Thursday, March 17, 2011

Josh Thole: Is #30 the Real Deal?

First of all, I will start by saying that I like Josh Thole quite a bit. I think that he should be the starting catcher for the New York Mets in 2011, hands down.

With that being said, Thole is only 24 years old. He's not a seasoned veteran, i.e. Ronnie Paulino. Josh ended up taking over for Rod Barajas, once he was traded last season. In other words, there are still some questionmarks, concerning one of the future stars of this franchise.

You figure that being 24 will be an advantage, in that Thole will be able to handle the physical responsibilities of being the everyday catcher for 140-150 games. We know by now that he can hit the baseball, batting .277, with 17 RBI in 2010. He has the tools and the makeup to be successful.

However, Thole's youth and inexperience could work against him, which is not likely, but still possible. Teams now have a book on him, and pitchers will make adjustments. Can he bump his power numbers up from the three home runs that he hit one year ago? Can he consistently throw out baserunners from behind the plate?

With Thole having a red hot spring, hitting .419, with 2 homers and 6 RBI in 31 at-bats, there's no reason why the Mets shouldn't be optimistic.

There are definitely some questions to be answered with Joshua Michael Thole. I do think that most of them will be addressed positively, in his first full big league season. I don't know yet if he will be the Mets catcher for the next 10 years. I wouldn't go that far. After all, Todd Hundley, who was tabbed as the next great Mets catcher back in his time, did make it through 9 seasons in the blue and orange. Will #30 have such luck? Time will tell.

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