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Rox backstop Williams knows 'D' is calling card

Rox backstop Williams knows 'D' is calling card

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies quietly built catching depth during the offseason, and one of the quietest moves was picking up a strong defender in Jackson Williams, a former Giants Minor Leaguer.

Williams, 27, who was close to making the Giants' team last season, entered play Saturday batting .278 with two doubles and three RBIs this spring as a non-roster Rockies camper. While he isn't known for his offense -- a .219 career average with no year above .247 in the Minors -- he has lived up to his reputation as an above-average "catch-and-throw guy."

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The Rockies haven't made a decision between Jordan Pacheco and Michael McKenry for the backup job to Wilin Rosario. But the most roster-friendly move would be for Pacheco to break with the club, since he is out of Minor League options. Then the Rockies can option McKenry to Triple-A Colorado Springs to work with Williams. Such a move could give the Rockies four catchers that they'd feel comfortable with in a Major League game, with the gifted Tommy Murphy working at Double-A Tulsa and trying to force his way into the big league picture.

Williams went from being on one team with an offensive catcher (the Giants' Buster Posey) to another (Rosario). But he embraces the fact defense is his calling card, and believes that trait will eventually give him his shot.

"When I got drafted [supplemental first round by the Giants out of the University of Oklahoma in 2007], catch-and-throw was always my forte," he said. "I've known that from the beginning, and it's what I take pride in.

"Buster is a once-in-a-lifetime player. Sure it was a little frustrating, because I want to play, but watching him, there were things I learned. He was drafted after me, but there are things you can learn from everybody. Same thing for Wilin -- the kind of year he had at the plate, there are things I can watch and learn."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }