Miami has a lot of talent all over the roster heading into 2020, but the ‘Canes best position may be catcher. The players behind the plate have been a strength for the Hurricanes for the past several seasons, and nothing should change heading into this year.
Star Adrian Del Castillo will step into the full-time catching role this season after the departure of Michael Amditis to the Cleveland Indians. Plus, there’s more talent at backstop for the ‘Canes that should see playing time at DH and in other positions throughout the year.
Adrian Del Castillo
2019 Statistics: .331 AVG, .418 OBP, .576 SLG, 72 RBI, 22 2B, 0 3B, 12 HR, 32 BB, 236 AB
2019 Freshman All-American
2019 Second Team All-ACC
2019 ACC All-Freshman Team
2020 First Team Preseason All-American
Adrian Del Castillo is one of the best players in the country, regardless of position. Last year, Del Castillo lived up to the preseason hype and was Miami’s leading hitter. As a freshman, Del Castillo hit out of the fourth spot in the order all season and was the best hitter in the Hurricanes lineup. If he continues to progress he could go down as one of the best players to ever wear the green and orange. Del Castillo posses’ elite contact abilities and started to show really solid power at the end of the season. Plus, when Miami needs a big hit, he always seems to be able to drive the ball to the gaps and plate runs, as shown by his team-leading RBI total from 2019.
The only question surrounding Adrian Del Castillo in 2020 is his defense behind the plate. He saw limited playing time behind the dish last season because of the great defense of Michael Amditis. This year he’ll be relied upon as the main batterymate for the Hurricanes’ weekend rotation, a big step up in responsibility as compared to last year.
2019 Statistics: .200 AVG, .333 OBP, .400 SLG, 4 RBI, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 20 AB
Isaac Quinones career in green and orange got off to an incredible start during his freshman season in 2018. After an injury to Michael Amditis, Quinones became the Hurricanes’ starting backstop, and quickly became one of the team’s best hitters. In 2019, Quinones saw his role greatly diminished. With a healthy Michael Amditis and Adrian Del Castillo added to the roster, there wasn’t a spot for Quinones’ bat in the lineup. In 2020 it remains to be seen how Quinones will be used, but as the only catcher with any experience besides Del Castillo, Quinones should see much more playing time as a starter in relief of Del Castillo. Last season, Gino DiMare made particular emphasis in resting his starting catcher, Amditis, in the midweek games. If that continues this season, Quinones would be first in line to be the relief catcher.
Isaac Quinones should see more at-bats in 2020. If he can have the same production as he did in 2018 he’d be an extremely valuable bench bat for the Hurricanes. Quinones will be a key piece, even he doesn’t play in too many games, because of his experience and his value as the lone experienced catcher outside of Del Castillo on the roster.
2019 Statistics: N/A
Jared Thomas is a talented catcher out of Lakewood, California. Thomas can play both behind the plate and in the outfield and has a cannon for an arm. Thomas also bats left handed with a solid swing that, once developed, could have a lot of power in the future. Thomas could see playing time early because of his ability to cover multiple positions. Down the road Thomas could become a great defensive catcher, and his left handed swing could prove valuable for a predominately right handed Hurricanes squad.
Jared Thomas could see early playing time this season due to his defensive flexibility. Down the road, Thomas could become a key player on Miami’s roster and an excellent catcher.
2019 Statistics: N/A
Daniel Labrador is another talented freshman catcher joining Miami’s roster this season. Labrador is an advanced receiver, with a good pop time and transition speed to go along with accurate throws. Labrador’s offense is also good, with pop in his swing when he makes good contact. Labrador was known to be aggressive in high school though, which college pitchers could take advantage of as Labrador begins his collegiate career.
Daniel Labrador is a solid defensive and offensive player that will develop over the next stages of his career in college. Labrador could become a key piece for the Hurricanes down the road as he continues to add consistency to his game.
The University of Miami has a lot of talent across the diamond heading into the 2020 season, but the best position group might be the catchers. The Hurricanes are young and deep at the position and should be able to maintain great catching throughout this season and into the future.