Now that the 2012 season has concluded for the New York Mets, we have taken a look at overall breakdowns for the offense, starting rotation, and bullpen this past season. We will now take a look at every player on the roster from A (Manny Acosta) to Y (Chris Young) as our Mets 101 Player Review series returns. In each review we will take a look at one player's 2012 performance and what role, if any, they can expect to have with the Mets in 2013. Today we will look at catcher Josh Thole.
2012 Stats: 104 Games, .234 AVG, 24 Runs, 1 Home Run, 21 RBI, 0 Steals, .584 OPS
2012 Story: This season is one Josh Thole would like to forget. After enjoying modest success in 2011, posting a .268 average with 40 RBI in 104 games, Thole became the target of constant criticism stemming mostly from an inability to block the plate, or hold onto the ball in key home plate situations. Also coming from a home plate collision was a concussion, that sidelined Thole from May 8-31. He did return just in time to catch Johan Santana's historical no-hitter, maybe the one bright spot of his season. A 34-point dive in batting average from the previous year and a lack of power, speed and big hits, put Thole on the chopping block. While the Mets were pretty quiet around the trading deadline, they did go out and acquire Kelly Shoppach from Boston to put a little pressure on Thole for the starting job, as well as provide the Mets with a second Major League catcher for the last two months of the season after carrying Mike Nickeas most of the first half. He didn't hit any better than Nickeas however, leaving the starting catcher job very much up for grabs going into 2013.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration (2012 Contract: $499k/1 Year)
Odds of Returning: 80%
2013 role: While Thole isn't the ideal option behind the plate and clearly regressed in 2012, the Mets don't have any real catching prospects on the near horizon, so I'd bet that Thole is back in at least a backup role in 2013. Much of the free agent catcher class is over 30 and I don't see the Mets spending any kind of money on an aging catcher outside of a one-year, bargain bin veteran.
Tags: Baseball, Chris Young, Johan Santana, Josh Thole, Kelly Shoppach, Manny Acosta, Mike Nickeas, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Player Review