2013 Positional Power Rankings: Catcher

Due to an unfortunate data error, the numbers in this story did not include park factors upon publication. We have updated the data to include the park factors, and the data you see below is now correct. We apologize for the mistake.

What’s all this, then? For an explanation of this series, please read the introductory post. As noted in that introduction, the data is a hybrid projection of the ZIPS and Steamer systems with playing time determined through depth charts created by our team of authors. The rankings are based on aggregate projected WAR for each team at a given position.

With the intro out of the way, we have to start this series somewhere, and I can’t think of a compelling reason not to start with the catchers. So, we’re going to start with the catchers, and yes, since the rankings are based on imperfect projections and subjective depth chart determinations, there are quibbles to be had here if you’re the type who enjoys quibbling.

Especially because catchers occupy the position about which we probably know the least. Oh, we know a lot about how catchers run and hit, and we know something about how they throw, but we’re still in the beginning stages of understanding the importance of handling a pitching staff. There’s been some groundbreaking research in the study of pitch-framing, but those numbers aren’t included here. There’s a lot more than pitch-framing, too, which also isn’t included here. So while, below, you’ll find rankings based on what we can measure, I’ll take care to note when I think a ranking might be off for other reasons. With that all expressed, let’s start from the top.

#1 Giants


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Buster Posey 448 .303 .380 .489 .371 22.4 -0.8 5.3 5.3
Hector Sanchez 173 .258 .297 .379 .293 -2.2 -0.2 0.0 0.7
Guillermo Quiroz 19 .234 .292 .348 .278 -0.5 0.0 -0.1 0.0
Total 640 .288 .355 .454 .347 19.6 -1.0 5.3 6.0

In theory, depth could be a big help in allowing a team to achieve the #1 spot. I don’t really have anything against Hector Sanchez — he’s perfectly adequate — but this isn’t about Hector Sanchez. This is about Buster Posey, because it helps your ranking when you’re dealing with the last season’s league Most Valuable Player. No, Posey isn’t projected to do what he did in 2012. No, Posey shouldn’t be projected to do what he did in 2012, nor does it really matter for purposes of this ranking. He’s simply tremendous, and tremendous enough to lift the Giants to the top.

Of interest is that this isn’t even all of Posey’s projected WAR, since he should get some time at first base that isn’t accounted for here. He’s got a projected .380 OBP. He’s got a career .380 OBP. Seems sensible. Say hello to Guillermo Quiroz, potential emergency catcher who is still in baseball, and who is actually only 31 years old.

#2 Cardinals


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Yadier Molina 512 .288 .351 .430 .338 11.1 -1.6 8.2 4.7
Tony Cruz 102 .241 .290 .358 .283 -2.4 -0.2 0.9 0.4
Rob Johnson 26 .215 .288 .322 .268 -0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 640 .278 .338 .414 .326 7.8 -1.9 9.0 5.1

Chances are you don’t know anything about Tony Cruz, aside from his name, now, and the fact that he’s a Cardinals catcher, now. It doesn’t matter, because Cruz shouldn’t play that much, because Cruz is behind Yadier Molina, and Yadier Molina is amazing, as backstops go. It’s true that, when Molina was first getting going, he didn’t hit. But he started to hit in 2007, and he can also hold his own on the bases while being arguably the best defensive catcher in baseball. As is, he’s so good in the field that the Cardinals might be even with the Giants at the position in terms of true talent. And that’s using Molina’s rather bearish projection, which doesn’t believe in his last two seasons. At least, I suspect the difference between #1 and #2 is less than almost a full win.

#3 Phillies


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Carlos Ruiz 448 .281 .364 .425 .339 8.7 -0.6 3.2 3.7
Erik Kratz 141 .247 .313 .428 .318 0.3 -0.2 0.3 0.8
Humberto Quintero 51 .234 .269 .324 .257 -2.4 -0.1 0.2 0.0
Total 640 .269 .345 .417 .328 6.6 -0.9 3.7 4.5

Here’s a tricky one — Ruiz, see, is facing a 25-game suspension to begin the year. Whenever a guy turns out to be a drug cheat, it’s hard to know what to do with his numbers. Thus, it’s hard to know how to project his numbers, assuming the drug use stops. Ruiz is coming off a career-high .215 ISO and a career-high .398 wOBA. But it stands to reason that Ruiz shouldn’t completely fall apart, and his projected .339 wOBA is right on his career mark. So I’m willing to accept it. Also helping matters is that Erik Kratz actually looks to be a reasonable backup. Kratz has power and hints of plus defensive ability, allowing him to survive a below-average contact rate. Once Ruiz is back, then the Phillies should have a pretty good catcher behind the plate every day. That’s one of the reasons they can’t be written off as a bounceback 2013 contender.

#4 Orioles


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Matt Wieters 512 .257 .333 .435 .332 5.3 -1.2 7.8 4.1
Taylor Teagarden 115 .203 .281 .347 .275 -4.1 0.1 -0.2 0.2
Luis Exposito 13 .234 .291 .358 .285 -0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0
Total 640 .247 .323 .418 .321 0.9 -1.2 7.6 4.3

At one point, Taylor Teagarden was a pretty good prospect. He hasn’t panned out, but for the 2013 Baltimore Orioles, it hardly matters, because Teagarden’s behind Matt Wieters, and Wieters was a super-prospect who’s an excellent regular who also hasn’t scraped his ceiling. I remember, in a chat I did some time back, a user asked if Wieters might be one of the league’s best catchers this coming year. Wieters was already one of the league’s best catchers in 2012, and I don’t see any reason to believe he’s going to decline. He’s 26, and between the last two seasons he barely changed. Maybe you want for Wieters to be more. His prospect hype, after all, was loud and inescapable. If he never becomes more, he’s already terrific. Most teams in baseball would not-literally kill to have Matt Wieters.

#5 Tigers


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Alex Avila 512 .252 .356 .416 .337 8.0 -0.9 3.1 3.9
Brayan Pena 96 .255 .300 .368 .290 -2.1 -0.3 0.1 0.3
Bryan Holaday 32 .229 .283 .318 .265 -1.3 0.0 0.2 0.1
Total 640 .252 .344 .403 .326 4.6 -1.1 3.3 4.3

He doesn’t always look it, but Avila’s only newly 26 years old. Though the 2012 season took a bite out of Avila’s power, he played the season through knee discomfort that took a toll on his swing mechanics, and now Avila claims to be healed up and capable of things he couldn’t do, physically, a year ago. Every year, players come to camp saying their injury problems are behind them, but with Avila it makes sense, and two years ago he slugged .506. That’s why the projections foresee something of a bounceback, allowing the Tigers to show up high in the rankings despite very limited positional depth. If Avila’s problems aren’t behind him, then the Tigers will have a problem at catcher. But as long as Avila’s symptom-free, that’s just a negative hypothetical.

