Phillies: 4 candidates for backup catcher role in 2020

Deivy Grullon, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Deivy Grullon, Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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4. Henri Lartigue

PORTLAND, ME – APRIL 6: Reading Fightin Phils players Henri Lartigue (8) and Josh Stephen (5) celebrate after a run at Hadlock Field on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Reading won 8-1. (Staff photo by Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images) /

Henri Lartigue is one of two non-roster invitee catchers on the Phillies’ 2020 spring training roster, joining Christian Bethancourt.

Lartigue, who will turn 25 in February, slashed just .136/.259/.248 with four doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 26 RBI spanning 78 games and 287 plate appearances last season at Double-A Reading. His previous three seasons, at Williamsport, Lakewood, and Clearwater, likewise featured sub-.252 batting averages.

Similar to Knapp, the Southaven, Mississippi, native in Lartigue has shown signs of strong defense, along with both being switch-hitters. Across 219 games (213 starts) and 1,854 innings as catcher in the Phillies’ minor-league system, he has committed just 17 errors on 2,060 chances.

Lartigue is among one of several prospects the Phillies are inviting to big-league camp this spring, joining  2016 No. 1 overall pick OF Mickey Moniak; right-handed pitchers Connor Brogdon, Ramon Rosso, and Addison Russ; southpaws Kyle Dohy, Tyler Gilbert, Damon Jones, and Zach Warren; first basemen Darick Hall and Austin Listi; shortstop Nick Maton; and infielder/outfielder Luke Williams.

The University of Mississippi alumnus signed with the Phillies for $220,000 after being drafted in the seventh round of the 2016 amateur draft. That year, Lartigue led the Rebels with a .353 average and .414 on-base percentage, and produced a fourth-best .464 slugging percentage.

It will be interesting to see who out of Grullon, Knapp, Bethancourt, or Lartigue will back up All-Star catcher Realmuto this coming season. Phillies pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Clearwater on February 11.