DEVIN MESORACO: WITH NEW CONTRACT, REDS CATCHER READY TO BE AMONG BEST

The Cincinnati Reds have signed catcher Devin Mesoraco to a 4 year, $28 million contract avoiding arbitration in the process.

Mesoraco, 26, was eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career and filled for a salary of $3.6 million. The Reds counter-offered with $2.45 million. His new contract will pay him an AAV of $7 million; buy out the rest of his arbitration years and his first year of free agency.

For the Reds it was good to get their young backstop to sign while they could, as his progression over the last three years shows the makings of one of the better hitting catchers in the league.

Mesoraco 2012-2014

AVG OPS+ HR RBI PA CS%
2012 .212 70 5 14 184 20%
2013 .238 79 9 42 352 29%
2014 .273 149 25 80 440 28%

Mesoraco emerged as one of the better hitting catchers in the league, slugging 25 home runs and earning his first career All-Star game birth. Looking at the NL roster for the 2014 ASG, one thing stood out – three of the four team’s catchers were from the NL Central.

He was joined by Jonathan Lucroy and Yadier Molina as the best the NL had to offer at the catcher position.

The other, Miguel Montero, will join them in-division this year as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

The Best in a Deep Division?

Mesoraco may be the youngest projected starting catcher among NL Central teams, but you can certainly make an argument he may be the best. Molina may have claim as the league’s top defensive catcher still, and Lucroy may have the current handle on the best bat – but at 26 years old Mesoraco is still trending up and could challenge for the top spot.

2015 NL Central Catchers w 2014 Stats

Player AVG OPS+ XBH RBI CS%
Jonathan Lucroy .301 132 68 69 26%
Devin Mesoraco .273 149 50 80 28%
Yadier Molina .282 101 28 38 48%
Miguel Montero .243 95 36 72 29%
Francisco Cervelli* .301 127 14 13 25%

*Cervelli was with the New York Yankees and only played in 49 games

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