#6 Diamondbacks


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Miguel Montero 512 .268 .357 .432 .341 7.2 -1.3 5.4 4.0
Rod Barajas 96 .230 .296 .395 .296 -2.1 -0.3 -0.6 0.2
Wil Nieves 32 .237 .284 .310 .256 -1.7 -0.1 -0.1 0.0
Total 640 .261 .344 .420 .330 3.4 -1.7 4.7 4.2

There’s not much not to like about Montero, who doesn’t get the attention of a Posey or a Molina. For a catcher, he can hit for above-average power. He hasn’t finished with a wOBA under .330 since 2007, his strikeout-to-walk ratios are acceptable, he throws out a lot of runners, and he frames. Montero is solid across the board, allowing him to be a star even though he doesn’t have an outstanding skill. It’s an open question as to who will actually be his backup, but it’s of little significance; neither option is great, and neither option would stand to play that often. Because, by the way, Montero is durable, too.

#7 Twins


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Joe Mauer 384 .299 .390 .431 .355 12.7 -0.3 -0.9 3.3
Ryan Doumit 128 .260 .319 .414 .314 0.0 -0.3 0.0 0.7
Drew Butera 128 .217 .267 .308 .254 -6.2 0.0 0.8 0.1
Total 640 .274 .351 .402 .327 6.5 -0.6 -0.1 4.2

Well, Butera can’t hit, Doumit can’t field, and Mauer can’t catch every day. Doumit is easily one of the very worst defensive catchers in baseball, despite what these numbers say, and it’s his bat that keeps him in the lineup. But this remains predominantly Joe Mauer’s position, even though he won’t get all of his time behind the plate. The projection doesn’t see Mauer getting back to his dinger-happy 2009 days, and it shouldn’t — since then, Mauer’s gone deep just 22 times. But Mauer still hits for average and Mauer still walks, and most catchers just can’t hit the way that Joe Mauer can hit. Of all the Twins’ problems, the catching position isn’t much of one.

#8 Royals


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Salvador Perez 480 .284 .320 .423 .320 1.7 -0.7 5.7 3.4
George Kottaras 128 .235 .339 .399 .323 0.8 -0.2 -0.8 0.7
Brett Hayes 32 .224 .273 .346 .267 -1.3 0.0 0.1 0.1
Total 640 .272 .321 .415 .318 1.2 -0.9 5.0 4.1

On the tenth day of May, Salvador Perez will turn 23 years old. He’s already batted almost 500 times in the bigs, with a .311 average and legitimate power. Last year he struck out just 27 times in more than 300 plate appearances. It would be easy to knock Perez for not walking, and he most certainly doesn’t walk, but he’s got phenomenal bat control and the Royals say good things about his ability to handle a pitching staff. His projection is modest, given what he’s done, and he has upside beyond this. And behind him, there’s George Kottaras, who isn’t Yadier Molina in the field but who does own a 97 career wRC+. Anyway, that long-term Perez contract looked a little weird at the time. It looks more sensational now. For the Royals.

#9 Braves


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Brian McCann 448 .257 .340 .442 .334 7.1 -1.2 1.2 3.2
Gerald Laird 96 .245 .309 .337 .281 -2.5 0.1 0.3 0.3
Evan Gattis 64 .254 .309 .466 .333 1.0 -0.1 -0.3 0.4
Christian Bethancourt 32 .246 .276 .323 .259 -1.4 -0.1 0.2 0.0
Total 640 .255 .329 .423 .323 4.1 -1.2 1.4 4.0

Much like Carlos Ruiz, Brian McCann is going to miss the beginning of the regular season. But not because he’s facing a suspension — McCann, rather, is coming back from shoulder surgery. Which is bad, because it’s shoulder surgery, but which is good, because last year, with a hurt shoulder, McCann slugged .399. Healthy, McCann should get back to hitting like he used to, and between 2008-2011 McCann’s worst wRC+ was 119. The numbers also suggest McCann is a hell of a pitch-framer, so a healthy McCann is among the league’s elite. What the Braves don’t have now is David Ross, who has been an incredible backup. Laird is worse, and Evan Gattis is a wonderful mystery. But from the time McCann is able to make his return, the Braves should be sitting pretty at the catcher position. If McCann does get back to 100%, the Braves probably belong higher on this list.

#10 Indians


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Carlos Santana 352 .249 .367 .437 .348 10.7 -0.8 -0.3 2.9
Lou Marson 256 .225 .319 .315 .287 -4.9 0.0 -0.1 0.9
Yan Gomes 32 .236 .288 .396 .296 -0.4 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Total 640 .239 .344 .385 .321 5.4 -0.8 -0.5 4.0

Carlos Santana can hit, so it’s acceptable that he isn’t much of a defensive catcher. Lou Marson can’t hit so good, so it’s less acceptable that he isn’t much of a defensive catcher. Marson does have Santana beat in blocking and arm, but as we’ve written about here before, neither scores well in the pitch-framing metrics, which seems to have done the Indians’ pitching staffs a real disservice. Because of Santana’s bat, no one would consider the Indians’ catching position a team weakness. Santana still does a lot of things well, and he’s only nearly 27. But I can’t help but wonder how the Indians might look with a backstop more defensively able.

#11 Brewers


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Jonathan Lucroy 448 .271 .330 .418 .325 3.5 -0.1 1.4 3.0
Martin Maldonado 192 .238 .302 .367 .295 -3.2 -0.4 1.4 0.8
Total 640 .261 .322 .403 .316 0.3 -0.6 2.8 3.8

All right, so the projections don’t buy Jonathan Lucroy’s 2012 bat, and that’s fine. All right, so the projections don’t buy Martin Maldonado’s 2012 bat,and that’s fine, too. The projections are smarter than I am; the projections are free of bias. But despite those modest projections, the Brewers still project for nearly 4 WAR from their catchers, and these are two catchers who have scored well in the framing sheets. Lucroy in particular has been outstanding from Day One, and for that I think they deserve a boost. What you see is the Brewers slotting in at #11. Personally, I’d probably bump them into the top 10. But I’m a big fan of framing research, and maybe I’m the one who’s wrong.

