October 12, 2018
By: Steve Degler
Erik Kratz appeared in a Lehigh Valley IronPigs uniform in parts of four seasons (2011-13, 2015). He was a very popular player during his time in Allentown. The 6-4, 250-pound catcher is a gentle giant. And at age 38, he is not only still playing, he has the chance to capture a World Series ring.
The Telford, PA, native has been playing professionally since 2002. He was Toronto's 29th-round draft pick that year and was sent to Medicine Hat, Alberta, to begin his journey. This season, he has found his way onto the Milwaukee Brewers roster. They are his 11th organization. Kratz has played in 1,309 regular season games, 981 of them in the minors. He is the epitome of determination and perserverence. Being a catcher has certainly helped him hang around this long. He does an excellent job behind the plate, has a great arm, blocks pitches very well and is dangerous with the bat. Those attributes are all the things teams look for in a back-up catcher.
In the Brewers' National League Division Series sweep of Colorado, Kratz went 5-8 with a double and two RBI. Now the Los Angeles Dodgers stand in the way of Kratz reaching the Fall Classic. Players like Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw and Lorenzo Cain will be getting a lot of attention and accolades during the series. But many times in postseason baseball, it's the lesser known guys who have the greatest impact. Here's to hoping the the former IronPig Kratz is one of those players this October.