The SF Giants bolstered organizational depth at catcher on Wednesday. Veteran minor-league catcher Jakson Reetz was signed to a minor-league deal. He will report to Triple-A according to the team's transaction log.
SF Giants add experienced catcher on minor league deal
The move gives the Giants another catcher to pair with Joey Bart on the Sacramento River Cats. Reetz re-signed with the Kansas City Royals on a minor-league deal over the winter, which included a camp invite.
That would have been a tough roster to crack given that Salvador Perez is firmly entrenched as the team's starting catcher. Plus, backup catcher Freddy Fermin has posted an .809 OPS with four home runs through his first 83 plate appearances in 2023.
Reetz had performed well with the Royals organization, slashing .274/.349/.526 (115 wRC+) with four home runs, 15 RBI, and 11 runs in 106 Triple-A plate appearances this year. However, catcher Logan Porter was receiving the majority of the playing time behind the plate.
This led to Reetz opting out of his minor-league deal with the Royals in the middle of June. His foray into free agency did not last long as he lands with an organization that is light on catching depth.
The 27-year-old was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals in the third round of the 2014 draft out of Norris High School in Firth, Nebraska. The learning curve for a catcher transitioning to pro ball from high school is quite steep, so he made a gradual ascent up the minors.
The defense took time to develop, but the right-handed bat has typically demonstrated good pitch recognition and quality swing decisions. Across nine minor-league seasons, he has registered a .238/.349/.404 with a 10.7 percent walk rate against a 36.1 percent strikeout rate.
He could be a late-bloomer in terms of raw power becoming game power as he did swat 30 home runs in 426 plate appearances between two Triple-A affiliates just last season. This was just his second time reaching double-digit home runs as a pro.
The backstop did receive a brief call-up with the Washington Nationals in 2021. He recorded one hit, a double, in just two at-bats. That double, of course, came against the Giants.
He will now give the Giants an experienced backstop in Triple-A with a recent track record of production at the plate.