#12 Reds


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Ryan Hanigan 384 .268 .360 .354 .311 -2.1 -0.4 6.3 2.5
Devin Mesoraco 224 .244 .316 .416 .314 -0.7 -0.4 -0.2 1.1
Miguel Olivo 32 .237 .272 .428 .298 -0.5 -0.1 0.0 0.1
Total 640 .258 .340 .380 .311 -3.3 -0.9 6.2 3.8

Like McCann and Lucroy, the framing numbers love Ryan Hanigan. He blocks pitches, too, and he throws runners out. He makes contact 10 out of every 11 times that he swings, and he seldom goes fishing. Hanigan’s walked in 12% of his plate appearances. What Hanigan doesn’t have is power, which keeps him from being truly outstanding. Behind him we find the confusing Devin Mesoraco, who’s been putrid in his limited big-league career. His minor-league numbers are far more encouraging, and he’s only 24. That’s what the projection is seeing. If Mesoraco hits, the Reds should have a legitimate two-headed threat. If not, well, the starter’s pretty tremendous, so they’ve got that going for them. Hanigan is far from being a problem.

#13 Padres


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Yasmani Grandal 320 .260 .357 .409 .335 7.9 -0.3 -0.4 2.5
Nick Hundley 192 .227 .295 .362 .284 -3.1 -0.4 1.9 0.9
John Baker 128 .235 .316 .311 .277 -2.7 -0.2 -1.4 0.3
Total 640 .245 .330 .375 .308 2.1 -0.9 0.1 3.7

Wow, Yasmani Grandal put up a 144 wRC+ while playing half the time in Petco! Wow, Yasmani Grandal got busted for PEDs! Grandal is facing a lengthy suspension, and as another consequence, we don’t know what to do with his numbers. What the suspension does is give Nick Hundley an opportunity, because while Hundley was dreadful in 2012, he played most of that time through a knee injury that eventually brought him down. There’s reason to believe Hundley could put himself back on the map, and two years ago he was an offensive threat. He’s not a great defender. If Hundley hits and Grandal doesn’t crater upon his return, this position could be an actual strength. But we can’t assume a Hundley bounceback, and Grandal will have to prove himself all over again. Maybe it isn’t fair, but neither is cheating.

#14 Dodgers


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
A.J. Ellis 448 .247 .357 .356 .316 2.8 -1.2 2.1 2.9
Tim Federowicz 160 .234 .302 .351 .287 -2.8 -0.1 1.0 0.7
Jesus Flores 32 .230 .274 .366 .276 -0.8 -0.1 -0.1 0.1
Total 640 .243 .339 .355 .307 -0.8 -1.4 2.9 3.6

A year ago, these rankings had the Dodgers last. Then A.J. Ellis went and got on base more than 37% of the time, and he slugged .414, instead of the projected .317. So that’s kind of how the Dodgers moved so far up in the list. Ellis, probably, won’t hit quite so well again, and Tim Federowicz can’t yet be counted on as a strong reserve. What the Dodgers don’t have is one of the league’s best catching situations. But what the Dodgers also don’t have is one of the league’s worst catching situations. Whoops.

#15 Athletics


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
John Jaso 448 .253 .356 .394 .331 7.2 -0.6 -3.6 2.8
Derek Norris 160 .209 .310 .362 .298 -1.7 -0.1 -0.4 0.7
Luke Montz 32 .205 .291 .361 .284 -0.7 0.0 0.1 0.1
Total 640 .240 .341 .384 .321 4.8 -0.7 -3.9 3.6

The Mariners traded John Jaso because they don’t think he’s a regular player, and because they don’t like his work behind the plate. The A’s are going to try him as a regular player, and while he isn’t a defensive wizard, he’s fresh off a near-.400 OBP. Jaso has one of baseball’s better plate approaches, and there’s also the chance he holds on to some of his 2012 power gains. If Jaso hits like that again, the A’s won’t care if he drops every fifth pitch. Well, no, that’s not true, they would care, but they’d console themselves by looking at his batting line. Norris is looking at a platoon job, and he ought to hit better than he just did. This has the makings of a very classically Oakland job share.

#16 Angels


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Chris Iannetta 384 .226 .338 .388 .319 2.8 -0.9 1.0 2.4
Hank Conger 192 .252 .318 .385 .305 -0.6 0.0 -1.0 0.9
John Hester 64 .228 .292 .343 .277 -1.7 0.0 -0.4 0.1
Total 640 .234 .328 .383 .311 0.5 -0.9 -0.5 3.5

Chris Iannetta is a perfectly serviceable bat and a perfectly serviceable defender. If there’s something exciting about him, please inform me in the comments below this post. Hank Conger has a better minor-league track record than major-league track record, but then Conger has done a lot of his damage with triple-A Salt Lake, which should be taken with several grains of…yeah. If Conger were to develop, he’d be a perfectly serviceable bat and a perfectly serviceable defender. John Hester is a player in the Angels organization. The Angels’ roster has a lot of sex appeal. This isn’t where you’re going to find it. The hope is that these guys do enough to not be a problem.

#17 Nationals


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Kurt Suzuki 371 .253 .304 .383 .298 -5.0 -0.4 2.3 1.7
Wilson Ramos 230 .258 .318 .411 .313 -0.4 -0.3 1.5 1.4
Jhonatan Solano 19 .243 .285 .360 .280 -0.5 0.0 0.1 0.1
Sandy Leon 19 .237 .299 .330 .278 -0.6 0.0 0.1 0.1
Total 640 .254 .308 .391 .302 -6.4 -0.8 4.0 3.2

The idea, I believe, is that Kurt Suzuki will open the season as the starter, but as Wilson Ramos works his way back from injury, he’ll play more and more often. So, come the end of the summer, the responsibilities could be flipped, which could be good news for Washington given Ramos’ certain upside. Ramos is the more exciting of the two catchers, and Suzuki’s strikeouts are going in the wrong direction. Suzuki is perfectly safe, and we can’t take Ramos’ return for granted, but the sooner Ramos can get back to full strength, the better the Nationals’ situation looks.

#18 Pirates


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Russell Martin 416 .238 .330 .371 .309 -0.7 -0.1 1.1 2.3
Michael McKenry 192 .229 .305 .364 .293 -2.8 -0.3 -0.2 0.7
Tony Sanchez 32 .231 .307 .344 .289 -0.6 0.0 0.1 0.1
Total 640 .235 .321 .368 .303 -4.1 -0.3 1.0 3.2

For the Pirates, this is less about having Russell Martin, and more about having Russell Martin instead of Rod Barajas. Martin comes with very little performance upside, given his age and past workload, but he provides a stable presence and he’s considered to be a good handler of pitchers. He has the statistical track record of a good pitch-framer, which is something the Pirates have sorely lacked in recent seasons. McKenry’s still around as a half-decent backup, but with Martin, this position shouldn’t be an embarrassment. That’s a step up, even if the end result isn’t magnificent.

