Friday, February 27, 2009

The Forgotten Catcher: Bobby Wilson

Bobby Wilson is an "odd man out" for the Angels. Currently, Wilson is blocked by the Angels Major League catching tandem of Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis and approaching from behind is #1 ranked prospect Hank Conger. Baring an unforeseen trade or injury, Wilson will return to Salt Lake for a third straight season and it appears circumstances will prevent Wilson from ever being a part of the Angels Major League roster. This is unfortunate because Bobby Wilson is a better player than Jeff Mathis and he would do a good job as the Angels #2 catcher in 2009.

Bobby Wilson's strength is his defense and I rate his defensive skills as Major League ready. Behind the plate he displays excellent footwork and does a good job of blocking balls in the dirt. He has a strong, accurate throwing arm. For the Bees in 2008 he threw out 43% of runners attempting to steal. He handles the pitching staff well and the Salt Lake pitchers seem to have a great deal of confidence in him. I have seen the majority of home games that both Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson have caught in AAA and I would give the edge to Wilson as a defensive catcher.

Wilson is not a spectacular hitting prospect. He is a line drive type of hitter with little power. But he does make solid contact and he hits the ball with authority. Wilson's 2008 hitting line of .312/.386/.435 was better than any season Jeff Mathis had for Salt Lake. In my observation, Wilson has more hitting potential than Mathis.

It is highly unlikely Bobby Wilson has much of a chance to make the 2009 Angels squad in 2009. Jeff Mathis is familiar with the current Angels pitching staff and Mike Scioscia has a lot of faith in him. This entry is not a knock on Jeff Mathis and I believe he will have a nice rebound season in 2009. But in terms of baseball ability, Bobby Wilson is a better player than Mathis. It will be nice to have Wilson back in Salt Lake this year but I hope he is soon able to move to another organization. There are several teams who could use Bobby Wilson to fill their #2 catching slot.

This entry is also posted on the blog. is the best site on the 'net for fans of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

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