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Rank the Catchers for 2013(Rankings PG:2)
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devils1854


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Rank the Catchers for 2013(Rankings PG:2) Reply with quote

We tried this last year, and got through most of the positions. Basically, you rank who you think will be the best at each position in 2013. You can use whatever criteria that you want. You rank them 1 to whatever number, and I will count them up after a few days.

Just remember some of the position changes. For example, Justin Upton should now be considered a LF and not a RF because of his trade to the Braves.

We are going to start out with the catchers. List your top 20 catchers for this upcoming season.



Here are my rankings:
1.Buster Posey-Giants
2.Yadier Molina-Cardinals
3.Matt Wieters-Orioles
4.Miguel Montero-Diamondbacks
5.Salvador Perez-Royals
6.Joe Mauer-Twins
7.Carlos Santana-Indians
8.Carlos Ruiz-Phillies
9.Brian McCann-Braves
10.Wilin Rosario-Rockies
11.AJ Pierzynski-Rangers
12.Jonathan Lucroy-Brewers
13.John Jaso-Athletics
14.Alex Avila-Tigers
15.Jarrod Saltalamaccia-Red Sox
16.JP Arencibia-Blue Jays
17.Jesus Montero-Mariners
18.Devin Mesoraco-Reds
19.AJ Ellis-Dodgers
20.Russell Martin-Pirates
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bkobow05


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucroy is a top 5 NL catcher, that's all I know. He's a magician behind the plate when it comes to framing pitches.
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nfldraftguru1


Joined: 07 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Posey
2. Yadi
3. Wieters
4. Montero
5. Mauer
6. Perez
7. Lucroy
8. Santana
9. McCann
10. Pierzynski
11. Hanigan
12. Ruiz
13. Ellis
14. Salty
15. Avila
16. Martin
17. J. Molina
18. Jaso
19. Rosario
20. Ramos
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Dr. Philly


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel as if Chooch is being undervalued. Even if you take the suspension in to account and comes down to earth. Chooch is a good 3-4 WAR player and is good at defending his position as well.
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mse326


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Buster Posey
2. Yadier Molina
3. Matt Weiters
4. Salvador Perez
5. Joe Mauer
6. Carlos Santana
7. Miguel Montero
8. Brian McCann
9. Jonathan Lucroy
10. AJ Pierzynski
11. Travis D'Arnaud
12. Alex Avila
13. Wilson Ramos
14. John Jaso
15. Carlos Ruiz
16. Wilin Rosario
17. Yasmani Grandal
18. JP Arencebia
19. AJ Ellis
20. Salty

EDIT: I didn't consider Jesus Montero because he played more at DH than catcher. If I included him he'd be at 16 and everyone else pushed down 1.
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mission27


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Buster Posey - The guy is a superstar.
2. Yadier Molina - I want some of what he's taking. Seriously though, you could argue he's the best catcher in baseball at this point. Last couple of years don't look like a fluke.
3. Joe Mauer - He's still Joe Mauer. Future Hall of Famer who's one of the best players in baseball if he can stay on the field and manage to catch 75-100 games a year.
4. Matt Wieters - Still waiting for that next step offensively but he's going to be 27 next year so it could be coming. In the meantime, elite defender with a solid bat.
5. Miguel Montero - Studly bat in three of the last four seasons, in his prime, still getting better it seems.
6. Carlos Ruiz - A good bat at the position. When he comes back from suspension, of course.
7. Salvador Perez - So good at such a young age.
8. Brian McCann - Should bounce back.
9. Carlos Santana - Breakout season? Maybe. Maybe not. Already a decent player.
10. Jonathan Lucroy - Sort of buying his breakout season.
11. John Jaso - Not sure his new approach is for real. If it is, he's a really good player.
12. Yasmani Grandal - Going to be a hell of a player. Suspenssion and lack of track record keep him out of the top-10.
13. AJ Pierzynski - Coming off his best season in a while but I don't think he can repeat it.
14. Jesus Montero - Long term, I'm a believer. Not there yet though and he's a liability behind the plate.
15. Willin Rosario - He can hit.
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Panthers11


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys like Rob Brantly?
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ramssuperbowl99


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone needs to justify Carlos Santana over Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy has, what, at least 2 wins on Santana on defense alone.
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mission27


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramssuperbowl99 wrote:
Someone needs to justify Carlos Santana over Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy has, what, at least 2 wins on Santana on defense alone.


