Albernaz hit .225/.279/.304 with one home run and 11 RBI in 102 at-bats with Triple-A Durham last season. He's a .204/.286/.264 hitter in 859 career minor-league at-bats.Analysis:
Freitas hit .268/.355/.381 with one home run and nine RBI in 110 at-bats with Triple-A Sacramento last season in his first exposure to the minors' highest level. He also hit .214/.285/.362 in 246 at-bats with Double-A Midland.Analysis:
"Any time you take a guy in Rule 5, you are rushing his development a little bit, so it's a longer shot of it working out," general manager Rick Hahn told MLB.com. "But this kid made some real nice strides in 2013 in terms of development. We figure bring him in and give him the shot and have some competition. It doesn't mean by any means we are done in terms of our search for potential upgrades. This is another avenue to try to bring in some talent."
Nieto hit .285 with 11 homers and an .821 OPS in 390 at-bats at Class A Potomac last season.Analysis:
Justin Smoak looked like he was having a breakout season in 2013, hitting .273 with an .821 OPS as late as Aug. 16, but he hit just .152 with a .562 OPS the rest of the way. After another failed attempt to secure the starting catcher job, Montero was sent to the minors to learn first base before getting hit with a 50-game suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis clinic. He also had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.Analysis:
Suzuki hit .232/.290/.337 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 285 at-bats with the Nationals and A's last season before the A's declined to pick up his option.Analysis:
Manager Ron Gardenhire is still expressing some reluctance to trust the 24-year-old with the starting job, saying "he has a lot of things to learn about calling a ballgame and handling pitchers and working with a lot of different pitchers." However, Gardenhire will look to former catcher Joe Mauer, now slated to be the Twins' first baseman, to tutor Pinto.
Filling in for Mauer when he suffered a late-season concussion, Pinto hit. 342 with four home runs in 21 games in 2013.Analysis:
Buck hit .219/.285/.362 with 15 home runs and 62 RBI in 392 at-bats between the Mets and Pirates last season.Analysis:
Arencibia, who will be 28 in January, hit .194 for the Blue Jays in 2013, but also launched 21 home runs -- his second season in the last three with at least 20 homers. Arencibia was non-tendered by Toronto on Dec. 2.
Arencibia is expected to compete for playing time with Geovany Soto, who, according to GM Jon Daniels, will be the team's starter.
Over four seasons in the majors, Arencibia has a .212 batting average and 64 home runs.Analysis:
"I believe that I'm an everyday catcher in the big leagues I don't think I've quite played as good as I can," he said. "I think playing every day, getting all the reps, getting that at-bats, that's only going to help. We'll go from there. We'll go from there and I believe we're going in the right direction."
Mesoraco, who was considered a top prospect when he first reached the majors in 2011, showed how he's capable of performing in an everyday role during a 22-game stretch that Ryan Hanigan missed with a wrist injury from early July to early August. Playing in 21 of those games, Mesoraco hit .286 with four homers and an .820 OPS in 70 at-bats.
"It was right after the All-Star break that Hani went down, and I'm not going to say it had to do with playing every day, but I think my comfort level at that time, I felt [more] comfortable, it was like it was my job, my team, I could go out there and be the player I feel like I can," Mesoraco said.Analysis:
A second-round pick by the Astros in 2005, Henriquez has also spent time in the Mets and Mariners organizations. He played independent-league ball in 2013, hitting .242/.301/.381 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 260 at-bats.Analysis: