Let's talk cars. Any standard car buyer wants to get something that takes you from destination A to destination B safely. It doesn't need to be flashy or expensive, but it also can't be a piece of junk. We drive five miles per hour over the speed limit wherever we are, not much faster, not much slower. As long as the car is a sure fired thing, we don't complain too much about it.
Meet the perfect car, Zach Wright. Wright is everything you want in a catcher. Sound behind the plate, sound while talking to you on the mound, sound while handling a bat at the plate, and makes sound choices. He may not have the strong arm of Baker, or the finesse bat of Bandy, but Wright has all the tools to make him the best catching prospect in the Angels system.
Discipline is the key to Baker. He has an ability to make adjustments that not many players have, and it changes with each pitch from each different pitcher.
The flaw to Wright's discipline is his contact, or lack of. His swing is quick, and has some power behind it, but he has trouble making good contact or any contact with the ball. Wright can and will make the adjustments to his swing to make better contact, but with better pitching, it may keep him from the next level in the immediate future. Wright's power though has been a surprising element of his game helped mostly by the fact that the kid is strong. He weighs 205 pounds, and we'll tell you this, not much of that is body fat.
Wright's abilities behind the plate are good. His arm strength is above average and if he can work on a quicker release out of the glove, he could match some of the best catching arms in the system. Balls in the dirt are no challenge for Wright, but balls away (far away) seem to be his miscue. That is something that is part of his play calling that he may need to adjust his placement behind the plate.
Something that the catchers prior both had, but Wright has more of is speed. We were shocked when we saw Wright's ability to kick on the after burners on the base paths, and his actual ability to steal bases. He's not going to be known as a base stealer, but Wright's speed may match or be better than that of Angels current catcher, Hank Conger.
Wright's numbers aren't going to wow you, but they are just as we said... a sure thing. In 2012, Wright put up a .268 batting average, but where his numbers really excelled were on base percentage at .385, and his slugging percentage at .419. Wright's slugging numbers were helped mainly by his six home runs.
2013, Wright dipped off a little once he saw better pitchers in High-A. He maintained the power numbers in Low-A, and improved from the season prior with four home runs in half the games and a .459 slugging percentage. Once he saw High-A though, his slash dropped to .253/.345/.356. One big note on Wright's 2013 season was his six stolen bases.
EXPECTED OF THE FUTURE:
There's no need to rush Wright, he's young (24 in six days). 2013 showed us the flaws in his bat, which could keep him in High-A Inland Empire for 2014. There's no doubt that Wright can adjust and progress well though, so Wright should see some time in Double-A in 2014, probably near the end of the season.
Wright's future with the big club would be as a backup, but a solid backup. With Jett Bandy, Abel Baker, John Hester ahead of him in the minor league system, he'll have to show he is the better, which we believe he is. Wright could see the Majors as early as 2016, but it is more likely that he'll be there in 2017, possibly full time.
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