Sure. By conventional defensive standards for catchers Lucroy looks about league average and before last season he was a dreadfully bad offensive player. Lucroy's case for the top-10 is almost entirely based on two things:

1) His offensive showing in the second half of last season, which is hard to completely buy at face value from a guy who came into the year with a career wOBA of like .290.

2) One article published in Baseball Prospectus that could end up being a game changer but that, to my knowledge, hasn't been extensively peer reviewed or repeated.

My hedge basically is that I'm going to assume Lucroy comes back to earth substantially (but not completely) offensively and is about league average with his bat and I'm going to assume Lucroy is an above average catcher but not the kind of earth shattering performer the BP article makes him out to be.

If Santana can produce at a .350+ wOBA level (and I think that's likely, I'm still a believer, he lit it up in the second half last year, and he's going to be 27) then I think he probably has 10-15 runs over Lucroy with the bat. There's some upside and downside in that number. If Lucroy's really two wins better defensively than he's still the better player even if we don't think he can hit like he did last year. Again, I'm going to hedge that number down a little. So it's pretty much a wash.

But if I had to pick one of these guys, I'm going with Santana. I don't see him as any less than a slightly-below-average catcher who can play first and DH on his off days and hit at a well above average level. I think the upside there is Victor Martinez. Lucroy's downside is that he basically has no offensive value and goes back to being a journeymen. And I still think there's a good chance he goes back to being Jonathon Lucroy. His upside is also really substantial but I just don't see him producing like he did at the end of last year and I'm not sure how much I buy those framing numbers. I need to look into more.

So, Santana. By a hair.
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Lions017


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramssuperbowl99 wrote:
Someone needs to justify Carlos Santana over Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy has, what, at least 2 wins on Santana on defense alone.


Defensive value is hard to qualify. Santana is a better offensive player and has the potential to be a truly great offensive catcher. He has also put together a pair of very good seasons, while Lucroy just has one. I'm guessing that most people don't see Lucroy hitting .320 the rest of his career.
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ramssuperbowl99


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mission27 wrote:
1) His offensive showing in the second half of last season, which is hard to completely buy at face value from a guy who came into the year with a career wOBA of like .290.
If this were a guy who was more heavily praised as a prospect, we would all be buying the offensive breakout at 'flashes of something to come'.

It's pretty clear, when you actually dig into what happened, that Lucroy became a better hitter. His K% dropped 8+% and was matched with drops in his swinging strike percentage, a 4% increase in his contact %, an 8% drop in IFFB rate, a career high in HR/FB, and ultimately fewer balls thrown in the zone. Is all of it real? No I don't see him putting up a BABIP of .340 (though his career is .315) next season, but let's not pretend that this was an entirely fluke endeavor. Especially when Lucroy really only had 1 full season and change heading into the year and is 26 years old.

Further, you're relying heavily on his previous 2 seasons, each of which is a partial year. His first year, the Brewers admitted that they rushed him because Jason Kendall went down with an injury, so someone needed to catch. The next season, he posted a wRC+ of 94. Is that great? No. But a nearly league average season for a catcher with only 70 games of experience headed into the year isn't dreadful like you're making it out to be.

mission27 wrote:
2) One article published in Baseball Prospectus that could end up being a game changer but that, to my knowledge, hasn't been extensively peer reviewed or repeated.
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2010/3/26/1360581/a-first-pass-at-a-catcher-framing
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093

I disagree - this is a pretty well established phenomenon. And, quite frankly, you don't even need all of the fancy algorithms to appreciate Lucroy's ability to frame pitches. All you need are these two pictures.





