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  • #16
    No. Above average catcher but not more. He is not even a star player.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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    • #17
      He's still got very good power, belting 16 home runs this year (tied for fifth among AL catchers, tied for ninth among big league catchers), but he hasn't recovered the stroke that made him an All-Star in the mid-2000s. He cannot hit for average and his on-base percentage has plummeted. I wonder what happened.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
        He's still got very good power, belting 16 home runs this year (tied for fifth among AL catchers, tied for ninth among big league catchers), but he hasn't recovered the stroke that made him an All-Star in the mid-2000s. He cannot hit for average and his on-base percentage has plummeted. I wonder what happened.
        He wasn't that good in the first place. He didn't hit 20 HRs in high HR years; that should tell you something. He's going to fall short again. He's a low average guy with OK power for a catcher, but he's a bottom of the order guy who once won a Gold Glove. If he were a perennial Gold Glover we'd be talking about something else, but he's not. If Martin were the best catcher in his league (and he's never really been), that would be a sign of real weakness. I view Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, and Buster Posey to name three, as superior to Martin in the NL. In th AL, Joe Mauer is the best, and Mike Napoli and Mark Wieters are both ahead of Martin. Given that we're in an era where catching talent is not as thick as it once was, it's hard to see where Martin even qualifies as a guy with potential. He's a potential Jim Pagiaroni. Pag was an OK guy with a few All-Star seasons, but he was never a potential HOFer, and Martin never was, either. Sherm Lollar has a far, far better case as a HOFer than Martin is on course for.
        "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

        NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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        • #19
          Eh, since Molina and McCann's threads have been bumped, might as well bump this one since his career totals are on par with the other 2.

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          • #20
            He has 24.4 WARs, almost the same amount as Yadier Molina.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
              He has 24.4 WARs, almost the same amount as Yadier Molina.
              WAR does not include a massive chunk of what catchers do defensively. The better the defensive catcher, the more underrated he is according to WAR. If we included a playing-time adjustment for catchers and a pitch framing adjustment, Molina would have about 40 WAR already. And that doesn't even include handling the staff, in which Molina calls every pitch and may be one of the best staff handlers ever.

              Of course Martin gets a boost from these things too, but not nearly as much as Molina, who may be a top 3 all-time defensive catcher.
              1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

              1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

              1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
              The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
                WAR does not include a massive chunk of what catchers do defensively. The better the defensive catcher, the more underrated he is according to WAR. If we included a playing-time adjustment for catchers and a pitch framing adjustment, Molina would have about 40 WAR already. And that doesn't even include handling the staff, in which Molina calls every pitch and may be one of the best staff handlers ever.

                Of course Martin gets a boost from these things too, but not nearly as much as Molina, who may be a top 3 all-time defensive catcher.
                In fairness, Martin is on par with Molina defenisively AND offensively. The Yankees were stupid to let him go and the Pirates were fortunate to get him. Molina can throw out runners, but both can frame pitchers and are excellent at calling games, a trait that WAR still does not capture effectively.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
                  WAR does not include a massive chunk of what catchers do defensively. The better the defensive catcher, the more underrated he is according to WAR. If we included a playing-time adjustment for catchers and a pitch framing adjustment, Molina would have about 40 WAR already. And that doesn't even include handling the staff, in which Molina calls every pitch and may be one of the best staff handlers ever.

                  Of course Martin gets a boost from these things too, but not nearly as much as Molina, who may be a top 3 all-time defensive catcher.
                  ...and it never will. It cannot be quantified.
                  "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                    ...and it never will. It cannot be quantified.
                    No, it can't.
                    1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                    1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                    1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                    The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                    The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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                    • #25
                      Firing up the hot stove a little early, I see.

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                      • #26
                        Martin had an excellent bounce back year. Though he played only 111 games, he hit .290 with a .832 OPS and a 136 OPS+. His batting and OPS were his highest since his All-Star 2007 campaign and his OPS+ was a career high.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
                          In fairness, Martin is on par with Molina defenisively AND offensively. The Yankees were stupid to let him go and the Pirates were fortunate to get him. Molina can throw out runners, but both can frame pitchers and are excellent at calling games, a trait that WAR still does not capture effectively.
                          He may be, but that is clearly not the prevailing perception. Yadier Molina is now a perennial All-Star and Gold Glover. Martin is neither.

                          There are reasons for the difference in perception. One is that Molina is a guy whose emergence coincided with Cardinal emergence as the most prominent team in the NL. Yadi has played on 4 WS teams, 3 of them as a regular, 2 of them being World Champions. He has been, arguably, the best position player on the 2013 WS team, whereas Martin has never been the best position player on his team. The other reason is that Molina is consistent from year to year and developed in a predictable way, whereas Martin's career progression has been quite unpredictable. His 2014 campaign is somewhat out of context with the rest of his career; no one really expects him to his .290 next year.

                          That's why people THINK Martin is better, and I don't think they're wrong. There is real value in being able to reasonably project what your star catcher will do in the upcoming year.
                          "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                          NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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                          • #28
                            The articles are a bit dated, but here on this 2013 Fangraphs article, Jeff Sullivan notes that Cards pitchers perform only slightly better with Yadi behind the plate.

