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Taylor Ward at camp as a catcher


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Maybe they are just getting him reps to be the emergency third catcher?  We have one catcher coming off injury, and another that's just old.  Also, the more positions he can fill in at, the more valua

Could be. Or maybe since we only have Suzuki on a 1-year deal Taylor Ward spends a majority of the 2021 season in AAA exclusively as a catcher? 

Taylor Ward is a 27 year old utility player.  He's not going to be what some of you want him to be.

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Maybe he’ll be an OF and a backup C? 
 

Minasian and Madison clearly have nothing to lose here, Eppler moved him off the Catcher spot and his offense went through the roof.

if he can hit and also catch, it’s a huge asset for us. 

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5 minutes ago, UndertheHalo said:

I thought they decided he wasn't great at being a catcher ? This seems like it’s not a good development process.  I’d even go out and limb and say that it’s a bad process. 
 

what the hell are these idiots doing ?

Beggars can't be choosers

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6 minutes ago, UndertheHalo said:

I thought they decided he wasn't great at being a catcher ? This seems like it’s not a good development process.  I’d even go out and limb and say that it’s a bad process. 
 

what the hell are these idiots doing ?

Different GM now.  Perhaps they feel differently about Ward’s ability to catch than Eppler did.  His offense for a corner OF isn’t great, but if he can hit like that and be a decent catcher, certainly he has more value as a backup C/IF/OF.

Sounds like we are trying to increase overall defensive versatility, which is a good thing.

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4 minutes ago, Chuckster70 said:

Could be. Or maybe since we only have Suzuki on a 1-year deal Taylor Ward spends a majority of the 2021 season in AAA exclusively as a catcher? 

Certainly I think it's a worthwhile experiment.  Ward's offense as a corner OF is probably average at best or a bit below average.  If he can re-learn to be a catcher and become a decent one, then that significantly increases his value, especially since we don't have much of a catching pipeline to speak of.

With Adell and Marsh on the horizon, and Adams a bit further beyond, we have a ton of OFers.  Organizationally, there is much more value in Ward attempting to be a catcher again.  The Braves (and Blue Jays) have been very good at developing catching talent, so hopefully, Minasian is bringing what he has learned from those organizations and helping provide that system for Ward to learn to be a better catcher.  People will point out that he failed as a catcher previously, but as we have seen with a number of organizations, the support system that that organization provides is huge.  Given Minasian's background in player development, I'm hopeful this can work out, at least enough so that Ward can be considered an option again behind the plate.

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2 minutes ago, Chuckster70 said:

Could be. Or maybe since we only have Suzuki on a 1-year deal Taylor Ward spends a majority of the 2021 season in AAA exclusively as a catcher? 

I mean I hope for the best but it seems like they already took a good look at him at catcher.  The guy is going to be what ? 27 ? It doesn’t make sense to me.  But I’ll be the first one to say.  What do I know ?

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It's easy to make fun of this....and i enjoy a good laugh.  But honestly, there is a value (to the player and team) for a guy who can be a jack of all trades bench player all around the field.  Ward will never be an everyday premium player starting 150+ games a year at one spot.  He's just not good enough -- especially defensively at one spot.  But being a bench guy who can play the OF, 3B, 1B and C if necessary is valuable.  If he can work on 2B even better.  Things happen over the course of a long season and you need a plug guy here & there to get thru the season.  Bench guy who plays OF and 1B are a dime a dozen.  But add in a difficult spot like C or SS and now you got a keeper for the end of the bench roster.

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Just now, Warfarin said:

Certainly I think it's a worthwhile experiment.  Ward's offense as a corner OF is probably average at best or a bit below average.  If he can re-learn to be a catcher and become a decent one, then that significantly increases his value, especially since we don't have much of a catching pipeline to speak of.

With Adell and Marsh on the horizon, and Adams a bit further beyond, we have a ton of OFers.  Organizationally, there is much more value in Ward attempting to be a catcher again.  The Braves (and Blue Jays) have been very good at developing catching talent, so hopefully, Minasian is bringing what he has learned from those organizations and helping provide that system for Ward to learn to be a better catcher.

I get what your saying.  It just seems to me that this is not a normal thing.  Anyway.  I’m not the developing baseball players man.  I don’t know anything.  

