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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Russell Martin ($82 million) and other catchers who don't play much.

Russell Martin May 3, 2013
by Sports Crazy
via Wikimedia Commons
Russell Martin just signed a huge contract with the Toronto Blue Jays: five years, $82 million.  Unfortunately for Toronto, they were so busy looking at Martin's ability to deceive umpires into thinking balls are strikes (pitch framing) that they did not notice that Martin had only 460 plate appearances (PA), embarrassingly short of the meager 502 PA needed to qualify for leading in an average stat like batting average.  Martin started only 106 games at catcher.  I think the Blue Jays are out of their minds.  Martin cannot frame any pitches from the bench where he's increasingly likely to be as he enters his age 32 season.

Framing pitches by catchers: doesn't that mean there's a serious problem with calling balls and strikes?  Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In creating a list of 2014 catchers I used only 400 PA as the criteria, rather than 502, to include Martin and other catchers who struggle to play much.  Here they are sorted by OPS+ and including their WAR:

Jonathan Lucroy led the National Conference in WAR.  Martin was second in WAR among catchers.  How did last year's off season five year catcher mega deal do?

Brian McCann: is he worth $17 million for each of the next five years?  Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Among catchers: McCann was 16th in OPS+, 15th in WAR.  McCann is also supposed to be good at pitch framing.  At least McCann stayed pretty healthy: 538 PA, 101 starts at catcher, plus others at first and DH.

In PA nine catchers had at least 502 PA.  NINE among 30 teams.  Lucroy to his credit had the most for a catcher in addition to leading in WAR and being fourth in OPS+.

OPS+: 13 of 21 >= 100

WAR: all positive; 8 of 21 >= 3.0

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