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Articles Tagged Catchers 

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06-20

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: My Catcher Fetish and Derek Norris
by
Craig Goldstein

03-03

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7

Top Tools: Best Catcher Defense/Catcher Arm
by
Mark Anderson and BP Prospect Staff

01-17

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18

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 Catchers
by
Bret Sayre

01-17

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-16

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4

Tale of the Tape: Jonathan Lucroy vs. Carlos Santana
by
Alex Kantecki

01-16

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20

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Catchers
by
Paul Sporer

01-15

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9

Get to Know: Catcher Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

01-14

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13

Fantasy Tier Rankings: Catchers
by
Mike Gianella

01-13

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7

Fantasy Players to Target: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

11-15

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 330: A Lengthy Listener Email Show
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-07

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21

The Stats Go Marching In: Is it Time to Lift the Ban on Left-Handed Catchers?
by
Max Marchi

07-19

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2

Mid-Season Outliers
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-13

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3

The Stats Go Marching In: Measuring Catcher Framing in the Minor Leagues
by
Max Marchi

06-01

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Russell Martin and Ryan Hanigan
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-24

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5

BP Unfiltered: Chris Stewart and Miguel Montero on Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-23

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3

BP Unfiltered: An AL Scout on Evaluating Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-22

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1

BP Unfiltered: Kevin Towers on Catcher Receiving Skills
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-20

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1

BP Unfiltered: Brandon McCarthy on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-20

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0

Prospectus Q&A: The College of Coaches on Catcher Framing
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-15

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9

BP Unfiltered: A Bad Framer, a Bad Call, and an Encouraging Stat About Umpires
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-08

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22

Overthinking It: Why Nobody Gets Caught Stealing
by
Ben Lindbergh

10-08

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3

BP Unfiltered: Differences in Mitt Placement
by
R.J. Anderson

08-28

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 30: Is There Racial Bias in Baseball Broadcasting?/What to Make of Brian McCann
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-02

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5

BP Unfiltered: Can Gregg Zaun See the Future of Bad Backup Catchers?
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-13

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14

The Stats Go Marching In: Catching Up with Catcher Rankings
by
Max Marchi

06-19

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0

BP Unfiltered: Tools of Pain
by
R.J. Anderson

02-28

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5

Transaction Analysis: Extensions for Everyone
by
R.J. Anderson

02-24

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9

The Stats Go Marching In: The Art of Handling the Pitching Staff
by
Max Marchi

09-24

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71

Spinning Yarn: Removing the Mask Encore Presentation
by
Mike Fast

03-08

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9

Purpose Pitches: Who's Got Catching?
by
Christina Kahrl

03-26

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10

Prospectus Hit and Run: Mauer and JAWS
by
Jay Jaffe

04-07

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19

Catcher Fatigue
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-18

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Andy Etchebarren
by
David Laurila

03-23

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0

2006--Setting the Stage
by
Keith Woolner

04-09

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0

Transaction Analysis: March 25-April 6, 2003
by
Christina Kahrl

05-29

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0

Aim For The Head: Simulating Catcher's ERA
by
Keith Woolner

02-15

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0

Controlling the Running Game
by
Michael Wolverton

05-10

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0

Catcher Career Paths
by
Keith Woolner

01-11

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0

Catching Up With The General: A Postscript
by
Keith Woolner

01-10

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0

Field General or Backstop?
by
Keith Woolner

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Extending the quantification of catcher framing to a new frontier.

In my last article, I presented the results of using Retrosheet pitch-by-pitch data for measuring catchers’ framing performance. After showing that the alternate method fared quite well, despite not relying on pitch location data, I went on to provide historical leaderboards (Brad Ausmus is tops among catchers of the past quarter century) and explore the issue of aging (Father Time seems not to take much of a toll on framers).

I left you with one teaser: while it was nice to have some of the retired catchers ranked, the most valuable byproduct of that research was that it made ranking active catchers at lower levels possible. That’s the topic I’ll tackle today.

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June 1, 2013 7:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: Russell Martin and Ryan Hanigan

0

Ben Lindbergh

A video walkthrough of framing technique with two talented receivers.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a feature on framing for Grantland. I also spoke to Pirates catcher Russell Martin and Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan for a pair of Q&A companion pieces in which I showed the two catchers GIFs of borderline pitches that they'd caught over the past few years, and they explained their strategy for getting extra strikes. Martin's is here, and Hanigan's is here. The conversations ran so long that much of the text was left on the editing room floor. Rather than let it remain unread, I've collected the best previously unpublished excerpts below, omitting any material that appeared at Grantland.

Russell Martin

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Talking to Chris Stewart and Miguel Montero about framing pitches.

