Drew Butera is currently the Dodgers backup catcher. Drew Butera also is one of the worst hitting players in the game. Actually he pretty much is the worst hitter in baseball right now. And you know what? He’s actually the 3rd worst hitter ever. Like of all time. Ever. And yes, he’s backing up A.J. Ellis, in case you were wondering. Now of course, Tim Federowicz is just a call away in AAA where he’ll likely be brought up assuming a long term A.J. Ellis injury, however honestly, any non-AAA PA’s for Drew Butera is a horrible mistake, he simply can’t hit, and no amount of defense can get past a .491 career OPS.
And I get it, Tim Federowicz is young. Fans like youth, it gives them hope, and yes, we all hope he turns into Yadi Molina with some help with Mark McGwire, but as i’ve mentioned, things like that happen so rarely, it’s nearly impossible. And judging by last season, his .266 weighted on base average, (over 60 points below average), striking out at a rate of 32.4% while only walking at a 5.8% rate, you can see why him being the backup may be a bit underwhelming.
Well George Kottaras was just released yesterday from the Cubs, and he should be a Dodger. If you think having a low batting average, then he isn’t the player for you, he’s only hit .180 and .211 the last two seasons. But I’m not interested in that in the least. What Kottaras brings is excellent on base skills. Kottaras walked at a 19.0% rate that season. He essentially drew a walk once in every 5 plate appearances. He’ll never be a baserunning threat, being worth -3 runs in his career, but he’s been a positive defender his whole career, being worth 5.7 runs above average on defense. And just the fact that Kottaras has maintained his OPS at a very solid .730 is impressive considering he’s been a backup his entire career. His production is as close to a sure thing as you can get, even though he struck out at a Federowiczian 33% of the time, his OBP sat at a nice .349.
I guess Federowicz is okay, he has a decent amount of upside, hopefully he’ll be a starter, or a high end backup one day, but the fact is that day is not today, and the Dodgers need a backup catcher that has the ability to OPS at a number greater than Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig‘s combined weight.
So come on down, George Kottaras.