Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 8/12/13
KELLY SHOPPACH CATCHER Born: April 29, 1980 Height: 6’0″ Weight: 220 Bats: Right Throws: Right Drafted: 2nd Round, 61st Overall, 2001 (Red Sox) How Acquired: Minor league free agent College: Baylor University Agent: LSW Baseball WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES The Red Sox selected Shoppach with their first draft pick in 2001, having lost the first rounder to a free agent signing.  Shoppach has always been regarded as a very good defensive catcher, both in receiving and controlling the running game.  He showed good hitting ability throughout his time in the minors and also in his first few seasons in the majors.  His hitting started falling off badly in 2009 and has stayed that way apart from a good stint as Boston’s backup catcher in 2012.  He’s had strong platoon splits, with a lifetime OPS against LHPs of .856 and one against RHPs of .656. 2002 A+:  271/369/432, 414 AB, 35 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 59 BB, 112 K, 2-3 SB Shoppach opened his career in high A and hit well, especially considering that it was the Florida State League.  He also was rated the league’s top defensive catcher.  After the season, Baseball America rated him Boston’s second best prospect. 2003 AA:  282/353/488, 340 AB, 30 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 435 BB, 83 K Shoppach lost some time at the beginning of the season to off-season rotator cuff surgery, but continued to play well in AA, including improved power. 2004 AAA:  233/320/461, 399 AB, 25 2B, 22 HR, 46 BB, 138 K In AAA, Shoppach started to look more like the hitter he became in the majors, hitting for good power and drawing some walks, but not hitting for average. 2005 AAA:  253/352/507, 371 AB, 16 2B, 26 HR, 46 BB, 116 K MLB:  000/063/000, 15 AB, 7 K Shoppach continued along the same lines in a second AAA season, hitting for improved power.  He got a brief callup to the majors.  Boston traded him to Cleveland in the off-season. 2006 AAA:  282/356/538, 78 AB, 8 2B, 4 HR, 6 BB, 25 K, 0-1 SB MLB:  245/297/382, 110 AB, 6 2B, 3 HR, 8 BB, 45 K Aside from being sent down for a month in late May, Shoppach spent the season in the majors backing up Victor Martinez.  He hit respectably in limited playing time and threw out 37% of opposing base stealers. 2007 MLB:  261/310/472, 161 AB, 13 2B, 7 HR, 11 BB, 56 K Shoppach spent the entire season backing up Martinez.  He hit well, with very good power. 2008 MLB:  261/348/517, 352 AB, 27 2B, 21 HR, 36 BB, 133 K With Martinez hurt part of the year, Shoppach got an extended stint as the Indians’ regular catcher.  He had a career year, posting career highs in just about every offensive category. 2009 MLB:  214/335/299, 271 AB, 14 2B, 12 HR, 33 BB, 98 K Shoppach caught about half the Indians’ games, but lost playing time as the year went on as he declined significantly from the previous year.  After the season, Cleveland traded him to the Rays for a middling prospect. 2010 AAA:  308/308/308, 13 AB, 3 K MLB:  196/308/342, 158 AB, 8 2B, 5 HR, 20 BB, 71 K Shoppach missed most of the season’s first two months due to a knee injury he suffered in a home plate collision with Curtis Granderson.  Once he was able to play, his hitting mostly collapsed. 2011 MLB:  176/268/339, 221 AB, 3 2B, 11 HR, 19 BB, 79 K Shoppach shared the Rays’ catching with John Jaso, but his hitting declined even further.  After the season, he signed with Boston. 2012 MLB (Bos):  250/327/471, 140 AB, 12 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 11 BB, 62 K, 1-1 SB MLB (NYM):  203/276/342, 79 AB, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 BB, 27 K Shoppach had a good season as Boston’s backup catcher, until the Red Sox traded him to the Mets in a waiver wire deal in mid-August.  He didn’t hit after that.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Mariners. 2013 AAA (Wash):  219/359/219, 32 AB, 5 BB, 8 K MLB (Sea):  196/293/346, 107 AB, 7 2B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 245 K The Mariners used Shoppach as a backup catcher, but he continued to struggle at the plate and the team cut him in late June.  He signed a minor league deal with the Nationals a couple weeks later.  He signed another minor league deal with the Pirates in mid-August. The Pirates signed Shoppach after losing Mike McKenry to a knee injury.  The team wanted an experienced catcher as a fallback in case Russell Martin or Tony Sanchez got hurt.  It’s likely the team will call him up in September, to retain the backup option. STATS Baseball Reference–Majors Baseball Reference–Minors Fangraphs MLB.com MiLB.com CONTRACT INFORMATION 2006: $327,000 2007: $383,400 2008: $404,100 2009: $1,950,000 2010: $2,250,000 2011: $3,000,000 2012: $1,135,000 2013: $1,500,000 PLAYER INFORMATION Signing Bonus: $737,500 MiLB Debut: 2002 MLB Debut: 5/28/2005 MiLB FA Eligible: 2013 MLB FA Eligible: 2013 Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible Added to 40-Man: November 21, 2004 Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2005, 2006) MLB Service Time: 7.021 TRANSACTIONS June 5, 2001: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2nd round, 61st overall pick; signed on August 17. November 21, 2004: Contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox. January 27, 2006: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Andy Marte and Guillermo Mota to the Cleveland Indians for Josh Bard, Coco Crisp and David Riske. December 1, 2009: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Tampa Bay Rays for Mitch Talbot. October 31, 2011: Became a free agent. December 13, 2011: Signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox. August 14, 2012: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Mets for Pedro Beato. November 3, 2012: Became a free agent. February 7, 2013: Signed as a free agent with the Seattle Mariners. June 20, 2013: Released by the Seattle Mariners. July 5, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Washington Nationals. July 31, 2013: Released by the Washington Nationals. August 12, 2013: Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent.
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