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Giants Spring Training Preview: Catchers

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 29: Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants in action during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 29, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 29: Catcher Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants in action during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 29, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants
MILWAUKEE, WI – SEPTEMBER 22: Stephen Vogt #12 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates a solo home run during the second inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 22, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Challengers

Cameron Rupp

Signed in the beginning of the offseason, many Giants fans thought that would be the first of many moves by new SVP of Baseball Operation Farhan Zaidi. That has not exactly been the case, and I honestly forgot they had even signed him given the whirlwind of rumors surrounding a certain left handed outfielder… Gerrardo Parra.

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Anyways, Rupp has over 1000 MLB plate appearances for the Phillies from 2013-2017, even smacking 16 long balls in 2017. Power is his game, as his career .407 SLG indicates. However, getting on base is not, as he has a sub-.300 OBP and an almost 30% strikeout rate. He’ll come into camp in the chase for the backup, but faces harder odds given he isn’t on the 40-man.

Rene Rivera

Having once hit a pair of dingers off of Matt Moore in 2017, it bodes well that he will be in camp with the Giants rather than with another team. Rivera has never been much of a threat at the plate, compiling a meek .220/.271/.353 slash line, but has always been a good defensive catcher.

Last year he only appeared in 33 games, 30 of them with the Angels. He was claimed off waivers by the Braves at the end of August, most likely as an emergency guy. While he might not make much noise, he will play serviceable defense and will be a useful depth piece.

Stephen Vogt

Vogt, a noted Giants fan from the Bay Area, will be attempting to crack the roster of his hometown Giants this spring. Vogt was once one of the premier catcher in the Majors, making back to back All-Star teams in 2015-2016 representing the cross-town Oakland A’s. However, Vogt struggled with shoulder problems for the entirety of 2018, having only played in three double-A games since the end of 2017. It can be assured though, that Vogt is almost healthy and will be revitalized by playing for his hometown team.

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