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Old 06-19-2009, 03:42 AM   #41
jbergey22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsvitak View Post
I am sure Mauer is a decent catcher...but if you want to see a GREAT catcher, check out Yadier Molina's stats this year.
I just looked this up and its very impressive, similiar to Mauer without the hitting. Probably has a lot to do with the cards success this year.

12 SBs in 57 games saves a lot of runs.

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Old 06-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #42
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Mauer could go 0 for 65 and he'll still be batting over .300
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:26 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by rudel.dietrich View Post
I would take Mike Piazza in his prime over any catcher in history. He was an offensive force made even better by offensve standards at his posistion.

And there is zero statistical evidence about a catchers ability to 'call' a game having any effect at all on a teams ability to prevent runs.
Calling a game can be significant.

For teams with two catchers sharing the responsibility, I have OFTEN seen a half run per game difference, or more.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:47 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by dsvitak View Post
Calling a game can be significant.

For teams with two catchers sharing the responsibility, I have OFTEN seen a half run per game difference, or more.
Come up with a way to prove that you will have found one of the great statistical finds since DIPS.

Here is a good BP article from back in 2000
Baseball Prospectus | Field General or Backstop?

If a catcher has no ability to call a game then his only defensive duties after that are throwing out runners and passed balls.
Those two duties together do not add up to that many saved runs a season.
Thus I think catcher is the most unimportant defensive posistion out on the field. Well besides a pitcher.
If you have a good hitting catcher with good defense then you have found a golden players. But picking a catcher just for his defense is dumb.

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Old 06-19-2009, 02:11 PM   #45
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Just because something isn't quantifiable doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Dumb positivists.

While Mauer is tearing it up this year, I don't see a legitimate run at .400 until he moves away from catcher.

And the notion that defense at catcher is the least important is ludicrous and intellectually shallow.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #46
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To add, if defense matters so little why did Seattle give up on Jeff Clement as a catcher? How many players have started out as catchers but had to move because they couldn't hack it behind the plate. One would figure that if it was the least important defensive position that teams would stash their best hitter and poorest fielder there, yet so many teams carry no-hit catchers and even play them every day.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:20 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by pseudofool View Post
To add, if defense matters so little why did Seattle give up on Jeff Clement as a catcher? How many players have started out as catchers but had to move because they couldn't hack it behind the plate. One would figure that if it was the least important defensive position that teams would stash their best hitter and poorest fielder there, yet so many teams carry no-hit catchers and even play them every day.
Because the position destroys the body?
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:26 PM   #48
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Just because something isn't quantifiable doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Dumb positivists.
Of course not, but Rudel wasn't the one making the statment that there is a significant difference in ability to call a game.

There may be a difference, but the signficance is at best undetectable.

To put your statement another way. Somebody should not give a player a ranking in a skill that may or may not exist and isn't quantifiable.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:42 PM   #49
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Of course not, but Rudel wasn't the one making the statment that there is a significant difference in ability to call a game.

There may be a difference, but the signficance is at best undetectable.

To put your statement another way. Somebody should not give a player a ranking in a skill that may or may not exist and isn't quantifiable.
Managers, pitchers, etc. note the difference. They may not be able to quantify it in any statistical way, but clearly given the emphasis on calling a good game throughout the culture of baseball there's something to it. I mean basically you guys are suggesting that a catcher with a better understand of his opponents and his pitcher won't necessarily call a better game than me or you. Which is just silly.

Part of the problem is that calling a game is so dependent on the given pitcher and the given opponent and that it's hard to isolate and observe independently.

I think it's erroneous to simply eliminate the aspect of calling a game because we can't measure it. It stinks but we have to rely more on human observation and reputation, basically scouts and managers and other players to distinguish who has this skill and who doesn't. I get that it's totally unsatisfactory, but it's what we have to go with.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:44 PM   #50
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Because the position destroys the body?
Plenty of catcher move off the position later, but I've never heard of a case of moving a player off the position when he's still prospect to save his body. If that was the case, Piazza, Mauer etc., wouldn't catch a game.
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:48 PM   #51
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Somebody should not give a player a ranking in a skill that may or may not exist and isn't quantifiable.
I wanted to respond to this separately. Teams evaluate intangibles all the time, it might not be perfect or even preferential, but it would be negligent not to do so.

Us as fans, might not be in the position to make such rankings (and this might frustrate us), but it doesn't mean we shouldn't consider it when evaluating players.

I still don't understand how anyone can reconcile the notion that catchers are the least defensively valuable position yet (and I didn't look it up) they might be historically the worse hitting position (maybe SS could be worse).

