Sep 7, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins catcherJarrod Saltalamacchia
(39) hits a RBI single in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
# 4 – Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Miami Marlins)
Saltalamacchia turns 30 this season, but for the most part it’s a young 30 since he’s played only 709 big league games. There’s little fear that he’ll suddenly turn old and stop hitting. He’ll be a solid catcher and most likely give the Marlins solid defense behind the plate while hitting around .230 with 10-15 home runs. Those are great numbers for a catcher. I don’t think the player from 2013 is coming back, the one who hit .273/.338/.466 or from 2012 when he hit 25 home runs. In both of those seasons, he was in the American League, playing for the Red Sox.
Last season Saltalamacchia spent 16 games on the disabled list with a concussion suffered as the result of a foul tip. Prior to the concussion, Saltalamacchia was hitting .237/.335/.404. In the 66 games after returning from that concussion he hit just .207/.308/.332 while his BABIP played relatively constant. He just struck out a lot more.
Over the years, there have been noted cases of players dealing with lingering concussion issues, notably Justin Morneau and Jason Bay, which often lead to bouts of dizziness and difficulty with vision. Another problem Saltalamacchia might have had is adjusting to the Miami summers after spending his previous four seasons in Boston. Never mind the fact he spent time prior to those stops with the Texas Rangers.
Steamer projects him out to .220/.320/.362 with 11 home runs and middle of the road defense. I’ll go with something along those lines for his 2015 season.
Next: Number Three?