Yankees catcher Chris Stewart has never had the bat to be a first-stringer, though until a recent groin injury, he was getting the bulk of the playing time behind the plate for the Bombers with Francisco Cervelli out with a fractured hand. But when Stewart does start, he adds value on defense, combining a strong arm with excellent receiving skills. According to Max Marchi, Stewart’s framing over the past five-plus seasons has been worth nearly 20 runs, an impressive total considering his sporadic playing time. Stewart stopped reading A Storm of Swords on a couch in the Yankees clubhouse long enough to answer some questions about how he receives so well. 

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An AL scout weighs in on the evaluation of catcher receiving skills.

I asked a former catcher and current pro scout for an American League team what he looks for when evaluating a catcher’s receiving skills. Due to team policy, he wished to remain anonymous.

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The Diamondbacks GM on the importance of catcher receiving skills.

A former minor league pitcher, pitching coach, and scout, Kevin Towers served as the General Manager of the San Diego Padres from 1995-2009. After spending 2010 as a special assignment scout for the Yankees, he was hired as the GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a role in which he remains today.

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What the cerebral Diamondbacks starter thinks about the importance of framing pitches.

Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy is known as one of baseball’s most thoughtful, analytical pitchers; two years ago, he famously embraced advanced statistics and remade himself as a pitcher by perfecting a two-seamer that helped him get groundballs more often. As a result, he’s pretty popular on the internet. I asked him to provide the pitcher’s perspective on the importance of pitch framing and receiving skills.

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May 20, 2013 5:00 am

Prospectus Q&A: The College of Coaches on Catcher Framing

0

Ben Lindbergh

Catching instructors and coordinators comment on the importance of receiving skills.

While working on a feature on catcher framing for Grantland, I spoke to many catching instructors and coordinators about what makes a good receiver, what receiving skills are worth, and to what extent they can be improved. Many of their most interesting insights didn't make it into that story, so I've collected them here.

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The pitch before the pitch that sent the Dominican Republic to the WBC semifinals.

If you weren’t watching the World Baseball Classic on Thursday night, you missed a memorable moment with one out in the top of the ninth, when Dominican Republic pinch-hitter Erick Aybar broke a 1-1 tie with a single off US closer Craig Kimbrel, driving in Nelson Cruz from third. The go-ahead run proved to be the winning run, sending the 5-0 Dominicans to the semifinals and the 3-2 Americans to an elimination game against Puerto Rico on Friday.

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Catchers can't throw anyone out anymore. Why is that, and should we be worried?

At the end of May, Rob Neyer wrote a piece about baseball’s ever-rising strikeout rate, which reached yet another new high this season. In that piece, he called Ernesto Frieri a canary in a coal mine—the coal mine, in this case, being the major leagues, and the toxic substance being strikeouts. Instead of keeling over in his cage, Frieri had started striking out everyone: when that piece was published, he’d struck out 23 batters in his previous 11 innings, without allowing a hit. For some, Frieri’s feat was just kind of cool. For Neyer, it was the latest reminder of a creeping strikeout menace that has already proved harmful to the health of the game. You can disagree with Neyer’s stance on the trend toward more strikeouts—Sam Miller and I did, on our podcast in September—but you can’t deny that the trend is there. Frieri is the face of it for Neyer; probably some other pitcher is the face of it for you.* It has many possible faces, which was precisely Neyer’s point. Ten years ago, there were 26 relievers who pitched at least 50 innings with at least as many strikeouts; this year, there were 61.

*The face of it for me was Jason Grilli, who struck out 1.5 batters per inning after striking out half a batter per inning six years ago.

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Buster Posey, Alex Avila, and Ryan Hanigan are showing off different techniques in the postseason.

One of the side benefits of the postseason is its place as a sample. You get to see all kinds of different players with varying skill sets, talent levels, and techniques, and all the different ways they achieve success. The downside, if you want to call it that, is when you start noticing minute differences and it becomes a focus. Take catchers and their mitt positioning between setting the target and receiving the pitch. It’s the most-seen, least-noticed part of a catcher’s job. You focus on the mitt to see where the pitch is probably heading and then you shift your attention back to the pitcher once he begins his motion. But not every catcher passes the time in the same way:

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Ben and Sam question the conclusions of an article in The Atlantic about racial bias in baseball broadcasting, then talk about whether Brian McCann's best is behind him and whether his down year is the result of bad hitting hitting or bad luck.

Ben and Sam question the conclusions of an article in ​The Atlantic ​about racial bias in baseball broadcasting, then talk about whether Brian McCann's best is behind him and whether his down year is the result of bad hitting hitting or bad luck.

Effectively Wild Episode 30: "Is There Racial Bias in Baseball Broadcasting?/What to Make of Brian McCann"

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Longtime terrible hitter Jeff Mathis has shocked everyone by hitting well in 2012. Well, everyone but Gregg Zaun.

Former Practically Perfect Backup Catcher and current Rogers Sportsnet analyst/plus-plus website proprietor Gregg Zaun tweeted something last December that seemed very silly. So silly, in fact, that I remembered it roughly eight months longer than I remember most tweets. But now that we're two-thirds of the way through the season, what Zaun said is starting to sound slightly more persuasive.

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