Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

George Kottaras


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
89 replies to this topic

#1 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:50 PM

Posted Image

More Photos:
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image

PROFILE
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Age: 23
Born: 5/10/83 in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
High School: Milliken Mills (Markham, Ontario, Canada)
College: Connors State JC (Oklahoma)
Drafted: 2002 in 20th Round by San Diego Padres (#595 overall)
Acquired: From San Diego for RHP David Wells (8/31/06)


LINKS
Baseball America Interview (5/9/06)
Baseball America 2006 Stats
Baseball Prospectus page
Baseball Cube page
Rotoworld page
Sox Prospects page
eBay Search


SCOUTING REPORT
* Ranked as the Padres' #3 prospect heading into 2005 by Baseball America:

PROS: Natural swing, plenty of power, projects as a 20-HR hitter ... Advanced understanding of the strike zone relative to his experience ... Hard worker, takes instruction well ... Mobile behind plate, solid arm, good at blocking pitches in the dirt

CONS: Long release is easy to run on ... Needs some refinement with catching nuances ... Can be overly patient at the plate, waits too long for perfect pitch ... Slow runner, though not a baseclogger.

OVERVIEW: Boosted his stock more than any SD prospect in 2004 ... Padres see him as similar to Jason Kendall but with more power, less speed.

* Ranked as the Padres' #2 prospect heading into 2006 by Baseball America:

PROS: Offense-oriented catcher, natural hitting instincts, commands the strike zone ... Easy line-drive power, quiet setup and fluid swing, projects with 15-20 HR ... Athletic behind plate, plus arm strength.
   
CONS: Can get pull-happy, should focus on centering the ball, should let his strength work for him naturally ... Slow glove-hand exchange, long release on throws ... A bit small for a catcher ... Some question whether he can handle the rigors catching a full season.

* Jim Callis' Pre-2006 Padres Organization Report:

George Kottaras is an on-base machine whose offense outshines his defense behind the plate and is the top position player in the system.

* During Spring Training 2006, Padres manager Bruce Bochy compared Kottaras' swing to that of John Olerud.

* Spent the first half of the 2006 season working on catching fundamentals with former Padres catcher Carlos Hernandez, an organizational instructor, on the finer techniques of the most demanding of positions. "He has worked with me on footwork, putting me in good positions," Kottaras said. "I'm becoming more comfortable and learning as I go along."

* Jim Callis' post-trade assessment:

Giving up Kottaras for a month of Wells may seem like a lot ... He was the most advanced position prospect in San Diego's system ... Has developing power that eventually could produce 15 homers per season

* The Padres apparently weren't so high on Kottaras:

The Padres didn't envision Kottaras as a candidate for their starting job in 2007. Scouts from two American League clubs who saw him last month rated him a backup catcher. Critics within the San Diego franchise and outside of it had concerns about Kottaras' durability, defensive makeup and ability to work with pitchers, plus his throwing mechanics. The Padres had challenged Kottaras to become more assertive as a field general.

The Red Sox farm system is thin at catcher, however, and some evaluators say the defensive concerns about Kottaras are overblown.


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

* Growing up near Toronto, Kottaras played fast-pitch softball but didn't take up baseball until he was 15:

Kottaras then started playing for the York Pioneers followed by a stint with the Etobicoke Rangers and then a season for the Ontario Blue Jays. Kottaras had been a catcher in softball but baseball was different. “I had to learn to throw and block pitches and call a game and hit. The whole game is different so I had to go back and start from scratch.” Kottaras went to Milliken Mills High School in Markham but they didn’t have a high school team so George concentrated on club baseball.

* Selected as a draft-and-follow, Kottaras signed with the Padres in May 2003 for $375,000, considered mid-4th-round money. Padres scouting director Bill "Chief" Gayton called Kottaras "a huge signing."

* Played for the Greek national team in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, going 3-for-12:

"It was unbelievable being part of the host country," Kottaras said. "Both my parents were born in Greece. So being a part of that and speaking Greek so I can communicate with everybody was great. It was just awesome, especially the opening ceremonies. It just took my breath away."

* Ranked the #17 prospect in the California League (High Class A) by Baseball America after the 2005 season, his first full year playing pro ball. He ranked behind fellow backstops Chris Iannetta of Modesto (#13, COL) and Miguel Montero of Lancaster (#14, ARI)

* Played for the World All-Stars in the 2006 Futures Game July 9 at Pittsburgh's PNC Park. Went 2-for-2, scoring after a double and later hitting a 2-run HR off Yankees prospect Philip Hughes as he crushed a 1-0 pitch to right-center field:

"I knew he was highly regarded," Kottaras said, "and I was looking for a fastball. I got one over the plate. That was a great feeling, obviously, but I'm not going to classify it. There are all sorts of satisfying moments in life, things you can reflect on, and that was one of them."

Kottaras, a calm person by nature, was more excited than usual for this special occasion, requiring his attention.

"I was taking deep breaths, telling myself to relax," he said. "I was just trying to drive the ball up the middle. On the home run, I was just looking to stay inside it, not hook it foul."

* The next day, he flew to Montgomery, Alabama where he drove in a run in the Southern League (AA) All-Star Game.