#19 Mariners


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Jesus Montero 416 .265 .319 .425 .319 4.2 -0.8 -3.7 2.3
Kelly Shoppach 160 .199 .289 .353 .283 -3.0 -0.1 0.4 0.6
Ronny Paulino 32 .248 .296 .333 .273 -0.9 -0.1 -0.2 0.1
Mike Zunino 32 .242 .304 .371 .293 -0.3 0.0 0.0 0.1
Total 640 .247 .309 .400 .306 0.0 -1.1 -3.4 3.1

Just when it seemed like the Mariners were prepared to shift Jesus Montero away from catcher, they went the opposite direction, installing him as the 2013 regular backstop. He’s really only keeping the position warm for Mike Zunino, but Zunino still needs at least a few more months of seasoning, since his professional experience is limited. Montero, in 2012, lost some of his shine, as he didn’t hit like the masher he was billed as when a prospect. There are legitimate concerns with his approach, and he’s unlikely to ever post a high OBP, even if he starts hitting for more power. In the immediate, Montero looks like a potentially average bat with more weaknesses than strengths in the field. Kelly Shoppach is a power-hitting backup with some modest defensive ability. There’s no denying Montero’s offensive ceiling, but odds are he’s not about to approach it.

#20 Mets


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
John Buck 384 .225 .306 .386 .301 -2.7 -0.3 -0.5 1.8
Anthony Recker 192 .233 .306 .391 .308 -0.4 0.1 -0.6 1.0
Travis D’Arnaud 64 .256 .305 .422 .312 0.1 0.0 -0.2 0.3
Total 640 .231 .306 .392 .304 -3.0 -0.3 -1.3 3.1

Maybe you think Travis d’Arnaud is going to play a lot more than this in the bigs in 2013. Maybe you’re right; there’s not much standing in his way. But if you swap his playing time with Anthony Recker’s, nothing changes in terms of projected WAR. Here, we have Recker getting three times the plate appearances and accumulating three times the WAR. The starter out of the gate will be John Buck, and John Buck is John Buck, exactly as you know him. He’ll post a low OBP and he’ll hit some dingers. Recker is just a guy, and d’Arnaud is clearly the future. The future should and will arrive this season, barring further injury, so while the Mets deserve this low ranking at least they can see the upside coming. That the Mets don’t look good at catcher in 2013 doesn’t mean the Mets won’t look good at catcher in 2014.

#21 Blue Jays


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
J.P. Arencibia 448 .230 .285 .443 .311 -1.9 -0.7 0.4 2.2
Henry Blanco 128 .238 .302 .373 .293 -2.4 -0.2 1.2 0.6
Josh Thole 64 .260 .331 .341 .293 -1.2 -0.1 -0.4 0.2
Total 640 .234 .293 .419 .306 -5.5 -0.9 1.2 3.0

J.P. Arencibia has plenty of power, and he still has youth on his side, but he owns the same career OBP as Miguel Olivo. He strikes out too often for someone who doesn’t walk, and there’s no reason to believe that’s about to change. He’s not exceptional elsewhere in his game, so basically, Arencibia is fine when he’s collecting extra-base hits, and when he isn’t, he’s an exploitable liability. Henry Blanco is 41 years old. While the Blue Jays would love it if Arencibia took a step forward, as with the Angels, the real hope is for the catchers to just not be a weakness.

#22 Rangers


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
A.J. Pierzynski 467 .274 .315 .428 .318 -2.8 -1.7 -0.2 2.1
Geovany Soto 173 .234 .320 .418 .319 -0.8 -0.2 0.2 0.9
Total 640 .264 .317 .426 .318 -3.6 -2.0 0.1 3.0

Last year, A.J. Pierzynski slugged .501, and he’s probably going to regress away from that. A few years ago, Geovany Soto slugged .497, and he’s probably going to regress toward that. Pierzynski isn’t the hitter he just was, but Soto probably isn’t the hitter he just was, allowing for some averaging out. Though it was too bad for Pierzynski to have to leave the hitter-friendly confines of Chicago, Texas ought to treat him well. Depending on how much Soto bounces back at the plate, the Rangers might never have to start a liability. But there is the chance that Soto’s just done being all right.

#23 Rockies


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Wilin Rosario 384 .266 .310 .489 .339 1.5 -0.7 -0.8 2.1
Ramon Hernandez 224 .260 .314 .404 .309 -4.6 -0.9 -0.1 0.7
Jordan Pacheco 32 .283 .330 .399 .317 -0.4 0.0 -0.3 0.1
Total 640 .265 .312 .455 .327 -3.5 -1.6 -1.2 2.9

You don’t find many pitch-blockers worse than Wilin Rosario. You don’t find many walk rates worse than Wilin Rosario’s. If you wanted, you could make a strong statistical case against Rosario having much of a big-league career. But the guy just slugged 28 dingers in 117 games as a 23-year-old rookie, and of note is that he drew eight walks in the first half and 17 walks in the second half. Rosario was at his best down the stretch, and there’s the hope that he made some adjustments and refined his approach. He’s a volatile sort, of course, because of his swinging ways. Hernandez is an acceptable backup who isn’t otherwise remarkable. The error bars around the Rockies’ catcher position are considerable. But Rosario can’t be dismissed, and there’s a fair chance he comes out and slugs .500 again. Slug .500 and you make up for a lot of shortcomings.

#24 Red Sox


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 384 .230 .297 .427 .311 -3.4 -0.5 -1.5 1.6
David Ross 192 .244 .322 .401 .315 -1.1 -0.7 1.5 1.0
Ryan Lavarnway 64 .246 .316 .402 .311 -0.5 -0.1 -0.6 0.2
Total 640 .236 .306 .417 .312 -5.0 -1.2 -0.6 2.8

At this point, it seems like we have a pretty good understanding of what Jarrod Saltalamacchia is as a catcher. We also have a pretty good understanding of what David Ross is as a catcher, and Ross is perhaps the league’s best backup, with terrific power and exceptional framing skills. These are two catchers who are going to strike out, and that’s going to be the source of some consistent frustration. But they could combine for 30 home runs, and Ross could really help the pitching staff generate a few extra outs. Ryan Lavarnway could develop, but with the guys ahead of him on the depth chart, the Red Sox don’t need him to rush.

