LA Angels: Full Break Down of Non-Roster Spring Training Invites
By Vincent Page
During Spring Training, clubs like to bring in veterans to catch to work with younger pitchers and Dustin Garneau fits that mold perfectly. In 2017, he slashed .188/.272/.313, providing next to nothing at the plate. He is simply a depth backstop for Spring Training, and is unlikely to see any time in the big leagues for the Halos.
The exact opposite of Garneau would be Jack Kruger, who is a young catcher with the potential to be an everyday player in the MLB. At only 24-years old, Kruger hit an impressive .299/.357/.413 in the lower minor league levels last season. Kruger is also a threat on the base paths, as he has shown in years past. Working with big league players will be a big jump for Kruger as he looks to eventually tackle Triple-A in 2019.
While he is still young (23), Julian Leon does not bring the same level of excitement as Kruger. He is a more defensive-minded catcher, but has also already reached every minor league level. He plays a similar style to former Angels catcher Martin Maldonado. He won’t come near the big leagues this year, but Spring Training will be good for his development.
An even younger prospect at 21, Keinner Pina has barely touched any level above rookie ball. He is another one of those catchers who is simply in Tempe to serve as depth and learn from professionals along the way. He did have an impressive offensive showing over his first 82 games in Single-A, however.
Robert Pena has been another defensive-minded catcher throughout his career. He is still just 26 despite having nine seasons under his belt. Like Pina, he is unlikely to do anything for the Halos once Spring Training concludes.