* Promoted to AAA Portland (OR) in the Pacific Coast League on July 13. He went 2-for-4 in his debut with a run and 2 RBI including a solo HR in the 7th against Tacoma.

Edited by mabrowndog, 12 May 2009 - 01:22 PM.


#2 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:59 PM

Kottaras made his Sea Dogs debut Thursday night in game 2 of their playoff series vs Trenton. He went 2-for-4 with a walk including a 2-run HR in the 3rd off Yankees farmhand Tyler Clippard, a righthander, as Portland won 10-3.

recap
box

#3 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 08 September 2006 - 10:11 PM

Kottaras went 1-for-4 with an RBI double for the Sea Dogs as Portland beat Trenton 5-4 in game 3 of their playoff series Friday night.

#4 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:52 AM

Check out Kottaras' 2006 splits for AA Mobile and AAA Portland (OR). George clearly struggled vs LHP, but what's most alarming is that the bulk of the disparity comes from the huge drops in his walk rate:

- Mobile vs LH: 7 BB in 88 PA (.080)
- Mobile vs RH: 43 BB in 221 PA (.195)
- Port OR vs LH: 2 BB in 39 PA (.051)
- Port OR vs RH: 10 BB in 94 PA (.106)

For perspective, Kottaras hit in the 3-hole during most of his stint at Mobile, but in Portland (OR) he never batted in the top five spots in the linteup. There, more than half his ABs came hitting 7th.

He also faded badly as the season wore on, the more difficult AAA competition notwithstanding. Note that 5 of his 10 HR came in April. The bulk of his offensive output came in April (.303/.432/.682/1.114) and May (.322/.440/.467/.907) with his BABIP exceeding .400 in both months. He put up a .220/.328/ .290/.618 line in 119 PAs the rest of the way for Mobile until his mid-July promotion to Portland.

Once at AAA he again showed a decline after getting off to a quick start:

- July .263/.341/.553/.894 in 44 PA, .348 BABIP
- Aug .203/.267/.290/.557 in 75 PA, .255 BABIP
- Sep .083/.214/.167/.381 in 14 PA, .111 BABIP

Yes these samples are all small, but they curiously echo some concerns scouts had before this season regarding his stamina. Based on those BABIPs, how much of a role is luck playing in his performance? How much is related to his youth, his relatively late start in playing the game, and that this was only his second full season of pro ball?

He's already on his way to being a platoon player, and it seems he's going to need at least another full season in AAA, perhaps two, before he could be considered a starting option for the Sox. Bringing him on as a backup for Tek next season would not benefit his development as a major league hitter, or as a catcher.

Edited by mabrowndog, 09 September 2006 - 09:54 AM.


#5 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 09 September 2006 - 07:02 AM

Steve Solloway has a column on Kottaras in today's column for the Portland (ME) Press Herald:

Newest Dog a hit already

#6 Tudor Fever

  • 3,407 posts

Posted 09 September 2006 - 10:49 AM

Excellent work, mabrowndog.

Yeah, I was at the game last evening with SJH and noticed the misspelling on his jersey. Pretty funny. He played well, though, so maybe he'll keep the KATTARAS for good I am unoriginal and unfunny. Please put me out of my misery.

He's batting second right now, which seems to fit his skillset. The only downside is that Kottaras-Moss-Jimenez batting 2-3-4 screams for a LOOGY.

#7 Rough Carrigan


  • reasons within Reason


  • 16,822 posts

Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:26 PM

Check out Kottaras' 2006 splits for AA Mobile and AAA Portland (OR). George clearly struggled vs LHP, but what's most alarming is that the bulk of the disparity comes from the huge drops in his walk rate:

- Mobile vs LH: 7 BB in 88 PA (.080)
- Mobile vs RH: 43 BB in 221 PA (.195)
- Port OR vs LH: 2 BB in 39 PA (.051)
- Port OR vs RH: 10 BB in 94 PA (.106)

For perspective, Kottaras hit in the 3-hole during most of his stint at Mobile, but in Portland (OR) he never batted in the top five spots in the linteup. There, more than half his ABs came hitting 7th.

He also faded badly as the season wore on, the more difficult AAA competition notwithstanding. Note that 5 of his 10 HR came in April. The bulk of his offensive output came in April (.303/.432/.682/1.114) and May (.322/.440/.467/.907) with his BABIP exceeding .400 in both months. He put up a .220/.328/ .290/.618 line in 119 PAs the rest of the way for Mobile until his mid-July promotion to Portland.

Once at AAA he again showed a decline after getting off to a quick start:

- July .263/.341/.553/.894 in 44 PA, .348 BABIP
- Aug .203/.267/.290/.557 in 75 PA, .255 BABIP
- Sep .083/.214/.167/.381 in 14 PA, .111 BABIP

Yes these samples are all small, but they curiously echo some concerns scouts had before this season regarding his stamina. Based on those BABIPs, how much of a role is luck playing in his performance? How much is related to his youth, his relatively late start in playing the game, and that this was only his second full season of pro ball?

