JASON JARAMILLO
CATCHER
Born: October 9, 1982
Height: 6′ 0″
Weight: 200
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Drafted: 2nd Round, 62nd Overall, 2004
How Acquired: Trade (for Ronny Paulino)
College: Oklahoma State
Agent: SFX

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates acquired Jaramillo from the Phillies for Ron Paulino.  He looked similar in some ways to Robinzon Diaz, another catcher who’d been acquired shortly before then.  Both figured to be backup catchers but seemed to have the potential to become a little better than the typical backup, although at 26 going into 2009 Jaramillo didn’t figure to improve much more.  Like Diaz, he was considered to be good but not great defensively, with a slightly above average arm.  For the Pirates he’s been solid defensively and has thrown out 30% of would-be base stealers.  At the plate, he has a good eye and some gap power.  His platoon splits are variable, so it’s not clear whether he hits better from the left or right side.  He’s very slow and a serious DP threat with a runner on first.

2004
R:  667/667/667, 3 AB
A-:  223/299/295, 112 AB, 5 2B, 1 HR, 12 BB, 27 K, 0-1 SB

Debuted with the Phillies’ New York-Penn League affiliate and didn’t hit much.

2005
A:  304/368/438, 448 AB, 28 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 44 BB, 72 K, 2-5 SB

Had a strong year in low A, putting himself on the prospect map with solid hitting and plate discipline.  He also threw out 34% of base stealers.

2006
AA:  248/320/388, 322 AB, 25 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 32 BB, 55 K, 0-1 SB
AAA:  167/143/167, 6 AB, 1 K

The Phillies jumped Jaramillo up to AA, but he was hampered by a broken hand.  He cut down 37% of base stealers.

2007
AAA:  271/350/361, 435 AB, 13 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 50 BB, 79 K, 0-1 SB

Moved up to AAA and had a solid season.  His walk and K numbers were very good, but he had only 23 extra base hits.  His CS% was 31%.

2008
AAA:  266/340/371, 421 AB, 20 2B, 8 HR, 42 BB, 82 K, 1-2 SB

Going into the season, Baseball America ranked Jaramillo as the Phillies’ 10th best prospect, although the Phillies didn’t have much depth in their system at the time.  He went back to AAA and had a similar season, hitting for a little more power and getting on base a little less.  He threw out 36% of would-be base stealers in 2008.

2009
AAA:  252/309/364, 206 AB, 14 2B, 3 HR, 17 BB, 33 K, 1 SB

Jaramillo went into spring training expected to battle Diaz to be Ryan Doumit’s backup.  Diaz dramatically outhit Jaramillo in the exhibitions, but Jaramillo won the backup job due to better defense.  He was the primary catcher for nearly half the year due to Doumit’s broken wrist.  He played sound defense and threw out 28% of would-be base stealers, a slightly lower percentage than Doumit.  At the plate, he showed fairly good patience and some gap power.  His hitting tailed off when his playing time was greatly reduced by Doumit’s return, especially his plate discipline for some reason.  Before Doumit came back, he had 16 walks and 23 Ks.  Afterward, he had one walk and ten Ks.  He had only 13 at-bats against LHPs, as the Pirates preferred to use Diaz against them while Doumit was out.

2010
AAA:  239/281/307, 88 AB, 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 16 K
MLB:  149/227/207, 87 AB, 2 2B, 1 HR, 8 BB, 14 K

With Diaz gone, Jaramillo went into spring training clearly established as the team’s number two catcher, but the Pirates gave some thought to sending him to AAA.  They wanted him to get more playing time than he would as Doumit’s backup, which would help them guard against the inevitable Doumit injury.  In the end they kept Jaramillo on the team.  With Doumit mostly staying healthy, he struggled badly at the plate, validating concerns about him needing more playing time.  He had an especially bad habit of bouncing into double plays.  After hitting into one every 18.7 ABs in 2009, which is bad enough, he hit a DP grounder every 12.4 ABs in 2010.  He continued to play solid defense, including 36% CS rate, which was three times Doumit’s.  The Pirates finally decided to send Jaramillo down in mid-July and call up Erik Kratz, but recalled Jaramillo shortly afterward when Doumit went out briefly due to a concussion.  He split the catching duties with Kratz, but that ended when the team acquired Chris Snyder.  Jaramillo went back to AAA, then returned in September.  He didn’t hit much during his time in AAA.

2011
R:  192/323/308, 26 AB, 3 2B, 4 BB, 8 K
AAA:  276/368/373, 134 AB, 7 2B, 2 HR, 17 BB, 22 K, 1-2 SB
MLB:  326/356/395, 43 ABs, 3 2B, 2 BB, 12 K, 1-1 SB

The 2011 season was one of lost opportunity for Jaramillo.  He opened in the majors but went to AAA after a brief stay when Chris Snyder returned from the disabled list.  He did OK at Indianapolis through mid-May, but he went out with an arm injury shortly before Doumit and Snyder both got hurt, costing him a chance to play regularly for an extended period.  By the time Jaramillo returned in July, Mike McKenry was established in Pittsburgh and Doumit was close to returning.  Jaramillo stayed in AAA until the season there ended.  He threw out 39% of base stealers there.  The Pirates brought him up in September and he got a decent amount of playing time, probably to help the Pirates in evaluating him for 2012.  Ironically, Jaramillo hit very well in his limited major league time.

The Pirates signed Rod Barajas to be their regular catcher in 2012.  They then designated Jaramillo for assignment when they signed Erik Bedard.  They’d undoubtedly like to retain Jaramillo, as they need more catching depth; Barajas has been hurt nearly every year of his major league career, and Jaramillo has an option left, which adds flexibility in the event he ends up back on the 40-man roster.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2012: Major league minimum
2011:
$422,500
2010: $416,500
2009: $400,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $585,000
MiLB Debut: 2004
MLB Debut: 4/16/2009
MLB FA Eligible: 2015
Added to 40-Man: 11/19/2007
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2008, 2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 2.008
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2004: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round, 62nd overall pick; signed on July 22.
November 19, 2007: Contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies.
December 10, 2008: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Ronny Paulino.
December 7, 2011: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.