Yankees’ veteran catcher is watching his value plummet

Yankees’ veteran catcher is watching his value plummet

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The future catcher for the New York Yankees is undoubtedly Austin Wells, alongside Triple-A prospect Agustin Ramirez, who excelled at Double-A Somerset before his recent promotion. Ramirez, a right-handed batter, is considered by some to be a “generational caliber” hitter at the catcher position. Despite this, the Yankees continue to platoon Wells with Jose Trevino, though Trevino’s performance is beginning to decline.

Yankees are Seeing Trevino’s Performance Dip

After a strong start to the season, Trevino’s numbers have begun to plummet, with opposing teams exploiting his base-running vulnerabilities. Over 58 games this season, Trevino is batting .239/.300/.399, including eight homers and 26 RBIs, with a 16% strikeout rate and 7.2% walk rate. His 100 wRC+ is the highest in his career, yet it might drop closer to 90 by season’s end. In June, Trevino hit just .196 with a .255 OBP and .647 OPS, and his performance in early July shows no improvement, with a batting average of .125.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Strengths and Base-Running Challenges

Defensively, Trevino remains one of the best catchers in the game, boasting a 97th-percentile fielding run value and a 100th-percentile catcher framing run value. He ranks third in strike rate and first in catcher framing runs saved. However, once runners are on base, Trevino’s slow pop times, ranking in the 3rd percentile at 2.07 seconds, become a serious liability. This slow response time makes it easy for faster base runners to steal bases against him, evidenced by his 10th percentile caught-stealing percentage.

Evaluating Trevino’s Future with the Yankees

While the Yankees appreciate Trevino’s elite defensive skills, his declining offense and increasing liabilities on the base paths are concerning for his long-term future with the club. Trevino has one more year of arbitration before becoming a free agent in 2026. Meanwhile, if Ramirez continues his impressive performance in the minors, he could secure a permanent spot on the major league roster by 2025.

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts

Wells Shows Promise Amidst Platoon Strategy

Currently, the Yankees are encouraged by Wells, who is batting .210/.306/.344 this season, including four homers. His performance improved last month to .238/.340/.429, demonstrating greater offensive competency than Trevino. The Yankees are content with a platoon strategy, adjusting based on hitting matchups and their starting pitcher that day.

The Inevitable Rise of Agustin Ramirez

Despite Trevino’s ongoing value to the Yankees, the rise of Ramirez seems inevitable. Although he had a slow start in Triple-A, he is expected to adjust and make a strong case for promotion, potentially altering the dynamics of the Yankees’ catching duties in the near future.

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