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Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Adley’s other elite defensive skill

Sometimes, we think so much about the other things catchers are expected to do—like throwing out baserunners, and framing pitches, and calling a game—that we forget to talk about the term that gives the position its name. You know, catching. Which is another thing that Rutschman is good at—the best, actually according to the newest Statcast metric, Blocks Above Average, which is now available on Baseball Savant dating back to 2020.

Look at the 2022 leaderboard. There Rutschman is, just ahead of a few other catchers widely perceived to be some of the best backstops in the game.

We’ll explain how this works further and get into those other catchers in a follow-up piece. For Rutschman, the short version is this: Based on the opportunities he was presented with, an average catcher would have been expected to allow 43 passed balls or wild pitches, the third-most of any catcher. (More on that, and the staff he had to catch, below.)

Yet Rutschman allowed a mere 25, not 43. The difference of +18 is what you see on the leaderboard. Compare that to Colorado’s Elías Díaz, who also saw pitches that would have been estimated to become 43 passed balls or wild pitches. He allowed 42, or +1. It’s a big gap.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 07, 2023 at 12:26 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: adley rutschman, catchers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: March 07, 2023 at 01:45 PM (#6119816)
   2. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: March 07, 2023 at 06:42 PM (#6119860)
Wasn't a study of catchers and their expected WP+PB versus allowed done a while ago? I recall Mike Piazza scoring quite well (which matched my eye test from his days with the Dodgers).
   3. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 07, 2023 at 08:55 PM (#6119873)
I'd like to see how the run value of a block is calculated. If you assign .25 runs to a base advance (maybe generous), and sometimes theres more than one runner on base (30%-1 Runner, 8%-2, 2.5%-3) then you could maybe weight that .35 runs to account for that. I could see 18 blocks being worth more than 4 runs. Or for example, from the article: austin Hedges had 10 blocks good for only 2 runs.

ALSO why the hell arent these stats (like OAAs) appearing as a decimal or a fraction instead of a whole number? they're obviously rounding off here, why cant they tell us what the fraction was?
   4. Walt Davis Posted: March 07, 2023 at 11:22 PM (#6119892)
why cant they tell us what the fraction was?

Cuz you're American! You guys don't even know the difference between fractions and decimals for crying out loud. :-)

Here comes Alek Thomas to the plate. Last season he hit 88/381sts ... sorry kids, that fraction doesn't reduce any further.

EDIT: Potential real answers are (a) decimals gives a false sense of precision; (b) the thousands of emails asking how a guy saves 0.43 of a run.

EDIT2: Trust me, the last thing you want to think about is significant figures and statistical models. You'll quickly start questioning whether we know anything at all to a useful level of precision.
   5. sunday silence (again) Posted: March 08, 2023 at 07:26 AM (#6119913)
I love it when you talk statistics. It gets me so hot
   6. John Reynard Posted: March 08, 2023 at 08:16 PM (#6119983)
Trust me, the last thing you want to think about is significant figures and statistical models. You'll quickly start questioning whether we know anything at all to a useful level of precision.

This is one of the most true things I've ever read on this site.

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