Option 3: Roberto Pena
Even though his offensive numbers may not jump off of the page, Roberto Pena is considered to be one of the best defensive catchers in the Astros organization. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Astros in 2010 and has been a slow developer throughout the organization. In his five years in the minor leagues, Pena has hit a career .238 with an OPS of .621 and 27 home runs and 191 RBIs. So far in Spring Training, Pena has gone 1-7 with a double in 4 games played. Based on those stats, he is definitely not ready for the major leagues, but that’s not the most impressive thing about his game.
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Pena has been a defensive wizard behind the plate. He has a career fielding percentage of .992, and a caught stealing percentage of 45%. He kept that reputation in his first work in Double-A Corpus Christi last season with a .993 fielding percentage and a whopping 49% caught stealing rate. Many say that Pena has the best arm in all of the system. Even though his bat is not developed enough to the major league roster, his fielding and presence behind the plate will make up for that liability offensively. Pena is the sleeper pick to win this backup catcher job for Opening Day.
There are a plethora of options, albeit relatively uncertain ones, which the Astros can turn to for the backup catcher role. With Castro entering the last year of his contract, and his long-term future with Houston cloudy at this point, the team would be wise to figure out what they have at the position. This is definitely a situation to keep an eye on as Spring Training continues.
**Stats from ESPN**