MLB Spring Training: The mid-spring All-Star roster

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 07: Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians follows through on a swing against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 07, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 07: Franmil Reyes #32 of the Cleveland Indians follows through on a swing against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Goodyear Ballpark on March 07, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Athletics catcher Austin Allen. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
Athletics catcher Austin Allen. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

MLB Spring Training: The mid-spring All-Star roster

Catcher

The Oakland Athletics are committed to a young star of the future, Sean Murphy, as their regular catcher. But an off-season pickup from San Diego is making the waves.

Austin Allen was obtained in the trade that sent Jurickson Profar to the Padres in December. Allen isn’t envisioned as more than a backup to Murphy – and that’s likely a valid assessment. But so far this spring at any rate, Allen has out-played Murphy…and all other major league catchers.

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He’s batting .379 with 11 hits in 29 at-bats, four of them for extra bases. Allen’s driven in 9 runs and he’s carrying a .379 spring batting average.

Because teams carry so many catchers into camp and rotate them so frequently, there are few legitimate backup options to him. Through the first two weeks, only seven other catchers have gotten the requisite 25 at-bats, of whom only Yadier Molina and Salvador Perez project to be regulars. Both are having mediocre springs.

The Yankees’ catching travails have been documented almost as much as their pitching and outfield problems. But those problems have opened the door to Kyle Higashioka to show what he can do.

Next. Tigers had no other option than Jimenez at closer. dark

Higashioka’s 25 spring at-bats have produced seven base hits and three home runs. His .640 slugging average fuels a .973 OPS.