#25 White Sox


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Tyler Flowers 448 .216 .317 .397 .313 -3.3 -0.6 0.0 2.1
Hector Gimenez 160 .237 .295 .388 .297 -3.2 -0.2 0.4 0.6
Josh Phegley 32 .246 .288 .363 .284 -1.0 0.0 0.1 0.1
Total 640 .223 .310 .393 .307 -7.4 -0.8 0.6 2.7

There’s not much to say about Hector Gimenez or Josh Phegley. Certainly not that you’d find worth reading. Tyler Flowers is the player of intrigue, being not old and possessing a .484 minor-league slugging percentage. Flowers swings hard and misses a lot, and that’s not a characteristic that’s going to be ironed out over time. That’s going to stick with Flowers for as long as he plays. But his power is real and it should look even better in Chicago half the time. In limited big-league trials Flowers has posted a .183 ISO. He doesn’t seem to be a defensive liability. If Flowers can keep his strikeouts even somewhat in control, he should give the White Sox some stability at the position. He won’t be great and his backups will be worse, but the White Sox could get enough production to be satisfied.

#26 Cubs


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Welington Castillo 410 .242 .313 .408 .313 -1.8 -0.4 -0.5 2.0
Dioner Navarro 179 .247 .313 .368 .295 -3.4 -0.4 0.1 0.6
Steve Clevenger 51 .257 .314 .354 .294 -1.0 -0.1 -0.4 0.1
Total 640 .244 .313 .393 .307 -6.3 -0.9 -0.7 2.7

This is not a high-upside position. Steve Clevenger has very limited upside, Dioner Navarro has even more limited upside, and though Welington Castillo is still a kid at 25, he’s been only adequate in the minors, and his approach in the majors suggests he won’t maintain a high OBP. That he’s slugged .488 in triple-A is of some significance, given the relative difficulty of hitting for power in Iowa, but the projections agree that Castillo is something like a league-average bat with perhaps roughly league-average defense. That doesn’t make him a problem, but that doesn’t make the position a strength.

#27 Astros


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Jason Castro 448 .243 .324 .364 .303 -3.6 -0.6 -1.1 1.9
Carlos Corporan 160 .235 .295 .368 .286 -3.5 -0.5 -0.6 0.4
Jason Jaramillo 32 .225 .292 .306 .266 -1.2 0.0 -0.1 0.0
Total 640 .240 .315 .362 .297 -8.4 -1.1 -1.8 2.4

Jason Castro, just a few years ago, was the tenth overall pick, and fewer years ago, he was Baseball America’s #41 overall prospect. He does have offensive potential, and he says his knee problems are behind him, but he’s limited by mediocre power and mediocre defense, and the guys behind him aren’t anything. Carlos Corporan is a journeyman in training, and Jason Jaramillo already is a journeyman, at 30 years old. The Astros might be better than this if Castro hits like he did in 2012, and it’s within the realm of possibility that Castro could even exceed that. But based on the projections, the Astros are here near the bottom, and you should get used to seeing that. This series is just beginning.

#28 Rays


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Jose Molina 256 .228 .290 .353 .285 -4.8 -0.7 1.4 1.0
Jose Lobaton 224 .223 .308 .326 .280 -5.0 -0.3 -0.4 0.6
Chris Gimenez 96 .238 .310 .342 .286 -1.7 -0.2 -0.3 0.3
Robinson Chirinos 64 .237 .308 .360 .295 -0.7 -0.1 0.2 0.3
Total 640 .229 .301 .343 .285 -12.2 -1.3 0.9 2.2

I know, I know. Among those of you who put stock in pitch-framing research, this ranking is criminal. That’s because Molina is probably the best framer in the league, and the Rays think he saves them tens of runs with his glovework. I agree that there’s something there, and I agree that the Rays don’t belong in 28th on this list, but for whatever it’s worth, Molina won’t catch that many innings, and he really isn’t a hitter. In early June, he’s going to turn 38. Jose Lobaton doesn’t make for an outstanding backup. Jose Molina is amazing at framing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Rays have a good catching situation; it just means they have a better catching situation than the other numbers might suggest. I’ll note that, of the three catchers who mainly caught Rays pitchers in 2012, Molina had the highest OPS against.

#29 Yankees


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Chris Stewart 320 .235 .302 .329 .279 -10.2 0.1 0.7 0.8
Francisco Cervelli 288 .236 .314 .332 .289 -6.8 0.0 -0.9 0.8
Austin Romine 32 .248 .302 .363 .290 -0.7 0.0 -0.1 0.1
Total 640 .236 .308 .332 .284 -17.7 0.1 -0.3 1.7

The team that couldn’t afford to re-sign the perfectly decent Russell Martin is left choosing between Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli. Austin Romine has already been sent to the minors. Stewart is 31 and he isn’t going to hit. Cervelli might hit a little, but he isn’t going to hit much. Stewart has going in his favor a positive defensive reputation, and the numbers like his framing. The smaller-sample numbers also like Cervelli’s framing, to a lesser extent, so this situation isn’t hopeless. First and foremost, the Yankees just want these guys to be good to the pitching staff. They should be able to manage that; they probably won’t be able to manage much else.

#30 Marlins


Name PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Bat BsR Fld WAR
Rob Brantly 416 .259 .305 .373 .296 -6.5 -0.6 -0.7 1.5
Jeff Mathis 128 .211 .257 .322 .250 -6.7 -0.2 0.6 0.0
Kyle Skipworth 64 .210 .265 .331 .258 -2.9 -0.1 -0.3 0.0
Jacob Realmuto 32 .233 .282 .309 .259 -1.4 0.0 0.1 0.0
Total 640 .243 .290 .356 .281 -17.6 -0.9 -0.3 1.6

You’re forgiven if you confused Rob Brantly with Rob Bowen. Brantly went over from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade, and he hit well in limited time. But those numbers are unsupported by Brantly’s minor-league track record, and of course, behind him, once he’s recovered from an injury, will be Jeff Mathis. Kyle Skipworth has been a prospect, but he’s been a prospect who doesn’t get on base. Brantly isn’t a hopeless case, and at 23 with an even swing, he could show up as a reasonably productive bat. He still qualifies as a prospect. But he’s a low-ceiling prospect, and the Marlins get no help at this position from their depth. Somebody has to finish last, and just because a situation isn’t hopeless doesn’t mean it isn’t the most hopeless.



Print This Post



Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sam
Guest
Sam
3 years 4 months ago

Jose Molina is the best pitch framer in the league? I thought Lucroy was head and shoulders above everybody else. Well written summaries and the rankings are agreeable overall.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
3 years 4 months ago

You thought wrong, which is no slight to Lucroy. Molina is just on his own level.

Dustin
Guest
Dustin
3 years 4 months ago

You are an ass and mistaken. Since Lucroy came up this article says he is #1 http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 4 months ago

Nope, but way to lead off the ad hominem attacks. Molina has saved far, far more runs per 120 games than Lucroy.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 4 months ago

(You’d know that if you’d actually read the article you linked to)

mmanovich
Guest
mmanovich
3 years 4 months ago

If you look more closely at the article you linked, you’ll see that Molina saved more runs per 120 games through framing than LuCroy did. LuCroy simply played more games. Considering Molina has more years of good framing numbers and was performing better on a rate basis, I think it’s safe to call Molina the best pitch framer. (This also seems to be the consensus of most of the research done.)

