Dodgers catcher Tim Federowicz caught all of nine games and had 20 major league plate appearances before the 2013 season. This year, he was the primary backup catcher to A.J. Ellis for two-thirds of the season.
What went right
Federowicz made his first opening day roster in 2013, beating out the cavalcade of catchers in a spring training competition he was set up to win. The euphoria of making the Dodgers wore off within a week as the Dodgers acquired Ramon Hernandez, but Federowicz even as the third wheel made the most of his situation.
In his brief stints in Triple-A Albuquerque, Federowicz did exactly the kind of door knocking that earned him return trips to Los Angeles in short order. In 21 games with the Isotopes Federowicz hit .418/.500/.848 with eight home runs and eight doubles.
Federowicz was recalled at the end of May and remained with the Dodgers for the remainder of the season.
After the All-Star break Federowicz in 25 games hit .276/.317/.376, which doesn't sound all that great but when considering how down offense was in the National League was just fine. Catchers as a whole in the National League hit .245/.308/.379 in 2013, so for the Dodgers to get essentially league-average production out of their backup backstop in the second half is a win.
Federowicz drove in three runs with an eighth-inning double to beat the Diamondbacks on June 11 in one of the Dodgers' most emotional games of the year (the second Zack Greinke brawl game).
What went wrong
Federowicz was just 3-for-22 with the Dodgers through May, and at the All-Star break was hitting just .190/.236/.345. But such is the life of small sample sizes and backup catchers, as he amassed all of 89 plate appearances before the break.
Despite catching just 374 innings — the equivalent of roughly 42 full games — Federowicz was tied for seventh in the National League with five errors behind the plate.
Federowicz, 26, has a year, 42 days of service time, and will be under team control next year, making somewhere close to the new league minimum salary of $500,000. Federowicz has one option year remaining, so his position as backup catcher could be in jeopardy depending on the Dodgers' moves this offseason.