Yesterday, the Texas Rangers released outfielder/firstbaseman Frank Catalanotto. Catalanotto who is 34, was having a fine spring and was batting .317 with nine runs scored in 40 at-bats. He also played for Team Italy during the World Baseball Classic.
A native New Yorker who hails from Long Island, the “Little Cat”, as he is often called, is a gritty ballplayer with a solid reputation as a clubhouse leader.
As a hitter, he batted .274 last season with a .342 on-base percentage in 248 at-bats, and he owns career marks of .292 BA, .358 OBP, .449.
He is a lefthanded hitter who has spent his last two season as a utility player and pinch hitter.
CHONE projects a .270 – 7 – 42 season with 47 runs and a .744 OPS. I like his K% which is at 11.4 and is well below the league average over the years.
Catalanotto could serve a nice reserve role for the Mets, and would probably be more suited to fill an emergency everyday role than Marlon Anderson would. It would also allow Nick Evans the time he needs to further develop his skills at Buffallo where he can play everyday.
Catalanotto has the second-highest pinch-hitting average among active players at .289.
I don’t believe Catalanotto will be on the open market for too long, as a number of teams could immediately add him to upgrade their bench.
He might be worth a good long look. If he is not claimed on waivers by another team, he will become a free agent effective on Monday.
Chart courtesy of FanGraphs.