Looking At Chris Iannetta’s Triple-A Success

The Rockies surprised many people when they demoted to Chris Iannetta to Triple-A after just 30 AB.  Granted, he had struggled badly, with just four hits, but it was still such a small sample size it was impossible to draw any definite conclusions.

In nine games at Triple-A, Iannetta has shown why he was considered a viable fantasy catcher by posting the following line:

36 At Bats
.306 Batting Average (11 Hits)
3 Home Runs
11 RBI
11 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.390 On Base Percentage
.639 Slugging Percentage
.308 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Strikeouts were a problem early in the season (36.7%), but not so much in the minor leagues (19.4%).  His success also isn’t due to luck, it’s simply that his early struggles were just a slump.

He has hits in seven of his nine games, including four multi-hit games.  He’s scored runs in six games.  He’s driven in eight runs in his last four games.

Miguel Olivo, who was handed the full-time job upon Iannetta’s demotion, is hitting just .228 with 5 HR, 13 RBI and 13 R in 79 AB.  Can we safely say that the Rockies made an impulse decision?  At this point, it also shouldn’t be considered a certainty that Iannetta doesn’t overtake Olivo and reclaim the majority of the AB.

We all know the power Iannetta possesses (16 HR in 289 AB in ’09) and if he can keep the strikeouts down, should also post a solid average. 

Only two catchers have more than five home runs.  Only two catchers have 20 or more RBI.  No catcher has scored more than 16 runs.  It’s a shallow position and with his upside, Iannetta instantly becomes a viable option once he returns.

Prior to the season I had him ranked 11th among catchers, meaning I thought he was a usable option in all formats.  The demotion hasn’t changed that.  This hot stretch at Triple-A all but assures that he’ll return to the Majors Leagues in the not too distant future.  When he does, he should immediately be snatched up off the waiver wire in shallower formats (if you’re in a two-catcher league, stash him now if someone gave up on him).

What are your thoughts on Iannetta?  Is he a viable option upon his return? 

To view the previous article, click here.

4 comments

  1. El Burro says:

    In my opinion, Ianetta has only needed a full time gig to showcase his bat – thought he could stem off Olivio this year, but he fell flat. Not surprised that he is raking in AAA, but I just dont think he has enough coaches confidence to get 450+ ABs the rest of the way in Colorado. Olivio seems to have the coaches corner and even though Ianetta is the future, I just dont see the transition happening this year. Maybe 2011…hence, not really monitoring this situation except in 16-20 team leagues.

    As a side and speaking of AAA bats —
    Im prospecting a bit for my last UTIL spot in my 14 team mixed, 30 man roster, H2H, non-keeper league. Currently rostering:

    Cameron Maybin
    Mike Stanton

    Would you stay put with either of those 2 or drop either and/or both in order to pick up any of these available FA (looking for largest contributing bat in 2010):

    1. Jeremy Hermida – Cameron on way back; cuts into time
    2. Seth Smith – Hawpe is healthy; cuts into time
    3. Hank Blalock – could be let go from Rays, interesting upside if he stays in AL and DH’s.
    4. Kila Ka’aihue – up, but Royals will not move Guillen, so he is limited.
    5. Chris Davis – interested to hear your perspective here as he seems to be getting it going again. Smoak seems to have inched ahead of him and might not ever let that position go. I certainly dont see him taking bats away from VLAD, who is crushing — so is this a lost cause?
    6. Brett Wallace — probably the most “upside” on this list cause hes got a nice bat and will work his way into the Jays line-up very shortly. Overbay is not the answer and Wallace is the future.
    7. Pedro Alvarez — much like Wallace, tons of upside, but has been K’ing a lot in AAA lately. Pirates will start falling on tough times, so Im expecting a call up in June.

    FYI — Carlos Santana, Buster Posey, Desmond Jennings are all owned already.

    Thanks for the opinions in advance..

  2. Will says:

    I agree with your take on Iannetta Burro. He still seems lost in the big leagues to me. I need to see something else before I can take a chance on him.

    And I’m not the prof, just a contributor, but I personally like Stanton the most out of those options.

    I do really like Wallace as well just based on the fact that I think he comes up sooner than later, so I can see him being the choice, but Stanton’s upside is just higher.

    For me none of those other guys are getting consistent enough playing time to merit them over Stanton.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Burro, I like Stanton and Alvarez the best of the guys you named. Maybin has looked nothing but overmatched at the major league level and Alvarez has the potential to be a solid option and a shallow position.

    I’d drop Maybin for Alvarez in a heartbeat.

  4. El Burro says:

    thx for the input, how do you rank the guys I have listed? Obviously, you have Alvarez first, but if position wasnt a factor (since they are sliding into a UTIL spot), would your rankings be the same? Again, looking for the highest possible producing offensive player in 2010?

    Alvarez
    Wallace
    Blalock
    Hermida
    Smith
    Kila

    Sorry to be redundant, but just want to make sure Im understanding the response correctly.

    Thx

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