Dave
Guest
Dave
3 years 4 months ago

Uh… No it doesn’t. The article pretty clearly shows Molina saving 35 runs per 120 games to Lucroy’s 24 runs.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

This is a free country, and you are free to state your opinions, no matter how obnoxious and ignorant they may be. Congratulations on one of the worst comments I have seen.

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
3 years 4 months ago

Massive amounts of fail in this post.

RMD
Guest
RMD
3 years 4 months ago

Bummer. I was hoping for the Yankees to be ranked 30th in something. Not if Jeff Mathis has any say, though.

Will
Guest
Will
3 years 4 months ago

I think you guys messed up the playing time for Ramos/Suzuki.

Your description is absolutely spot on, “The idea, I believe, is that Kurt Suzuki will open the season as the starter, but as Wilson Ramos works his way back from injury, he’ll play more and more often. So, come the end of the summer, the responsibilities could be flipped…”

But you estimate Suzuki will play about 100 games, while Ramos will play 60. I agree with your write up that suggests that by the end of the season, as their roles reverse, they’ll both receive about equal playing time.

In the end, it probably only amounts to about 0.1 or 0.2 extra WAR, and doesn’t change the fact that the Nationals are still middle-of-the-pack at catcher, but it’s still worth noting.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 4 months ago

“There’s not much to say about Josh Phegley.”

He has a superb name.

2013 Cool Name Power Rankings: Catcher
1. Josh Phegley
2. Erik Kratz
3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
4. Michael Zunino
5. Jose Lobaton
6. Buster Posey
7. Hank Conger
8. Anthony Recker

Jamie Roth
Guest
Jamie Roth
3 years 4 months ago

I think Buster should head that list. That’s just a great baseball name.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 4 months ago

Buster’s first name is All-Star calibre, but his last name is very plain. His birth name, Gerald Dempsey Posey, is impressive but makes me think of dentists.

Trotter76
Guest
Trotter76
3 years 4 months ago

I prefer to switch the endings and call him Busty Poseur.

Oh, Beepy
Guest
Oh, Beepy
3 years 4 months ago

I thought Busty Poseur was with Pete Rose?

Stringer Bell
Guest
Stringer Bell
3 years 4 months ago

So we should call this ranking “Operation Hot Mother”?

Aaron (UK)
Member
Aaron (UK)
3 years 4 months ago

For the purposes of this exercise, I can see a basis for scaling total PA to be the same for each team, but on a position-by-position basis batting order makes a substantial difference.

Posey, batting cleanup and not being pinch-hit for, will likely get about 100 more PA than an AL catcher hitting 9th [if you control for overall team offense].

Dave Cameron
Admin
Member
3 years 4 months ago

This will be offset by the fact that Posey is going to spend more time playing first base than most catchers. Last year, Posey got 480 PAs as a catcher, with the other 120 coming as 1B/DH/PH.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

His WAR from at-bats as 1B (and maybe DH) will be counted separately at those positions, so your comment is off.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

Whoo-eee! This goes beyond picky.

qpontiac
Member
Member
qpontiac
3 years 4 months ago

Inside AT&T he is simply known as Bustorius Maximus Decimus Posidius.

At birth, his father is rumored to have uttered, “Live as one of them Bustorius,to discover where your strength and your power are needed. Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way. For this reason above all, for their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.”

EricR
Guest
EricR
3 years 4 months ago

Our yellow sun gives him strength.

SporTEmINd
Member
SporTEmINd
3 years 4 months ago

This was a good comment. I don’t know why everyone took it to be player specific. A team that consistently has their catcher hitting in the middle of the lineup will get more plate appearances than a team that consistently puts their catcher at the end of the lineup. I don’t know the exact numbers, but a team like the Giants could easily get 50 more plate appearances than the average team because of Posey hitting up in the lineup when he is catching.

Urban Shocker
Guest
Urban Shocker
3 years 4 months ago

What’s Bat in the context here? The numbers look different than the Bat numbers on the Value leaderboard.

Dave Cameron
Admin
Member
3 years 4 months ago

It is batting runs above average.

Marty
Guest
Marty
3 years 4 months ago

These projections certainly seem a bit high for some of the teams at the bottom. Only l9 teams last year managed more than 2 WAR from their catchers….the projections here have 27 with at least average production at C.

Aaron (UK)
Member
Aaron (UK)
3 years 4 months ago

There’s no injuries here, I suppose – that would account for a fair chunk of the optimism bias.

Dave Cameron
Admin
Member
3 years 4 months ago

There will always be a larger spread in results in observed data than in forecast data. The forecasts are predicting weighted means for each individual team, but of course, some teams will underperform or have injury issues and won’t reach their mean projection.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

Thank you for saving me from having to type all that, Dave. Misunderstanding of projections is almost ubiquitous.

Marty
Guest
Marty
3 years 4 months ago

Yeah, didn’t think of injuries. Though there is some degree of “projection” for injuries based on past playing time, correct?

And yes, of course I understand that projections are more “conservative” at the high and low ends. Just seemed like the “average” might have been a touch optimistic.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
3 years 4 months ago

My guesses for possible upside are White Sox, if Flowers can cut down the Ks just a little, and Padres, if Hundley can bounce back somewhat and Grandal can keep producing when he gets back. I don’t expect Grandal to completely match last year’s triple slash even without considering the PED issue, since I think that was a bit of a small sample. Oh, and the Mariners, since I think Montero could start to live up to the billing.

chasfh711
Member
chasfh711
3 years 4 months ago

Would it be possible to put all teams and all positions in a single downloadable CSV file? All you would have to do is to add the team and position to the player lines included in the articles.

Big Jgke
Member
Big Jgke
3 years 4 months ago

I’m sure the Pirates are happy they traded Jose Bautista for Guillermo Quiroz.

Adrock
Guest
Adrock
3 years 4 months ago

It wasn’t Quiroz. It was Robinzon Diaz. Which should make the Pirates feel much better.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 4 months ago

I’m sure glad that the Pirates signed Russel Martin. I can finally not feel guilty about rooting for him, after all those years on the Dodgers and Yankees.

