24. Juan Centeno
Weight: 170 lbs.
Juan Centeno is the best defensive catcher the Mets have in the organization so it looks as if his future role will be to backup Travis d’Arnaud. He’s more valuable than he seems because catchers generally start less games than any position on the field due to the physical demands so Centeno will get his fair share of starts.
Swinging a lefty bat, he would be a nice, defensively minded alternate to d’Arnaud. Centeno has a solid average arm but amazing quickness and instincts behind the plate. He nailed Billy Hamilton, the fastest man alive, attempting to steal second base last season so you know he’s good.
Unfortunately he doesn’t offer much with the bat. He will hit a scarce amount of home runs at any level he plays at due to the way he chokes up on the bat. He probably has as much power as Josh Thole did, maybe even less. He batted .305 in Las Vegas last season but something tells me major league pitching will completely overpower his approach and he won’t hit for nearly that good of an average in the majors. In 4 games with the Mets last season, Centeno went 3 for 10 with an RBI and a strikeout.
Outlook: Regardless of how Centeno performs offensively, that kind of defense cannot be overlooked. My guess is they start him in AAA this season to give him a little more seasoning. Anthony Recker will most likely be the backup on the big league squad but if he falters it all, the front office may very will give Centeno a shot, as they should. Wherever Centeno ends up he should be able to find a job as a backup anywhere with his defense and if he can hit for a sufficient average he could probably start on a bad team if he bats at the bottom of the order.