He's already on his way to being a platoon player, and it seems he's going to need at least another full season in AAA, perhaps two, before he could be considered a starting option for the Sox. Bringing him on as a backup for Tek next season would not benefit his development as a major league hitter, or as a catcher.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The thing is, I think ALL catchers wear down as the season goes on. Tek does. Posada does. Every catcher whose splits I've ever checked was like that. There's no reason to compare him unfavorably to a mythical never tiring backstop. You hope he improves but it's not really as terrible a failing as one might imagine at first glance.

#8 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 09 September 2006 - 09:58 PM

Excellent point, Rough, especially as it pertains to hitting in general and especially power numbers. But the effect that shows most with Kottaras is a deterioration in plate judgement, not necessarily the results of his contact. His ability to draw walks eroded markedly at both levels. It happened in June & July, not just in August & September.

I'm not sure I believe that fatigue among catchers affects their discipline and eye at the plate to such a large degree. If there is any such effect, it's certainly not across the board at the position.

Edited by mabrowndog, 09 September 2006 - 09:59 PM.


#9 ragnarok725

  • 4,065 posts

Posted 09 September 2006 - 11:23 PM

I think we're trying to ascribe meaning to statistics a little quickly here. Those splits have some pretty small sample sizes, and he's only been in AAA for so long. He has a lot to handle as a backstop, and the drop in power/plate judgement could just be fatigue. It could also be that they had him working on something. It's just tough to tell at this point, I think. He's displayed the power and patience to be a quality everyday backstop, and he's also displayed the power and patience of this year's Javy Lopez. He's looking pretty good in his limited playing time in the Playoffs here, so let's give him some time.

#10 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:41 AM

I think we're trying to ascribe meaning to statistics a little quickly here. Those splits have some pretty small sample sizes.

I acknowleged this very thing above.

He's looking pretty good in his limited playing time in the Playoffs here

What was that you said about small sample sizes???

let's give him some time.

Here's what I suggested above:

"it seems he's going to need at least another full season in AAA, perhaps two, before he could be considered a starting option for the Sox. Bringing him on as a backup for Tek next season would not benefit his development as a major league hitter, or as a catcher."

So where exactly did I write anything that implies he SHOULD NOT be given more time?

#11 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 10 September 2006 - 01:38 PM

Kottaras was one of three Canadian catchers traded at this year's August 31 deadline. Texas traded Mike Nickeas (Vancouver BC) to the Mets, and Detroit shipped Chris Robinson (Dorchester, ONT) to the Cubs.

Toronto Sun

#12 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 10 September 2006 - 01:45 PM

noticed the misspelling on his jersey. Pretty funny. He played well, though, so maybe he'll keep the KATTARAS for good I am unoriginal and unfunny. Please put me out of my misery.

Turns out it wasn't necessarily the equipment guy's fault. The Sea Dogs' roster had him listed as Kattaras, though they've since corrected it.

Cached link from Yahoo!

And a ton of other dimwits have misspelled his name as well, some at rather high-profile publications (Sporting News, San Diego Tribune, etc). Even John friggin' Sickels screwed the pooch:

link

Edited by mabrowndog, 12 September 2006 - 10:29 AM.


#13 diehard24

  • 535 posts

Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:37 PM

Diehard Interview with George Kottaras, where he talks about the trade, his game, his heritage, and how he catches the knuckleball.

#14 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:46 PM

George winds up the season playing 8 playoff games for the EL Champion Sea Dogs, going 8-for-29 with 2 doubles, 2 HR, and 6 walks for a .276/.400/.552/.952 line. The only game he failed to reach base was the series opener vs Akron, an 0-for-5 collar. One negative was the 10 strikeouts -- at least one in each game.

MinorLeagueBaseball.com had a feature on Kottaras on Friday:

"Coming in, the only guy I knew was (reliever) Rusty Tucker," Kottaras said of his former teammate at Double-A Mobile. "He helped make (the transition) a little easier on me" ...

... "He's become the best part of what was a bad situation," Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen said. "I've only seen him play four games in person so far, but we expect him to become an impact catcher for us over the next few years."


Edited by mabrowndog, 17 September 2006 - 05:59 PM.


#15 redinchicago

  • 3,873 posts

Posted 06 October 2006 - 02:41 PM

From BA chat:

Q:    Phillip from Overland Park, KS asks:
Do you project George Kottaras as an '07 arrival for the Red Sox? Will he be a guy who makes a difference or just another platoon catcher?

A:  Chris Kline: Overland Park, a number of scouts and field staff killed Kottaras for his receiving skills behind the plate, as well as his game-calling. So there's a lot of development left to do in my opinion. The power from the left side could potentially be a difference-maker, but there are an awful lot of questions about his defensive tools, as well as how well he handles a staff.



#16 Rico

  • 1,441 posts

Posted 07 October 2006 - 07:43 AM

Maybe Kottaras should spend the winter in Melbourne, FL.

#17 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 03 November 2006 - 01:36 PM

From an interview with Mass native Tim Hagerty, play-by-play announcer for the Mobil BayBears:

A player who received a lot of pre-season attention and later was the reason the Padres were able to acquire pitcher David Wells, was George Kottaras. Kottaras was one of the leaders in the Southern League in on-base and slugging percentage when he got promoted to Portland. What did you think of the trade and of Kottaras’ play for Mobile this year?

