Friday, March 17, 2006

Willingham May Lead Catchers in ABs

Josh Willingham is all but assured of winning the Marlins starting backstop job, having hit at a more than .400 clip through the first half of camp while demonstrating adequate defensive skills despite competition from Miguel Olivo, who has far more experience behind the plate. At 27, Willingham is likely to lead all or most NL catchers in ABs, perhaps exceeding 500 plate appearances. His youthfulness and bat will keep him in the lineup. He batted .324 with 19 HR at Albuquerque last year, then showed himself ready for major league pitching by batting more than .300 during his '05 callup with the big club.