Ryan Doumit was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round of the 1999 amateur draft out of Moses Lake (WA) High School. He was born on April 3, 1981 and made his first appearance in the majors in mid-season 2005, after tearing up the Independent League (AAA) at a .352/.422/.642 pace and throwing out 47% of the would be base stealers with the Indianapolis Indians. Primarily a catcher, from 2006 on he has been used extensively in first base and outfield due to nagging injuries. There is a perception that he is not a great defensive catcher, but last season in 461 innings caught here allowed 4 passed balls, as many as Joe Mauer in 408 innings and fewer than the 7 Drew Butera allowed in 670 innings. Also, he caught 24% of the would be base stealers, which is close to Mauer (30%) and Butera (31%). So his defense is in par with the other Twins' catchers, which means that Butera will (hopefully) not have a spot on the 25-man roster, allowing for a more powerful bat to replace him. For more information about Ryan Doumit, check out discussions about his profile at sports management colleges
In 2011, Doumit hit .303/.353/.477, which is better than what Michael Cuddyer did (.284/.346/.459.) Doumit, a switch hitter, hit lefties at a .315/.393/.519 pace in 2011, and is in a position to provide a strong right hand bat in the lineup replacing (if not bettering) Michael Cuddyer at close to a quarter of the cost. Indeed in 2011, Doumit has been close to (or even better than) Cuddyer in pretty much all offensive categories (.360 vs .354 wOBA, .174 vs .176 isoP, 1.23 vs 1.44 GB/FB, 1.53 vs. 0.19 WPA, 27.0% vs 33.7% out of strike swinging and 43.6 vs 29.4 AB/GIDP.) Despite primarily replacing Cuddyer in the lineup, Doumit will fill in at C when Mauer is unable to go or needs rest, at 1B to spell Morneau and will probably split the DH duties with Morneau and Plouffe as well as play some in the outfield with Plouffe. All in all, if healthy, I anticipate at least 500 plate appearances for Doumit.
I think that all in all it is a great signing. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago I indicated that Doumit should be a target for the Twins (bottom of the post.) If indeed the Twins do not carry Butera, with the Doumit signing you a. effectively replacing Cuddyer with a better and younger player at a fraction of the cost and b. allowing another bat to replace Butera on the Twins bench. And another serendipitous fact is that Ryan Doumit has worn uniform number 41 all his MLB career, which is currently Drew Butera's number with the Twins.