Jonathon Lucroy casts a long shadow, but Martin Maldonado has carved himself into a niche cranny in Brewers fans' hearts. In 2014, the 28 year old catcher enjoyed a rebound from a tumultuous 2013 season with the stick, regressing back into his 2012 form which made us temporarily wonder if his potential trade value outweighed his value as a backup catcher. Here is a quick 3-year roundup to save you a few clicks:
Maldonado maintained his solid reputation as a defender, catching a respectable 32% of base stealers -- a career norm. He allowed the 11th lowest SB/IP for catchers (out of 58 total, minimum 250 IP), giving up one SB per roughly 20 innings caught. However, corresponding rate statistics in relation to passed balls and wild pitches put him in the middle of the pack, and his fielding percentage ranked dead last among the same qualifiers -- making him the worst catcher in baseball.
Nah, we know better. Maldonado has also developed a reputation as one of the better pitch framers in the league: Baseball Prospectus has him as the league's best in terms of extra strikes per framing chance. Maldonado "stole" a strike every 33 pitches, roughly.
But, most likely, Maldonado's greatest weapon remains his right arm -- in more ways than one, as we shall see.
Maldonado will enter arbitration for the first time in his career this offseason, and there is no reason to believe the Brewers wouldn't cut a check of around $750k for his services.
Take your pick. You have three choices. One is the game in which he actually hit the cover off of the baseball:
Another is his wild overconfidence while managing to keep the Cardinals scoreless in the 9th inning of a blowaway:
Your final option got him suspended for 5 games, but was totally worth it: