The Padres announced a series of non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training on Thursday, with veteran catcher Chris Stewart and outfielder Boog Powell standing out as previously unreported additions to the organization. (A full list of the non-roster invitations can be seen here.)
Stewart, 37 next month, has appeared in parts of 12 big league seasons and frequently served as a backup or third-string catcher throughout that time. A career .230/.297/.291 hitter in 1334 plate appearances, the defensive-minded veteran split last season between the Braves and D-backs organization, appearing in just eight games. Prior to that, Stewart spent four seasons in Pittsburgh, where he totaled 192 games of reserve work for the Pirates. Stewart has consistently graded out as a strong pitch framer and been solid in terms of blocking pitches in the dirt, per Baseball Prospectus, and he’s also registered a slightly better-than-average 28 percent caught-stealing rate in his career.
The 26-year-old Powell (not to be confused with the 1970 AL MVP and four-time All-Star) spent the 2018 season with the Athletics organization after Oakland acquired him in the 2017 swap that sent Yonder Alonso to Seattle. It was actually the A’s who originally drafted Powell back in 2012, though it took a series of three trades for him to eventually land in the big leagues in green and gold.
In 59 games and 160 plate appearances at baseball’s top level, Powell is a .262/.333/.383 hitter with three homers, six doubles, a triple and a steal. He’s capable of playing all three outfield positions and has shown a knack for getting on base but limited power during his time in the upper minors; in parts of four Triple-A seasons, Powell is a .276/.358/.371 hitter.