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1 minute ago, Fourts said:

It's easy to make fun of this....and i enjoy a good laugh.  But honestly, there is a value (to the player and team) for a guy who can be a jack of all trades bench player all around the field.  Ward will never be an everyday premium player starting 150+ games a year at one spot.  He's just not good enough -- especially defensively at one spot.  But being a bench guy who can play the OF, 3B, 1B and C if necessary is valuable.  If he can work on 2B even better.  Things happen over the course of a long season and you need a plug guy here & there to get thru the season.  Bench guy who plays OF and 1B are a dime a dozen.  But add in a difficult spot like C or SS and now you got a keeper for the end of the bench roster.

Exactly.  People will point out that Ward's offense took off once he moved off of catcher.  But now that he has learned how to hit, who's to say he will suddenly forget how to do it while re-learning the catcher position?

I like the attempt.  We'll see if it works out, but I have quite a bit more faith in Minasian's system and structure than in Eppler's, at least when it comes to player development.

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2 minutes ago, UndertheHalo said:

I get what your saying.  It just seems to me that this is not a normal thing.  Anyway.  I’m not the developing baseball players man.  I don’t know anything.  

I don't necessarily think it's normal, but I can see how a different GM and FO could have a different viewpoint than the previous regime.  Ward, with his offense, was never going to be anything more than a serviceable-at-best OFer.  He may still end up in that role as a bench player, but I do like the idea of attempting to get him to learn to play a premium position again.  With Fowler, Lagaras, Schebler, etc .. we do have enough "options" in OF to hold the fort down until our prized prospects are ready.  Seems like this is an ideal opportunity for Ward to go to AAA and learn to catch again.

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1 minute ago, Fourts said:

It's easy to make fun of this....and i enjoy a good laugh.  But honestly, there is a value (to the player and team) for a guy who can be a jack of all trades bench player all around the field.  Ward will never be an everyday premium player starting 150+ games a year at one spot.  He's just not good enough -- especially defensively at one spot.  But being a bench guy who can play the OF, 3B, 1B and C if necessary is valuable.  If he can work on 2B even better.  Things happen over the course of a long season and you need a plug guy here & there to get thru the season.  Bench guy who plays OF and 1B are a dime a dozen.  But add in a difficult spot like C or SS and now you got a keeper for the end of the bench roster.

And that's why he's starting spring at C, because he can plug and play at OF/IF but will need to put a lot of work in to be a decent emergency C. 

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Ward was moved away from catcher, not because of physical ability, but because of a lack of ability to guide a pitching staff. And because Eppler thought that removing the burden of catching from plate would help Taylor develop better as a hitter. 

It turns out Billy was right on both accounts. 

Now that he won't be expected to guide a staff, but fill multiple roles, Taylor Ward moving back to catcher is exactly the right move to make. It makes him extremely valuable to this team. Backup catcher, 1B, 3B and corner OF.  In the event of injury, it offers Minasian options on who to promote. 

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It's not like a new position, he played it for years. Maybe if he does not make team he goes to Salt Lake or AA to be catcher. Could he be catcher of future? He becomes more valuable as trade chip or player for halos. This not a big deal and maybe will benefit Taylor to stay in majors. Spring training perfect spot for to try this.

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7 minutes ago, Angels 1961 said:

It's not like a new position, he played it for years. Maybe if he does not make team he goes to Salt Lake or AA to be catcher. Could he be catcher of future? He becomes more valuable as trade chip or player for halos. This not a big deal and maybe will benefit Taylor to stay in majors. Spring training perfect spot for to try this.

Right.  One of our greatest organizational weaknesses, asides from starting pitching, is catching.  If he can even become a decent catching option, such that he can become a solid backup catcher, that holds considerable value.

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24 minutes ago, UndertheHalo said:

I mean I hope for the best but it seems like they already took a good look at him at catcher.  The guy is going to be what ? 27 ? It doesn’t make sense to me.  But I’ll be the first one to say.  What do I know ?

I would have been open to any options that extended a professional baseball career.  Even if it meant wearing the tools of ignorance......which I reluctantly did in emergencies.  I never understood how the ball always seemed to find the unprotected areas.

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