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CATCHER ON THE RISE
Ben Reiter
February 28, 2011
HANK CONGER
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February 28, 2011

Catcher On The Rise

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HANK CONGER

C, ANGELS

This winter the Angels felt they could afford to deal slugging catcher Mike Napoli to the Blue Jays (he was later flipped to the Rangers) in large part because of the emergence of the 23-year-old Conger. A switch-hitter with excellent gap-to-gap power, the team's first-round pick in 2006 is still raw: He logged his first full pro season only two years ago because of a rash of injuries early in his career. Conger, a .297 career hitter in the minors, will compete this spring with Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson for playing time, but the aging and expensive Angels are eager to get younger. "For a guy with not much playing experience," says manager Mike Scioscia, "he is really advanced in calling and running a game. We're confident that he's very close."

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