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2016 Orioles preview: Caleb Joseph

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, we’ll take a look at a member of the 2016 Orioles every day as they try to return to the playoffs for the third time in five years this season.

March 1 – Adam Jones
March 2 – Chris Tillman
March 3 – Jonathan Schoop
March 4 – Brad Brach
March 5 – Nolan Reimold
March 6 – Yovani Gallardo
March 7 – Matt Wieters
March 8 – T.J. McFarland
March 9 – Dariel Alvarez
March 10 – Brian Matusz
March 11 – J.J. Hardy
March 12 – Mychal Givens
March 13 – Ryan Flaherty
March 14 – Ubaldo Jimenez
March 15 – Mark Trumbo
March 16 – Darren O’Day
March 18 – Pedro Alvarez
March 19 – Oliver Drake
March 20 – Mike Wright
March 21 – Zach Britton

C Caleb Joseph

Age: 29

Contract status: Under club control through the 2020 season

2015 stats: .234/.299/.394, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 38 R, 0 SB, 355 PA

Why to be impressed: Known as an offensive-minded catcher in the minors, Joseph was again impressive behind the plate, throwing out 33 percent of runners trying to steal and finishing in the top 10 in the majors in pitch-framing statistics. He also improved offensively in his second season, finishing fifth in on-base plus slugging percentage among AL catchers with at least 350 plate appearances in 2015.

Why to be concerned: For the second straight year, Joseph’s production at the plate plummeted in September as he posted a .386 OPS, the kind of slump that ruined what was an otherwise strong season at the plate for a catcher. It’s reasonable to project Joseph as the starter in 2017, but this tendency coupled with a slight 180-pound frame makes you wonder if he can hold up as the full-time guy.

2016 outlook: I’ve made no secret about my affinity for Joseph as a catcher and believe he brings better all-around value than Wieters when considering the latter’s $15.8 million salary. Because of Joseph’s defensive prowess and ability to handle the staff, manager Buck Showalter shouldn’t hesitate to give him two or three starts per week to keep his starting catcher healthy and fresh for the entire season.

2016 not-so-scientific projections: .244/.311/.403, 9 HR, 38 RBI, 31 R, 0 SB, 290 PA

1 COMMENT

  1. […] March 1 – Adam Jones March 2 – Chris Tillman March 3 – Jonathan Schoop March 4 – Brad Brach March 5 – Nolan Reimold March 6 – Yovani Gallardo March 7 – Matt Wieters March 8 – T.J. McFarland March 9 – Dariel Alvarez March 10 – Brian Matusz March 11 – J.J. Hardy March 12 – Mychal Givens March 13 – Ryan Flaherty March 14 – Ubaldo Jimenez March 15 – Mark Trumbo March 16 – Darren O’Day March 18 – Pedro Alvarez March 19 – Oliver Drake March 20 – Mike Wright March 21 – Zach Britton March 22 – Caleb Joseph […]

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