Baltimore Orioles: 2014 Season Grades – Catchers

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May 13, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher

Caleb Joseph

(36) bats in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

B. . Catcher. Baltimore Orioles. CALEB JOSEPH

Caleb Joseph was essentially stuck in AA baseball’s version of “Groundhog Day.” Every day for four seasons from 2010-2013 his clock radio kept waking him up in Bowie, Maryland.

He was hitting well enough, especially in 2013 when he had 31 doubles, 22 home runs, and a batting average of .299.  The rap was that his defensive skills were insufficient.

The Orioles did not protect him from the Rule 5 Draft in the offseason, and he somehow escaped getting claimed. Good thing!

Joseph surprised everyone by displaying great defensive skills in his 82 games played for the Baltimore Orioles in 2014. He was especially adept at throwing out an unusually high number of runners. Pitchers were comfortable with him from day one behind the plate.

Joseph’s offensive season was another story. He got off to a terrible start and had a very poor finish. In between he often demonstrated the quick swing that would seem to portend the possibility of a high level of potential contribution. This was particularly seen when he hit five home runs in five consecutive days in early August. Joseph hit nine round trippers for the season.

His final batting average was just .209, although he had it as high as .240 at the end of August. Joseph hit .271 in July and .317 in August. However, he tailed off to only .080 in September, as the length of the season seemed to take a toll on him.

With Matt Wieters returning in 2015, we can look for Caleb Joseph to be a worthy backup and give the Orioles the comfort of a more than adequate replacement.

In spite of the inconsistencies at the plate, let’s give him a “B” for his rookie season and in consideration of all that he had to learn and absorb in such a short time.