If Adley Rutschman is the future of the catching position for the Orioles - and he most certainly is - the present in 2020 will probably look a lot like it did in 2019.
Pedro Severino, Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns remain as the three O’s catchers currently on the 40-man roster. The club seems set with that trio for next season as they also get set to watch Rutschman progress through his first full season on the O’s farm.
Both Severino and Sisco got off to hot hitting starts with the club last year, only to fall off at the end.
Severino made his first opening day roster with the 2019 Birds. He was a late add by the team via waivers from Washington on March 23. In 96 games and 341 plate appearances, he hit .249/.321/.420 with a .740 OPS. That was much better than his .187 average and .560 OPS with the Nats part-time from 2015-2018.
Through June, Severino was batting .277/.346/.491 with an OPS of .837. From July 1 through the end of the year though, he batted .219/.292/.342 with a .634 OPS. He ended the year on an 0-for-16 run.
Severino, 26, did become the first O’s catcher with a three-homer game - he did that on June 4 at Texas. For the year, he threw out 10-of-52 trying to steal, for 19.2 percent.
Sisco was hitting .292/.388/.530 at Triple-A Norfolk when he was called up June 3. In 59 games and 198 plate appearances, Sisco hit .210/.333/.395 with an OPS of .729.
But in his first 27 games last year after his call-up, he batted .263/.363/.523 with an OPS of .885. In Sisco’s last 32 games, he hit only .152/.302/.253 with a .555 OPS. That was quite a fall-off at the plate, just when it looked like he was settling in at the big league level.
Sisco, 24, threw out 3-of-31 trying to steal, for just 9.7 percent. For years he was ranked as one of the O’s top prospects and his minor league numbers on offense are mostly stellar. But he’s going to have to rebound from last year’s struggles to stay a part of the O’s future at this position.
Austin Wynns hit .214/.247/.271 in 28 games. Wynns, 28, threw out 3-of-14, for 21 percent.
The Orioles catcher ERAs for 2019:
4.90 - Wynns in 182 innings
5.43 - Severino in 720 innings
5.94 - Jesús Sucre in 147 innings
6.09 - Sisco in 394 innings
Combined on the year, Orioles catchers hit .227/.307/.380, and their OPS of .687 ranked ninth in the American League.
The player of the future at the catching position is not likely to arrive during next season. So it’s likely that Severino, Sisco and Wynns will each get another chance to show they can play their way into a primary role in the present.