Yankees’ veteran catcher is providing eye-opening offensive production

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, clay holmes, jose trevino
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2024 MLB season began, the Yankees were expected to rely heavily on veteran Jose Trevino and rookie Austin Wells as their primary catchers. Trevino has participated in 20 games thus far, while Wells has appeared in 24 games and is beginning to find his offensive rhythm after a challenging start.

Yankees’ Catching Duo: Trevino and Wells

Wells’s batting line stands at .200/.325/.323 with one homer. He has a 12.5% strikeout rate and a 16.3% walk rate, contributing to a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) of 93, which is just below league average.

Notably, over the past 15 days and 26 at-bats, Wells has improved significantly, hitting .308 with a .357 on-base percentage, showcasing the potential the Yankees hoped for.

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

Veteran and Rookie Balancing Act

Despite the competition, Trevino has been surprisingly productive, cementing his position as a primary starter. Now 31 years old and with one year of arbitration left in 2025, Trevino is hitting .282 with a .333 on-base percentage, two homers, and 11 RBIs. His 11.5% strikeout rate is among the best on the team, and his 105 wRC+ indicates that he is performing 5% better than the average MLB player offensively.

In addition to his contributions at the plate, Trevino continues to excel defensively, remaining one of the league’s top catchers. This season, he has achieved a 53.5% strike rate—the second-highest of his career—along with three catcher framing runs, underscoring another elite season behind the plate.

Currently, the Yankees employ a platoon strategy for Trevino and Wells, selecting the starting catcher based on the opposing matchup. While Trevino is set to catch for Gerrit Cole upon his return, he has also been effective with other starters. Despite the Yankees’ 7-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, where starter Nestor Cortes allowed four runs, the issue was attributed more to poorly located pitches than to catching.

As Wells continues to adjust to the major leagues, the plan is for him to eventually become the long-term starting catcher. However, as long as Trevino continues to produce both offensively and maintain his elite defensive skills, there is no pressing need to make a permanent switch. The Yankees’ catching situation appears solid, with both players providing valuable contributions in their respective roles.

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