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Astros Minor League Position Review: Catcher

See what happened with the catching position down on the farm.

Peoria Javelinas v. Mesa Solar Sox
MESA, AZ - OCTOBER 04: Miguel Palma #13 of the Mesa Solar Sox attempts to catch the ball during the game between the Peoria Javelinas and the Mesa Solar Sox at Sloan Park on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 in Mesa, Arizona.
Photo by Chris Coduto/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Now that the season is over we will review each position in the minor league system during the 2023 season. This week we will start with catcher position.

TOP PERFORMERS

Miguel Palma

Palma had a solid offense season. The 21-year-old played most of the season in High-A but struggled with some injuries. Despite those injuries, he was able to slash .274/.340/.409 with 13 doubles and 6 homers in 61 games. Palma struggled to throw runners out, catching just 11 of 86 base stealers in High-A. Overall, he has shown enough with the bat to keep getting him an extended look, but he will have to do a better job at catching base stealers.

2023 Stats: 68 G, .285 BA/.341 OBP/.426 SLG, 15 2B, 7 HR, 46 RBI

Luke Berryhill

Berryhill played the full season in Triple-A and, despite some struggles, still managed to post a .755 OPS in 77 games. While he only had 8 homers, he managed to draw 55 walks giving him a .371 OBP. He has proven to be good depth at Triple-A and should be back in that role next year.

2023 Stats: 77 G, .228 BA/.371 OBP/.384 SLG, 9 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 5 SB


THE REST OF THE PACK

C.J. Stubbs

Stubbs was a boom or bust guy in 2023. In 95 games in Double-A, he connected on 16 double and 14 homers, but also hit .196 with 132 strikeouts. He did have a 25% caught stealing rate though.

2023 Stats: 96 G, .203 BA/.318 OBP/.388 SLG, 17 2B, 14 HR, 33 RBI, 15 SB

Sandro Gaston

Plenty of hype around Gaston coming into the year after he hit 12 HR with a 1.108 OPS in the DSL. Unfortunately he struggled in Fayetteville hitting just .198 with .523 OPS in 86 games. He managed to only hit one homer. He is still young though and has time to turn it around.

2023 Stats: 87 G, .197 BA/.253 OBP/.269 SLG, 19 2B, 1 HR, 32 RBI

John Garcia

Garcia was a 19th round pick in 2022 but provided some good depth in 2023. He played in 73 games in Fayetteville where he had a .647 OPS. He was moved up to High-A and posted a .823 OPS in 24 games. He also threw out 29% of base stealers.

2023 Stats: 97 G, .223 BA/.364 OBP/.324 SLG, 17 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 8 SB

Collin Price

Price was the Astros 6th round pick in 2022 and despite some down numbers, he showed some of the potential that helped him get drafted. He had a .709 OPS in 58 games in High-A before his season ended due to an injury.

2023 Stats: 58 G, .198 BA/.341 OBP/.368 SLG, 13 2B, 6 HR, 24 RBI


2024 OUTLOOK/CONCLUSION

The Astros were building solid depth in the system for a while and it paid off big time in 2023. Yainer Diaz spent the entire season on the big league club connecting on 23 HR and posting a 128 OPS+ and 3.2 WAR. He finished 5th in AL Rookie of the Year voting. With Diaz up, the Astros will probably look at adding a veteran backup as they bring some of the recent draftees (Price, Guillemette) and younger guys through the system.