Today, Baseball Prospectus announced their new defensive statistics for minor league catchers. Catcher defense has always been very hard to measure, especially at the minor league level. Here’s what they’re able to give us:
- Controlling the running game (Swipe Rate Above Average, SRAA, and Takeoff Rate Above Average (TRAA)
- Blocking (Errant Pitches Above Average, EPAA)
- Framing (Called Strikes Above Average, CSAA)
- Total (FRAA)
Missing here is the dark matter of catcher defense: game calling, sequencing, psychology, etc. However, this is overall pretty comprehensive. So where does Gary Sanchez rank?
- Running Game: 0 runs
- Blocking: 0 runs
- Framing: +3.0 runs
- Total: +3.0 runs
This is remarkable in how boring it is. Sanchez was a league-average Triple-A catcher in 2015. Given his hitting talent, that is a big deal. An average defensive catcher was worth something in the 1.5-2 win range alone in 2015. If he were to hit something conservative like .252/.320/.453, which is what Chris Young hit last season, we’re talking about a 3.5-4.0 win player. Not bad. Continue reading Gary Sanchez: Average Defensive Catcher?