Three capable catchers who can all hit give the KC Royals choices at Omaha
Envy Omaha manager Mike Jirschele, who could, without making a mistake, pick any one of his three backstops as his everyday catcher. Especially offensively, all are excellent candidates.
Porter's hot spring—he slashed .348/.444/.435 in 18 Cactus League games as a non-roster invitee—underscores the potential of his bat, which many noticed for the first time last season when he hit a combined .301 with a .442 OBP and 13 homers across stints at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. He carried a four-year minor league career .293 average and .428 OBP into Friday's season opener, and that he can and does play first base is a resume plus.
Reetz can also hit, and with power. Last year, he homered 22 times for Biloxi, Milwaukee's Double-A club, and hit .281 with a stellar .392 OBP, before the Brewers bumped him up to Triple-A. He hooked on with Kansas City after Milwaukee suddenly cut him in August and hit five home runs in 21 games at Omaha. Reetz may have an unimpressive .238 career minor league average, but he's beginning to prove he can handle the bat, and his .350 career minor league OBP shows he knows how to get on base.
And Fermin? Count many as surprised when the Royals decided they didn't need a third catcher and optioned him to Omaha a week before major league spring camp closed. The three games he played with Kansas City suggest he might have a leg up on the first shot at KC this season if injury befalls Perez or Melendez. He can, like Porter and Reetz, swing the bat: in 87 games with the Storm Chasers last season, he batted .270 with 15 home runs and a .365 OBP.
Yes, Porter, Reetz, and Fermon are all good, but the Royals can't make room for them all forever. So, what's next?