Another day, another column at The Hardball Times. Today I looked at how minor league catchers did against the running game. To do that, I calculated three stats:
- SB%: the rate at which opposing basestealers succeeded against the catcher;
- ATT/I: number of SB attempts per inning (a rough measure of how much opposing teams fear the catcher's arm);
- SB/I: number of successful SB attempts per inning.
In the THT article, I have top ten lists for each stat (as well as a bottom ten for SB%) and then complete stats for 25 catchers of interest, including big prospect names like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jeff Clement, Rule 5 Pick Jesus Flores, and former BCB craze Jeff Mathis. Here are complete stats for all catchers in the Milwaukee organization who caught close to 100 innings:
|D. J. Neyens||PIO||RK||97.0||19||6||76.0%||25.8%||19.6%|
I wouldn't put much stock in any numbers accumulated in less than 300 IP, and really anything under 500-600 isn't that reliable. But it does give you the basic idea. One more note: in general, players run more at the lower levels. That means that, in general, Corredor's SB/I of 7.8% is actually a bit more impressive than Palmisano's 7.4%. For level averages, once again I'll point you back to the THT article (averages are at the very bottom).
There's lots of good news here, especially from Salome. Teams don't seem to be too afraid of him, but in low-A, there are .105 steals per inning, and he allowed only .087. Palmisano is the opposite: teams didn't run on him much, but he wasn't as successful throwing them out when he did. Either way, our current and former prospects seem to be defensively competent, if not more.
As I point out in the column, there is of course more to catcher defense: keeping the ball in front of you (preventing passed balls and wild pitches) and calling a good game. I'm going to look at the first one of those in a column in the near future; the last one is quite a bit more slippery. I have some ideas on how to attack it, but it's a longer-term project.