FedEx was acquired last summer when Ned Colletti was asked to facilitate a trade between the Mariners and Boston. Seattle wanted something Boston did not have so Boston got Ned involved and by the end of the day the Red Sox had Eric Bedard, the Mariners had our Trayvon Robinson, and we had Fed Ex(Tim Federowicz), ScrapMetal (Juan Rodriguez) , and a Fife.
FedEx was originally a 7th round draft pick in 2008 by the Red Sox. His game is defense, and if the scouts are to be believed he might be the best defensive catcher Dodger fans have seen since Steve Yeager. Which basically means most of you have never seen a defensive catcher as good as FedEx play for the Dodgers. Time will tell if the scouts are right. Baseball HQ had this to say:
Solid offensive contributor, with a quick bat, moderate power, and decent plate discipline. Defensively has good footwork and a strong throwing arm. Nailed 37% of baserunners in '11 and made his mlb debut. Will compete for the starting job in LA in 2012.
The question is, will his bat be enough to be a major league starter
on a competitive team? He has many doubters, he may be the one prospect with the most varied expectations. Ned doesn't trade prospects for prospects, so his scouting department clearly saw something they wanted and went and got it when the opportunity arrived. There was a lot of howling when the trade went down, but given the initial struggles of Trayvon Robinson, he might have traded high. While I was once a huge critic of the deal I've become a believer, hopefully he won't make a monkey out of me or I'll be taking the last train to Clarksville.
Coming into 2012 FedEx is not a top prospect and this does not bother me at all. Baseball America ranked him our 10 best prospect. Baseball HQ ranked him number 14. TBLA voters ranked him 9th. He will probably be somewhere between 10 - 20 on Brandon's list. So while not a top prospect he is the Dodgers top catching prospect.
For fun I took a look at catchers who had posted a career OPS+ > 100 since 2000 who had caught at least 200 games. Eighteen catchers made the cut.
Eleven of the Eighteen were ranked by BA (top 100 prospect list) before they became full time major league catchers (Mauer, Martinez, McCann, Piazza, Javier Lopez, Soto, Montero, Pudge, Varitek, Leiberthal, and Weiters).
Mauer and Weiters were both ranked number one. Of those Mauer and Weiters were number one picks so they basically were in the top 100 from the time they were drafted.
Pudge skews the age since he started catching in the major leagues at the age of 19 but for most of these catchers full time work came in the age 23 - 25 seasons. Jason Varitek did not become a full time catcher until age 26.
Anyway the point is not to worry to much about FedEx not being ranked in the BA top 100. His calling card is his handling of pitchers and shutting down the running game. Plenty of catchers have done as little damage as he has in the minor leagues and gone on to have solid major league careers. I think his glove will get him the opportunity that others never get, his bat will be secondary, and like Yeager it will be enough to ensure he has a long career but maybe never a 400 at bat per season career.
Got nothing on FedEx but my favorite comp for him is Steve Yeager. By 1981 Steve was basically done and had only 86 at bats in our Championship season. Okay that was a strike season but still Mike Scioscia had almost four times as many at bats. During the 81 season Yeager hit three home runs and had on OPS of .598. In the postseason he hit two home runs and had slugging percentages of .600 / .500 / 1.052 in the three postseason series. He played in all six games in the World Series and ended sharing the World Series MVP with Cey and Pedro. Impressive post season work for a washed up backup catcher.
Under Dodger control for a long long long time
Previous Dodgers Player Profiles
|2010-Salem A Ball
|2011- Portland AA Ball
|2011-Isotopes AAA Ball
|2012 Projections - Age 24 Season|
FedEx is only an injury away from being the Dodger starting catcher. FedEx is only a bad start by AJ Ellis from being the Dodger starting catcher. At some point FedEx is going to become the Dodger starting catcher. Or AJ Ellis is going to be one of the few players who became starters at the age of 31 and held on to it all season.
At some point this spring, the talk will be about how pitchers love throwing to FedEx. Many will say this is unimportant, ex-pitchers will nod quietly to themselves, remembering the difference between throwing to a great receiver and throwing to MIckey Tettleton.