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Updating the Top 100; Honorable Mention - Ryan Hanigan

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Honorable Mention: Ryan Hanigan

It's a fun and fitting coincidence that the two catchers are posted in consecutive fashion like this, as the two have provided an effective and complementary combo over the last few years. In fact, they have been similarly worthy, albeit in rather different ways.

Hanigan, you likely know, was signed by the Reds a week after his 22nd birthday, an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2002. An unlikely success story, then, Hanigan advanced steadily through the minor league chain, as his offense progressed, finally earning cups of coffee in 2007 and 2008. From 2009 on, Hanigan's been, more or less, a semi-fixture behind the plate.

Two skills have never been in doubt with Hanigan. His defense is, if not top notch, well above average. And his mastery of the strike zone, evidenced by his career .371 on-base percentage, and low strikeout rate (about 1 per 10 PA). To date, however, Hanigan's power has been nearly non-existent: just 43 career extra base hits, including only 16 home runs. In fact, his OBP exceeds his slugging percentage, for the career totals.

While never a star, and unlikely to become one, Hanigan owns talents which are doubtful to fade quickly. He enters 2012 as a 31-year-old 4th year player (under contract through 2013) and, more importantly, the likely opening day catcher. Even more importantly, perhaps, is his expected role as mentor to the young catching brigade. Should he pass along any batting eye or throwing arm tips, Ryan Hanigan's value, tangible and otherwise, shall far exceed his praises on these pages.

Through his five-season tenure, Ryan Hanigan has played in 287 games, amassing a batting line of 275/371/368 (99 OPS+). He ranks #232 on the all-time Reds list.