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Old 06-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #52
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I wouldn't say catchers are the least important defensive position. I think that is somewhere between the firstbaseman and right fielder. But I do not buy into the 'ability to call a game' is part of that defense (if it even exists). If a catcher was behind the plate calling fastball after fastball the manager or pitcher would put a stop to it. The catchers job is catching the ball and throwing out runners. He doesn't need some mysterious ability to call the right pitch all the time. Leave that to the pitcher to decide, it is their job.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:01 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by pseudofool View Post
Just because something isn't quantifiable doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Dumb positivists.
That is adressed in the article I linked. The ability if it exsists it is so small that catchers would need to catch thousands of innings more in order for it to be found. If the ability is that tiny and means that little why put so much weight into it?
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:01 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by pseudofool View Post
Plenty of catcher move off the position later, but I've never heard of a case of moving a player off the position when he's still prospect to save his body. If that was the case, Piazza, Mauer etc., wouldn't catch a game.
I don't have a good answer for that regarding Clement. Maybe Craig Biggio, and BJ Surhoff as examples? I could be wrong too.

I'd imagine that they believe that the positive of the offensive value outweighs the negative of damage to their body at the catcher position.

The idea of maximize their value as catchers until their body gives.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:07 PM   #55
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I wanted to respond to this separately. Teams evaluate intangibles all the time, it might not be perfect or even preferential, but it would be negligent not to do so.
I have no insight into teams evaluation methods, so I'll take your word on it. I do believe teams look at things like makeup, and attitude.

My question would be how would you evaluate something that is an intangible?

The concern there is if it's not measurable, you run the risk of either overvaluing, or undervaluing a player. Both could cost an organization.

Quote:
Us as fans, might not be in the position to make such rankings (and this might frustrate us), but it doesn't mean we shouldn't consider it when evaluating players.
I think it does mean that we shouldn't consider it. We are not making an informed evaluation, or we're just going off of normal human biases.

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I still don't understand how anyone can reconcile the notion that catchers are the least defensively valuable position yet (and I didn't look it up) they might be historically the worse hitting position (maybe SS could be worse).
I agree with you here. I'd say first and left field, but that's just my opinion. I'm willing to be proved wrong.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:24 PM   #56
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Managers, pitchers, etc. note the difference. They may not be able to quantify it in any statistical way, but clearly given the emphasis on calling a good game throughout the culture of baseball there's something to it. I mean basically you guys are suggesting that a catcher with a better understand of his opponents and his pitcher won't necessarily call a better game than me or you. Which is just silly..
Yet the statistics bear that out. Of course the pitcher can always wave off our poor pitch selection.

I'd imagine there is probably a baseline of knowledge that all catchers at a major league level have. The variation does not seem to be significant.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:25 PM   #57
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That is adressed in the article I linked. The ability if it exsists it is so small that catchers would need to catch thousands of innings more in order for it to be found. If the ability is that tiny and means that little why put so much weight into it?
The reason that it's hard to quantify isn't because differences in calling games is small, it's because it's hard to isolate the catcher's impact from other variables (like the pitcher and the opponent).
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:26 PM   #58
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Catching is difficult. I am not going to dispute that. But being difficult does not nessacarily mean it is any more valuable than any other posistion. Certain players are able to catch and others are not.
Lets think about something else too. When a catcher is not catching, where is he moved? Usualy 1st base or a corner OF spot. Maybe 3rd if it is early in his carrer. Most catchers don't have the defensive ability to play demanding posistions.
I would also not describe catchers as over flowing with athletic talent. Even in the minors or early in their carrers they are slow and have pretty low agility.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:31 PM   #59
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My question would be how would you evaluate something that is an intangible?

The concern there is if it's not measurable,
Well, you get human, expert insight--former coaches, managers. Have your own experts (scouts) watch and interview the player over a period of time, etc.

We shouldn't confuse non-quantifiable with non-measurable. Intangibles can be measured in a variety of abstract ways from personal testimony to scouting but intangibles cannot be reduced to numerical modality. I'm sure teams put numbers to things like attitude, poise, etc., but the numbers are relativistic and not representative.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:33 PM   #60
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Catching is difficult. I am not going to dispute that. But being difficult does not nessacarily mean it is any more valuable than any other posistion. Certain players are able to catch and others are not.
Lets think about something else too. When a catcher is not catching, where is he moved? Usualy 1st base or a corner OF spot. Maybe 3rd if it is early in his carrer. Most catchers don't have the defensive ability to play demanding posistions.
I would also not describe catchers as over flowing with athletic talent. Even in the minors or early in their carrers they are slow and have pretty low agility.
The skill in question--"calling a game"--is decidedly nonathletic, so I'm not sure I see the relevance of this point.

To switch to another sport, consider all the nonathletic features a QB must have to be successful. There's a reason Jeff George was never a winner despite his skill set. (I think the same will be said of Jay Cutler by the time he's done).
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