Strong, filled frame; no room for additional mass or physical projection; sloped shoulders; barrel chest; mass in midsection; thick lower half; any additional weight will be of the bad variety.
Spring Training 2014, 3/29, 4/10-11, 4/14, 4/24-26
Rome Braves (Low A, Braves)
45; utility profile (3B/C/1B)
Left side: short, compact stroke; simple feet from a slightly open stance; keeps hands connected to his back shoulder during load; quick hips; simple barrel delivery; plus bat speed with loose hands; barrels balls up with ease in all quadrants; hits line drives to all fields and is not afraid to go with pitches the other way; great extension; has shown a propensity to struggle with vertically oriented off-speed pitches and has failed to adjust in several viewings.
Right side: stroke is longer with a tick slower bat speed; load is deeper from the right side; shows more loft through the zone, which causes the bat to be in and out of the zone quickly; will swing and miss more from the right side due to the swing length and a barrel that comes off plane quickly.
Power will come to the gaps in the form of doubles; has plenty of strength, but his swing produces abundant topspin, which is conducive for hard line drives from gap to gap but limits over-the-fence pop; more loft and ability to generate backspin from the right side in BP; further projection is limited due to square block body type.
Speed is not part of his game currently and he does not project to add any due to his maxed frame; 4.33 on a dig from the left side; multiple 4.5s to first base; 8.45 to second base; will continue to slow down with age.
Behind the plate, Caratini has relatively soft hands a developing feel for receiving the ball; raw in the finer points of framing; occasionally goes elbow up on balls to his glove side rather than manipulating hand/wrist position to receive, dragging glove hand out of the zone; decent side-to-side agility and good blocking fundamentals; possesses the raw tools (non-arm) for continued development behind the plate.
At third, Caratini's feet are clunky and his hands are hard; backhand pickup is poor; side-to-side agility is below average; looks robotic charging balls down the line; underwhelming athleticism will put a natural limit on his impact at the hot corner; below average third baseman at the major league level.
Slow release; gets arm up quick but has a slight hitch at the top; throws have a visible hump and die before reaching the second base bag, displaying arm-side tail; pop times range from 2.05-2.20 in games, 2.20-2.35 between innings; while not a weapon, his arm plays better at 3B and would not be exposed in the manner in which it would behind the plate.
Caratini is an enigma. He would profile well behind the plate and has the defensive chops to stick, but his arm is weak and would be exploited behind the plate at the highest level due to a long release and poor pop times. At third base, his arm could play at the fringe-average level, but his defensive chops at third are unrefined and don't project to get better due to a body that's maxed-out physically, hands that are underwhelming, and poor lateral agility.
All in all, Caratini projects to be a utility player who can play some third, some catcher, and possibly even some first base at the highest level. His bat will be his carrying tool through the minors, but his lack of a true defensive home will limit his impact at the highest level. If a team is willing to punt defense behind the plate (i.e. the running game), he has the ceiling of a second-division regular as his bat would profile well at the position. Things become more complicated if he's developed as a third baseman solely, however, as his bat won't be a profile fit at the hot corner. His ability to smash line drives all over the field, limit a pitcher's platoon advantage, and show a decent approach at the plate will make him valuable in a bench/utility role.