The Angels will be going with 27-year old righty swining Mike Napoli and 25-year old righty swinging Jeff Mathis at catcher again in 2009. Napoli will start more games if he is healthy as he is the better hitter of the two. He played in 78 games for the Angels last season and he was 62 for 227 (.273 avg, .960 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 20 homers and 49 RBIs. His weakness with the bat is the whiffing as he K’d 70 times last season. Napoli only threw out 9 of 61 (15%) basestealers last season while Angels’ pitchers had a 4.45 ERA with him behind the dish.
Jeff Mathis isn’t much of a hitter but he does have some power. He played in 94 games for the Angels last season and he was 55 for 283 (.194 avg, .593 OPS) with 35 runs scored, 9 homers and 42 RBIs. He did whiff 90 times last season which will likely cause him to never hit for a decent average in the majors. Mathis did throw out 16 of 73 (22%) basestealers last season and Angels’ pitchers had a 3.66 ERA with him behind the plate.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: C+