Daulton Varsho has been a versatile player for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays. After spending most of his minor league career as a catcher, he became a regular in the position for Arizona last season.
However, with a trade to Toronto and a change in team strategy, Varsho may be looking at a new opportunity in the outfield. This has sparked the question: Is Daulton Varsho a catcher or not?
Varsho’s Catching Experience
Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Daulton Varsho was recently traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite playing 31 games as a catcher last season, the Blue Jays plan to use him as their starting left fielder.
In this article, we will take a look at Varsho’s catching experience, including his career overview, stats and highlights, and his strengths and weaknesses as a catcher.
Varsho’s Catching Career
Daulton Varsho was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round (68th overall) of the 2017 MLB draft. He made his debut with the team in 2020 and played in 37 games.
Varsho has primarily been used as a catcher in his minor league career, appearing in 225 games at the position. He has also played some outfield and second base.
Stats and Highlights From His Time as a Catcher
In his 31 games as a catcher last season, Varsho had a .174 batting average, with three home runs and nine RBIs. He had a .995 fielding percentage and threw out five of 12 baserunners attempting to steal. During his minor league career, he has a .276 batting average with 34 home runs and 160 RBIs.
Strengths and Weaknesses as a Catcher
Varsho’s strengths as a catcher include his strong arm and quick release, allowing him to be effective at throwing out baserunners. He also has good athleticism and can move well behind the plate.
However, he has struggled with his framing and blocking skills, leading to some passed balls and wild pitches. He also needs to improve his game-calling and pitch framing to become a more well-rounded catcher.
Although Varsho has primarily been a catcher in his minor league career, the Toronto Blue Jays plan to use him as their starting left fielder.
However, his catching experience and skills will serve him well in his new position, especially in terms of his arm strength and athleticism. With continued development, Varsho has the potential to become a valuable player at both positions.
Blue Jays’ Plans for Varsho
Reasons for Moving Varsho to Left Field
The decision by the Blue Jays to move Daulton Varsho to left field rather than have him play catcher comes as no surprise. The Blue Jays made the move because of Varsho’s versatility and the team’s needs.
How Varsho’s Skills Fit Into the Outfield Position
Varsho’s skillset makes him an ideal fit for the outfield position. He is fast, athletic, and has a strong arm which are qualities desired in an outfielder. Additionally, Varsho’s ability to play multiple positions makes him an asset for any team.
Potential Impact on Team Performance
The move to have Varsho play left field is expected to have a positive impact on the team’s performance. By having Varsho play in the outfield, the Blue Jays are able to free up the catcher position for other players. This means that the team can have more flexibility in their lineup while still being strong defensively.
Moreover, Varsho’s ability to get on base and steal bases will be critical for the team’s offensive production. His ability to hit for average and power, combined with his speed on the bases, will make him a valuable addition to the team.
Lastly, having Varsho in the outfield will also provide the Blue Jays with added depth, allowing them to make strategic substitutions based on matchups and situations during games.
The Blue Jays’ decision to move Daulton Varsho to left field is a smart move that will benefit the team in multiple ways. With Varsho’s speed, athleticism, and versatility, he is expected to be a valuable asset for the team in the upcoming seasons.
Varsho’s Adjustments as an Outfielder
Challenges of Transitioning From Catcher to Outfielder
Transitioning from catcher to outfielder is quite a challenging task for any player. As an outfielder, the player is expected to cover a lot of ground and be able to make quick decisions. Catcher and outfielder are two different positions requiring different skills.
Catchers are primarily focused on the pitcher and tracking the ball and making throws to different positions on the field.
On the other hand, outfielders are responsible for covering large areas and tracking the ball, catching fly balls, throwing accurately to bases, and defending against line drives. Furthermore, the speed at which a ball travels toward an outfielder is much faster than that of a catcher.
How Varsho is Preparing for His New Role
To prepare for his new role in the outfield, Varsho has been working on his footwork, speed, and agility. He has been spending extra time on his running and conditioning drills to improve his speed and endurance.
Additionally, he has been studying game footage of other outfielders to observe their movements and improve his techniques. In his preparations, he has been focusing on his communication with the infield and mastering his throws to different bases.
Areas of Improvement Necessary for Success
To be successful as an outfielder, Varsho must develop strong instincts and have a quick reaction time, which will take time and experience. Furthermore, he must work on his ability to read and track fly balls in different situations.