Tim Hagerty: I think it’s a trade that helped both Boston and San Diego. The Padres are confident that they have some pretty good catchers in their system with Colt Morton and Nick Hundley coming to mind. Kottaras, for a guy that isn’t overwhelmingly big, has quite a bit of power. He has a lot of natural strength and bat speed and defensively threw out more runners stealing this year than he did last. Also catching in Mobile with the heat is just brutal.


From Ian Browne's mail bag:

Since catcher [Doug] Mirabelli has opted for free agency, are there any replacements available in the market to catch Tim Wakefield?
-- Naresh D., Edison, N.J.


Mirabelli exercising his right for free agency was nothing more than a formality. I wouldn't rule out a return for Doug in Boston, particularly if he agrees to a non-guaranteed contract. The other option is prospect George Kottaras, the catcher the Sox got for David Wells. Maybe he is already working on trying to catch knuckleballs.


From the Pawtucket Times:

While Epstein's primary focus this off-season will be to address Boston's many holes, he potentially filled a sore spot when David Wells was shipped to San Diego.

In exchange Epstein landed a bona fide backstop in George Kottaras, or at least that's what Baseball America believes. The publication classified Kottaras as the Padres' No. 2 prospect.

Should the payout on Kottaras turn out Powerball-esque, then the Red Sox would have pulled off a heist equivalent to the Lindberg baby: dealing a rent-a-pitcher (Wells) in return for a catcher who could conceivably become Jason Varitek's replacement someday.

"Catchers are not an easy position to fill," stated Boston Director of Player Development Mike Hazen. "We're fortunate in that we found a high-profile one at the upper levels."

When the Wells trade was officially completed in early September, Boston was limited in terms of seeing Kottaras up-close since all the minor league clubs were on the verge of placing a capper.

Fortunately though, Double-A Portland was in the midst of the Eastern League playoffs. "He didn't want to infringe on what was already going on," said Hazen. "but we wanted to see him play before the off-season and Portland happened to be the last team playing."

Kottaras appeared in eight postseason contests, clubbing a home run in the title series against Akron, a series Portland would go on to capture. He amassed 10 home runs and 65 RBIs in two minor league rungs with the Padres in '06.

"He's an extremely hard worker," said Hazen. "He'll work in the off-season with our catching coordinator. He's got to fine tune some things (Kottaras' main weakness is his throwing arm), but we're excited to have the kid. He should step in at Pawtucket [next season]."

Boston's catching corps was left in shambles when Varitek landed on the disabled list in August. Mirabelli had a hard time adjusting to playing four out of five days instead of one out of five. Javy Lopez was near the end of the line by the time he was brought in as a short-term solution. Corky Miller and Ken Huckaby showed nothing in the little time made available.

A critical position that was in shambles may finally have a youth cog to build around. The only remaining question is whether the 23-year-old Kottaras can handle a knuckleball.

"We'll see," said Hazen. "if he's run across any."



#18 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 04 December 2006 - 12:10 AM

Kottaras will participate in a benefit youth clinic just before Christmas in Hawaii:

West Oahu Baseball, an organization that sends Hawai'i youth to tournaments on the Mainland each summer, is holding a clinic conducted by major and minor league players Dec. 21 to 23 at Central O'ahu Regional Park, field three.

Kaua'i's Tyler Yates, a pitcher with the Atlanta Braves, and Minnesota Twins shortstop Jason Bartlett will attend. The minor league prospects are George Kottaras (Red Sox), Nicolas Trzesniak (Marlins), Justin Germano (Phillies), Greg Sain (Yankees), Tagg Bozied (Mets) and Geof Jones (Padres).

The clinic runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day for players ages 8 to 13 and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for those ages 14 to 17.

Cost is $165. Proceeds benefit the West Oahu Baseball Organization. Applications are available at Dr. Ron Reynolds' optometric office in Mililani, The Batter's Box Batting Cages in Waipio, Star Physical Therapy in Pearl City and Sports Fitness Product. Filled-out forms may be turned in at Dr. Reynolds' office and The Batter's Box.

Deadline to register is Dec. 12.

For information, call Victor Yamasaki at 808-623-5768.


From Ian Browne's Mailbag:

What does the catcher situation look like for not just next season, but years to come? Will Jason Varitek be around for a few more years? Will Doug Mirabelli be returning to take care of Tim Wakefield? How strong are the catchers in our farm system?
-- Sean M., Orillia, Ontario


Varitek has two years left on his contract, so he'll be around for at least that long. As for Mirabelli, he's a free agent and I get the sense he and the Red Sox might part ways. His offensive value has diminished greatly. Look for the Sox to find a veteran backup for this season, and ease prospect George Kottaras (the catcher acquired for David Wells) into the backup spot in '08.


From the Globe's Nick Cafardo:

Epstein said he hopes to give lefthanded-hitting catcher George Kottaras another full development year in Triple A, meaning the team could consider bringing back Doug Mirabelli or adding a veteran backup.



#19 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 16 December 2006 - 02:56 PM

George has a connection with new Portland manager Arnie Beyeler:

Beyeler managed in Class A for the Texas Rangers from 2003 to '05. His '03 and '04 teams reached the California League playoffs.

