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Where does Yan Gomes rank among AL Central catchers?

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Yan Gomes could not repeat his 2014 due to playing injured most of the season. How will he project amongst the rest of the AL Central catchers?

Where will this Tribe duo rank in 2016?
Where will this Tribe duo rank in 2016?
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

So far in this series, we've seen the Tribe finish at the top with two positions and at the bottom for the other two. How will the Tribe catchers grade out according to the projections?

Instead of just looking at the starter here, we are going to include the primary backup as most teams employ about a 2:1 split, except for Ned Yost in Kansas City I guess.

Cleveland Indians

The Tribe was expecting big things from Yan Gomes in 2015 after signing him to an extension. But current teammate Rajai Davis slid into him awkwardly last April and he missed some time. He probably came back before he was fully healthy and his numbers last year really suffered.  Gomes is on a very team friendly contract through 2021.

Roberto Perez played very well when called upon while Gomes was hurt. He is also very good defensively and has been rumored to be a trade target for other clubs because of how well he has played. Both together are projected to finish around 3.0 WAR total. Perez will not be arbitration eligible until 2018.

The top prospect in the system is currently Francisco Mejia, who is #11 in MLB Pipeline. He hit .243/.324/.345 as a 19-year-old at Lake County last year.

Yan Gomes

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

442

15

249

293

416

306

92

2.5

ZIPS

430

14

256

298

430

312

3.0

Marcel

446

16

262

306

444

Roberto Perez

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

166

3

212

301

328

281

76

0.5

ZIPS

280

6

202

299

336

278

-

Marcel

323

9

248

330

403

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are going with a completely different catching tandem in 2016. Out went Tyler Flowers and Geovany Soto. In came former Tiger Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro. Avila was decent in 2014, but lost his job to James McCann when he was awful last year. He is signed only for 2016. Navarro, who spent the last two seasons in Toronto, has been pretty decent. He will be 32 this year and is also on a one-year deal.

The top catcher in their system appears to be Jhoandro Alfaro who Is #15 on MLB Pipeline. He was only in Rookie ball last year and hit .182/.232/.205. So the White Sox will be in the market next offseason. The best NRI this spring appears to be Hector Sanchez.

Alex Avila

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

230

6

211

327

352

305

90

1.1

ZIPS

350

9

203

321

336

298

3.0

Marcel

355

9

223

325

364

Dioner Navarro

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

217

6

257

315

397

311

94

0.9

ZIPS

306

8

259

314

385

304

-

Marcel

348

10

266

318

405

Detroit Tigers

As noted above, James McCann took over last season for Avila. He did reasonably well, is only 26 and won't be in arbitration until 2018. His backup this year will be either Bryan Holaday or Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I chose Saltalamacchia as he is on a one-year deal and Holaday likely still has options.

The top prospect listed is Grayson Greiner, who is #13 on MLB Pipeline. He hit .183/.254/.250 in High-A ball last year. There is also Arvicent Perez, #20, He hit .234/.254/.270 in Low-A and Class-A ball in 2015.

James McCann

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

368

6

256

291

372

289

79

1.6

ZIPS

458

6

253

288

360

284

3.0

Marcel

414

9

266

307

404

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

232

8

227

306

399

307

92

0.8

ZIPS

358

12

225

307

394

305

-

Marcel

357

11

241

320

413

Kansas City Royals

Now we come to the iron man at this position. Salvador Perez has caught a whopping 430 games the past three seasons and started 406 of them. He hasn't worn down much, OPS'ing .757, .692 and .706 those three years. But I fear the wear and tear will start to creep up on him. The Royals have the sweetest deal on him too. He only makes $2 million this year, and then they have team options for $3.75 million, $5 million and $6 million the next three years. It is likely that veteran Drew Butera and youngster Tony Cruz both make the roster.

Chase Vallot is #9 on the Royals MLB Pipeline. He hit .219/.331/.427 in Class-A ball last year.

Salvador Perez

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

479

16

273

302

432

315

97

3.0

ZIPS

555

16

271

299

430

311

3.0

Marcel

537

17

270

302

427

Drew Butera

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

WAR

Steamer

41

1

208

264

303

251

53

0.0

ZIPS

148

2

203

262

301

246

-

Marcel

279

5

216

280

324

Minnesota Twins

After Joe Mauer was moved to first permanently, the Twins went out and signed veteran Kurt Suzuki in 2014. He promptly had a career year (105 OPS+) at the age of 30. The Twins front office thought it was wise to sign him to an extension last spring -- two years at $6 million per -- with another vesting option. He promptly dropped to a career low 67 OPS+ last season. Backing him up is former Yankee, John Ryan Murphy.

Stuart Turner looks to be next in line. He was #18 on the Twins MLB Pipeline. He hit .223/.322/.306 in Double-A last year.

Kurt Suzuki

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

Steamer

301

4

253

308

355

290

80

0.8

ZIPS

433

4

253

305

334

277

2.0

Marcel

490

6

254

311

351

John Ryan Murphy

PA

HR

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

fWAR

Steamer

251

6

253

307

397

307

92

1.2

ZIPS

316

7

245

295

379

295

-

Marcel

295

6

269

323

396

My take

There isn't a lot of separation between each tandem based on the projection models. I feel like Avila/Navarro will finish fifth, with Suzuki/Murphy just ahead. I am a firm believer that Gomes will return to his 2014 form. I also think Perez will finally show signs of overuse this year.

I'd rank them as follows:

  1. Gomes/R. Perez
  2. S. Perez/Butera
  3. McCann/Saltalamacchia
  4. Suzuki/Murphy
  5. Avila/Navarro

Please post your rankings in the comments.

Previous entries:

Third Base

Shortstop

Second Base

First Base