Okay look, not all of these Braves player reviews are sexy. During the course of the season, teams make plenty of moves to guard against the worst -case scenario at each position, especially if there is a postseason run in the works. That is where catcher Chadwick Tromp came in.
The Braves claimed Chadwick Tromp off of waivers from the San Francisco Giants on September 21st. While the Braves had two catchers they were more than happy to carry on their postseason roster (Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras) and a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency back-up plan (Shea Langeliers), the team understandably wanted to play it safe. Given all of the other stopgap catchers they employed during the season didn’t work out, they went ahead and claimed a 26-year-old catcher who had least played a bit on a good team during the 2021 season. Pretty straightforward as a “covering their butts” move, and after a procession of underwhelming fill-ins, hey, what’s one more?
Basically... zero. It was never likely that Tromp was going to play a game for the Braves unless something pretty catastrophic happened involving injuries, kind of like had already happened earlier in the season. The goal was to have a warm body that knew how to catch and that is exactly what Tromp provided.
2021 Season Results
As predicted, Tromp never played a game with the Atlanta Braves. He did appear in five games for Gwinnett, where he slashed .176/.176/.176 (all three of his hits were singles). He played a bit with the Giants last year, though, where he slashed .213/.219/.426 with four homers, so there is that. In 2021, he had -0.2 fWAR for San Francisco while outhitting his xwOBA by .054, which is a really weird combination that only kind of makes more sense when you consider it came in 18 PAs.
Outlook for 2022
Tromp is on the 40-man roster and could hang around for the 2022 season, given that he’s got multiple option years left unless the Braves find themselves in need of a roster spot. With Shea Langeliers likely headed for Triple-A next season, it’s not really clear what his role is, and the Braves may do him a solid and send him somewhere where he has an opportunity to be a back-up at the big league level. He’ll find a home somewhere, and his likely ceiling at this point is a big league backup, but probably not for the Braves.
One thing to watch out for is his framing, which was possibly the reason he got a major league deal from the Giants. He hasn’t had a lot of major league playing time, but has generally carried positive framing metrics, and may find a big-league job on that front alone.