Re: Thanks Jason Varitek!
posted at 3/3/2012 3:35 PM EST
It's a shame so many posters will remember VTek for just his last 3 years of service, but when you look closely and objectively at the numbers from 2009 to 2011 in context, you'll see he really did pretty well.
1) He was the back-up catcher for about 2 1/2 or those last 3 years.
2) He had the 30th best WAR in MLB from 2009 (mostly as a #2 C)
3) His .248 BAbip hurt his overall numbers, esp the .216 BA.
4) His RBIs per PA places him in the top 12 (about 1 per 8 PA).
5) He was 26th in OBP at .306 (.006 from 23rd).
6) He was 18th in Slg% at .414 (.004 from 16th & .013 from 12th)
7) He was 21st in OPS at .720 (.006 from 19th).
8) A .720 OPS is better than 17 team catcher OPS from 2009-2011!
9) His .414 Slg% is better than all but 4 team catcher Slg% from 09-11.
10) He'd be better than 6 teams in OBP.
So many posters have unrealistic expectations for a catcher's offensive production. It is not a hitting position. Managers and GMs know that the catching position means a lot more than offense, but I find it surprising so many posters bashed him for his "poor offense".
The other bad rap was for his poor CS%. It was poor. Very poor. Part of the reason was the pitching staff and team philosophy to not worry about holding runners close to the bag, but his CS% would still have been poor anyways. Throwing is not the top measurement of what a catcher does behind the plate, but because it is the easiest to measure, it gets too much attention.
Even though VTek hit worse than the other catcher on our team the last 3 years (VMart and then Salty), it is not surprise to me that we still won more when he caught.
Team record with catcher with most innings caught in games:
2009 2010 2011 Total
VTek 62-45 19-9 42-22 123-76 .618
VMart 19-11 65-55 n/a 84-66 .560
Salty n/a 0-5 47-49 47-54 .465
Other 14-11 5-4 1-1 20-16 .556
This is not a fluke. Pitchers did better with VTek behind the plate with them instead of the other catcher(s). A vast majority each year did better, and some did way better. Very few did worse, and none did worse with Vtek 2 or 3 out of the 3 years.
Individual pitcher's CERA and OPS against both back up the fact that they pitched better with VTek. We'll never know if this would have continued in 2012, but to bad mouth his 2009-2011 stretch as A BACK-UP CATCHER, is just plain idiotic.
The guy put up better than decent overall numbers as compared to most starting catchers the past 3 years. Expecting allstart numbers from a back-up is silly clown material.