LOD’s 2018 Top Prospects: Chicago Cubs – Catcher
During the 2017-2018 offseason, we here at LOD are putting together a different kind of prospect list than you’re used to seeing. As opposed to typical prospect rankings, we are going position by position to give you the names to look out for in the upcoming season. Keep checking back to see if your favorite player makes our 2018 Top Prospect Team. You can view previous team previews by Clicking Here.
Yesterday we gave you LOD’s pick for the top pitching prospects to look out for in 2018 from the Chicago Cubs organization. Today, we look at the other half of the battery and discuss a catcher with the potential to make waves in the upcoming season.
Catcher – Victor Caratini – 2017 Teams: Iowa (Triple-A), Chicago Cubs (MLB)
2017 Triple-A Statistics: .342/.393/.558, .951 OPS, 10 HR, 61 RBI
2017 MLB Statistics: .254/.333/.356, .689 OPS, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Originally from Coamo, Puerto Rico, Victor Caratini was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the second round of the 2013 June draft out of Miami Dade Community College. The Cubs got him from Atlanta in 2014 in a trade for Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell.
Caratini moved up a level each year after coming over to the Cubs despite not putting up eye popping numbers at the plate. Defensively he was always solid with the ability to be a pretty good receiver and the versatility to move to first base when needed.
Caratini made his major league debut in 2017 after the whole Miguel Montero debacle. He ended up playing in 31 games for the Cubs, 12 of which came at catcher, eight at first base, and the others in a pinch hitting role.
Prior to his stint in the show, Caratini spent 2017 raking in Triple-A as he posted by far his best numbers in his pro career. He was named a Pacific Coast League postseason all-star, midseason all-star, and a Cubs organizational all-star in 2017 while being selected to participate in the Future’s game.
The switch-hitting Caratini has a quiet stance at the plate with not much movement. He is essentially completely still and slowly loads up before the pitcher’s release. He doesn’t take a high leg kick, but he does extend in the box and uses his lower body well to drive through the ball.
If Caratini’s 2017 wasn’t just a flash in the pan and the bat continues to function at such a productive level, he will certainly stick with the Cubs for awhile, at least in a backup role behind Willson Contreras. Barring some unforeseen circumstances, Caratini will be on the Cubs 25 man roster come opening day.