The Chicago Cubs’ big addition yesterday came in the form of catching prospect Victor Caratini. Caratini, an A-ball catcher for the Atlanta Braves, was acquired in the final minutes before the trade deadline in exchange for Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell, and many fans are wondering, “Who is this kid?”
(Stats per baseball-reference.com)
Caratini was the Braves second round selection in the 2013 amateur draft out of Miami Dade College. At just 20 years old, Caratini has a very high ceiling and adds some much needed catching depth to the Cubs farm system. Caratini’s value lies in his athleticism (he is a converted infielder) as well as his ability to hit from both sides of the plate.
In addition, Caratini finds himself in a very good spot development-wise as he will most likely remain in A ball and report to the Kane County Cougars, thus avoiding any type of playing-time-conflict with Kyle Schwarber and Mark Zagunis, who are at A+ and A- respectively.
The hope for Caratini is that he will be the catcher of the future as Welington Castillo’s production has fallen off dramatically, Kyle Schwarber’s innings behind the dish have become increasingly sparse and Mike Zagunis’ future as a full-time catcher is still up in the air. Caratini provides a high-potential option behind the plate down the road.
The price tag for Victor Caratini may seem high right now, costing the Cubs two major leaguers, but General Manage Jed Hoyer believes they got the right guy in return; “He’s a guy that we liked in the draft a lot. . . We have to go after players we like. There’s no point in getting rid of players we like in Bonifacio and James Russell if we’re not getting something back that we’re excited about.”
Add Caratini to your long-term watch list as he projects to be major-league-ready by 2017!
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