Not to be blunt, but explain this without pitch framing. How can 1 catcher expand the zone, consistently, by about 6 inches versus another without being an exceptional framer? Lucroy is netting the Brewers a ton of extra strikes per season, at saving their staff that many extra balls. It is not a coincidence that guys like Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada (read: fastball pitchers with some command and underwhelming stuff) had success in Milwaukee. The reason is Jonathan Lucroy's ability to frame pitches. Is it worth exactly 24 runs/120 games? I don't know. But is the impact substantial? Absolutely.

mission27 wrote:
My hedge basically is that I'm going to assume Lucroy comes back to earth substantially (but not completely) offensively and is about league average with his bat and I'm going to assume Lucroy is an above average catcher but not the kind of earth shattering performer the BP article makes him out to be.
Bill James projects .287/.346/.442. The fans at fangraphs project .281/.335/.427. That seems somewhere around where I think Lucroy will be. Let's call it .285/.340/.435.

Carlos Santana's projections are .261/.383/.476 (Bill James) and .261/.370/.464 (fans). That may be a tad optimistic, but let's go with it and call it .260/.375/.470. Santana has 30 points of OBP (at the expense of 25 points of average) and 30 points of slugging. That, to me, is substantially less than the difference between the two on defense. Lucroy's framing ability makes up almost all of that difference, and even if you're a skeptic, remember that Santana is a horrible defensive catcher and baserunner.

mission27 wrote:
If Santana can produce at a .350+ wOBA level (and I think that's likely, I'm still a believer, he lit it up in the second half last year, and he's going to be 27) then I think he probably has 10-15 runs over Lucroy with the bat. There's some upside and downside in that number. If Lucroy's really two wins better defensively than he's still the better player even if we don't think he can hit like he did last year. Again, I'm going to hedge that number down a little. So it's pretty much a wash.

But if I had to pick one of these guys, I'm going with Santana. I don't see him as any less than a slightly-below-average catcher who can play first and DH on his off days and hit at a well above average level. I think the upside there is Victor Martinez. Lucroy's downside is that he basically has no offensive value and goes back to being a journeymen. And I still think there's a good chance he goes back to being Jonathon Lucroy. His upside is also really substantial but I just don't see him producing like he did at the end of last year and I'm not sure how much I buy those framing numbers. I need to look into more.

So, Santana. By a hair.
A lot of this can be summed up as you like Santana because he was the better prospect.

Keep in mind that Lucroy is actually 2 months younger than Santana and is trending in the right direction offensively. Santana's best season was 3 years ago, and his wOBA has dropped each year. Lucroy has continued to get better, and while you may be skeptical of the numbers themselves, one look at a plot of Lucroy's called strikes will tell you all you need to know about his impact defensively.

Santana is a decent bet to wOBA .350, but then again, is that 10 point advantage worth more than everything else Lucroy does (substantially) better? I don't see how it possibly can be.
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mission27


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramssuperbowl99 wrote:
If this were a guy who was more heavily praised as a prospect, we would all be buying the offensive breakout at 'flashes of something to come'.


I'll admit that. He's going to have to show me more than Wieters or Santana or Posey before I buy into it. He was a legit prospect offensively coming up but he wasn't the fourth pick in the draft or the best prospect in baseball. Russell Wilson had a better year than Andrew Luck but I'd still rather have Andrew Luck until proven otherwise.

We're talking about a catcher who doesn't walk that much and has average-ish power. Most of his offensive value is derived from that .320 BA and .340 BABIP and contact rate near 90%. That, to me, looks like an anomaly. I've only seen one catcher hit like that, ever, in the history of baseball. Joe Mauer. So given the small sample size and the way Lucroy hit in 2010 and 2011 (admittedly also small sample sizes) I'm going to reserve judgement. I'll call him a league average hitter with some upside for now, which is still a really good thing at the position.

ramssuperbowl99 wrote:
I disagree - this is a pretty well established phenomenon. And, quite frankly, you don't even need all of the fancy algorithms to appreciate Lucroy's ability to frame pitches. All you need are these two pictures.

Not to be blunt, but explain this without pitch framing. How can 1 catcher expand the zone, consistently, by about 6 inches versus another without being an exceptional framer? Lucroy is netting the Brewers a ton of extra strikes per season, at saving their staff that many extra balls. It is not a coincidence that guys like Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada (read: fastball pitchers with some command and underwhelming stuff) had success in Milwaukee. The reason is Jonathan Lucroy's ability to frame pitches. Is it worth exactly 24 runs/120 games? I don't know. But is the impact substantial? Absolutely.


