A’s Get Vinnie Catricala from M’s
When I saw Vinnie Catricala got DFA’d by Seattle I actually thought, that’d be interesting if Oakland picked him up as third base is a position without a great deal of depth. After looking at his stats for some reason I clearly thought Catricala was better than he was and decided not to comment on it. Well, regardless here he is! Catricala basically hit over his head in the lower minors for Seattle after being drafted in the 10th round out of the University of Hawaii with BABIPs as he jumped up the M’s system of .322 (Pulaski, Appalachian League, 2009), .356 (Clinton, Midwest League, 2010), .374 (High Desert, California League, 2011), .389 (Jackson, Southern League, 2011). He hit a stumbling block last year upon his promotion to Tacoma, maybe the M’s brass didn’t notice these unsustainable high BABIPs – they aren’t always the most progressive club – and figured he’d earned his promotion by hitting OPS of .856, .874, and 1.021 as he marched up the ladder. But in 2012 in Tacoma with the Rainiers in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League (does anyone ever call it just the Pacific Coast League?) he hit .229/.292/.348 good for a .640 OPS accompanied by a clunker .262 BABIP. His reward for a clunker season was a demotion back to the Jackson Generals where this year with a normal .304 BABIP he is batting a pedestrian .253/.318/.351. It seems his big bat was backed mostly by a sky-high BABIP and once that went away so did the days of the 180 wRC+ (his time in Jackson in 2011).
The A’s acquired him for a player to be named later or cash (i.e. nothing) so no harm and no foul. He will be assigned to the Midland RockHounds of the Double-A Texas League so he might get a shot at playing for his hometown RiverCats later in the year. The A’s had an open 40-man roster spot so there was no issue with respect to space for Catricala. Here’s hoping he can figure things out as he was at one point a really fast riser in the M’s system and for them to give up on him so quickly is surprising.