Houston Astros’ Evan Gattis, or El Oso Blanco, became the power bat behind the plate we coveted in the heart of the order.
As the 2016 season rolled around, the evolution of Evan Gattis saw a converted left fielder take on the catcher role to provide much needed depth behind the plate.
Providing a ton of power for the Astros in his inaugural season with the Astros in 2015, Evan Gattis gave the heart of the order 27 homeruns, 11 triples(!) and 88 RBI’s, surrounded by the likes of Carlos Correa and Colby Rasmus.
For the 2016 Houston Astros, starting off the season was a struggle for everyone. Jason Castro, the Astros everyday catcher since 2013, was having a particularly bad start to the season, ending the season batting .210 and hitting only 11 homeruns and 32 RBI’s through 113 games.
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Switching roles for the better of the team
Enter Evan Gattis, a one-time catcher with Atlanta, with caveman beard and awesome presence on the right side of the plate to take over the regular duties as everyday catcher.
As an everyday outfielder/firstbase option throughout most of his minor and major league career, it would take some grooming to get Gattis back up to speed on his new role. For 4 days, Gattis spent time in AA Corpus Christi working on his new job against minor league pitching and hitting.
Not only was Gattis an efficient option for the Astros’ everyday catcher, but showed promise as a defensive backstop who can gun out potential base stealers. His defensive stats at the end of the 2016 campaign did show promise. Even though he did throw out 13 batters he struggled with blocking wild pitches (5) in 55 behind-the-plate appearances.
Our everyday Catcher?
Now slated as the starter for the 2017 catcher, Gattis seems to have found his role with the Astros. Thus it may complete his evolution. Whether the team keeps him around for the 2017 season remains to be seen.
If only somehow Gattis can get his average near that respectable .263 in 2014. His value at the catcher position for the Houston Astros will be an added bonus to an already stacked lineup.
**Statistics provided by MLB.com**