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State of the System: Catcher - Grade A-

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Catcher

 

Current Roster: The duo of Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco continue to be serviceable and their improved defense made 2020 easier to handle. Both could continue improving next season, but we are probably very close to their ceiling which is a combined OPS that’s been around .730 the last two seasons with too many K’s and a little bit of pop. Bryan Holladay and Austin Wynns provide solid defensive back up options and could still be in the mix in 2021, especially if Elias tries to trade Severino or Sisco.  

 

Future Outlook:  This is all about Adley Rutchman, and the current options on the MLB roster can allow us to wait until he is truly ready to take over the position for hopefully the next 6 plus seasons.  However, there will always be the battle to be his back up.  Does Severino or Sisco stay on the roster as a back up and DH option when we return to playing playoff baseball? If they become expendable does an option arise out of Brett Cumberland, Maverick Handley, or Martin Cervenka?  It does thin out a bit after Rutchman in the system.

 

Players of Note: Cody Roberts, Jordan Cannon, Harris Yett, Taylor Davis

 

Grade: A-

 

Rutchman alone pushes this grade up, but the overall depth on the MLB staff and AAA help as well.  There is a need for depth in the lower parts of the system, but if Rutchman comes as advertised, the need for depth isn’t crippling, as it essentially comes down to finding a quality back up.  Moving on, Elias probably tries to find a cost effective way to improve this depth with international development and mid round picks in the upcoming draft.

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I don’t get how starting pitching gets an A and catching gets an A-.

We have arguably the best catching situation in the sport.

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32 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

I don’t get how starting pitching gets an A and catching gets an A-.

We have arguably the best catching situation in the sport.

Depth drove that one.  We have the best catching prospect, but not much depth.  Knock on wood, Adley gets hurt/doesn't perform, our grade would drop tremendously.

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B.

IMO, these rankings have been revolving around potential, mostly.  And if people want to weigh the grades towards potential, that's fine but it usually doesn't take into account that the potential might not pan out.  Adley is a great prospect and if you're going to bet on someone, you should bet on him but there's still a chance he could not be the all-world catcher that we're hoping for.  And the B is because of Adley, not because I'm enthralled with what we currently have.

Severino and Sisco are decent (not great) hitting catchers.  After his red hot start to 2020, Severino came back down to earth pretty quickly, his OPS+ didn't crack 100.  I love Sisco's plate discipline, his separation between his batting average and on base percentage is pretty absurd but I'm not sure if hell ever hit above .250.  If he did, his on base percentage could end up over .400.  His OPS+ this year was 105.

Both of these guys have average defense, at best.  

I'm not sure if SG's claim of having the best catching situation in the sport is accurate as I'm not up to date on what other franchise situations look like.  But when you have a top 5 prospect at catcher, you can probably be in the conversation, so I'll go along and agree with him.  But again, if you're going to give out grades for untapped potential, you also need to take into account that these guys might not work out.

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1 hour ago, Sports Guy said:

I don’t get how starting pitching gets an A and catching gets an A-.

We have arguably the best catching situation in the sport.

Where have you been? Our catchers hit better than the typical catcher, but they defend lousy.

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13 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

B.

IMO, these rankings have been revolving around potential, mostly.  And if people want to weigh the grades towards potential, that's fine but it usually doesn't take into account that the potential might not pan out.  Adley is a great prospect and if you're going to bet on someone, you should bet on him but there's still a chance he could not be the all-world catcher that we're hoping for.  And the B is because of Adley, not because I'm enthralled with what we currently have.

Severino and Sisco are decent (not great) hitting catchers.  After his red hot start to 2020, Severino came back down to earth pretty quickly, his OPS+ didn't crack 100.  I love Sisco's plate discipline, his separation between his batting average and on base percentage is pretty absurd but I'm not sure if hell ever hit above .250.  If he did, his on base percentage could end up over .400.  His OPS+ this year was 105.

Both of these guys have average defense, at best.  

I'm not sure if SG's claim of having the best catching situation in the sport is accurate as I'm not up to date on what other franchise situations look like.  But when you have a top 5 prospect at catcher, you can probably be in the conversation, so I'll go along and agree with him.  But again, if you're going to give out grades for untapped potential, you also need to take into account that these guys might not work out.

The rankings appear to be based on ceiling without much consideration for the likelihood of getting there.  Meaning that the average grade across all MLB would be something like a B+.  Most teams have someone at each position who could, potentially, be a good MLB player if everything worked out in their favor.

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Just now, Moose Milligan said:

In his defense Sisco gets hit better than the typical catcher (6 HBP in 121 PA).  Actually collecting HBP is one of Sisco's tools, he's averaging 26 per 162 games, for reference Biggio (#2 all time) only averaged 16.

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15 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

In his defense Sisco gets hit better than the typical catcher (6 HBP in 121 PA).  Actually collecting HBP is one of Sisco's tools, he's averaging 26 per 162 games, for reference Biggio (#2 all time) only averaged 16.

Ron Hunt averaged 26 per 162 games, but NL Oriole Hughie Jennings was at 36.  Jennings once had a season where he hit .401 with 36 HBP and 19 walks.  And another where he was hit by 51 pitches in 130 games.

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Ron Hunt averaged 26 per 162 games, but NL Oriole Hughie Jennings was at 36.  Jennings once had a season where he hit .401 with 36 HBP and 19 walks.  And another where he was hit by 51 pitches in 130 games.

Jennings is #1 on the list all time.  I reckon getting hit didn't hurt near as much back then.

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12 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Jennings is #1 on the list all time.  I reckon getting hit didn't hurt near as much back then.

Getting hit by a 75 mph fastball is absorbing most of 79 Joules of energy.  A 92 mph pitch is 118 Joules.  What's the equation to translate kinetic energy to pain?  Google isn't particularly helpful.

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6 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The top 12 seasons in all time HBP rate are from the last three years, and the 1890s.  2020 was 0.02 HBP/game from being the highest ever.

Wonder if the Astros had anything to do with that this year.

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