In addition to Severino, Raudy Read is the Nats’ other in-house candidate to fill the catching need. Read, also 24, debuted in 2017, and impressed at the plate.
In an eight-game cup of coffee, Read hit .273, proving that his bat translates to the major league level. Read is undoubtedly the Nats’ best offensive catching prospect, but his defense is a work in progress.
Read committed a career-high ten errors for AA Harrisburg in 2017, which is more than the Nats would like to see. He also allowed a passed ball in the majors, despite catching just 11 innings.
Although Read comes with a few red flags, he is coming off of an impressive Winter League campaign. In seven games for Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League, he hit .259, and three of his seven hits were home runs.
If Read is able to improve defensively, he could have a higher ceiling than Severino. However, Severino may be the Nats’ most polished in-house candidate at the moment.
Read’s bat should allow him to at least get another cup of coffee in the majors in 2018, but he is not quite ready to become a full-time major league catcher. Similar to Severino, the Nats may elect to begin the season with Read as the back-up catcher, but attempt to acquire a more experienced backstop at the trade deadline.
Do not be surprised if the Nats allow Severino and Read to compete in Spring Training to become the back-up catcher.