Francisco Cervelli is poised to spend his 13th major league season with the Miami Marlins.
For the last two seasons, Miami’s backup catcher has been Bryan Holaday, with Chad Wallach resting in third on the depth chart. Wallach remains at that spot, but Holaday is now a part of the Baltimore Orioles. Enter Francisco Cervelli.
Cervelli, who will be turning 34 in just a couple of weeks, recently joined the Miami Marlins through free agency for $2 million. According to MLB Statcast, Cervelli’s 2019 resulted in a top-half-of-baseball pop time of 1.99, a framing profile that was middling at best, in the top 62 percent of baseball, and a sprint speed in the bottom fifth of MLB.
In 666 major league contests entering 2019, Cervelli had a career slash line of .273/.362/.744 with 35 home runs and 256 RBI. In 48 games last season, his line was well-off his track-record, at .213/.302/.348 with three homers and a dozen RBI.
On the plus-side, Cervelli’s 19.2 percent career-strikeout rate is 15 percent better than new teammate Alfaro, who still figures to get the lion’s share of the starts behind the plate. Cervelli is clearly the more patient of the two when it comes to pitch selection.
Both catchers have worked very hard to improve their physical fitness through this offseason. Alfaro has cut 15 pounds off his frame, according to Joe Frisaro at MLB.COM, and Cervelli’s efforts are well documented on his Instagram feed (above).
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
Cervelli’s work ethic is unquestioned, and known intimately by Derek Jeter from when the two were teammates with the New York Yankees for seven seasons prior to the Captain’s retirement.
Cervelli is projected by Baseball Reference to hit .243 in 320 at bats, with nine home runs. Outside of that, Fangraphs tracks several projection systems. The five on tap on Cervelli’s stat-page show an average expectation of a 75-game season, with a .235/.334/.363 slash, six home runs, and 28 RBI.
However much Cervelli ends up playing, we can be sure he’ll always leave his best effort out on the field. Thanks for reading, and check here tomorrow for a read on Jazz Chisholm.