Catcher Ralph Henriquez impressed enough to get that second opportunity. The Long Island Ducks announced Thursday that Henriquez received an invitation to Spring Training from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With over nine years of experience, Henriquez has seen it all. He was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft, and has played for the Astros, New York Mets, and Seattle Mariners organizations. Henriquez has had two stints in Triple A, both with the Mariners (2011/2012). He batted .250 with two home runs and 18 RBI over the course of 42 games.
The promotion of Mike Zunino made Henriquez expendable. He ended up signing an independent league contract with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League where he batted .242, with seven big flies, and 28 RBI.
Ducks' president and general manager Michael Pfaff had nothing but good things to say about his contributions to the Ducks during his lone season with the team.
"Ralph provided a great presence for us behind the plate last season. We wish him the best of luck with the Pirates organization."
According to the Ducks, Henriquez put together a great month of August where he led the team in batting (.302), drove in eight and scored seven times. Not overly impressive, but his defense is what stands out.
In 2013, he had a .990 fielding percentage, one point higher that his career average. In 449 career games, he has committed only 35 errors in over 3300 chances, while throwing out 24 percent of base runners.
You don't have to have the Piazza type numbers to get noticed, but if you call a good game, and are solid behind the plate, you are as valuable as anyone.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.