The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent catcher Rocky Gale to a minor league contract for the 2021 season that includes an invitation to spring training. The soon-to-be 33-year-old catcher has had very limited action in the Major Leagues in parts of four seasons. In both 2015 and 2017 he got 10 at-bats for the San Diego Padres. In the 2018 season he played in three games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, getting two at-bats. During the 2019 season he played in five games for Los Angeles and picked up 15 at-bats. In his 37 plate appearances in Major League Baseball he’s never drawn a walk, struck out 11 times, homered once, and picked up four hits for a .108/.108/.189 line.

Rocky Gale was originally drafted in the 49th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft out of high school by the Royals. That was so long ago that the round he was drafted in hasn’t existed for years. He opted to head to college and was drafted four years later in the 24th round by the Padres out of the University of Portland. He worked his way through the farm system rather quickly for the Padres, reaching Triple-A in his first full season – but despite seeing action in both Double-A and Triple-A over the next three seasons he didn’t get called up until the 2015 season.

In that 2015 season he hit .307/.349/.391 for El Paso, the Triple-A team for the Padres. That followed up a .303/.328/.355 line the previous year in El Paso. He hasn’t been able to repeat that production since. Gale has struggled to hit for much power in his career. In 10 seasons and just over 2700 plate appearances he’s hit 18 home runs as a professional. His minor league line of .263/.306/.333 reflects that there’s not any power, and there aren’t many walks in his offensive game. There aren’t a lot of strikeouts in his career – he’s sporting a 15.3% strikeout rate – but he’s not a high contact guy, either.

While it’s tough to talk about how his framing skills are, or how well he calls a game, we can look at the stat sheet to see that he’s thrown out 36% of opposing base runners in his minor league career.

In 2020, Rocky Gale was at the alternate site with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He didn’t get a call up during the year, but unlike many minor league players, he was on the field every day and participating in game-like situations. With Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Stephenson on the Reds 40-man roster, and Kyle Farmer being an “emergency third catcher”, Gale seems like he’ll be in the running for Triple-A catcher who gets called up if and when an injury takes place during the season.

Rocky Gale Career Stats

27 Responses

  1. Hunt4RedsOct

    Someone has to catch all those bullpens at spring training.

    • west larry

      I hope that is all this signing is.

  2. LDS

    A 33 year old catcher with a career .108 batting average. That’s a game changer. Any serious signings on the horizon?

    • Hamelin

      Wonder why the Red Sox didn’t gobble him up when they had the opportunity?

  3. Bob Purkey

    Gotta be excited about this one!

  4. Old Big Ed

    His sister is Dorothy Gale, and they are from Kansas.

      • Old Big Ed

        He wears ruby cleats. Got plenty of heart.

    • TR

      It’s the long-standing question, what has happened to Kansas?

    • D Ray White

      Wonder if his favorite band is Toto?

  5. JayTheRed

    Just another scrap heap pickup. Sigh.. After last offseason I really thought these days were over with for at least a few years.

  6. doofus

    Now we need to find a SS named Stormy Winds and the roster will be fortified.

  7. John C.

    Thete are signings like this every year. He is no more than a AAA filler. Relax. There have been very few significant signings at this point, everyone is bargain hunting.

    • doofus

      “Relax.” Thank you Captain Obvious. We are just having a little fun.

  8. rednat

    If he doesn’t work we my sign Jake Taylor from the California penal league

    • Mark Moore

      Movie reference correction …

      Jake was playing in a Mexican league. Rick Vaughn was in the California Penal League.

      But that’s the right thought!

      • rednat

        That’s right, ” couldn’t cut it in the Mexican league ” i remember now lol

  9. Steven Ross

    I get the feeling this is going to be a frustrating and wasted summer of Reds baseball.

    • doofus

      But there WILL BE bobblehead giveaways to look forward to!

      • doofus

        There have to be truck loads of bobbleheads stashed somewhere that were not given out last year!

    • TR

      Year two of baseball and the pandemic, but not wasted.

  10. KDJ

    49th round!? I didn’t know there was such a thing.
    The guy must really love baseball to have persevered so long with such little likelihood of an MLB career.

    • Doug Gray

      The 49th round doesn’t exist anymore. They dropped to 40 rounds about a decade ago. It’s expected to get cut down again in the next CBA.

  11. doofus

    Just read this on

    “Report: Red Sox in ‘serious trade talks’ involving Benintendi

    Jan. 9: Andrew Benintendi looked like a cornerstone piece for the Red Sox from 2016-18, recording a .282/.359/.447 slash line with 38 homers, 78 doubles and 42 steals over 333 games in that span. But after taking a step back in 2019 and then playing just 14 games in ’20 due to injuries, Benintendi may be on his way out of Boston.

    The Athletic’s Jim Bowden reports that the Red Sox are having “serious trade talks” involving Benintendi with multiple teams. Rob Bradford of WEEI hears the same.

    Per Bowden, Boston is looking for one or more prospects in exchange for the 26-year-old, with an emphasis on outfielders and pitchers. Benintendi has two seasons remaining before he can become a free agent, and he’s due to earn $6.6 million in 2021.”