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View Full Version : Any chance Craig Tatum is the Reds' long-term solution at catcher?



Blitz Dorsey
05-25-2008, 08:29 PM
He's having a decent offensive year at AA Chattanooga (http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Craig%20Tatum&pos=C&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=461874) and he has previously won awards for his defense. Tatum is 25 and was a third-round pick by the Reds in 2003 out of Mississippi State. You know Jeff Brantley likes him. What say ye? Do you think Tatum could be the Reds' catcher of the future? At least until Mesoraco is ready?

Betterread
05-25-2008, 08:32 PM
I like his potential. He is MLB-ready defensively. Offensively, he displays average hitting, pitch recognition and patience. He is currently not ready, but I believe if he stays healthy and continues to work hard and improve, he can be ready in September 2009 or early 2010. His progress this year and next determines whether he should be considered as a 120 games a year starter or as a 50-80 games a year backup.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-25-2008, 11:21 PM
Another reason why Ryan Hanigan does not belong on the 40-man roster.

HokieRed
05-25-2008, 11:25 PM
Minor correction. Tatum was taken by O'Brien in the 2004 draft.

RedlegJake
05-26-2008, 12:49 AM
Craig is still getting his feet under him at Chattanooga. Given the rest of the season I think he'll bring his OPS back toward that .800 mark, his defense is already there. Maybe by mid season next year or 2010 I think he can at least be the backup. If he can broach that .800 mark and then translate that to the big leagues he'd be a solid starter but I'm not convinced he can do that just yet.

SarasotaFan
05-26-2008, 10:31 AM
I like his potential. He is MLB-ready defensively. Offensively, he displays average hitting, pitch recognition and patience. He is currently not ready, but I believe if he stays healthy and continues to work hard and improve, he can be ready in September 2009 or early 2010. His progress this year and next determines whether he should be considered as a 120 games a year starter or as a 50-80 games a year backup.

not really considered a backup if he's going to play 50-80 games...

camisadelgolf
05-26-2008, 04:31 PM
not really considered a backup if he's going to play 50-80 games...

I disagree completely. What do you think constitutes being a backup? I consider a backup to be someone who is second or lower at his position when it comes to playing time, and if he were to play 50-80 games, there's a very decent chance that could happen.

SarasotaFan
05-26-2008, 08:52 PM
I disagree completely. What do you think constitutes being a backup? I consider a backup to be someone who is second or lower at his position when it comes to playing time, and if he were to play 50-80 games, there's a very decent chance that could happen.

80 games is half a season.

i consider a backup to play less than 50 games. sure 50-80 he's still considered a "back up", but i would more or less call it a "2nd catcher" and not a true backup.

gedred69
05-26-2008, 09:18 PM
It would be nice to have a back-up catcher who could hit .235+ and be a B+ defensively!

Check out all the Reds Minors-League team stats. There are some decent looking numbers on Catchers, and factor in Petr Cech, who got off hot, before season-ending surgery at GCL last year, or so SARASOTA RED heard. (May be at Billings this year)?

M2
05-27-2008, 12:49 AM
Tatum is hitting .246/.313/.408 in AA. Unless we've slipped into an alternate reality, there's nothing vaguely "decent" about the season he's having. Bad franchises wait on flotsam like Tatum.

He'll be headed the way of Dane Sardinha and Miguel Perez soon enough. What major future he has is likely as a AAA catcher who gets called up during crisis situations.

RedlegJake
05-27-2008, 01:17 AM
Tatum is hitting .246/.313/.408 in AA. Unless we've slipped into an alternate reality, there's nothing vaguely "decent" about the season he's having. Bad franchises wait on flotsam like Tatum.

He'll be headed the way of Dane Sardinha and Miguel Perez soon enough. What major future he has is likely as a AAA catcher who gets called up during crisis situations.

I agree he needs to start putting up better numbers but he's still fairly new to AA. He needs to start getting his numbers back in line to his early numbers, though, when he was OPSing in the high .800s or become another casualty of the jump to AA that trips quite a few prospects that look good in lower levels. My biggest concern is the slugging has disappeared from his resume.

Blitz Dorsey
05-27-2008, 11:02 AM
Tatum is hitting .246/.313/.408 in AA. Unless we've slipped into an alternate reality, there's nothing vaguely "decent" about the season he's having. Bad franchises wait on flotsam like Tatum.

