FanPost

Buy-low target: Nick Hundley?

First and foremost, I think the catching situation is going to stay the same next year; that is, Thole and Shoppach. Shoppach, as we all should know by now, is a good platoon player if you match him up against LHP and keep him away from RHP as often as possible. If Thole can be just average (or close to it) against righties, the catching really won't be that bad next year. At the same time, neither are anything close to long-term solutions behind the dish.

This where Nick Hundley comes in. Of course, he's having an absolutely awful season. He's hitting just .159/.219/.245. He was demoted and spent more than a month in the minors. After returning in early August, he quickly found the DL with a minor knee injury. In the meantime, the Padres found their new catcher of the future in Yasmani Grandal. In short, it's been a really tough year for Hundley. But this tough year could turn out to be a good buy-low for someone looking for catching help. He's had 225 PA in 2012; consider the numbers prior to 2012:

2011: 308 PA, .824 OPS, 132 wRC+

2009-2011: 904 PA, .758 OPS, 109 wRC+

That 109 wRC+ from 2009-2011 ranked 9th among catchers (min. 900 PA), right behind Miguel Montero. Obviously I wouldn't put him in Montero's class based on what we've seen in 2012 and the fact he's had less PA than other catchers on that leaderboard. However, it shows you that prior to this season, he was at least in the discussion for being a top 10 catcher if given more playing time.

Contract-wise, he's signed through 2014 for $7M (total) plus a $5M team option for 2015. Considering his best case scenario in San Diego is as Grandal's backup, I'm sure that salary is too rich for a backup to San Diego, making him a player they will look to move. Of course there is risk in acquiring him; you can't pass up how awful he's been this year and for a team with a very muddled payroll situation, you don't want to be on the hook for $7M of dead weight. However, we've seen how useful Hundley could be based on his numbers prior to 2012, and if he bounces back, that contract suddenly becomes an asset again. I think he's worth targeting this winter.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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