Introducing Your 2005 Non-Roster Invitees: Catcher

Can Ansman crack the Big League Roster?

We know who Glaus and Gonzo are. We know Choate and Halsey, and if you're an avid FutureBacks.com reader, you know Marland Williams and Ramon Pena. FutureBacks.com is all about who's next, and the closest to being next this Spring are the non-roster invitees. After all, it's one thing to be a highly touted prospect in the system, you've got years to make a name for yourself, it's another thing to be the new kid on the block, and have just three weeks to earn a job.

With Monday's cuts of Juan Brito, Corey Myers and Alan Zinter, the remaining non-roster invitees at catcher total just two, but it seems likely Kelly Stinnett has a more than legitimate chance to make the club.  As for the two who've gone, the Diamondbacks got a good long look at Brito last year and were unimpressed.  A solid defensive catcher Brito never put up good numbers at the plate, and was particularly futile in clutch situations.  Myers is a former first round draft pick of the Diamondbacks who moved behind the plate for the first time last season and will head back to the minors for more reps.

Craig Ansman has yet to make his Major-League debut. A product of Stony Brook University, the West Islip, NY native was a 2004 All-Star with the AAA Tucson Sidewinders, during a season in which he hit a grand slam in each of two consecutive games. During his five seasons in the minors, he has played in 411 games and has a .298 avg., with 76 HR and 260 RBI. Although Ansman has proven himself in the minors, he is unlikely to be a part of the active roster, come the beginning of the 2005 season, and will most likely return to Tucson.

Kelly Stinnett is the position veteran and will most likely be the Opening Day starter. Stinnett first came up with the New York Mets in 1994 as a Rule 5 draft pick from the Cleveland Indians. He played118 games with the club, including 100 starts, before moving on to the Milwaukee Brewers for two seasons. He was up and down in 1996, but was an All-Star with AAA New Orleans. Stinnett then played with the D'Backs from 1998-2000 before joining the Cincinnati Reds from 2001-2003. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies near the end of the 2003 season and batted .305 in only 20 games with them in 2004 before having season-ending surgery on his right elbow. In eleven seasons, Stinnett has a .238 avg. with 57 HR and 204 RBI in 608 games. Despite being all but guaranteed the catching job, Stinnett most prove that he can keep up- he has yet to play 100 games in a season.

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