                            In part one, of his series on handling the pitching staff, Max Marchi lays out his methodology. Part two adds a few more notes, and provides a downloadable file of players' career totals from 1948-2011. This is missing more than two years of Yadi's data, but it has him less than 10 runs above average. Once again, those numbers include framing.

                            I'm open to an argument that if the Marchi articles had been done through the 2014 season, it would have jumped Yadi's value because he's improved. But over his career, both simple and complex analysis suggest that outside of pitch framing, he hasn't been the great staff handler people believe. One should read the articles with an open mind rather than dismissing them beforehand. Any criticism should be through analysis of the methodology, not whether it challenges what one has always believed.

                            I guess I should toss in this article by Dave Cameron at FanGraphs regarding how framing run value should be split between catcher and pitcher.

                            Well, time to see what comes of this. Just remember that I'm providing links, not making an argument. So I hope I don't get any indignant responses.
                            "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                            - Alvin Dark

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by AstrosFan View Post
                              The articles are a bit dated, but here on this 2013 Fangraphs article, Jeff Sullivan notes that Cards pitchers perform only slightly better with Yadi behind the plate.

                              In part one, of his series on handling the pitching staff, Max Marchi lays out his methodology. Part two adds a few more notes, and provides a downloadable file of players' career totals from 1948-2011. This is missing more than two years of Yadi's data, but it has him less than 10 runs above average. Once again, those numbers include framing.

                              I'm open to an argument that if the Marchi articles had been done through the 2014 season, it would have jumped Yadi's value because he's improved. But over his career, both simple and complex analysis suggest that outside of pitch framing, he hasn't been the great staff handler people believe. One should read the articles with an open mind rather than dismissing them beforehand. Any criticism should be through analysis of the methodology, not whether it challenges what one has always believed.

                              I guess I should toss in this article by Dave Cameron at FanGraphs regarding how framing run value should be split between catcher and pitcher.

                              Well, time to see what comes of this. Just remember that I'm providing links, not making an argument. So I hope I don't get any indignant responses.
                              And Michael G. Litchman recently had an article that showed Molina having a huge impact on game-calling via WOWY. He gate Molina about +20 runs per full season credit for framing+game calling. Sorry for lack of link. You have to trust me on this one.

                              BBPro has him +70 runs via pitch framing just since 2008. I can't fathom game-calling being a big enough deal to negate probably +100 an then some. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ca...d.php?id=31391

                              And there is this Grantland article that is pretty interesting: http://grantland.com/features/st-lou...-game-calling/. Certainly shows a huge positive framing/game-calling impact, even if diagnosing the reasons is a little muddier.

                              But Mike Fast, HardballTimes and numerous others have shown massive Yadi impact of pitch framing. Here is Fast agreeing with Molina being plus 7 wins just since 2008. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=22934

                              Here is Hardball Times suggesting Molina was +4.5 wins just from 2008-2010: http://www.hardballtimes.com/evaluat...itches-part-3/

                              I can buy that game-calling is limited, but EVERYBODY is showing a huge pitch-framing impact. The general consensus is that he is worth probably around 10 wins for his career framing. To make that plus one win, as Sullivan suggests, we are talking Molina having to be a terrible catcher in terms of game-calling. While Grantland and MGL a good Game-Calling effect, if any.

                              So lets say he has zero game-calling impact but +100 framing runs. That puts him at 40 WAR at age 31. That is well into HOfer for catcher territory. 50 is pretty much a shoo-in at the catcher spot.
                              Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 10-05-2014, 03:18 PM.
                              1885 1886 1926 1931 1934 1942 1944 1946 1964 1967 1982 2006 2011

                              1887 1888 1928 1930 1943 1968 1985 1987 2004 2013

                              1996 2000 2001 2002 2005 2009 2012 2014 2015


                              The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
                              The Top 100 Position Players In MLB History

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                              • #30
                                Martin's an interesting player. He's definitely been in the top 10 of major league catchers throughout his career; depending on how one values his defense, he may have cracked the top 5 a few times. He also seems to have a knack for playing for contending teams, although how much of this can be ascribed to Martin and how much to happenstance is very debatable.

                                So he's a frequently All-Star caliber player, but he's never been (and likely never will be) a guy good enough to start an All-Star game. (Although he did start one in 2007, so there's that; Brian McCann was the only other catcher on the NL squad.) I.e., he's never been the best catcher, even arguably, in his league. He's also a "winning player", at least by reputation -- in this case I suspect there's probably some merit in the appellation.

                                This profile of player needs a long career to make the Hall. Martin is nine years into his career, and he's turning 32 over the winter. He'd need to roughly double his career numbers, which is possible, but hard -- he'd need to be Bob Boone-durable in his thirties, which is asking a lot, but Martin's been fairly durable over his career and has a body type that augurs fairly well for the future.

                                He's not nearly there yet, but it's probably time to put Martin on some HOF watch lists.

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