Who's the Best Hitting Catcher in Baseball?
I just want to throw this out there because the people on my teevee love themselves some counting stats and intangibles. Last night, in discussing Evan Longoria's case for the last slot on the AL roster, Buck Showalter asserted that (paraphrasing) "even though his stats do not stack up, this is a guy the fans want to see." That's quite a statement given the individual in question. Longoria checks in with a 138 OPS+ as I write this.
Anyway, in a world where counting stats rule the day sometimes good players go unnoticed. Whether because of injury or team personnel reasons, some good players don't get the same opportunities their peers do to rack up the impressive counting stats. Consider the catcher position right now. Here are your All-Stars, featuring the Captain himself.
AVG OBP SLG
Mauer .325 .416 .452
Navarro .317 .371 .436
Varitek .215 .297 .354 (wow)
Soto .289 .375 .527
Martin .305 .402 .449
McCann .293 .362 .533
Ryan Doumit of the Pittsburgh Pirates is hitting .326/.372/.587 in 2008 and maybe my head has been buried in the sand somewhere, but I don't hear much of anything about the guy. Buried behind Ronny Paulino to start the year and then tabled with a concussion and shoulder injury for a few weeks, Doumit has only amassed 199 plate appearances. His .333 BABIP may portend some drop-off in the second half but keep in mind that he hits the daylights out of the ball. His Line Drive percentage has been north of 20% for two seasons running now.