Mitch Garver was drafted in the 9th round of the 2013 MLB draft as a 22 year old from the University of New Mexico, and he spent close to five seasons in the Twins system before making his MLB debut in 2017. He hit just .196/.288/.348 (.636) in 23 games but he spent all of 2018 with the Twins because of the injury suffered by Jason Castro. It was apparent that his defense needed work but there was certainly hope for him because of his .749 OPS and 7 home runs. It is also very apparent that he knew what he had to work on in the most recent offseason, and he has become an elite catcher.
In 41 games this season, Mitch Garver has gone above and beyond what everyone expected and has hit .284/.369/.603 (.972). Among all active catchers he ranks as the following:
- 1st in SLG (.603)
- 4th in OBP (.369)
- 1st in OPS (.972)
- 1st in wOBA (.401)
- 1st in wRC+ (152)
I would say something is going right for Mitch Garver. He has also tacked on 12 home runs and 32 RBIs.
A lot of this has resulted from his ability to square up the ball and hit everything hard. He averages an exit velocity of 90.8 MPH, barrel% of 13.0%, and hard hit% of 47.0%. All three of those stats are high above league average. Something he has done extremely well is just destroy fastballs. With a 94 MPH exit velo and .537 wOBA against them, pitchers should just throw exclusively breaking balls.
So his offense improved dramatically, but what everyone wanted to see fixed was his defense behind the plate. Well, Garver focused a lot on that and the results are certainly showing up for him. Here are his catching statistics compared to last season
Framing runs saved:
- 2018: -9
- 2019: -1
- 2018: 42.0%
- 2019: 47.9%
- 2018: 4.60
- 2019: 3.31
- 2018: 18%
- 2019: 36%
Mitch Garver definitely went into the offseason with a plan after being criticized by some on social media over his defense. Just one season after, it appears as if almost everything is going right for Garver.
With Jason Castro set to hit free agency after this season, it is looking like Mitch Garver will be a top three starting catcher in all of baseball as soon as next season. With this information, I will provide you with this hot take:
Mitch Garver will be an All Star for the next four seasons at the very least.