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  1. “A good-hitting catcher is rare to find. After Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Victor Martinez and Mike Napoli, the ability for current catchers to hit this season drops off considerably. ”

    If you go by WAR and remove the limitation of only counting those with enough PAs to qualify for the batting title you get quite a few more.

    Comment by JohnnyK — September 22, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  2. How about Ruiz?

    He’s got a 124 OPS+ and a .837 OPS on the year. He’s a pretty good hitter at this point.

    3.7 WAR too…which places him 3rd in the Majors among all Catchers. A full Win higher than Napoli.

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

  3. you forgot Chooch.

    Comment by Burt Lavallo, friend to all — September 22, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  4. Geovany Soto is pretty good.

    Comment by Tim — September 22, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  5. WAR includes defense and positional adjustment, though. If you look at that list, the only catcher with a wOBA over .300 is matt wieters at .313

    Comment by Andy — September 22, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  6. Perhaps things are (soon) to be changing at catcher?

    Add in Carlos Santana in Cleveland, and Buster Posey in SF, and perhaps the hitting at catcher is better overall (or at least trending that way) than the current WAR calculations allow for?

    Comment by Mike Williams — September 22, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  7. Buster Posey…

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  8. Most catchers aren’t ironmen and a good number wont ever qualify for the batting title. Its just part of the difficulty of playing what is the most difficult position in baseball to master. Thus, guys are missed due to lack of PAs during a quick search.

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

  9. I wrote that in a hurry and ment to say “go by the WAR leaderboard” to find the good hitting catchers, not necessarily take WAR to determine them.

    Posey, Posada, Soto, are three I see at first glance with about 400 PAs who certainly count as good hitting catchers IMHO. All above .373 wOBA

    Comment by JohnnyK — September 22, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

  10. Might be my Yankee homerism, but Posada is noticeably absent on that list. I understand he hasn’t been a full time catcher recently, but he’s caught more games this year than Napoli and his 100 G at C last year are more than Napoli’s ever caught in his career.

    Comment by K.B.D. — September 22, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  11. And he’s still a pretty good hitter despite all the injuries. Yeah, his defense is subpar at this point but he can still hit.

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

  12. Correction, make that 4th (depending on whether you count Posey as a full-time catcher this year) Posey has a 3.9 WAR to Chooch’s 3.7

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

  13. Have the defensive scouting reports on Montero changed at all? I’ve never read one that thinks he can be a catcher (even a mediocre one) at the MLB level. All of them have him moving to 1B or DH.

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  14. Yeah, the premise of this article MIGHT still be solid, but the two sentences to start off the “Positional Value” section really undermines anything else that may follow. Mauer and McCann are legitimately awesome-hitting CATCHERS. See also: Geo Soto and Buster Posey (higher wOBA than either Mauer or McCann this year, albeit in less playing time for reasons for which they can’t be blamed). They’re not on this list. Martinez and Napoli have significantly lower wOBAs than all four, AND Napoli hasn’t really been close to being a full-time catcher this season. I think this piece needed a little bit more intense review before posting. Only using facts that support a narrative is unbecoming.

    Comment by Michael — September 22, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  15. Chooch is “okay” with a wOBA of .363. Sure, some bash his OBP skills but getting on-base at the rate he does (.397 OBP) is a legit skill.

    Comment by NEPP — September 22, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  16. This!

    Comment by hairball — September 22, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  17. He also ignores the Giants again by forgetting that Pablo Sandoval is a third baseman converted to third base.

    Comment by matt — September 22, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  18. Fangraphs is an excellent site for stats, but the articles are often poorly researched or narratives based on opinion over fact (see #6 org).

    Comment by Tailspin — September 22, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  19. there are rarely any facts in the baseball world.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — September 22, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  20. “A good-hitting catcher is rare to find. After Joe Mauer, Brian McCann, Victor Martinez and Mike Napoli, the ability for current catchers to hit this season drops off considerably. ”

    No mention of Posey. Sure, the author will blame the fact that he did some search or looked on some leaderboard and Posey hadn’t been shown b/c of a lack of PA’s, which is a lame and completely amateur excuse. That comment said nothing about stats, it said “the ability….”. When it comes to ability, Posey is right up there if not higher than most of the names mentioned. Lame.

    Comment by Bleachers — September 22, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

  21. I know you wrote it in a hurry, but on that list I’d take Posey over everyone not named Mauer, and I don’t think I’m alone. So that’s a pretty big omission. You might think about editing the column.

    Comment by Giant Torture — September 22, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

  22. I’m not sure of scouting reports, but I saw Montero play about a dozen times this year. He looks pretty good, making strong throws to both 2nd and 3rd. Also doing a good job of blocking pitches in the dirt. Only saw him have a couple of bunts/squibbers that were in his area, and he did fine on those too.

    Only thing I thought he needed to work on was throws from the OF for plays at the plate. I didn’t think his positioning was very good on them, and understanding he’s better off letting the ball come to him instead of going and getting it.

    Not that I ever thought I was watching the next coming of Johnny Bench, but in my amateur opinion, I thought he looked capable.

    Comment by Mike K — September 23, 2010 @ 8:05 am

  23. No mention of Soto and Carlos Santana is a joke as well. I’m beginning to think a bot is writing these articles. The quality of articles on Hardball has severly declined as well. What the heck do good writers write about nowadays? It’s not like there are other interesting things to read about, minus the war, the economy, the social revolution, the technological revolution, the climate, etc.

    Comment by this guy — September 23, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  24. Soto is especially important to consider because of the Cubs’ current positional situations heading into 2011. They have the four OF (Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome, Colvin) who likely aren’t moving; Aramis Ramirez at 3B; Soto and a few high-minor prospects at C (plus Koyie Hill still being arbitration eligible); and no true prospect for 1B.

    Given the amount of money committed to the team’s payroll already – not counting the massive raises Soto, Marmol, and Marshall are due to receive in pre-arbitration negotiations – the Cubs might be wise to try shifting Soto to 1B at least part-time, like V-Mart, and using Welington Castillo as the Miguel Olivo-esque backup. It’s a cost-effective solution wherein Soto and Colvin platoon at 1B, Soto and Castillo platoon behind the plate, and Colvin and Fukudome platoon in RF. 500-550 PA for each of the three “vets” and 300 for Castillo.

    The big problem with Soto this year was his health, especially in the shoulder. With the arthroscopy to clean out the AC joint completed, he should be fine in 2011 to catch. But it’s a repetitive use/wear-and-tear injury that simply can happen to pitchers and catchers more than once.

    Comment by Dann M — September 23, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

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