A Catcher Prospect Under Pressure: Pick One

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 26: Billy Butler #16 of the Kansas City Royals slides safely as Drew Butera #41 of the Minnesota Twins defends home plate in the sixth inning on September 26, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Writing about Salvador Perez and Evan Gattis this morning got me thinking about catchers. I'm going to pivot on this topic and do a background piece on catcher origins, but as I start working on that, I'd like to get a discussion going first.

You are a major league manager. Your star catcher, we'll call him Salvador Mauer, is injured and will be out the entire 2012 season, although he should be healthy for 2013. You need a catcher for 2012, and you need one right now. You don't have Pudge Rodriguez on speed dial.

You have to pull one of the following players out of the minors to be your major league catcher for this year. He must start at least 100 games behind the plate, and he has to get at least 300 plate appearances, so you can't just start him for an inning or two and then pinch-hit. This catcher is guaranteed to stay healthy. Your team is a contender, expected to challenge for the division title, although not a runaway favorite. The run environment of your home park is neutral.

Your choices are:

Jason Hagerty, San Diego Padres
Chris Herrmann, Minnesota Twins
James McCann, Detroit Tigers
Carlos Ramirez, Los Angeles Angels
Cody Stanley, St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Wallace, Houston Astros

And yes, I deliberately picked guys who are not top prospects. I want to make you think.

Who do you choose? Keep in mind that you do get to keep this new guy for the future, but that Salvador Mauer will be healthy in 2013.

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