Recently promoted Nettuno Baseball, formerly known as Nettuno BC 1945, has caught a big fish for the 2021 season. In order to reinforce its Italian Serie A roster, the team acquired Gabriel Lino, a former AAA catcher.
Lino, the catcher of the new Venezuelan champion Caribes de Anzoategui, has a ship load of experience in the minors. He broke into professional baseball in 2010, when he was assigned to the GCL Orioles. In 2012, he was part of the deal that sent Jim Thome from the Phillies to the Orioles. Lino worked his way up through the Phillies farm system through the Lakewood BlueClaws, Clearwater Threshers, and Lehigh Valley IronPigs. After the 2016, he opted for free agency and signed a minor league contract with the Cardinals. Also with that organization, Lino worked his way up to AAA ball. After the 2017 season, he opted for free agency again and returned to the Phillies, where he never got higher than AA this time.
Once again he opted for free agency after the season but never managed to sign a new minor league deal.
His batting stats may not be that impressive, but most catchers aren’t the best hitters. But his defensive stats are pretty decent with a fielding percentage of .985. He threw out 34% of the potential base stealers. In Venezuela on the other hand, he had a lifetime batting average of .303 with four home runs and twenty runs batted in during the 2019 season.
The most important thing for Nettuno is that its new catcher can guide his pitching staff through the game in a proper way. When necessary, Lino can also play first base but that isn’t his strongest position.