24-year old righty swinging Kurt Suzuki will be the starting catcher for the A’s this season. He has been one of their better prospects since the A’s drafted him and he will get every opportunity to show what he can do. Suzuki played in 68 games for the A’s last year and he was 53 for 213 (.249 avg, .735 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 7 homers and 39 RBIs. Suzuki threw out 19% of the runners that tried to steal on him last season with the A’s but pitchers had a 5.31 ERA with him behind the plate. Look for him to have a decent season in 2008.
27-year old switch hitter Rob Bowen will be the backup for Suzuki in 2008. Bowen played in 61 games last season for the Cubs, Padres and A’s and he was 36 for 156 (.231 avg) with 21 runs scored, 4 homers and 18 RBIs. Bowen only threw out 10.5% of the runners that tried to steal last year but pitchers had a 4.19 ERA when throwing to him. The less he plays the better for the A’s.
32-year old Matt LeCroy was signed as a free agent last week. LeCroy played in 7 games last season for the Twins and he was 3 for 20 (.150 avg, .350 OPS) with 1 run scored. He was 0 for 8 throwing out baserunners trying to steal on him and he will be a liability if the A’s need him behind the plate.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR 2008 SEASON: C-