He jumped to the Padres last year as hitting coach for Double-A Mobile, Ala. Among his players was catcher George Kottaras, who was traded to the Red Sox and helped Portland in the playoffs.


link

#20 hawaiirsn

  • 413 posts

Posted 16 December 2006 - 05:40 PM

The more I think about it, the more I realize that GK was a great pick up for Wells, seems like he has a good amount of potential. Hopefully the new coaching at Portland continues his development to a Major Leaguer, I just cant tell if we want him to be 'tek's sucessor.

Edit: Less so when you consider the draft pick, but as other threads are indicating, it seems like Kottaras is more ready for Major League action than any potential 40th-50th draft pick.

Edited by hawaiirsn, 19 December 2006 - 01:32 AM.


#21 DavidWellsAteNelson

  • 536 posts

Posted 29 December 2006 - 09:12 AM

The more I think about it, the more I realize that GK was a great pick up for Wells,  seems like he has a good amount of potential. Hopefully the new coaching at Portland continues his development to a Major Leaguer, I just cant tell if we want him to be 'tek's sucessor.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Kottaras will be in Pawtucket next year, no? I think he's proven everything he has to prove in AA.

edit: sp

Edited by DavidWellsAteNelson, 29 December 2006 - 01:53 PM.


#22 fighting missionary

  • 17 posts

Posted 04 January 2007 - 12:22 AM

Kottaras was mentioned in Jim Callis's/Baseball America's best-of-the-rest-prospects article, "Prospect Leftovers," which highlighted one minor leaguer at each position who did not make his organization's top-ten prospects list. (I think we are to assume the player is the best prospect in all of the minors at his position who didn't make their organization's top-10 list.)

George Kottaras, c, Red Sox. Boston's collapse in August led them to deal a veteran (David Wells) for a prospect (Kottaras), a reverse of its usual modus operandi. A 2004 Greek Olympian and a 2006 Futures Gamer, Kottaras is one of the more advanced hitters among minor league catchers. He has solid power and draws tons of walks. He's still smoothing out his defensive game, but the Red Sox have found Jason Varitek's heir apparent.



Link (premium content)

(Brandon Moss was the highlighted right-fielder, and it was also mentioned that Michael Bowden, a member of last year's All-Leftovers team, will likely appear somewhere on BA's top 100 prospects list this spring, which we already suspected/knew.)

#23 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,311 posts

Posted 30 January 2007 - 11:23 AM

Chris Constancio has an evaluation of catching prospects over at HT today that Kottaras makes as the 15th best under 25 catcher out of 15 ranked. Here's the writeup.

George Kottaras
23 years old | Boston Red Sox
Kottaras is small, probably won't hit more than 15 home runs a year, and swings and misses too often to be more than a .270 hitter in the big leagues. The good news is that he is a left-handed hitter with exceptional patience at the plate. Kottaras has worked hard to quiet concerns about his durability.

Hardball Times

Edit: Formatting issues

Edited by JakeRae, 30 January 2007 - 11:24 AM.


#24 Razor Shines

  • 3,486 posts

Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:24 PM

Baseball Prospectus came out with their catching prospect rankings, basen on their PECOTA "upside" score. (subscriber material) Kottaras ranks 10th.

They classify him as a "good prospect", which they define as: Reasonable chance of a meaningful major league career, but only an outside chance at stardom.

#25 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,311 posts

Posted 02 February 2007 - 04:37 PM

Baseball Prospectus came out with their catching prospect rankings, basen on their PECOTA "upside" score. (subscriber material) Kottaras ranks 10th.

They classify him as a "good prospect", which they define as: Reasonable chance of a meaningful major league career, but only an outside chance at stardom.

It seems that BP and Hardballtimes are in very close agreement on the potential of Kottaras. I think the plan has to be for him to spend the year in AAA (barring a Tek injury) and then join the major league roster as Tek's backup in 08. If he performs well in that role, he would be the starter in 09, if not, they'll have to bring in a FA catcher or hope Tek has something left in the tank.

Kottaras isn't going to be anything special, but he could be cheap and average which isn't a bad combination for a catcher.

#26 SouthernBoSox


  • SoSH Member


  • 8,527 posts

Posted 03 February 2007 - 06:19 PM

It seems that BP and Hardballtimes are in very close agreement on the potential of Kottaras. I think the plan has to be for him to spend the year in AAA (barring a Tek injury) and then join the major league roster as Tek's backup in 08. If he performs well in that role, he would be the starter in 09, if not, they'll have to bring in a FA catcher or hope Tek has something left in the tank.

Kottaras isn't going to be anything special, but he could be cheap and average which isn't a bad combination for a catcher.


He has the potential to be much better than average.

#27 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,311 posts

Posted 03 February 2007 - 07:21 PM

He has the potential to be much better than average.

True, he also has the potential to be much worse than average. The likely place that he ends up is average to a little above average. He still has defensive question marks, durability question marks, and a bat that doesn't look to have a whole lot of power in it. He could still develop into a Jorge Posada type of catcher but he is pretty unlikely to be that good. He's most likely to be sort of a Posada-light.

#28 templeUsox


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,420 posts

Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:19 PM

He's most likely to be sort of a Posada-light.

So then you agree he'll be well above average. Cool.

