July 25, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco (39) hits a double against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Has Devin Mesoraco Found His Stroke?


Reds backstop Devin Mesoraco has already deposited two pitches on the money side of the outfield wall this spring in just nine plate appearances, tying his homerun total from 2011 Spring Training in 33 AB. Devin got 40 AB in Spring Training 2012 and didn’t hit any long balls. So far in Cactus League play this season he is 3 for 9 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. Of course it’s still very early but it’s nice to see the kid from Punxsutawney get a couple of power shots while still hitting for average.

Devin had a disappointing season last year hitting a measley .212 while appearing in 53 games with 165 AB. His slash line for the season was .212/.288/.352 and those numbers got him sent to Louisville following a two game suspension last August after he got a little too close for comfort with a homeplate umpire Chad Fairchild. Mesoraco did not make the postseason roster when the club decided to go with veteran catcher Dioner Navarro to back up starting catcher Ryan Hanigan.

The Reds need production from Mesoraco in a big way this year. Dioner Navarro has since taken his show on the road signing a one year deal with the Cubs so the club is lacking depth behind the plate. The Redlegs have signed both Miguel Olivo from Seattle and Corky Miller to minor league deals along with Spring Training invitations but have made it clear that they expect Devin to be the catcher of the future.

Reds video scouting manager, Rob Coughlin, sent Mesoraco back home after last season with a lot of film of himself at the plate, behind the plate as well as film from a few other hitters Devin wanted to study. He also showed up to Goodyear 15 pounds lighter in an effort to become quicker and more flexible behind the plate since only 17 percent of runners were caught stealing on his watch.

Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan was outstanding defensively last year and was the epitome of clutch hitting as well. If Mesoraco can realize his potential this season, the pair should be quite a formidable tandem.

 

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