Monday, July 29, 2013

The Worst by Position - Catcher

The All-Star Game got me thinking: We look at excellence by position by player, not by team. We talk about Cabrera vs. Machado as to the best third baseman, not Detroit vs. Baltimore, because when you talk about Detroit third baseman you're talking about Miguel Cabrera. With the odd exception of a Ben Zobrist, who's spent most of his career splitting time between second base and right field, most stars play one position, all season long.

This isn't true for the worst players, since guys who are really awful get benched or released or sent down to the minors or something. Here, the more appropriate metric is by team. Asking who the worst shortstop is doesn't yield as good an answer as which team's gotten the worst production from its shortstops. 

I'm going to go through each position over the next few days, figuring the worst at each position. Let's start with catcher.

The Yankee catchers have been pretty bad, tied for last in homers with six and last (easily) in RBI with 28. The Marlins are going to figure prominently in any worst-by-position discussion, given their historically bad offense, and their catchers have managed to score only 19 runs this year, compared to a major league average of 42. The White Sox catchers have batted .209 and walked only 17 times, giving them a majors-worst .255 on base percentage. 

But I'm going to go with the Mariners. Their catchers--primarily Kelly Shoppach, Mike Zunino, and Jesus Montero--are last in batting average (.207), third-to-last in on-base percentage (.280), last in slugging (.322), last in OPS (.602), They've also allowed an above-average number of passed balls and are eighth-worst in caught stealing percentage.

Next up: First base.

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