Thursday, March 12, 2009

Who do you want behind the plate?

Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are battling right now for the starting catcher's spot on the Texas Rangers's roster. Max Ramirez has all but shored up the backup catcher spot, and neither of the main guys is going to be happy sitting in a backup role...which brings up the question: who's going to get traded?

Ideally, no one. I agree. However, I am pretty realistic here. The Rangers need some help (hello, pitching) and both of these guys are top notch players who, with the right prospect pairing, could land the Rangers a good pitcher in return.

The question, again, remains, who do you want as your everyday catcher? Teagarden or Salty?

They're both young guys (TT is younger). Both big guys (Salty is bigger). Both play solid on both sides of the ball (Salty better offense, TT better defense).

So what's the difference?

Teagarden is the homegrown Dallas kid who was brought up through the Rangers system. (He's a Longhorn, so BIAS ALERT!) He wants to play here, which isn't a usual thing for Ranger players. Debuting last year in the bigs, Teagarden hasn't got the amount of experience other catchers do, but has shown enough promise in both the minors and the bigs to prove he's ready.

Saltalamacchia was the big trade piece with the Tex deal. He's a switch hitter who, in a pinch, can play first base if you need him. He was drafted right out of high school into the Braves system and was immediately one of the top prospects. He made his bigs debut in 2007, therefore allotting him more experience to have proven he's a guy who can play day in and day out.

I already alluded to it, that I'm a Teagarden guy. However, I think Salty's a good haul and choice as well. Depending on the packaged return player, I'm pretty much on the fence as to who stays and who goes.

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