What is an "MWP"? Mauer Without Power.
In my opinion, this is the best way to describe Josh Thole. This kid is not getting the respect that he deserves from this community. People are far too obsessed with power and don't realize that there are other aspects to the game of baseball that make a player like Josh Thole extremely valuable. It is not unreasonable to believe that Thole could put up numbers similar to Joe Mauer's 2008 season. Obviously there is no guarantee that Thole can achieve that, but up to this point, he has clearly demonstrated that he has the potential to do so.
2008 (A+): .300/.382/.427/.808
2009 (AA): .328/.395/.422/.816
Josh Thole rips righties and lefties (no platoon splits concern), and also walks more than he strikes out (mastery of the strike zone). Even in the brief stint with the Mets last year (17 games, 53 ABs), Thole managed to hit .321 and had a 4/5 BB/K rate. He definitely showed that he wasn't over-matched by major league pitching. Although Thole's defense is not above average right now, he has made steady improvements over the past 2 seasons and is on his way to becoming a solid defensive catcher at the major league level. That's probably better than half the starting catchers in the major leagues right now. Thole's defense is not the major concern that some of you make it out to be. The kid is new to catching and is getting better. As with any player learning a new position, it takes a little time. It's actually impressive where Thole's at already so soon in his development.
Honestly, I just dont understand why Josh Thole doesn't get more love. Will he hit a lot of homeruns? No. Will he throw out 50% of would be base stealers? No. However, a catcher who can hit over .300, get on base almost 40% of the time, and play solid defense is a rare and valuable commodity. Don't be surprised if Thole makes more all-star game appearances than everyone's beloved Buster Posey. By the way, I expect a public apology from all of you when Thole either secures his first NL batting title, makes the all-star team, or receives MVP votes. One fanpost post with +1s will suffice.
Josh Thole is an excellent hitting prospect, and you all need to realize that. It's sad that you don't already.