San Francisco Giants: Stephen Vogt Added to the Catcher Competition
Stephen Vogt will be joining the San Francisco Giants this spring as he aims to compete for a backup role.
Vogt is joining the San Francisco Giants on a minor league deal:
The financial aspect of the deal has not been disclosed yet. However, it was revealed that Vogt is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
It is not known whether this will impact his playing time during Spring Training. If he cannot get into game action early on, then a trip to Sacramento to start the season could be in the cards.
Vogt joins an increasingly crowded competition for the backup catcher role. This competition includes Aramis Garcia, Cameron Rupp, and Rene Rivera. Garcia is the only one from the group who is on the 40-man roster.
At some point, the Giants will need to add a third catcher to the 40-man roster.
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Vogt does bring an intriguing element to his game. The San Francisco Giants decided against re-signing Nick Hundley due in part to his limited versatility. Hundley only has experience at catcher.
However, Vogt has experience at a number of different positions. He has experience at catcher, first base, right field, and left field. According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Vogt will even try his hand at third base.
Vogt’s defensive versatility may allow the Giants to carry three catchers. This would enable Buster Posey to ease his workload at the start of the season. Plus, it would allow Vogt and Garcia to share backup catching duties.
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Despite the versatility, Vogt’s bat has been on the decline for years. Vogt was an All-Star with the Athletics in 2015 and 2016, but was designated for assignment in 2017 after struggling at the plate.
Vogt has posted a .726 OPS throughout his career. As a backup, replicating that level of production would be swell.
On the bright side, Vogt did well in a limited role with the Brewers in 2017. In only 45 games, Vogt posted a .789 OPS which included 8 home runs.
With 8 home runs, Vogt would be a middle-of-the-order threat in some recent Giants lineups. Whether he would hit in front of or behind Gorkys Hernandez in these recent lineups is up for debate. So, the good news is Vogt showed considerable power as recently as 2017.
On a final note, Vogt, like Hundley, is known for his positive clubhouse presence. If he makes the team, he would likely slide in to the leadership role vacated by Hundley’s departure.
Vogt does offer an interesting dynamic with his versatility. There still might be some power left in his bat.
The question with Vogt will be health. If he can prove to be healthy, he should push to the front of the catcher competition. By adding Vogt, the San Francisco Giants will have a crowded catching competition this spring.
Since he was brought in on a minor league deal, there is little risk. However, given his intangibles, previous experience with Farhan Zaidi, and track record of past success, it would be no surprise if he captured one of the final roster spots this spring.