JAMIE RITCHIE, CATCHER
|Born: April 9, 1993
Drafted: 13th Round, 376th Overall, 2014 (Astros)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
College: Belmont University
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Ritchie is a catcher who’s reached minor league free agency twice without reaching the majors. As a hitter, he’s sometimes hit for power, and most of the time has had very good walk and strikeout rates. He doesn’t have much power. He’s been solid in throwing out base stealers, catching 27% over his career. The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2022.
Ritchie had a good debut in the New York-Penn League, catching in 27 games.
The Astros sent Ritchie to Low-A, then promoted him about two-thirds of the way through the season. He put up impressive on-base numbers and continued to post strong BB:K ratios. The improved power in High-A has to be viewed with caution because it was the high-offense California League. Ritchie split his time between catcher and first at the lower level, then stayed mostly behind the plate at the higher one.
Ritchie spent the season back in the California League, playing about two-thirds of the time behind the plate and the rest at first. He didn’t hit as well as the previous year, although he maintained a high walk rate.
The Astros moved Ritchie up to AA. He played only semi-regularly, mostly at catcher. His offensive contribution came heavily from walks.
Ritchie started the season back in AA, then the Astros promoted him for the last two months. His walk rate dropped sharply in AA, but he put up much better numbers in AAA. A lot of the latter, though, may have been a product of the Pacific Coast League.
Ritchie spent the season in AAA, again playing about half the time. His hitting rebounded, helped no doubt by the PCL.
Houston brought Ritchie to its alternate training site during the pandemic season, but he didn’t get into any games. He became a free agent after the season.
Ritchie signed with the Diamondbacks and played all year in AAA. He put up his best hitting numbers since his first year, but not only was he in the PCL, he was at Reno, which is a hitters park even for the PCL. He became a free agent again after the season.
Ritchie signed the day before the Pirates traded Jacob Stallings. He has yet to reach the majors and went into camp seemingly competing with Michael Perez for the backup catcher job. Ritchie had a solid spring and Perez had a bad one, but at the end of camp the Pirates acquired Andrew Knapp, who’s probably the only backup catcher in MLB who was worse than Perez last year. Ritchie opened the season on the injured list and will eventually go to Indianapolis.
|2022: Minor league salary
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2014
MiLB FA Eligible: 2022
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 13th round, 376th overall pick; signed on June 10.
November 2, 2020: Became a free agent.
January 11, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
November 8, 2021: Became a free agent.
November 28, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.