The Pittsburgh Pirates were in tremendous need of a catcher for the 2012 season and they got their man in veteran backstop Rod Barajas. With Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder both opting for free agency, getting a veteran catcher who could handle the young Pirates pitching staff was critical and in Rod Barajas, the Bucs got somebody who will thrive in that role.
Barajas has never been one to hit for much average. Barajas hit .230 in 2011 with the Dodgers and has a career mark of .238. But, he does bring some power to the game. In 2011, Barajas belted 16 home runs in just 336 at bats for Los Angeles; that was the 11th highest total in the MLB among catchers. In fact, Barajas has had double-digit home run totals in 7 of his last 8 years with the only exception begin his 2007 season with the Phillies when he was injured for most of the season.
With Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder gone, Barajas will get the majority of the playing time behind the dish. That is, if he can stay healthy. Barajas has started 100 or more games only once in the past 6 seasons and at age 36, he’s going to need some time off in 2012. Barajas has a $4 million deal for 2012 and a $3.25 option for the 2013 season. He’ll hold down the catcher’s spot in Pittsburgh until prospect Tony Sanchez is ready to make his full-time debut for the Pirates.
2012 Fantasy Baseball Projection: Rod Barajas — Rod Barajas is never going to put up a good average or on-base percentage, but he’s a reliable producer of the long ball. With more starts in Pittsburgh and a more friendly home run park, Rod Barajas is a possible 18 home run and 60 RBI guy in 2012. That’s good enough to make him a reliable second catcher in mixed leagues and a second tier draft in National League only leagues.
Click this link to check out our Top 25 catcher rankings for 2012.