LA Angels 2021 spring training guide: assessing the catcher competition

Max Stassi, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Max Stassi, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Last season, Max Stassi took a big leap forward offensively as the Angels catcher. Stassi posted an .882 OPS, but defensively, the pitching staff was one of the worst in baseball. Not all of that falls on Stassi, but catchers play a role in how well they can handle their pitchers.

I think pitch framing and defense are things Stassi needs to develop if he is a productive catcher in the big leagues. Whether or not Stassi can produce offensively for consecutive seasons is also critical to any success the Angels will have in 2021.

Can Max Stassi catch a full season for the Angels in 2021?

Up to this point in his career, Stassi has spent most of his eight MLB seasons as a backup catcher.

Max Stassi Last Five Seasons:

  • 2016: (9 games) .077 (1-for-13) 0 BB 5 K
  • 2017: (14 games) .167/.323/.458 2 HR 4 RBI
  • 2018: (88 games) .226/.316/.394 8 HR 27 RBI
  • 2019: (51 games) .136/.211/.167 1 HR 5 RBI
  • 2020: (31 games) .278/.352/.533 7 HR 20 RBI

The 2020 season was a small sample size, but it looks like Moreno and Minasian will rely on Stassi to be the starting catcher, at least to begin the season. Whenever he returns, we can expect Stassi to receive most of the starts behind the plate while Suzuki compliments him.

Next. Top 5 Angels prospects to keep an eye on this spring

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The battle for the backup catching spots will be something to pay attention to this spring.

If the Angels are competing but lack consistent productivity at the catcher position, I think it’s safe to assume the team would look elsewhere at the trade deadline.