Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Garrett Wolforth Continues Road to the Show with Hometown Astros

Cincinnati Reds minor league outfielder Quincy McAfee, left, and catcher Garrett Wolforth walks to the dugout before a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs, Monday, March 21, 2022, at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz. Cincinnati Reds At Chicago Cubs March 21 0136
The Enquirer

Following three seasons in Cincinnati’s system, Garrett Wolforth found himself out of position. The 2019 14th-round pick out of Nova Southeastern turned heads for his defensive prowess at catcher, but upon his arrival to the Reds organization, he was seen more as a super-utility player.

As a glove-first catcher, Wolforth strived for consistent time behind the plate. But when his promotion to Double-A Chattanooga came in August 2022, he didn’t see one inning behind the plate. Wolforth played every position except shortstop and second base across three seasons with the Reds’ affiliates, and catcher wasn’t where he spent most of his time.

“At the end of the year, ultimately, the decision was made where I view myself as a very high-level defensive catcher,” Wolforth said. “And I thought my best route to either higher pro ball or to the big leagues was going to be on the defensive catching side.”

Wolforth posted career lows offensively with High-A Dayton, and he’s not one to shy away from admitting that. He found offensive consistency in Double-A with nine hits —four being for extra bases — in 38 at-bats, but there wasn’t a cohesive agreement on where his future lied in the field.

Upon request, the Reds released Wolforth last October. The case came down to both parties planning for a different role, and Cincinnati accommodated and respected Wolforth’s decision.

“I think there’s some usefulness in (playing multiple positions),” Wolforth said. “But the ultimate decision was that I really think my catching skill set is my best skill set I have as a baseball player.”

Wolforth spent the next two months in search of a new organization. For the first time in his professional career, he was a free agent, and that next call came from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Multiple teams sparked interest in Wolforth, but the Diamondbacks were one of the first to offer a contract.

The nerve-wracking period ended for Wolforth, who spent his first spring training away from the Reds this past February and March. Wolforth held ties to Arizona, too, reuniting with family friend and former Houston Astros pitching coach Brent Strom in Scottsdale.

After catching well and piecing together a few extra-base hits on the backfields, Wolforth fell victim to the numbers game. The Diamondbacks moved forward with other catching options, releasing the 25 year old at the end of spring training.  Wolforth revamped his swing and improved his approach this past winter, but it wasn’t a fast enough change for Arizona to pull the trigger.

“A lot of it was just based on my 2022 season hitting wise, and it wasn’t that good,” Wolforth said. “You look at some of the numbers, and I’ll be the first to admit that strikeouts are high and walks are low. There was just a bunch of different factors that went into it.”

Wolforth spent all of April at home — something he hasn’t done in years. Playing college baseball at Dallas Baptist and later at Nova Southeastern, he never spent an April on the couch in his home of Spring, Texas.

Attending Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball, Texas, Wolforth played alongside current major leaguers in Ke’Bryan Hayes and Glenn Otto, preceding Shane Baz, too. He grew up around fellow professional baseball players, but unlike the other three listed, Wolforth later got the opportunity to play for his hometown organization.

Wolforth signed a minor league contract with the Astros this week, receiving an assignment to Double-A Corpus Christi — roughly three hours from his home. This is the closest he has played to his family in his professional career after being assigned to Reds’ affiliates in Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.

“It’s one of those things where it’s kind of a cool opportunity for me, and I’m obviously super thankful for the Astros,” Wolforth said. “Just being a been a fan since you were a little kid, it’s one of those things where you look up, and you’re like, ‘Alright, there’s a chance I get to play in Houston on a big league team.’ And it’s a very exciting opportunity.”

Wolforth received recent praise on Twitter from former Reds minor league pitching coordinator Kyle Boddy. The two were close in Cincinnati’s system, where Boddy campaigned for Wolforth to see more time behind the plate given the improvements his catching brought to the pitchers in the system.

“The influence that a catcher has on his team and his organization is in the mainstream media every day given what the Cardinals are going through,” Boddy said via Twitter. “Wolforth has that influence on his team. I’ve seen it firsthand. You need people like him in the fight. You can’t have too many.”

Wolforth believes Boddy’s words were just another factor drawing teams closer to his corner. Every professional team has access to the metrics that define Wolforth’s play. His ability to frame and call games at a high level wasn’t a secret, but the extra level of support from Boddy was helpful towards Wolforth’s career.

On top of his strengths behind the plate, Wolforth finds his durability as a plus this season. With three other catchers on the Hooks roster — J.C. Correa, Juan Santander and C.J. Stubbs — innings won’t always be available. But given his healthy past of never being placed on the injured list, Wolforth is readily available — something he has taken pride in.

Rain postponed Tuesday’s contest against the San Antonio Missions, opening an opportunity for Wolforth to catch a handful of Hooks pitchers in the bullpen. He’s been appreciative of Correa and Stubbs in this transition, as he familiarizes himself with a new set of arms.

“If they miss, where do they generally miss, so that I can be more prepared for that whether it’s in the dirt with a block or if it’s somewhere else with an opportunity to frame it and make it look good for strike,” Wolforth said. “Just being able to know these guys and slowly getting to figure out what they’re really trying to do.”

Most minor league contracts similar to Wolforth expire after one season, but that doesn’t discourage the 25-year-old backstop. Wolforth doesn’t see this opportunity with the Astros as his last go in professional baseball. Houston is always looking for premier defensive catchers throughout the system, and given Wolforth’s offensive improvements and ability to switch hit, there’s room for him to grow in these coming months.

“There’s multiple different facets to my game that I think will be kind of sought after,” Wolforth said. “After the season if I end up back with the Astros, I’d be super excited about that. But even if it ends up with me going somewhere else, I’d still be super thankful and appreciative of the opportunity for this season.”

Be sure to follow on Twitter, @AstrosFuture, follow on Instagram, @AstrosFuture, and like on Facebook,

You May Also Like


The Houston Astros released three more pitching prospects — Michael Horrell, Kevin Dickey and Bryan Sammons — this past week. The Triple-A season begins...


The Houston Astros reassigned five prospects — Matt Ruppenthal, Austin Hansen, Ross Adolph, Grae Kessinger and Luke Berryhill — and optioned Enoli Paredes to...


MLB Pipeline released its top-30 Houston Astros prospect ranking Monday, ranking top-100 prospect Hunter Brown No. 1 in the system. Following Brown are Yainer...


In the midst of spring training, the Houston Astros released two right-handed pitching prospects — Jose Alberto Rivera and Alex Palmer — Friday. In...


The 2023 season is finally here. While the Astros may not have the system they once had back 10 years ago, it is in...


Baseball season is back, and spring training is in full swing. With that, there has been plenty of opportunities for prospects to play with...


Along with optioning left-handed relief pitcher Matt Gage to Triple-A Sugar Land, the Houston Astros reassigned three prospects to minor league camp Tuesday. Right-handed...


A regular trip to Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas resulted in a life-changing night for longtime Houston Astros fan Stephen Peterson. Strolling through...