With Salvador Perez in the fold, and under team control through the 2019 season, catcher would not appear to be much of a concern for the Kansas City Royals going forward. Set to be one of the faces of the new Royals, and a leader of the team, Perez is a player that both the Royals organization and their fanbase hope to see behind the plate for quite some time.
However, young catching is a commodity unlike any other. Given the scarcity of offensively inclined catchers, especially ones with solid defense, it is no wonder that those players are among the first asked for in trades. While the Kansas City Royals already have a young established catcher in Perez, it is certainly great to see further depth coming through the system. That is where Chase Vallot comes in for the Royals.
After being drafted 40th overall by the Kansas City Royals last season, Vallot did not exactly set the Appalachian League ablaze in his debut. He posted a .215/.329/.407 batting line, hitting seven home runs in 222 plate appearances. Vallot drew 26 walks, but also struck out 81 times. 2014 was definitely a struggle for the young catcher.
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In looking at the raw statistics, Vallot would not appear to be much of a prospect. Sure, he hit for a bit of power, but that batting line is not exactly the stuff that top prospects are made from. However, Vallot is only 17 years old, and spent last season in a league where he was over three years younger than the league average. Suddenly, those numbers look a lot better.
According to the scouting report put together by Bleacher Report, Vallot’s struggles with the bat were not a surprise. While he is considered a player with the potential to be a solid power threat, there are questions about how Vallot will handle fastballs at higher levels and whether or not he will learn to hit to all fields.
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Defensively, Chase Vallot is also considered to be a work in progress. While his arm is considered his strongest tool according to the reports, he is still considered a raw catcher. Vallot is thought to need a lot of work on his pitch framing ability and being able to set up consistently behind the plate. Fortunately, Vallot has a Gold Glove catcher ahead on the pecking order, as Salvador Perez could potentially serve as a mentor to the Kansas City Royals prospect.
With Perez locked up for the long haul, the Kansas City Royals can afford to be patient with Vallot as he develops. Should he improve his all around game and maintain that power potential, the Royals may have a solid catcher ready to go for the 2020’s. Otherwise, he may be an attractive trade chip in a couple of years, potentially bringing back a piece or two that the Royals may need to continue their run of success.
Chase Vallot, as of right now, is considered to be in that middle tier of Kansas City Royals prospects, probably in the ten to fifteen range. However, as a power hitting catcher, he could easily climb the ranks in the next couple of seasons.