Eric Fryer — R/R, 6′ 2″, 215 lb
This 25-year-old Ohio native was drafted by the Brewers in the 10th round in the 2007 draft. He was traded to the Yankees in February 2009, then five months later was traded to the Pirates. After splitting the 2009 season between the Yankees’ and the Pirates’ A+ affiliates (hitting .250 and .242 respectively), Fryer was again assigned to the A+ level in Bradenton for 2010. The initial plan was to have Fryer back up Sanchez, but when Sanchez had shoulder problems, Fryer was able to pick up more playing time. He’s strong behind the plate, and threw out more base runners than Sanchez did — 23 of 62 (37%). Fryer’s offense started out slowly, as he hit ..185 with 7 RBI in April. In mid-May, though, he suddenly got hot at the plate, and popped up to a .317 average with 3 homers and 16 RBI for the month. He was up to an even .300 average with 8 homers and 48 RBI, and with Sanchez out for the season, Fryer was set to be the Marauder’s primary catcher. That only lasted a few days, though, as Fryer also was hit in the head by a pitch, breaking the bone around his eye socket. Fryer is also considered a strong prospect, despite being a little bit older for his level. He should also be ready for AA, giving Altoona two top catching prospects — both of whom need to watch their heads.