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Baseball Prospectus: Framing and Blocking Pitches: A Regressed, Probablistic Model


ettin

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Really interesting article on pitch framing from Baseball Prospectus: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22934#commentMessage

Forewarning it is a technical article. However the results are fascinating and support the argument that pitch framing can potentially add upwards of 2 WAR alone if you have a good framer (and the same in reverse if you have a bad framer).

Angels have a good framer, in Conger, and two bad framers, in Iannetta and Hester. This fact alone might be the reason that Hank gets more of the starts this year as his bat can play in combination with his framing.

This article does not take into account the catcher's ability to block balls, call a game, or throw runners out, but the fact that Hank has the potential, as a good framer, to add upwards of 1-2 WAR makes him a clear-cut choice to start against all right handed pitchers and even some left handed pitchers in my opinion.

Good stuff coming over the next 2-5 years as these defensive evaluation systems improve and add more definition to player value.

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thanks for posting that ettin.  Based off the sheer number of chances, it makes sense that C defense/metrics could account for 3-4 wins in either direction.  

 

Trying to figure out sequencing is going to be tough considering that sometimes pitchers shake off and managers call pitches.  

 

I think we all owe Mathis and Scioscia an apology.  :)

 

As an FYI, the stat started getting tracked in 2008, but over that time Mathis ability as a framer is worth about 2.5 wins per year over Naps based on these stats if they both played C full time.  

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thanks for posting that ettin.  Based off the sheer number of chances, it makes sense that C defense/metrics could account for 3-4 wins in either direction.  

 

Trying to figure out sequencing is going to be tough considering that sometimes pitchers shake off and managers call pitches.  

 

I think we all owe Mathis and Scioscia an apology.  :)

 

As an FYI, the stat started getting tracked in 2008, but over that time Mathis ability as a framer is worth about 2.5 wins per year over Naps based on these stats if they both played C full time.  

 

The great Mathis vs Napoli argument, if only Baseball Prospectus had started there and been able to sort that out for us.

 

It is a problem when you have one catcher that is making the pitchers look good on both sides of the plate and one that makes them look poor as well. How do you choose who plays? I guess you could lean on your defense guy in parks where picking up a few extra calls in pitchers parks may tilt the game towards you while in hitters parks where even the slightest mistake gets crushed (Texas) your battery is going to get whacked anyway so you need to generate offense against them.

 

I am not so certain the offense difference between Conger and Ianetta is a tipping point going into this season. The defense does have a wider gap so using Conger more often than Ianetta, even in hitter friendly parks may still be the best bet.

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Angels pitching has gone down hill since Mathis left, I will say that.

 

Nobody ever agreed with me but I think pitch framing as well as the pitches that the catcher calls makes a big difference.  I know pitchers can shake the catcher off, but if you have a smart catcher that has a good feel for the at bat as well as the scouting report you can really not just frame the pitches but also out smart the batter.  Pitchers are taught to go with what the catcher calls, and also who says the pitchers are that smart?  Problem with Mathis is he was not just bad offensively, he was garbage... except against the Yankees in the playoffs.

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I'll have to check this out.

 

Pitch framing is a vitally underrated aspect in baseball today. Good pitch framers may be worth 1-2 extra wins per year. A guy like Yadier Molina may be even better than perceived.

 

Catchers like Russell Martin and Jonathan Lucroy may be 5 WAR players rather than 2-3 WAR players. 

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I'll have to check this out.

 

Pitch framing is a vitally underrated aspect in baseball today. Good pitch framers may be worth 1-2 extra wins per year. A guy like Yadier Molina may be even better than perceived.

 

Catchers like Russell Martin and Jonathan Lucroy may be 5 WAR players rather than 2-3 WAR players. 

 

All the Molina's are/were good at it.  Jose was excellent at it too.

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All the Molina's are/were good at it.  Jose was excellent at it too.

Yup that's a big reason why he's still around and still a nice backup catcher. 

 

It's pretty clear to see when guys are good or bad at it. Iannetta has very jerky motions where he throws his glove at the ball. Conger basically catches it and is able to frame the ball with an easy motion. 

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This board has a really weird opinion of Iannetta.

Was only in reference to pitch framing.  Simple logic that Iannetta made the bottom 3 list several times and the bottom 10 list from 2008-13, and never made a tops list.  Mathis hasn't made any top or bottom list since 2008, and Conger made the top 3 list in 2013 (projected over 7000 opportunities list).

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Mathis being traded was probably my least favorite trade by Dipoto. I think Mathis was most valuable working with the pitching staff and calling games. I've witnessed him many times going to the mound to help a pitcher get back on track.

I think he's one of the best backup catchers in the game.

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