Big Jgke
Member
Big Jgke
3 years 4 months ago

Oops, I knew it was one of the Jays washout catchers. Yeah, not a exactly a banner day in PIT either way.

mikec
Guest
mikec
3 years 4 months ago

W Castillo comment. Iowa suppresses power. Really? Had the impression Iowa home park was fairly neutral for HR, but an offensive boost overall. And, home and road combined, any PCL hitter gets a big boost. It is true Castillo has legit power, but I found the comment questionable and narrow.

Ender
Member
Ender
3 years 4 months ago

It won’t surprise me even a tiny bit if the Brewers finish top 5. Projections are definitely underrating them, probably partially because they don’t understand the injury to Lucroy not being baseball related.

isavage30
Guest
isavage30
3 years 4 months ago

Regarding the pitch framing comment about the Indians catchers, isn’t it a little early in the examination of this topic to treat “x player is a bad pitch framer” as gospel? Santana subjectively I could see as a bad pitch framer, ut I have seen nothing in Matson that makes him less than average.

Big Jgke
Member
Big Jgke
3 years 4 months ago

If pitch framing data/numbers are being used for so much of the subjective analysis of the quality of catchers, why not just include it in the formulas for the projections themselves? Or am I missing something here?

Aaron (UK)
Member
Aaron (UK)
3 years 4 months ago

Well the formulas aren’t fully developed and agreed upon yet.

Don’t worry though, this is only a problem for catchers. Every other position we can nail down perfectly.

Big Jgke
Member
Big Jgke
3 years 4 months ago

I understand how this exercise works, combine the raw data with subjective analysis and you get something approaching a meaningful ranking system; that’s how you can rank teams 15-25, even though they are separated by only 0.5 total WAR. It just seems that pitch framing data is being used as a way to separate those teams, so why not just put it into the actual projections instead of using it as a trump card between players with similar to identical projections?

isavage30
Guest
isavage30
3 years 4 months ago

Didn’t mean to hit publish on my above comment, stupid smart phone. Anyway, from what I understand of the pitch framing data, it’s based on “expected strikes.” I would think logically a pitcher’s expected strikes would be determined largely by factors other than pitch framing, primarily the pitcher’s command. I believe Marson primarily caught Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez in 2011. Both Santana and Marson have been catching Masterson and Ubaldo the last 2 years. It’s one thing to frame a pitch when you set up a few inches outside and the pitcher nails the spot. It’s another thing to frame a pitch from a pitcher who has no idea where the pitch is going. I would have thought that Indians pitchers Ubaldo, Masterson, Hernandez and Joe Smith would be lead leaguers in not getting as many calls as they should, due to their style of pitching and not pitch framing.

It’s an interesting topic, but I think a lot more data would be needed to show the impact of pitch framing and distinguish good pitch framers from poor ones with any degree of certainty. You have Marson and Santana catching Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and I would imagine they would look like good pitch framers. I don’t know how any catcher properly frames a good Justin Masterson sinker.

Spit Ball
Guest
Spit Ball
3 years 4 months ago

Having caught for years I understand your point about the sinkers. By far the hardest pitch to frame because of gravity, balance and an inability to create proper illusion. The Indians with their glut of sinker make it harder on their catchers. Their were a couple of articles that had me rethinking some of my thought process recently posted on this site. One was about Masterson, the other about Lowe. The Pitch fX maps made me see it a little differently. I still agree that the sinker is the hardest pitch to frame though. I’ll post links to articles below.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/setting-a-derek-lowe-baseline/#more-116388

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/how-much-better-could-justin-masterson-be/

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

Sinkers from RHP’s also run “toward the catchers palm, which means you can either try and frame by moving the glove (elbow toward batter) … which is difficult, or by turning your glove upright (so to speak) which is an incredible move in a short period of time. Neither really create the illusion of “framing a strike”.

Sinkers are a b****, especially when they tip off the glove and then the tip of the top. Are you crying? No, my eyes are sweating.

mgraves
Guest
mgraves
3 years 4 months ago

Is it sad if I find Drew Butera’s projected line as overly optimistic? I mean, if he were to hit over .200 with a .570+ OPS, it’d almost be acceptable.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 4 months ago

Does Carlos Santana have some PA’s spread over to DH & 1B? His projected playing time seems light at C, when the alternative is the less-than-exciting Lou Marson.

Dave Cameron
Admin
Member
3 years 4 months ago

Yes, he’s projected for playing time at both 1B/DH.

Demon777
Guest
Demon777
3 years 4 months ago

Already miss you at LL Jeff =(

Boof Bonser
Guest
Boof Bonser
3 years 4 months ago

The fact that Grandal played half his games in Petco doesn’t make his 144 wRC+any more impressive. wRC+ is park-adjusted.

Tomcat
Guest
Tomcat
3 years 4 months ago

depends on whether you think hitting in an extreme pitchers/hitters park affect’s you overall. For instance Headley is a career 105wRC+ hitter at home and a career 125wRC+ on the road. Or Venable who is career 96wRC+ hitter at home or 113wRC+ on the road.

binqasim
Member
binqasim
3 years 4 months ago

For Ramos, it is more than just coming back from injuries. He still needs some work on his defensive game. To be able to handle throws from OF comes to mind. His power is exciting for a catcher and I cannot wait until he becomes a fixture in that lineup.

Double J
Guest
Double J
3 years 4 months ago

wow, as a Yankee fan I’m shocked they aren’t ranked dead-last. I guess two barely servicable catchers beat one barely servicable catcher plus Jeff Mathis and a 1st rnd bust.

Radivel
Guest
Radivel
3 years 4 months ago

Isn’t a 1st round bust with Pete Rose?

Neil
Guest
Neil
3 years 4 months ago

Would prefer to see these lists ordered 30-1, rather than 1-30. Otherwise, excellent stuff.

Mildly Interesting
Guest
Mildly Interesting
3 years 4 months ago

Fun Fact: The 2012 Yankees were the only team to have a positive BsR value from the catcher position.

In the past 5 seasons, only 13 teams have had a positive BsR value for a single season.

Izzy Hechkoff
Guest
Izzy Hechkoff
3 years 4 months ago

ZIPS and Steamer both project d’Arnaud to have a slightly higher wOBA than you projected here. Why?

Randy
Guest
Randy
3 years 4 months ago

In all the write-ups you mentioned when a catcher was potentially going to miss part of the season or get less starts at catcher, whether it was due to injury, suspension, etc…but I don’t think you fairly factored that into the equation in each situation. See Ruiz-Phillies, McCann-Braves. Given Ramos’ upside, I think the Nats are deserving of a higher ranking (not as high as them, but higher than 18th). That being said, there’s probably some Beltway bias involved.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
3 years 4 months ago

Maybe I’m a fool but I feel like Chooch is being over rated here. PEDs or not, his age 33 year was a dramatic increase. I doubt it’s sustainable.

glib
Guest
glib
3 years 4 months ago

Johnny Monell had a great Winter League and now he is tearing up spring training. Hector has a booboo in his leg. I say Hector has an extended stay on the DL while the Giants evaluate Monell in games that count. I am surprised no one picked up Monell in the Rule V.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

If the best defensive catcher in baseball (Yadi) is only worth ~8 defensive runs (above replacement) at what is regarded as such an important defensive position, then I feel as though the replacement level is too low (not likely), we don;t measure things correctly (possible), or something else.