#29 OCD SS


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,852 posts

Posted 03 February 2007 - 10:48 PM

The problem with catchers is that their bats tend to develop so late that they don't scout as well as players at other positions. Here are some familiar Catchers, with their career minor league batting lines and career OPS in MLB. Established age indicates the year they played 100 games, with their OPS in parentheses. Peak is their best year by OPS, with that also indicated. A * means that in their peak year they did not play 100 or more games. For Johjima and Bard their EA and Peak were the same. Johjima's stats are for NBL instead of the minors.

ML Catchers
MiOBP MiSLG MiOPS MLOPS Establishing Age/Peak
Posada .368 .436 .804 .847 27 (.825)/ 29 (.944)
Varitek .342 .400 .742 .798 27 (.812)/ 31 (.872)
Pierzynski .324 .416 .740 .765 24 (.763)/ 25 (.824)
Hernandez .367 .433 .800 .756 24 (.698)/ 30 (.822)
Kendall .377 .398 .775 .781 22 (.773)/ 25 (.939)*
Zaun .343 .371 .714 .730 27 (.556)/ 30 (.913)*
Bard .343 .405 .748 .750 28 (.926)/ ---
Johjima .352 .513 .865 .783 30 (.783)/ ---


Here are the other catchers in Kottaras' age group (age indicates their playing age next season).

Mi Catchers
MiOBP MiSLG MiOPS age
Iannetta .410 .517 .927 24
Montero .360 .468 .828 25
Thigpen .374 .433 .807 24
Jaso .369 .448 .817 23
Kottaras .383 .450 .833 24
Suzuki .386 .430 .816 23
Mathis .344 .452 .796 24
Clement .350 .418 .768 24


Iannetta is really the only one who stands out with the bat. After that there's no real reason to not like Kottaras offensively. As a LHH with excellent plate discipline I don't see much not to like given the lines of other ML and Mi catchers. The only way he won't stick is if he simply can't handle the position defensively. His arm strength has been rated as good, so it's really just a matter of getting his mechanics ironed out, IMO.

Edited by OCD SS, 04 February 2007 - 09:17 AM.


#30 JakeRae


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,311 posts

Posted 04 February 2007 - 06:18 PM

The problem with catchers is that their bats tend to develop so late that they don't scout as well as players at other positions. Here are some familiar Catchers, with their career minor league batting lines and career OPS in MLB. Established age indicates the year they played 100 games, with their OPS in parentheses. Peak is their best year by OPS, with that also indicated. A * means that in their peak year they did not play 100 or more games. For Johjima and Bard their EA and Peak were the same. Johjima's stats are for NBL instead of the minors.

ML Catchers
MiOBP MiSLG MiOPS MLOPS Establishing Age/Peak
Posada .368 .436 .804 .847 27 (.825)/ 29 (.944)
Varitek .342 .400 .742 .798 27 (.812)/ 31 (.872)
Pierzynski .324 .416 .740 .765 24 (.763)/ 25 (.824)
Hernandez .367 .433 .800 .756 24 (.698)/ 30 (.822)
Kendall .377 .398 .775 .781 22 (.773)/ 25 (.939)*
Zaun .343 .371 .714 .730 27 (.556)/ 30 (.913)*
Bard .343 .405 .748 .750 28 (.926)/ ---
Johjima .352 .513 .865 .783 30 (.783)/ ---


Here are the other catchers in Kottaras' age group (age indicates their playing age next season).

Mi Catchers
MiOBP MiSLG MiOPS age
Iannetta .410 .517 .927 24
Montero .360 .468 .828 25
Thigpen .374 .433 .807 24
Jaso .369 .448 .817 23
Kottaras .383 .450 .833 24
Suzuki .386 .430 .816 23
Mathis .344 .452 .796 24
Clement .350 .418 .768 24


Iannetta is really the only one who stands out with the bat. After that there's no real reason to not like Kottaras offensively. As a LHH with excellent plate discipline I don't see much not to like given the lines of other ML and Mi catchers. The only way he won't stick is if he simply can't handle the position defensively. His arm strength has been rated as good, so it's really just a matter of getting his mechanics ironed out, IMO.


Interesting numbers. The one problem I would note is that just using best single season OPS isn't all that informative. It makes unlike players look similar. For example, we have no idea if Bard is going to continue to be an offensive force at catcher where we know guys like Varitek and Posada did it for a long time. Also, in the case of Kottaras, we don't care about his peak so much as his first 6 years of ML service time. If his peak comes after that, it isn't any good to us.

At the same time, I agree that the biggest thing holding him back in his defense. BP has him at about -10 runs a year pretty steadily throughout his career. I haven't looked at other metrics and scouts seem divided on his defense, so I have no idea how big a concern this really is. If he can handle catching, he should be an asset, but how great still remains to be seen. Also, from scouting takes I've seen, his bat is less projectable than a lot of the guys you listed who have established themselves in the majors which means we should expect less development offensively from him as he ages. On the bright side, he doesn't need to develop his bat much more to contribute positively on the offensive side as a catcher.

#31 OCD SS


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,852 posts

Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:06 AM

Interesting numbers. The one problem I would note is that just using best single season OPS isn't all that informative. It makes unlike players look similar. For example, we have no idea if Bard is going to continue to be an offensive force at catcher where we know guys like Varitek and Posada did it for a long time.


