JAMES SKELTON
CATCHER
Born: October 28, 1985
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 165
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Drafted: 14th Round, 403rd Overall, 2004
How Acquired: Minor League FA
High School: West Covina (West Covina, CA)
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates signed Skelton in late April 2010 after he’d failed to catch on with two other teams. He went to spring training with Arizona, but the D’backs released him at the end of camp and he signed with the Phillies. He never played with the Phillies, apparently due to some sort of injury. They released him in late April and he caught on with the Bucs. As a catcher, his small size is probably a drawback and, according to Baseball America, he has “questionable receiving skills.” He seems to have a decent arm, though, as he’d thrown out 32% of base stealers over his career through 2009. He’s had about a 100-OPS-point platoon split.

2004-08: Established himself as a decent prospect, with his main asset being an ability to draw extremely high walk totals. Through 2008 he also hit for good averages, but never showed much power.

2009: Arizona selected him in Rule 5 draft, then swung a trade so they could assign him to minors. Struggled badly in AA and moderately in high A in 2009.

2010: Turned out to be very useful player, as Bradenton was swamped with injuries, including their top two catchers. Ended up playing about half the time, split between catcher and second. While catching, threw out just under half (16 of 33) of would-be base stealers.

Skelton played the whole 2010 season at age 24. As a catcher, that’s not too young to turn into a prospect. He’ll be a minor league free agent, though, so it’s hard to say whether he’ll return.

STATS
Baseball Reference
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2010: Minor League Contract
2009: $400,000

    PLAYER INFORMATION
    Signing Bonus: N/A
    MiLB Debut: 2004
    MLB Debut: N/A
    MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
    MLB FA Eligible: N/A
    Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
    Added to 40-Man: N/A
    Options Remaining: 3 (USED: N/A)
    MLB Service Time: 0.000
    TRANSACTIONS
    June 8, 2004: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 14th round, 403rd overall pick.
    June 16, 2004: Signed by the Detroit Tigers to a minor league contract.
    December 11, 2008: Selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Detroit Tigers with the 11th pick in the 2008 Rule 5 Draft.
    April 1, 2009: Waived by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
    April 2, 2009: Offered back to the Detroit Tigers by the Arizona Diamondbacks, then acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Brooks Brown.
    March 29, 2010: Released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
    April 5, 2010: Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies.
    April 19, 2010: Released by the Philadelphia Phillies.
    April 26, 2010: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.