Following three nondescript years at Southern California, Stubbs broke out as a senior in 2015 and won the Johnny Bench Award as college baseball's best catcher. An eighth-rounder that June, he lacks physicality and has an unusual profile for his position but that didn't stop him from making his big league debut last May. Houston drafted his younger brother C.J., another Trojans backstop, in the 10th round a month later.
Stubbs controls the strike zone well and makes consistent contact with a simple left-handed swing. His approach doesn't yield many homers, and he has struggled when he focuses too much on trying to lift balls in the air, so he won't provide much more than gap power. One of the more athletic catchers in the game, he has solid speed and swiped 48 bases in 53 attempts (91 percent success rate) during his first five pro seasons.
Stubbs is agile behind the plate and displays solid receiving ability and arm strength, with the latter playing up because of his quick transfer and footwork. He scored poorly in framing metrics during his first taste of the Majors, however, and he tends to wear down during the course of a year because of his size. Unlikely to hold up over a full season as a regular, he projects more as a versatile backup who also saw action at second base and both outfield corners in 2019.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 35 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
After hitting .240 in his first three seasons at Southern California, Stubbs batted .346 with 20 steals as a senior in 2015, when he won the Johnny Bench Award as the top college catcher as well as Pacific-12 Conference defensive player of the year honors. An eighth-rounder that June, he reached Double-A in his first full season but stalled there in 2017. He rebounded last year in Triple-A to claim a spot on Houston's 40-man roster.
Stubbs makes repeated contact with a simple left-handed swing and controls the strike zone better than any Astros product. He made a conscious effort to drive the ball more last year, though he's not very physical and his power will come more in the form of doubles than home runs. Extremely athletic for a catcher, he has average speed and knows what he's doing on the bases.
Stubbs moves well behind the plate and shows solid receiving skills. He has arm strength to match and it plays up because of his quick transfer, enabling him to throw out 44 percent of basestealers in his first four years as a pro. His biggest drawback is that he's just 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and wears down over the course of a season, making him more of a backup because he won't hold up as a regular.
Stubbs hit .240 in his first three years at Southern California before batting .346 with 20 steals as a senior in 2015, winning the Johnny Bench Award as college baseball's top catcher and Pacific-12 Conference defensive player of the year honors. Signed for $100,000 as an eighth-rounder, he opened more eyes by hitting .304/.391/.469 while advancing to Double-A during his first full pro season. He started last year in similar fashion but slumped in May and never snapped out of it, finishing at .232/.328/.321.
Stubbs is better than his 2017 numbers and has rebounded this season, but at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds he's not equipped to handle a full season's workload behind the plate. He also looked worn down at the end of 2016 in the Arizona Fall League and will have to do a better job of managing his strength via nutrition and weightlifting. While he may not have the stamina to be a regular in the big leagues, he has the tools to be a quality backup.
Using a simple left-handed swing, Stubbs makes consistent line-drive contact and excels at managing the strike zone. He's not geared for power but does have average speed and provides more value on the bases than a typical catcher. His athleticism pays off behind the plate, where he receives well and enhances his solid arm strength with a quick transfer.
After hitting .240 in his first three seasons at Southern California, Stubbs batted .346 with 20 steals as a senior, won the Johnny Bench Award as college baseball's best catcher and was named Pac-12 Conference defensive player of the year. He has continued to impress after signing for $100,000 as an eighth-rounder in 2015, batting .304/.391/.469 and reaching Double-A during his first full pro season.
His 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame leads to a lot of questions about whether he'll be durable enough to be a big league starter, but that's the only real concern. His size also makes him the player he is, as he's much quicker and more athletic than the typical catcher. He receives and blocks well, and he enhances solid arm strength with fast footwork and impressive accuracy -- which allowed him to throw out 51 percent of basestealers in 2016.
Stubbs excels at making contact at the plate and has walked (64) more than he has struck out (53) in his first two pro seasons. He uses a simple left-handed swing but can drive the ball on occasions and improved his slugging percentage at each of his first four Minor League stops, so he might be able to provide double-digit homers on an annual basis.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 30 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Stubbs hit just .240 in his first three seasons at Southern California before breaking out as a senior in 2015. He won the Johnny Bench Award as the college baseball's top catcher as well as Pacific-12 Conference defensive player of the year accolades while batting .346 with 20 steals. He hasn't slowed down since signing for $100,000 as an eighth-round pick, advancing to Double-A barely more than a year after turning pro.
Stubbs stands out most with his work behind the plate. He's very athletic for a catcher, moves well and is a solid receiver. He can shut down a running game because his arm plays above its solid strength thanks to his quickness and accuracy.
The questions with Stubbs are whether he'll be durable enough at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds and how much offense he'll provide. He has an extreme contact approach that has yielded very little power outside of the jet tunnel at high Class A Lancaster. While he probably won't hit enough to be a regular, he does have on-base ability and surprising savvy on the bases.