When someone has a BAPIP of 50 higher than their career average, that indicates a probable regression. Salty is hitting .266 now. What if he regresses 50 points as would be very possible going forward?
A regression of 50 points in BAbip does not mean his overall BA will drop 50 points. For example, his BAbip dropped 39 points between 2011 and 2012, but his BA only dropped 13 points.
All the sudden we are looking at a catcher who is hitting .220 again, and comparable to a lot of players making near mlb minimum.
Salty BAPIP vs BA rates
2008: .385 BAPIP .253 BA
2009: .320 BAPIP .230 BA
2010: Minor leagues all year ( case of the Yipps, Texas bails )
2011: 304 BAPIP .235 BA
2012: .265 BAPIP .222 BA
2013: .366 BPAIP .266 BA
While these numbers are telling, one has to look at other fac tors besides just luck to explain the disparities. If Salty's LD% was the same as 2012 and 2011, and his BAbip rose as sharply as it has, then luck would seem to be the major factor. However, Salty may be hitting less HRs, but he is hitting the ball much harder this year than ever before, so when the ball is put in play, it is much more likely a line drive than years before. Take a look at these numbers:
(Less cheap IF hits this year by a smidgeon.)
(His K rate has stayed about the same the last 3 years: 30.8, 31.0, and 30.1)
He has about the same ABs as lat year. He has 17 more Line Drives this year and 19 more hits than 2012. Couldn't that be a big part of his increased BAbip?
David Ross has played in a lot fewer games than Salty, yet he has contributed a plus 3 DRS. Salty has a -6 DRS. Ross is clearly a much better defender. Not even close. Look at Ross's CS percentage. Same staff as Salty. Better CERA, Better CS percentage. Much better DRS. David Ross cleans Salty's clock defensively. Can't we finally put the whole "Salty is a good defender" thing to rest after many years now of data which contradicts that analysis?
Have you seen the pitch framer numbers?
Salty's CS Percentage 2013: .218
David Ross's CS percentage: .406
Ross throws out almost twice as many runners, with the same staff. Can we keep blaming the pitchers? Really?
Nobody is saying Salty is as good a thrower as Ross. Nobody. The point is his disparity vs the league average is only about 10-15 SBs over a season. How many runs does that lead to?
Yes, it is a weakness. A big one, but the CS% is a tiny fraction of what a catcher does behind the plate.
Let's look at Ross's CERA this year: .306
Salty's CERA this year: .386
Again, look pitcher by pitcher not overall. Yes, Ross still has a slight edge, but it is not as big as the overall CERA numbers look.
Did Salty have an epiphany this year and become a good CERA catcher for once or is it that the staff is just better?
Look at the same pitchers from 2012 to 2013 with Salty. You are using CERA whne it suits your position, but explaining it away when it doesn't. (You also have claimed Lava is as good as Salty behind the plate, but ignore those CERA and OPS against numbers: 3.79 to 4.71 and .708 to .760)
I don't condone overall CERA usgae, but since you brought it up:
Salty 2012: 4.84 (.779 OPS against)
Salty 2013: 3.79 (.708 OPS against)
Pitchers OPS (PA-200+) against:
Doub (534) .777 (577) .708
Lest (480) .869 (601) .671
Buch (345) .935 (228) .533
By the way, Jesus Montero has a CERA this year of .343. He sure sounds like a great catcher defensively also huh?
1) ERA is 3.43 on .343
2) CERA is only useful when comparing catchers on the same team with the same pitchers and mostly the same parks and opponents.
3) So much of CERA is who you catch most often on your team. It is not always so evenly distributed, as witnessed by the Salty-Ross comparisson. Salty is Doubront's near exclusive catcher, while Ross has a much higehr percent of his innings caught with Buchholz. That is why comparing pitcher by pitcher CERA is a better way to look at it (see below).
Here's the pitcher by pitcher look: only pitchers with similar and large enough sample sizes should be compared: (Over 60 IP)
With Salty With Ross With Lava
Lester (143) 3.58 .671 (65) 3.88 .748 0
Lackey (141) 2.94 .675 (11) 2.38 .715 (31) 5.81 .774
Demps (102) 4.66 .750 (48) 3.00 .711 (19) 8.38 .985
Doubr (135) 3.86 .708 (9) 8.31 .871 (10) 3.60 .817
Buch (60) 1.51 .533 (42) 1.73 .529 0
Ueha (54) 1.01 .379 (14) 1.32 .432 (4) 2.25 .643
Taza (49) 2.57 .713 (14) 3.14 .760 (4) 7.36 .954
Peavy (27) 4.00 .678 (20) 2.75 .573 (12) 4.50 .599
Salty leads in CERA with 5 of 8 pitchers. He also leads in OPS against with 5 of 8, and is .003 behind with the 6th.
(To be fair, it appears Salty has done much better with pitchers who have been here more than 1 year. Ross deserves a learning curve, but then again, so would McCann or any other catcher we bring in next year.)
Being a catcher is somewhat like being a CF on a great soccer team, or a goalie on a great team. Sometimes your numbers can look great simply because the team is good. Salty's CERA has a whole lot more to do with the pitching staff than it does to his pitch framing and other capabilities.
Then, explain why the same pitchers are doing much better this year than last, and how they did much better last year after April than they did before 4/25/12. Salty has improved greatly from 2011 to 4/12 to past 4/25/12, then he he improved by an even greater margin from 2012 to 2013.
I know the coaches and managers have something to do with that, and our staff has some different pitchers from 2012 and 2011, but clearly Salty has improved in the CERA area anyway you want to look at it.
Maybe he is getting pitch calls simply because he catches an extremely veteran staff.
Then why isn't Ross and before him VTek up on the list? They actually caught the better pitchers and more "veteran" over the same time period.
There are a few good things about Salty. He hits a lot of doubles in Fenway and in another park he probably would hit more HR. He is probably worth more in Philly and NY than he is in Boston. The bottom line is he will cost more than he is worth to us.
Come on! Fangraphs has his value to us listed as such:
Total: $29.6M That is way more than he has been paid, and that is counting the take-aways for his defense, and not counting pitch framing, pitch calling and CERA gains.
I would add that Lavarnway's minor league numbers look a lot better than Salty's ever were. Isn't it possible that he will emerge if he is given more PT, and put up even better numbers than Salty going forward?
Why not look at Lava's CERA numbers above?
Really think about this. The data is extensive now with Salty. To me, he is clearly over rated this year and if we can get a pick out of him GREAT. Even if his current numbers were for real, he will be more attractive to other teams than he is to us. The Yanks could probably use a catcher right now don't you think. We should move on and take the probable pick.
I would not be surprised if Salty hits .240 next year, but I doubt his BB% goes down as he ages. As long as his OBP stays above .315 or so, and he continues to be a top 5 SLG% catcher, I'm fine with his offensive game.
His CS rate is horrible and probably always will be, but other than that, I think he is near average or better than average in every other area behind the plate, including the intangibles not covered by UZR or DRS.