Evan Gattis may find himself in the minors currently, but his progress will have an impact on the Astros soon.
The Corpus Christi Hooks are back to winning ways recently, with a 7-3 record over the last ten games. Part of this surge comes from the return of Alex Bregman from injury, and part of it comes other players starting to contribute to the squad. But that is not the real news in Corpus Christi, is it? The real story is Astros player Evan Gattis coming down to work on catching. So it is Gattis under the spotlight this week.
Gattis was a 23rd round pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2010. He dominated the Minor Leagues on his path to the Majors, eventually getting the call to the Show in 2013. But a trade before last season is when many Astros fans became accustomed to Gattis. He was a part of the trade that sent James Hoyt and him to Houston for a few prospects, including Mike Foltynewicz. After overcoming a slow start, Gattis was a leading contributor to the playoff Astros squad.
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Gattis has played many different positions in his professional baseball career. While he has mainly played Designated Hitter for the Astros, Gattis also has appeared as a catcher, left fielder, and even a first baseman for the Braves organization. The limited hitting talent at catcher in the Astros organization has made it necessary for Gattis to relearn his old catching ways.
Throughout his Minor League career, Evan Gattis hit for a good average and with good power. He hit .307 with 48 home runs and 176 RBIs in 239 games for the Braves’ farm teams. While the home runs and the power have translated into his Major League career, the high average has not yet.
But how is his catching ability? It’s fairly solid. Gattis threw out 40 runners during his time in the Minors while allowing 101 stolen bases. For the Majors, he’s thrown out 21 while allowing 69 stolen bases. An added boost to the catching position could help the Astros as currently Jason Castro has thrown out three runners while allowing 12 to steal bases and is only hitting .195.
Evan Gattis’s season so far has been fairly short due to recovery from a sports hernia. In limited time with the Hooks, Gattis has thrown out one runner and allowed 1 to steal (as of May 11). He’s also contributed well on the offensive end, and maybe that’s what he needs to turn it around at the big league level. While he hasn’t quite found the swing that made him successful last year, it’s only a matter of time before he turns it around. If and when he does, he will be a very valuable player to the Astros organization, as a DH or a catcher.
**All statistics via MiLB.com and MLB.com**