He will also need to strengthen his arm and improve the accuracy of his throws to the infield. Additionally, Varsho must learn how to anticipate the speed and trajectory of a hit ball, so he can get in the best position to make the catch or field the ball.
Transitioning from catcher to outfielder is not an easy task, but Varsho is taking the necessary steps to make the switch. With hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn, he can adapt to his new position and become a valuable asset to the Blue Jays as their starting left-fielder.
Comparisons to Other Catchers Turned Outfielders
Other Players Who Have Made Similar Moves
There have been several catchers in baseball history who have made the transition to playing in the outfield. The most notable examples include Dale Murphy, who played catcher for three seasons before moving to center field and winning two National League MVP awards.
Craig Biggio, who started his career as a catcher before moving to second base and eventually the outfield, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. More recently, Willson Contreras of the Chicago Cubs has made a successful transition from catcher to left field.
Success and Failures of Those Players
The success of catchers who have made the move to the outfield is varied. Dale Murphy is one of the most successful examples, while Craig Biggio is another. However, other catchers have not fared as well in their transitions to the outfield.
For example, Ben Davis was a former first-round draft pick who played catcher for the San Diego Padres before moving to the outfield with the Seattle Mariners. Davis struggled to put up the same numbers he did as a catcher, hitting just .204 in his first season in the outfield.
Lessons to Be Learned From Their Experiences
The most important lesson to be learned from the experiences of catchers who have transitioned to playing the outfield is that it is not easy. Catchers are generally considered to be some of the most valuable players on a team because of their defensive skills behind the plate.
However, playing in the outfield requires a different set of defensive skills. In addition, the transition can be challenging because outfielders need to be fast and agile and have a good arm.
Furthermore, it is crucial that managerial decisions are made strategically. It is essential to ease the player into the position and make sure that they are comfortable and confident as they transition. If possible, it is best to play the player in a few different positions before making the move permanently.
Overall, while catchers making the transition to the outfield are always a gamble, it can be a successful move with the right player and team combination.
Managers must be smart about how they select and train the player, and the player themselves must be ready and willing to put in the effort and time necessary to learn how to play this new position.
Is Daulton Varsho a Good Outfielder?
Daulton Varsho is a versatile defender, with experience as a catcher and outfielder. He played just 10 minor league games as an outfielder, but has become one of the best in baseball. Varsho’s defensive abilities make him a valuable asset on any team.
He has played in 182 games in the outfield, showcasing his versatility and adaptability. Varsho’s athleticism and speed allow him to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. His defensive WAR ranks among the top in baseball, demonstrating his prowess on defense.
Varsho has a strong arm and has recorded several assists from the outfield. His versatility allows managers to use him in multiple defensive positions. Varsho’s defensive skills make up for his comparatively lower offensive production.
He is a valuable utility player with a bright future as a defensive specialist.
How Good is Daulton Varsho?
Varsho is a lightning quick outfielder, who covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time.
His ability to read the ball off the bat allows him to get great jumps on fly balls, making him a valuable asset in the outfield.
Not only does Varsho excel in the outfield, but he is also a talented catcher, making him a valuable player for any team.
His speed, agility, and quick reflexes make him an excellent defender, while his ability to hit for power and average make him a formidable offensive threat.
At just 25 years old, Varsho is already showing great potential as a valuable player in the MLB, making him a player to watch for in the future.
How Many Games Did Daulton Varsho Catch?
Daulton Varsho’s Versatility
Daulton Varsho is a player known for his versatility, having appeared in various positions over his career.
Number of Games as a Catcher
In his most recent season, Varsho appeared in 41 games as a catcher, starting in 37 of those games.
Playing Multiple Outfield Positions
In addition to catching, Varsho also played in the outfield for the Arizona Diamondbacks, appearing in 30 games as a center fielder, 12 games in right field, and 12 games in left field.
Varsho’s Overall Performance
Despite his varied positions, Varsho’s performance on the field was consistent, batting .196 with 5 home runs and 12 RBIs.
As Varsho continues to develop his skills, his versatility will likely continue to be an asset for his team, allowing for greater flexibility in lineup decisions.
While Daulton Varsho has primarily played as a catcher throughout his career, his future with the Toronto Blue Jays looks to be in the outfield. The team has committed to him as their starting left fielder, indicating that they believe his strengths will be better utilized in the outfield.
Despite this, Varsho’s ability to play multiple positions adds value to his role on the team and will likely continue to make him a valuable player in the years to come.
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