2024 Tampa Bay Rays Preview: Catchers

With spring training right around the corner, here is a preview of the Tampa Bay Rays' catchers heading into the 2024 season.
Colorado Rockies v Tampa Bay Rays
Colorado Rockies v Tampa Bay Rays / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Rays are set to begin Spring Training very soon. In fact, on February 14th, the catchers will meet for their first workouts of the season. So, let's take a dive into how the catcher room is looking in St. Petersburg ahead of 2024.

This offseason, Tampa Bay lost their main starting catcher from 2023, Christian Bethancourt, who is now on the Miami Marlins 40-man roster. Despite the lower .225 average at the plate, he was very sound defensively, with the second quickest pop time to second base to throw out runners (1.87 sec.). He was only behind Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto in 2023, a future potential Hall of Famer.

However, the Rays held onto Rene Pinto, who also had a pop time similar to his 2023 cohort. He clocked in at 1.87 seconds. One thing Pinto can improve upon defensively is his blocking ability, which ranks in the low 13th percentile of all MLB players.

When it comes to batting, Pinto got 103 at-bats and put up a decent .252 average. His OBP (slightly above .260) could use some work, but it was good to also see the 27-year-old catcher start to swing for power, notching six home runs in 2023.

Another catcher to maybe keep an eye on throughout the 2024 season is Alex Jackson. The Rays received him in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers that sent a right-handed pitcher back their way. Jackson has not had a lot of playing time at the major league level. He played just five games for the Brewers last season, and has just 66 games under his belt in four years total. However, he seems to be the man behind Pinto for catcher depth in Tampa Bay. 

It will be interesting to watch how Pinto proves himself this season to the major league baseball world. He seems to be the main man with the mask behind the plate for the Rays this season.