Yankees have seemingly decided on their starting catcher

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees entered the 2024 season with an unresolved competition for the catcher’s position. Austin Wells showed signs of improvement toward the end of the 2023 season, with his numbers beginning to trend positively during spring training. Despite this, he has struggled offensively in the early weeks of the 2024 regular season, managing only a .097 batting average and a .250 on-base percentage.

Meanwhile, veteran Jose Trevino has excelled both offensively and defensively. Over 11 games, he has posted a .242 batting average, a .342 on-base percentage, and a .333 slugging percentage, including one home run, six RBIs, a 15.8% strikeout rate, and a 13.2% walk rate, achieving a 106 wRC+.

Just when it seemed Trevino might lose the starting role, he made a strong start to the season following a calf injury that sidelined him for most of spring training.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
Mar 10, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino (39) is congratulated after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees Are Getting Fantastic Defense From Trevino

Interestingly, Trevino has maintained a 55.7% strike rate, the highest in the league by 2.2%. He is also tied for second in catcher framing, further showcasing his elite defensive skills.

Moreover, Trevino has been effective with runners in scoring position, hitting .364/.462/.364 and contributing four hits and five RBIs in just 11 at-bats.

This performance was unexpected from Trevino, who had never surpassed a 100 wRC+ in his career before. His best season was in 2022 with the Yankees, when he batted .248 with a .283 on-base percentage, including 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. Impressively, he is achieving a double-digit walk rate for the first time in his career and appears to be coming into his own.

jose trevino, yankees
Aug 20, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino (39) hits a double against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

Fortunately for the Yankees, Trevino is under contract until 2026, allowing them to secure excellent results from the catcher position without significant expenditure. However, this shouldn’t overshadow Wells’ progress in defense; he just needs to improve his batting and begin contributing more consistently.

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