I agree that it's a well established phenomenon within baseball circles. I'm also encouraged by the research. That doesn't mean we have good numbers yet and I disagree with your assessment of the importance of having good numbers here. If Lucroy is saving your team 25 runs in a season with his glove, especially the way he hit last season, I think he's probably a top-5 catcher. If he's saving 65 like David Ross supposedly did in 2009 then he might be the best player in baseball. If he's only saving his team 10 runs with his glove in a given season I'd rather have Carlos Santana. That knocks him out of the top-10. It's a big deal.

I've yet to see a concrete justification for the split between pitcher and catcher. Presumably certain kinds of pitchers are more likely to get extra strikes because of the kind of stuff they throw, the speed of their pitches, the deception in their mechanics, and/or their reputation. If the Brewers staff is just really good at getting that extra strikes (and I'm not exactly sure what would factor in to this, so who knows) then we're giving Jonathon Lucroy two plus wins of value for something he didn't cause. Letson gets into this a little and the correlation is encouraging. But he also admits he really doesn't know how to break the two apart. This is a big barrier.

ramssuperbowl99 wrote:
Bill James projects .287/.346/.442. The fans at fangraphs project .281/.335/.427. That seems somewhere around where I think Lucroy will be. Let's call it .285/.340/.435.

Carlos Santana's projections are .261/.383/.476 (Bill James) and .261/.370/.464 (fans). That may be a tad optimistic, but let's go with it and call it .260/.375/.470. Santana has 30 points of OBP (at the expense of 25 points of average) and 30 points of slugging. That, to me, is substantially less than the difference between the two on defense. Lucroy's framing ability makes up almost all of that difference, and even if you're a skeptic, remember that Santana is a horrible defensive catcher and baserunner.


Well let's calculate the difference in projected offensive value, because I think we can concretely measure that. Let's assume an average wOBA of .320 and a wOBA scale of 1.25 for the sake of convenience.

Arrow If we use Bill James: Lucroy is projected to wOBA .341 over 492 plate appearances (basically, a full time catching job). That's ~7.8 wRAA. Santana is projected to wOBA .372 over 632 plate appearances (accounts for his ability to provide value as a first baseman on off days). That's ~26.3 wRAA. So about ~18.5 runs between them.

Arrow If we use fans: They have Lucroy at .332 over 523 plate appearances. So ~5 wRAA. They have Santana at .360 over 614 plate appearances. So ~19.7 wRAA. So about ~14.7 runs between them.

My 10-15 number is actually a tad pessimistic on Santana. The projections that you think are closest to being accurate say Santana probably provides about 15-20 runs more offensive value than Lucroy over the course of the season. I think Santana is maybe a few runs worse on the base paths. Not completely negligible but I don't think it's the deciding factor here. So again it comes down to my doubts that we have properly quantified the pitch framing data. I'm not saying we haven't. I'm saying I'm going to hedge those numbers until further research is done.

ramssuperbowl99 wrote:
A lot of this can be summed up as you like Santana because he was the better prospect.


Absolutely. I think Santana is going to hit better next season mostly because he was a better prospect who I believe has a better, more complete set of offensive tools and partly also because his total career record is better than Lucroy's. But I think that's fair.
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LuckyNumber11


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to see everyone giving some love to Salvy!

1. Posey
2. Weiters
3. Yadi
4. Perez
5. Ruiz
6. McCann
7. Maur
8. Santana
9. Montero
10. Avila
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LuckyNumber11 wrote:
Glad to see everyone giving some love to Salvy!

1. Posey
2. Weiters
3. Yadi
4. Perez
5. Ruiz
6. McCann
7. Maur
8. Santana
9. Montero
10. Avila


Montero the last two seasons has been top 4 in WAR, Defensive WAR and OPS. At worst he's top 5 and one of the few D'Backs that hits in the road.
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devils1854


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ill be tallying up the votes soon, so get your rankings in if you want them counted.
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