Mr. Doumit has really broken onto the scene in the off-season. With the starting job in hand Doumit has had a solid spring and has even acted as a mentor to the younger backstops in the organiztion. A lot of weight is on this guys shoulders. He is expected to produce and be a solid core for the future of this team. His contract and bobble head night prove what the front office expects and I’m sure the Moses Lake, Washington native will not dissapoint.
While Ryan is recieving a lot of honor and respect from the Pittsburgh are he is alos catching fire nationwide. Many baseball publications list him in the top five of fantasy catchers. A solid pick as he definately has th enumbers to back up his praises. Last season, Doumit batted a solid .318 in his first semi full season. In 116 games he had a batting average of .318, leading all National League catchers and drove in 69 RBI. His 15 home runs also provided ample power out of the catching position.
With as many accolades as this guy has recieved, he also holds down his share of drawbacks.
Plain and simple he is a liability. He is injury prone and kind of soft behind the plate. He suffered a broken thumb last season missing some crucial games for the Pirates. He would have contended for the batting title had he been healthy through the course of the whole season.
Ryan has also earned himself a catchy nickname. “No Mit-Doumit” is a name that has floated around PNC Park since Doumit was first toutued as a top prospect in the organization. He does need to work on his defense behind the plate, but what catcher doesn’t. It is the hardest position to play in baseball and even the greats like Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza were never known for their defensive brilliance.
Ryan can also improve on the way he handles the pitchers. While he is a persoanble guy and known to be the clubhouse clown his game management skills can use a minor fine tuning. When Ronny Paulino was here it seemed that he could connect to the pitchers and call a good game behind the plate. Doumit needs to follow in Paulino’s footsteps and settle down our pitchers because by God they will need all the confidence they can get.
Doumit is no longer a prospect as he is enetring into his prime. As a 28 year old Doumit has a lot of weight placed atop his shoulders. He needs to prove he can stay healthy and put in a great offensive and defensive performance night in and night out (or a lot of fantasy managers will claim he is the biggest bust in history). I have confidence in the guy, just as I have confidence in this whole team.
Doumit also has to be able to handle the role of being a fan favorite. Jack Wilson knows how to handle it as he has been here for his entire career and has been used to the limelight. Upon signing his new contract Doumit is going to have to be the funny, personable guy throughout the course of his career.
Doumit is even garnering fans from outside the Pittsburgh community. One of my roommates Jared, is a die hard Indians fan but is the biggest Doumit supporter I know. Since his “Inside Pirates Baseball” appearance as a mere rookie Jared identified with Ryan’s free spirit and carefree attitude.
My other friend Andrew drafted Doumit in our fantasy laegaue. Andrew is an Orioles fan but chose Doumit as the first catcher picked. He is ready for Doumit to “tear it up.”
As the Pirate fan I am also ready for Ryan to tear it up. As a top 10 prospect a few years ago I have been waiting for Ryan to give a full season in the ‘Burgh. I’m confident he will blossom into the full player we have all hoped he could be. 2009 is his year to prove the Ryan Time begins now.
1. face photo-pirates.mlb.com
2. catching photo- pirates.mlb.com
3. batting photo-buccowire.blogspot.com