Aaron and I made a bet on the progress of catching prospects in 2003. He took Joe Mauer and Jeff Mathis. I took Dioner Navarro and Guillermo Quiroz. We bet on which two would have the most runs created during 2005-2008. 2004 was not kind to me; 2005 has been a little better, but still...
Mauer started the season in Minnesota like a house of fire despite his knee injury, but has settled into exactly the kind of season that I think both Aaron and I expected- .297/.372/.433 with 65 runs created. He is only 22, and if he remains healthy, he can only improve.
Mathis has been with the Salt Lake Stingers in the PCL this season, and put up a respectable .284/.343/.493 line. He has been seen as the Angels' catcher of the future, and he probably still is. Benjie Molina has put up a fine season in the final year of his contract, but the odds are pretty good that Mathis will have a job in 2006.
Woo hoo! I'm on the board. Navarro was called up by the Dodgers recently, and has put up an unsurprising .241/.359/.296 line with 6 runs created. There is certainly opportunity for a catcher in Los Angeles, but whether Navarro will be able to hit enough to hold a regular job is still an open question. He is young enough to add power, but with my luck, it will be in 2010.
Quiroz went under the knife again for his collapsed lung in late spring. He returned to a rehab assignment in Dunedin, and was promoted to Syracuse where he has hit .217/.286/.497. His defence was very rusty at first, but there have been signs in recent days that he is regaining his form. Gregg Zaun is under contract for 2006 (his option vested because he played more than 70 games in 2005), and it is reasonably possible that Quiroz will be the right-handed part of a platoon in 2006.
So, there we go- Gleeman 65, Green 6. It's not settled yet, but the 2010 in-the-action seat to watch Johan Santana face Alex Rios, Aaron Hill and the rest of the Jays is looking pretty likely to be Aaron's.