rookie year.
"Not only did Alfaro swing the most of any other catcher with a minimum of 300 plate appearances in 2018, but he also had the most swings and misses. Even worse, he swung the second-most frequently at pitches outside the zone, and missed a staggering 57.10% of those swings—the most among all catchers included in this analysis. Oh, and did I mention he struck out in 36.6% of his at-bats in 2018? Yikes."
At the plate, Alfaro has shown power but almost zero patience. 15 career homers in 508 plate appearances, and only 22 walks. He’s also struck out 179 times over his first 143 games. His slashline, at .270/.327/.422, results in a strongish .749 OPS, and an OPS+ of 99. So, he’s well above replacement level when it’s all said and done, but a near dead-average major league hitter.
Defensively, Alfaro has caught 136 games, and fielded at .989 in 1143 1/3 innings of work. He’s thrown out 26-of-98 baserunners trying to steal, or 27 percent, and passed 14 balls in his career. Work to do, sure, but this is our starter moving forward, and he’s still just 25.
Alfaro is locked in, but that leaves six more backstops in camp competing for one roster spot. Who has the inside track?