Continuing our look at players that the Rays should get on a minor league contract and an invite to Spring Training.
Chris Heintz- A veteran catcher that can play at third and first at average to above average. A decent contact hitter, Heintz doesn't walk a lot, nor a free swinger. Not an excellent backup, more of a filler in triple-A.
J.D. Closser - Closser was a good power hitting prospect when he started hitting a career high 21 home runs in 2001 for high-A Lancaster (Arizona affiliate). Then came up to majors three years later for the Rockies and played three seasons as the backup catcher. He wasn't an excellent defensive catcher, gave up 53 SB and only 11 CS in 80 games in 2005, but had a .687 OPS in the majors and a .823 OPS in the minors. Just like Heintz, not great but good triple-A filler.(Image below)
Dayton Buller- An actual defensive catcher in this trio, drafted in 2001, has just gotten up to triple-A this year. Buller has been a backup his whole minor league career, he has a career .724 OPS and three out 18 of 43 runners this past season. He will be 28 next season, not necessarily young, but a guy that has potential to be a great backup catcher with the Rays organization for a few years.
Up next the infielders.