Well, the numbers are there to give an idea of how a catcher's ML numbers relate to their peak; if you need to parse the numbers down that far, you can always go and look at their career ML and ml stats. It just would've made the table too big. In the case of Bard, you should get a sense of that from the fact that he only has the one good year.

Also, in the case of Kottaras, we don't care about his peak so much as his first 6 years of ML service time. If his peak comes after that, it isn't any good to us.


Look at the table, and count the number of years from their "established age" to their "peak" season. Only Hernandez took the full six years of service time. That's kind of the point; since catcher develop latter, they're generally hitting their peak within their time of arb control.

#32 SoxFanPJ


  • call me Chester


  • 3,857 posts

Posted 04 March 2007 - 02:53 AM

- In terms of the catching situation, George Kottaras will start in Triple A, although (Blue Jay's Manager John) Gibbons was raving about his performance in Dunedin yesterday. The manager, and former catcher, really liked the way he received the ball.


http://www.bradfordonbaseball.com/

Thats encouraging based on the fact that there was talk that some scouts don't like Kottaras' defense.

#33 Boggs26

  • 373 posts

Posted 04 March 2007 - 10:32 AM

On the chart, its interesting to note that with the exception of Hernandez and Jojima (who's Mi number's really aren't Mi), all of these catchers have had higher OPS in the majors than they did in the minors. I would think that this definitely supports the arguement that catchers develop later and in many cases don't complete their development until after they have reached the majors. It would be interesting to look at similar charts for other positions to see what the norm age of establishment is as well as the difference between Mi and ML OPS. I assume this info is available on Baseballcube, so perhaps I'll try to seek it out if I have some time.



On another note, I'm very grateful that some of the forums have been opened to us lurkers. I've been hanging around for a few years here but only had a couple of items posed (thanks to a few members). So thanks to the dopes for giving this opportunity.

#34 ToxicSmed


  • Tasty Burger Marinater


  • 3,404 posts

Posted 06 March 2007 - 11:20 AM

A guy I work with pitched to Kottaras when they were young and against him in Junior College in Oklahoma. He is really surprised to learn that Kottaras' has a better reputation as a hitter than as a defensive catcher. According to my friend, Kottaras' defense was what really stood out. Much more so than his hitting.

#35 diehard24

  • 535 posts

Posted 06 March 2007 - 02:25 PM

A guy I work with pitched to Kottaras when they were young and against him in Junior College in Oklahoma. He is really surprised to learn that Kottaras' has a better reputation as a hitter than as a defensive catcher. According to my friend, Kottaras' defense was what really stood out. Much more so than his hitting.

I think scouts are mostly sold on his athleticism in general. It's his ability the throw runners out that's been his biggest bugaboo.
More troubling was something BA's Chris Kline brought up last year, that pitchers are uncomfortable throwing to him. Hopefully, that was isolated or blown out of proportion.

#36 Mike in CT



  • 2,125 posts

Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:20 PM

More from Bradford...

So I caught up on a few things, engaged in some bleary-eyed small talk, and learned some more about these Red Sox along the way. The first guy I ran into was catcher George Kottaras, the softball player-turned-prospect. As mentioned before, I think new bullpen coach Gary Tuck has already had a huge influence on the catchers. In regards to his work with Kottaras, one of the chief aspects of his game that Tuck has improved his receiving the ball. Primary to this spring training Kottaras' glove would have a tendency to go and meet the ball. Tuck has taught him to let the ball get deeper, with Kottaras' glove giving way more to the pitch. The youngster, who is slated to start in Triple A, has already seen a difference. As mentioned before, Toronto manager John Gibbons went out of his way the other day to say how impressive Kottaras' receiving skills were in Dunedin.

http://bradfordonbas...cold-miser.html

#37 diehard24

  • 535 posts

Posted 06 March 2007 - 05:27 PM

More from Bradford...

So I caught up on a few things, engaged in some bleary-eyed small talk, and learned some more about these Red Sox along the way. The first guy I ran into was catcher George Kottaras, the softball player-turned-prospect. As mentioned before, I think new bullpen coach Gary Tuck has already had a huge influence on the catchers. In regards to his work with Kottaras, one of the chief aspects of his game that Tuck has improved his receiving the ball. Primary to this spring training Kottaras' glove would have a tendency to go and meet the ball. Tuck has taught him to let the ball get deeper, with Kottaras' glove giving way more to the pitch. The youngster, who is slated to start in Triple A, has already seen a difference. As mentioned before, Toronto manager John Gibbons went out of his way the other day to say how impressive Kottaras' receiving skills were in Dunedin.

http://bradfordonbas...cold-miser.html

Very encouraging news, all the way around!

#38 Harry Hooper


  • SoSH Member


  • 14,803 posts

Posted 08 March 2007 - 12:56 AM

I saw GK work behind the plate in the B game vs. the Twins Monday. He did a nice job handling several pitches in the dirt.

#39 Mike in CT



  • 2,125 posts

Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:09 PM

Today vs. Toronto...

Top 5TH B:0 S:1 O:3
With Jason Smith batting, John McDonald caught stealing 2nd base, catcher George Kottaras to shortstop Alex Cora.



