2024 STEAMER Projections don't think the Rockies catchers can replicate their success

Led by All-Star game MVP, Elias Diaz, we take a look at the Steamer predictions for the Rockies catching group in 2024.

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals
Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Every year, FanGraphs releases their projections for the year, the STEAMER projections. They are some of the most widely used projections for writers and fans to look at. It is a time where we can think about, "If this player meets those projections our team is going to be so much better" or possibly (like in the Rockies situation), "If this player could really figure some things out, that type of season would be valuable for the growth of this team." We kick things off with what was solid group in 2023, the catchers.

The Rockies 2023 season as a whole was extremely disappointing. After setting a franchise record with 103 losses, there weren't a lot of positives. Outside of a couple of stellar seasons from outfielder, Nolan Jones and shortstop, Ezequiel Tovar, there wasn't a lot of excitement for the team. One of the few bright spots, however, for the Rockies was at the catcher position.

The 2023 season saw Elias Diaz start 141 games, slashing .267/.316/.409 with 14 home runs. It was a pretty solid season from the now 33-year-old backstop. There was some speculation that the Rockies would look to capitalize on this solid season by trading him, but a limited free agent market and the Rockies need for depth at the catcher position should keep Diaz with the Rockies this year.

Catcher

GP

Slash

wRC+

HR/RBI/SB

fWAR

Elias Diaz

87

253/307/405

77

10/38/1

-0.4

Jacob Stallings

55

245/319/372

75

4/20/1

0.3

Drew Romo

12

248/298/387

69

1/5/1

0.1

All information listed above comes from FanGraphs.com

My first reaction from the STEAMER projections is that they expect a lot more of a time share than in 2023. They have Diaz going from playing 141 games, to just 87, with the recently acquired Jacob Stallings eating into a big chunk of that. Stallings is the superior defender, so this is something that could definitely happen. Stallings is a solid addition for the Rockies, he was once a gold glove level catcher and had three straight seasons of at least one fWAR (2.5 fWAR in 2021). Don't be surprised to see Stallings put up a higher fWAR season come the seasons end.

I am surprised that Drew Romo was listed on the Fangraphs projections. The Rockies drafted Romo in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, and being a high school, switch-hitting catcher, there is a lot to work on for the youngster. He has impressed so far with the bat (which was thought to be further behind than the defense). Romo will enter just his fourth season of professional baseball, which is why it is surprising that Fangraphs thinks he will debut in 2024. The Rockies are generally pretty aggressive with their prospects, however. For a team not expecting to contend and really needing to develop a solid starting catcher, the Rockies would probably help Romo out by letting him compete in Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque (he only played four games at Triple-A last year).

Overall, the Rockies catcher position in 2024 figures to be mediocre at best. Diaz was solid last year and will look to build upon that, while Stallings offers a solid glove first catcher with some upside. Romo gives you a solid prospect waiting in the wings but should be left in the minors for another year to develop without any pressures.

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