Analysis

The Four Hidden Wins the Pirates Are Getting From Their Catchers

The Four Hidden Wins the Pirates Are Getting From Their Catchers

There has been a lot of talk the last few years about pitch framing for catchers, along with the importance of blocking skills. In the last year this has become a big topic for the Pirates, due to the signing of Russell Martin, who is rated one of the best pitch framers in the game. Despite the realization of the value of pitch framing and blocking, we haven't really had an accurate way of calculating the actual value of a good defensive catcher in terms of wins. That could be changing, thanks to an outstanding article on Baseball Prospectus by Harry Pavlidis and Dan Brooks.

Pavlidis and Brooks developed an advanced method to calculate the value of pitch framing and blocking in terms of runs, which could then be translated to wins using the 10 runs per win scale. The article does a much better job of explaining the methodology than I could do, so I'll let you read it. The line I thought was interesting was that teams with good pitch framing catchers "have received essentially 'free'...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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