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Opening Day Countdown: Josmil Pinto

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We're just 65 days away from Opening Day. To celebrate we're going to talk about recent waiver claim, catcher Josmil Pinto, who just so happens to wear jersey number 65.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After Jonathan Lucroy the Brewers catching situation starts getting pretty grim, pretty quickly. Martin Maldonado is a top notch defender, but the bat is lacking. In the minors you'd have to squint pretty hard to find a player you could see playing at the major league level, let alone in a starting capacity. So it makes a lot of sense that would be a priority for new Brewers GM David Stearns.

While he hasn't yet found a catcher we could call starting caliber--not really his fault as there aren't that many in all the minors--he has done a good job of adding depth to the position. To complete the Francisco Rodriguez trade he brought in Manny Pina, a minor league catcher with a good defensive profile and perhaps a burgeoning bat--although he's pretty old for a "prospect" at 28. Stearns also sign minor league free agents Rene Garcia and Adam Weisenburger--the latter being a long time Brewers farmhand. Perhaps his most interesting catching acquisition was the waiver claim of Josmil Pinto.

Pinto has the best bat of any catcher in the Brewers organization not named Jonathan Lucroy. As a catcher he has a legitimate above average offensive profile. He makes good contact, draws a reasonable amount of walks, and can get into around 15 home runs. That's a really nice profile for a catcher. It doesn't project quite as well anywhere else. And that's the problem.

So far Pinto's defense behind the plate has not been good. If he had to move positions the most likely destination would be first base. But the bat would be below average there. And he hasn't spent much time there--130 innings--so he might not be able to handle the position. This makes it hard to pin down expectations for him.

The Brewers were able to pass him through waivers and retain him. My guess is he'll play at AAA, likely as their catcher. I'm sure the Brewers would like to see his defense first hand to determine if he can be helped in that capacity. Because if he can play the position at the major league level, he could be an average or better catcher thanks to his offensive profile.

Josmil Pinto will turn 27 in March though. So time is running out for him to make an impact at the major league level. And if he's going to make any impact at all, it'll have to come at the catcher's spot. Otherwise he could be an interesting utility player, perhaps capable of playing first base and acting as back-up/emergency catcher. That's not he worst thing in the world, but it's not that exciting either. And it would do nothing to solve the Brewers post-Lucroy conundrum.