In December, the Mets signed two catchers to help at depth behind the plate. The starting catcher is Josh Thole and the back up catcher is Mike Nickeas. However, as we know, it is very common to have to go deep into the minors for a 3rd string or 4th string catcher. It won’t be until Spring for the team to organize themselves in the depth chart but the projected 3rd and 4th string catchers are Lucas May and Rob Johnson.
Lucas May (27 years old) was in the minors all of last season, and had a very brief stint in the majors back in 2010. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2003 in the 8th round. He was then traded in 2010 to the Royals with another minor league pitcher for Scott Podsednik. This past June he was trade to the Diamondbacks for another minor league player. This past offseason he was granted free agency and then signed with the Mets. Here are some of his numbers from the last few years:
2010 Majors: 12 G, 37 AB, 3 R, 7 H, 2B, 6 RBI, .189 BA, .205 OBP
2009: 235 AB, 32 R, 72 H, 18 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, .306 BA, .390 OBP
2010: 375 AB, 63 R, 106 H, 21 2B, 3 3B, 16 HR, 59 RBI, .283 BA, .349 OBP
2011: 248 AB, 40 R, 59 H, 15 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 44 RBI, .238 BA, .330 OBP
From 2003 till 2008 in the minors, May’s numbers stayed fairly consistent. In 2009 he had a breakout year that continued into 2010. He a rough debut in 2010 and that followed him back into 2011. On a minor league contract, on a team with some fairly alright options for back up catcher, the May signing makes sense. If he can return to his 2009/2010 form in the minors, he could make to be an interesting call up.
I don’t know much about his catching ability, his ability to call a game, which will ultimately determine if he is called up. Rob Johnson is the better defensive catcher out of the two as Johnson had recent success in the catcher’s ERA department. Nickeas is a similar type of a catcher to Johnson.