#40 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 31 March 2007 - 08:48 PM

We spoke to scouts and executives from other teams and members of the Red Sox organization to provide thumbnail sketches of the top half-dozen prospects.

C GEORGE KOTTARAS: Obtained in trade for David Wells last August. . . . Lacks typical catcher build, but is more athletic than most at the position. . . . Solid, compact swing. . . . Still somewhat raw defensively. . . . Benefited greatly from instruction by catching instructor Gary Tuck this spring. . . . Has shown patience at the plate and will get on base. . . . Presence of veterans Jason Varitek (signed through 2008) and Doug Mirabelli provide him time to continue developing. . . . Likely to more of an “offensive” catcher, but has time to improve his catch-and-throw skills. . . . Estimated Fenway arrival: sometime 2008.

Source: Projo

#41 Crazy Puppy

  • 1,780 posts

Posted 08 April 2007 - 11:43 AM

The Sox are raving about the leaps and bounds catcher George Kottaras has made defensively. Kottaras, who is playing for Pawtucket, spent a lot of spring training working with bullpen coach Gary Tuck, considered one of the top catching teachers in baseball. Given his nice swing, Kottaras might soon be only a phone call away from Boston.

Boston Globe

#42 Sam Ray Not

  • 1,029 posts

Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:03 PM

Kottaras now at .412/.429/.840 (in 33 PA) -- so far so good. Meanwhile, Tek and Belli both flirt with the Mendoza line. The last two posts have estimated his ETA in Boston "sometime 2008" and "a phone call away." What's the latest?

Edited by Sam Ray Not, 16 April 2007 - 09:04 PM.


#43 tikigods

  • 244 posts

Posted 17 April 2007 - 09:49 AM

He needs to start catching Charlie Zink in preparation to handle Wakefield sometime in September. I would imagine he'll get his cup of coffee.

#44 Dummy Hoy


  • Angry Pissbum


  • 2,966 posts

Posted 25 April 2007 - 09:32 PM

My daily BA prospect report has I need to learn how to spell Kottaras listed as 1-17 on runners stealing. ugh. He's also batting a robust .238/.347/.429.

Not to poop in the punch bowl...it's early; but things need to improve offensively.

#45 Guest_Corsi Combover_*

Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:34 PM

My daily BA prospect report has I need to learn how to spell Kottaras listed as 1-17 on runners stealing. ugh. He's also batting a robust .238/.347/.429.

Not to poop in the punch bowl...it's early; but things need to improve offensively.


That's a .776 OPS. It's not that bad and judging by the low BA, I'd imagine it's only going to go up.

#46 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 27 April 2007 - 05:00 PM

Well, he got off to a pretty hot start, but his last couple of weeks have been a struggle. He's 3-for-18 since April 13, and has drawn 1 walk in the last 8 games. On the bright side, Tuesday's HR in Rochester was his first of the season.

As for his defensive SB/CS numbers, I take those with a grain of salt. Pitchers are still getting loose, and at that level some are using the trial-by-fire method of developing/testing certain pitches, so we have no idea how good their control is and whether wildness is a factor in handling them.

#47 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,409 posts

Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:59 PM

The struggles continue...

From Cafardo's column a week ago:

You want to give the guy the benefit of the doubt because he works hard and has the potential to be a good hitter, but right now George Kottaras (.197 through Thursday) looks far from being Boston's catcher of the future. One former catcher who watched him the other night in Pawtucket said he had "serious mechanical flaws." Kottaras worked with Sox bullpen coach Gary Tuck in spring training but may need a remedial course. Through Thursday, Kottaras was 1 for 29 throwing out runners. He also had four passed balls and two errors. In Jon Lester's start Wednesday night, Kottaras had four bases stolen against him and never threw the ball.

Over the last 9 games he's 4-for-31 (.129) with 9 K's and 4 walks. On the season, he's 8-for-52 (.154) with 8 walks (.267 OBP) vs RHP. Against lefties, he's 7-for-24 (.292) with 6 walks for a .433 OBP.

Edited by mabrowndog, 12 May 2007 - 09:00 PM.


#48 SouthPaw21

  • 1,220 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 12:40 PM

Kottaras has only played in two games over the past two weeks. Is something wrong with him injury wise or has he just been benched due to lack of results?

#49 jsinger121


  • @jsinger121


  • 10,423 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:05 PM

Kottaras has only played in two games over the past two weeks. Is something wrong with him injury wise or has he just been benched due to lack of results?


He has been banged up a bit.

#50 sittingstill

  • 1,322 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:09 PM

May 14 ProJo

Pawtucket catcher George Kottaras, who missed four games after being hit on the arm by a foul ball in Buffalo, returned to action on Friday night. But that was short-lived. He was hit in the head with a baseball while catching in that game and is now out of action again.

Johnson said that the injury isn’t that serious, but Kevin Cash will shoulder the catching responsibility while Kottaras recovers. Cash has hit safely in six of his last 10 games, but was 0-for-4 yesterday.

"He's been kind of foggy," Johnson said of Kottaras. "The doctor checked him out and he said, 'You better let him chill a little bit.' I don't think it's a concussion. But we are very fortunate. Like we always do, we get these veteran catchers and Cash is really good."