Buster Posey's injury and the pain of watching Jake Fox and Craig Tatum has got me thinking: are there in house options to back up Matt Wieters and how far off might they be? I feel like Joe Jordan has really focused on catchers in recent drafts so let's take a look at what's going on down on the farm:
1. Caleb Joseph
A month younger than Wieters and taken a year later, but his offensive skills have really progressed over the last two years. He's now in his second year at Bowie and has posted a .273/.369/.408 slash line. He's only thrown out 27% of prospective thieves, but has also only allowed two passed balls and has a 8.90 range factor this year.
2. Brian Ward
A 26 year old undrafted free agent signed in 2009, Ward has a certifiable cannon. He's caught 24 of 48 attempting to steal a base this year and has allowed one passed ball. Now in his second year at Frederick, he's walked more than he struck out and posted a .351 OBP. Seems on the older side.
3. Michael Ohlman
A 20 year old slugging at a .359 clip at Delmarva. His OPS in the GCL was .523, .615 at the Appalachian and .569 for his first 34 games at Delmarva last year. His OPS now stands at .671. His defense is progressing, but is still a work in progress.
A catch and throw guy out of the Dominican, his offensive numbers are, well, offensive, but he threw out 37 of 84 runners in 2009 and 44 of 68 last year. He also cut down on passed balls from 15 to 8.
5. Justin Dalles
The 22 year old out of the University of South Carolina was selected by the O's in the 6th round of the 2009 draft. He had been selected in the previous three years by other teams, but did not sign. He has now played 73 games at Delmarva dating back to last year and has hit as many doubles in his 25 games this season as he hit in 48 last year.
6. Riley Hornback
A 2010 JuCo pick out of San Jacinto, Hornback displays solid on base skills (25 BB in 162 PA), and developing defensive skills. His percentage of runners thrown out is low (though he did nab 5 of 6 at Bluefield) and he does have no errors in 182 chances in 28 minor league games.
7. Gustavo Parra
Now in his 3rd season with the DSL O's, Parra's patience at the plate has developed nicely. He walked 12 in 82 plate appearances last year and has walked twince in 14 this year. Seven of his 21 hits last year went for extra bases.