It almost seems to work backwards. Yadi has such a great throwing arm and accuracy that only the best base-stealers attempt on him and at a low rate. Yet, he still throws out a very high (relative) percentage.

The issue seems to be that catchers are “rewarded” for having teams attempt a possible bad strategy (stolen base attempt) on them, and good catchers forcing teams to “be smart” by not attempting stolen bases by runners that don;t have a high probability of meeting the “cutoff %” (or “break even %).

It also seems weird that is appears Molina’s ‘1- season is being given more weight than his ’12 season. Not that it’s quite in the Jose Bautista sense where you “almost have to forget the first part of his career”, but I think we do have to acknowledge that Yadi isn’t the same hitter in 2013 that he was in 2010 or before.

His ISO and BABIP are “up” over the last 2 seasons. I suppose rather than consider it lucky or flukey, at this point, I’d be concluding that “he must be hitting the ball harder”, and be interested in seeing batted ball velocity type stats.

qpontiac
Member
Member
qpontiac
3 years 4 months ago

Dumb question prolly, but what does the “Bat” projection consist of?

qpontiac
Member
Member
qpontiac
3 years 4 months ago

Nevermind saw the answer above

brendan
Guest
brendan
3 years 4 months ago

How come the BsR are so modest for all these catchers (e.g. -0.8 for posey, -0.8 for montero — last year those two were -4.9, -6.7)

Am I misunderstanding that column?

brendan
Guest
brendan
3 years 4 months ago

on second thought, those must be BsR-wins. confusing to have them in wins when the adjacent cols are in runs.

Dave Cameron
Admin
Member
3 years 4 months ago

All those columns are in runs.

brendan
Guest
brendan
3 years 4 months ago

In that case those projections seem awfully rosy, don’t they? -1.7 runs is the max here. All these guys are worse than that, correct?

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t think you can say that Chooch will definitely decline because he got caught taking adderall, it’s not like he was taking HGH or testosterone or something like that.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
3 years 4 months ago

He won’t be able to stay focused.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 4 months ago

Hah, good point.

That Guy
Guest
That Guy
3 years 4 months ago

Not a single player in this group projects to negative WAR on the season? I find that hard to fathom, especially when we’re talking about backup catchers.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 4 months ago

In order to “project negative” a player would have to essentially have 2 out of the last 3 seasons as negative and pretty much have a negative value career, since most projections are regressed to the mean a certain %.

Players that would fit that description are likely no longer major leaguers.

Projecting a negative season is likely similar to projecting an 8 Win season. We know we’ll probably have some, but no one projects to that because projections typically reduce luck (both good and bad), and it’d take a lot of bad luck, or AA talent to project a negative ML WAR.

Dave Cameron
Admin
Member
3 years 4 months ago

True talent negative WAR players are found in Triple-A, not the Majors. You might see a player perform worse than replacement level in a small sample, but you don’t see guys who are actually below replacement level get jobs too often.

That Guy
Guest
That Guy
3 years 4 months ago

I guess I’ve been following the Royals so long I can’t agree with the statement that “you don’t see guys who are actually below replacement level get jobs” but honestly – it seems like our projection systems might be missing something here – maybe call it a market inefficiency? Catching essentially requires an honest dedicated backup who will see something on the order of 200 PA. In our Royals-centric example, there’s no interest in having anything other than Alex Gordon cover every PA from Left Field – with the caveat that maybe giving him days off allows him to continue to produce at his lovely rate, but there’s no way that Sal Perez gets the same treatment, even as good as he is, and all that. I would be willing to bet that if Brett Hayes gets as many as 32 PA, he’ll provide -WAR this year.

Bip
Guest
Bip
3 years 4 months ago

You start with catchers because they’re the first non-pitcher in the traditional 1-9 enumeration of the positions on the field, of course.

Darien
Member
3 years 4 months ago

What if I confuse Rob Brantley with Bob Brenly? Am I still forgiven?

Røark
Member
Røark
3 years 4 months ago

Yankees are the only team projected with catchers that don’t lose runs from base running. Starter Chris Stewart is flashing shades of Homer Bush.

K. D Hucke
Guest
K. D Hucke
3 years 4 months ago

I added up all the fielding runs gained and ended up with a plus 45.3 (I could be wrong by a few decimals). Isn’t zero supposed to be league average? How is the hefty plus value to be explained then?

SeanTronX
Member
SeanTronX
3 years 4 months ago

So many commas

SporTEmINd
Member
SporTEmINd
3 years 4 months ago

Victor Martinez not projected to get any at-bats at catcher? He still played 24 games behind the plate in his last season.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 4 months ago

He just tore his ACL last season. Do you really think the Tigers are going to be putting any pressure on his knees?

snack man
Guest
snack man
3 years 4 months ago

You know, Twins pay $27m for a catcher, you’d hope they at least break the top 5.

Ian Roberts
Guest
Ian Roberts
3 years 4 months ago

It looks like Jeff Sullivan is being paid by the comma.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron
3 years 4 months ago

Erm.. Looks like KC and Minnesota should be swapped if their WAR are properly added up and ordered…

jmpmk2
Guest
jmpmk2
3 years 4 months ago

Willin Rosario isn’t getting enough respect here. He got thrown into a fire as a 22-year old last year when Ramon Hernandez goes down, ever playing above AA, and proceeds to catch 14 different starters — and god knows how many relievers — over the course of the season. I don’t think he’s ever going to be Yadier Molina defensively, but he was always projected as above-average coming up through the farm and I think he has that ability in the majors too.

We act like it’s normal for a 22-year catcher to hit 28 home runs. Really?

2.1 WAR is a joke.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 3 months ago

He’s doesn’t walk or hit for average and, more importantly, he’s the worst defensive catcher in baseball. He’s ranked just about right.

edward
Guest
edward
3 years 9 days ago

Wow, how can you rate the Giants as no1 in catching? Have you looked at Poseys caught stealing stats; 59 attemps and only 12 caught an almost 80% success rate. i would say that stat is important and should rank Gians about 20th.

ahmetdinç
Guest
2 years 10 months ago

evdenevenakliyat

wpDiscuz