TONY WOLTERS, CATCHER
Born: June 9, 1992
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 207
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Drafted: 3rd Round, 87th Overall, 2010 (Indians)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
High School: Rancho Buena Vista HS (Vista, CA)
Agent: VC Sports Group

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE

Cleveland drafted Wolters as a shortstop, although it was expected from the start that he’d move to second due to inadequate range.  He’s very athletic with good baseball instincts and an above-average arm.  After he got to AA, Cleveland moved Wolters to catcher and he eventually picked up the position extremely well.  He rates as above or well-above average in all areas behind the plate and has thrown out 31% of base stealers in the majors, four percent above average.  At the plate, Wolters has shown solid plate discipline and some contact ability at the plate, but he has almost no power at all.  As weak as his hitting has been, he was helped considerably by Coors Field, as he had an OPS of .726 there and .527 on the road.  He hasn’t had a platoon split.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2021.

2010
R:  211/286/211, 19 AB, 2 BB, 5 K, 2-2 SB

After signing late, Wolters got into five games in rookie ball, all of them at shortstop.  Baseball America ranked him eighth in the Cleveland system after the season.

2011
A-:  292/385/363, 267 AB, 10 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 30 BB, 49 K, 19-23 SB

Still playing short, Wolters hit well in short season ball.  He didn’t show much power, but may have been hampered by hamate surgery before the season.  BA rated him seventh in the system.

2012
A+:  260/320/404, 485 AB, 30 2B, 8 3B, 8 HR, 36 BB, 104 K, 5-14 SB

Making the jump to high A, Wolters split his season evenly between second and short.  He got off to a slow start, but hit 291/344/474 in the second half, showing solid power.  BA rated him 17th in the system.

2013
A+:  277/369/353, 289 AB, 13 2B, 3 HR, 41 BB, 58 K, 3-9 SB

Cleveland moved Wolters behind the plate, where he played all but two games in 2013.  The Indians also sent him back to high A.  He showed a lot less power than the previous year, but much more patience.  He played well enough in his first shot at catching for the Indians to keep him there.  BA rated him 25th in the system after the season.

2014
AA:  249/319/314, 341 AB, 15 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 35 BB, 74 K, 3-5 SB

Wolters made progress behind the plate, especially with his throwing, as he cut down 47% of base stealers.  He also played occasionally at second and short.  At the plate, he hit the ball with little authority.  His BA ranking dropped again, to 28th.  The Indians added him to the 40-man roster after the season.

2015
AA:  209/290/280, 239 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 21 BB, 63 K, 3-5 SB

Back in AA, Wolters continued playing well defensively, including a 49% caught stealing rate.  His hitting, though, fell off a cliff.  During the off-season, Cleveland designated him for assignment and the Rockies claimed him.

2016
AAA:  250/250/250, 8 AB, 1 K
MLB:  259/327/395, 205 AB, 15 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 21 BB, 53 K, 4-5 SB

Wolters made the Rockies’ opening day roster as the backup catcher.  Other than a brief minor league rehab, he spent the season in the majors.  He hit surprisingly well, although Coors played a big role; he had an OPS of .957 at home and .481 on the road.  He played a few innings each at second and short.

2017
AAA:  259/310/500, 54 AB, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 15 K, 0-1 SB
MLB:  240/341/284, 229 AB, 8 2B, 1 3B, 33 BB, 55 K, 0-1 SB

Except for two brief stints in AAA, Wolters again spent the season in the majors as the backup catcher.  He did a solid job of getting on base, but hit for no power at all.

2018
MLB:  170/292/286, 182 AB, 4 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 26 BB, 33 K, 2-2 SB

Wolters continued as the backup in Colorado.  Obviously, other than drawing walks, he had a very rough time at the plate.

2019
MLB:  262/337/329, 359 AB, 17 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 36 BB, 68 K, 0-1 SB

With Chris Iannetta struggling through injury problems, Wolters was the regular catcher for much of the season.  The hitting numbers look semi-respectable, but his OPS+, which is adjusted for park effects, was only 65.  He threw out 34% of base stealers.

2020
MLB:  230/280/270, 100 AB, 4 2B, 6 BB, 30 K

Wolters remained the principal catcher during the pandemic season, with ex-Pirate Elias Diaz as the backup.  Wolters’ hitting was, obviously, quite bad.  The Rockies non-tendered him after the season.

Wolters competed with Michael Perez for the backup catcher position.  Perez had the advantage of being on the 40-man roster and, in the event, won the job.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2021: Minor league salary

  • $1,400,000 if in majors

2020: $1,900,000
2019:
$960,700
2018:
$550,000
2017:
$540,000
2016:
$507,500

PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $1,350,000
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: 4/5/2016
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: 2023
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2014 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2015, 2017)
MLB Service Time: 4.161
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2010: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 3rd round, 87th overall pick; signed on August 16.
November 20, 2014: Contract purchased by the Cleveland Indians.
February 12, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians.
February 18, 2016: Claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians by the Colorado Rockies.
December 2, 2020: Became a free agent.
February 11, 2021: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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