Name: Jeffrey Christy
DOB: April 13, 1984
The Twins drafted Christy in the sixth round of the 2006, making Christy the only catcher they would select in the draft. A product of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Christy was a two-year starter for the Cornhuskers in high school, and made some waves during his first season of professional baseball. After a solid 2006 showing, Christy has become one of the better catching prospects in the Twins organization.
Christy was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 49th round of the 2002 draft out of Lincoln Southeast High School. He took over the starting catching job for the Cornhuskers in 2005, though he did struggle in his first year with the Huskers. He batted only .236 in 2005, but showed enough promise behind the plate to make him the starting catcher for Nebraska in 2006, when he showed exactly what kind of player he really is.
During the 2006 season, Christy batted .284 from his catching spot, catching a school-record 64 games behind the plate. He was named to the Big-12 All-Tournament Team, and was also an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick.
He batted .363 during the Big-12 tournament, and lead the Huskers to a 42-win season. A monster behind the plate, Christy allowed only 30 percent of baserunners to get stolen bases, holding the opposition to 39 bags all season long.
He made his professional debut as a member of the Elizabethton Twins, making 24 appearances. He started 21 games behind the plate, and showed that he was one of the best defensive catchers in the Appalachian League. He had 16 assists during his time in the Apply League, though he batted only .259 with one home run, and 11 runs batted in.
He received a promotion to High-A Fort Myers, and played in only six games before receiving another promotion to Double-A New Britain. Though he got only one base hit in 22 at-bats combined between the two levels, he showed that the Twins are expecting a lot out of him in the coming seasons.
Batting and Power: Christy is still getting used to professional pitching, but if his collegiate career is any indicator, he should put together better offensive numbers this season. He blasted eight home runs as a senior at Nebraska, and showed that he does have some gap power during his time with the Twins this season. While he probably is never going to be a .300 hitter, he does have the ability to hit in the .270-.285 mark, and will improve on his .214 total clip in 2006. He had to make adjustments at the plate all season long due to his multiple promotions, and if he can get a full season at one stop in 2007, then he should put up better numbers.
Baserunning and Speed:Like most catching prospects, Christy does not have great speed, but he is actually a good baserunner. He got great experience playing at a high level in college, and while he will never swipe 30 bases in a season, he is definitely not a liability in the field. The young catcher did not attempt a stolen base in 2006, and he while I predict maybe three stolen bases in 2007, speed is not one of his calling cards. However, he bounced into only three double plays in 2006, and loves to take out the second baseman on grounders up the middle.
Defense: Defense is the one area that is going to keep Christy moving through the system. He has a rocket for a right arm, and even Appalachian League hitters respected his defensive prowess in 2006. He has a knack for picking up assists, and loves to try to catch the runner napping at first base with a quick throw back. When the Twins needed a catcher at the different levels in 2006 they called on Christy, just for the fact that they knew he would be able to handle himself behind the dish.
ETA. 2009 I definitely forsee Christy continuing through the Twins farm system in 2007, and really establishing himself as one of the better catching prospects in a weak catching pool in the Twins Farm System. He was one of the best defensive catchers in Collegiate Baseball in 2006, and he has become one of the better defensive catchers in the Twins system in only one year with the organization. If he can start hitting the ball more consistently then the Twins will have no choice but to keep on promotion the former Cornhusker.