He'll be headed the way of Dane Sardinha and Miguel Perez soon enough. What major future he has is likely as a AAA catcher who gets called up during crisis situations.

He started much slower and was over a .300 hitter at Sarasota last year... a better hitter than Drew Stubbs is this year with Sarasota -- I know that's not saying much, but still. That's a third-round catcher compared to a first-round outfielder. Tatum can hit and he's supposedly good defensively.

He started really slow this year at Chattanooga but is beginning to turn things around. Maybe decent was too strong of a word. I think he's a better prospect than you give him credit for. There simply aren't a lot of good defensive catchers in the high minors who hit well. I mean, I would love a Max Ramirez, but it's not going to happen. Let's hope Tatum can get his average in the .280 range by the end of the year with over 10 HRs again. I know that's not a lot, but I'll take it. He projects as better than anything we've got right now probably. Again, not saying much.

M2
05-27-2008, 12:25 PM
Tatum can hit

His career numbers scream otherwise.

Will M
05-27-2008, 12:49 PM
since he is still at AA i wouldn't count on him this year or being a major league starter next. i'd like the Reds to get a real catcher this offseason. someone who can catch 120 games, be a plus defender and OPS .700 .
Tatum, Hanigan & some retread signed to a minor league deal can compete for the backup catcher spot.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-27-2008, 12:55 PM
If Paul Bako can turn a career .731 minor league OPS into an 11-year major league career, even Craig Tatum (.724 OPS) has value to somebody.

I wouldn't cast aside a 25-year old former 3rd round pick when the likes of Paul Bako and Chad Moeller are having no problems finding a job every year.

M2
05-27-2008, 01:23 PM
If Paul Bako can turn a career .731 minor league OPS into an 11-year major league career, even Craig Tatum (.724 OPS) has value to somebody.

I wouldn't cast aside a 25-year old former 3rd round pick when the likes of Paul Bako and Chad Moeller are having no problems finding a job every year.

That's just the thing, you can always pluck a Bako or Moeller or Rod Barajas if you need one. The game abounds with journeyman backup catchers. Maybe Tatum will join their ranks someday, but all that means is you best not expect a lot from him or for him to hang around all that long before he heads to his next stop. It wouldn't make him the Reds' long-term solution at catcher, it would make him the team's short-term backup.

If he can become a backup option for the Reds in the coming years, I'm all for it, but I patently refuse to act like that's an exciting proposition.

Blitz Dorsey
05-29-2008, 09:01 PM
M2 you just Debbie Downered this entire thread.

But I think you might be exactly right. Maybe I shouldn't be excited at all about Tatum. Now that I think about it, the Reds crappy catching situation since pretty much Johnny Bench has jaded me to the point that any so-so prospect looks good to me.

I will say that I do like that Tatum is good defensively and has some pop, but I understand people thinking that he is never going to be more than a Paul Bako type. Maybe he will find a good HGH dealer though. Who knows.

roborobj
05-29-2008, 10:12 PM
Tatum is hitting .246/.313/.408 in AA. Unless we've slipped into an alternate reality, there's nothing vaguely "decent" about the season he's having. Bad franchises wait on flotsam like Tatum.

He'll be headed the way of Dane Sardinha and Miguel Perez soon enough. What major future he has is likely as a AAA catcher who gets called up during crisis situations.
Check out the stats for Chris Denove, catcher up from Sarasota. Looks pretty decent.

Doc. Scott
05-30-2008, 11:15 AM
I don't think Tatum has the reputation for defense that Paul Bako does or did. Craig is closer to David Ross than he is Bako. And Ross has outperformed what you might have expected from him in, say, 2000 or 2001 (http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/R/David-Ross.shtml).

Ross might have never gotten a real shot in LA if he hadn't gone nuts in the launching pad of Las Vegas at the right time. Still, even after he hit 10 homers in 40 games with the Dodgers in 2003, he was gone a year later. And his value was pretty low two years later when the Reds got him.

Anyway, I look at Tatum and see a similarly developing power bat but considerably less plate discipline. Craig's never really drawn many walks, even going back to college. If he bumps that up a tick, expect his numbers to improve across the board.