Washington Nationals: 5 potential catching candidates

MIAMI, FL - JULY 31: Matt Wieters
MIAMI, FL - JULY 31: Matt Wieters /
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Pedro Severino

For years, Pedro Severino was widely regarded as the Nats’ catcher of the future. However, the 24-year-old’s stock dropped a bit throughout 2017, which has led to debate over what his ceiling might be.

Throughout his brief major league career, Severino has hit .246 with two homers in 35 regular season games. He also has some postseason experience, as he made the postseason roster and appeared in four games of the 2016 NLDS after Wilson Ramos tore his ACL late in the season.

Unfortunately, Severino may not be quite ready to make an impact at the big league level. He battled injuries in 2017, which contributed to his struggles, but he hit just .242 in 59 games for AAA Syracuse.

Now, Severino is ranked as the Nats’ number 15 prospect, according to MLB.com. He may not have as high of a ceiling as people believed he did, but he can be a respectable major league catcher when healthy.

If the Nats elect to fill their catcher need in-house, Severino would be their most likely choice. However, they could attempt to acquire another catcher at the trade deadline if he struggles again.

Do not be alarmed if Severino begins the season as the Nats’ back-up catcher, since the first half would likely serve as his audition for the future. Due to playing in the weak NL East, the Nats do not need to be in their top form until the postseason, which allows them to mend holes at the trade deadline.

Severino is a fine option, but the Nats may need to acquire another catcher in order to succeed in the postseason.