Butch Dill - USA TODAY Sports

With plenty of solid catching prospects, Chace Numata is just trying to fit in where he can with the Phillies.

With a deep resource of catching prospects, it's difficult for any of them to stand out. Chace Numata is doing what he can to garner the attention that he deserves as a prospect in his own right.

http://www.scout.com/player/144560-chace-numata?s=309

Just the fact that Chace Numata is garnering any attention as a catching prospect is interesting. When he was drafted by the Phillies - 14th round of the 2010 Draft - he was a shortstop, although the Phillies weren't the only team assessing him as a catcher. Some teams had a completely different idea and saw him as a pitching prospect thanks to a low-90s fastball and a curve that was fairly impressive in its own right.

The Phillies were among the group targeting him as a catcher and haven't wavered in their plan for him, with the exception of sticking him in left field for one emergency appearance last season.. Numata showed some basic defensive skills right from the beginning, and definitely had the arm to be a catcher, but the question was just how well those skills would develop. Numata has actually done a nice job of developing his defense, although he still has some work to do on blocking pitches in the dirt and has too many passed balls. His mechanics and footwork are better on throws, and he has shown both physically and stats-wise, that his skills are improving with each passing season.

Chace Numata fielding stats
YearTmGChPOAEDPFld%PBSBCSCS%
2010 GCL Phillies C 18 57 52 5 0 0 1.000 6 14 3 18%
2011 GCL Phillies C 8 34 28 6 0 1 1.000 2 9 3 25%
2012 2 Teams C 38 302 270 27 5 1 .983 11 37 10 21%
2012 Clearwater C 1 11 10 1 0 0 1.000 1 0 0 -
2012 Williamsport C 37 291 260 26 5 1 .983 10 37 10 21%
2013 Lakewood C 90 767 662 89 16 5 .979 28 110 38 26%
2014 GCL Phillies C 10 47 41 6 0 0 1.000 3 3 4 57%
2015 2 Teams C 53 384 340 41 3 2 .992 12 46 24 34%
2015 Clearwater C 52 376 333 41 2 2 .995 11 41 24 37%
2015 Lakewood C 1 8 7 0 1 0 .875 1 5 0 0%
2016 Clearwater C 85 705 609 86 10 3 .986 14 50 33 40%
2016 Clearwater LF 1 1 1 0 0 0 1.000 - - - -
TOTALS C 387 3001 2611 346 44 15 .985 90 269 115 30%
TOTALS LF 1 1 1 0 0 0 1.000 - - - -

Some injuries early in his career have slowed Numata's progress through the minors. He suffered a hamate injury in the Spring of 2011 and played just 10 games that season. The injury likely kept him from progressing to Williamsport during the season, which might have put him in position to move to Lakewood to start the 2012 season. Instead, he was at Williamsport and didn't reach Lakewood until a year later.

Offensively, Numata doesn't have a lot of natural power, but he does have a nice, compact swing and is capable of hitting the ball from gap-to-gap. He also makes good contact and doesn't try to do more than he's capable of doing offensively. In 2016, he came close to equaling out his walks (37) and his strikeouts (41) and the result was a very impressive .377 OBP with Clearwater. When he's on the basepaths, Numata has more speed and better baserunning instincts than the normal catcher, so he's not going to clog the bases.

It's likely that Numata will open the year with Double-A Reading, but the question is just where does he go from there? Cameron Rupp and now young Andrew Knapp are at the major league level, with top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro ahead of Numata at Triple-A this season. It's gotten a little late in the game for a position switch, so there doesn't seem to be much of an opportunity for Numata as a member of the Phillies organization. 

His profile is that of a major league backup and maybe with some work, could help at the corner outfield positions as well. More and more teams are thinking about having a third catcher on the roster, so Numata might be a guy who could fit that sort of role somewhere down the road.

Chace Numata career stats
YearTeamGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLG
2010 GCL Phillies 31 53 45 8 10 1 0 0 6 1 1 8 12 .222 .340 .244
2011 GCL Phillies 9 15 13 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 .154 .267 .154
2012 2 Teams 44 187 166 22 39 4 2 2 23 3 1 13 22 .235 .288 .319
2012 Clearwater 1 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333
2012 Williamsport 43 184 163 22 38 4 2 2 23 3 1 13 22 .233 .287 .319
2013 Lakewood 94 351 308 27 71 14 0 3 37 4 1 30 45 .231 .307 .305
2014 GCL Phillies 11 27 26 5 6 1 0 0 5 0 0 1 4 .231 .259 .269
2015 2 Teams 77 306 276 37 74 12 1 1 35 2 0 22 34 .268 .328 .330
2015 Clearwater 73 290 262 34 69 11 1 1 35 2 0 20 33 .263 .322 .324
2015 Lakewood 4 16 14 3 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 .357 .438 .429
2016 Clearwater 94 369 328 32 101 18 2 2 35 3 0 37 41 .308 .377 .393
TOTALS 360 1308 1162 132 303 50 5 8 142 14 3 112 158 .261 .329 .333
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/31/2017.


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