2009 Catcher Block Percentage


It's that time of year again.  I've finally gotten around to running the 2009 Catcher Block Percentage rankings.   As annual traditions go, it isn't up there with Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the Running of the Bulls, but hopefully you still enjoy it.

For those who aren't familiar with the stat, I look at how well a catcher stops runners from moving up on balls in the dirt.   Each wild pitch or passed ball saved is worth .27 runs (based on run expectancy and the timing of the events). Full methodology is described here.

This year I've made a few adjustments.  First, I've included 2 strike balls in the dirt with first base open as opportunities.  That was an oversight from previous years.  Second, I'm using a bit more Pitch F/X information in the analysis.

Results and more details can be found after the jump.

Because Pitch F/X basically gives us the flight path of the ball, we can determine where the pitch would have hit the ground and decide whether the ball was in the dirt based on that location.

I used a formula provided by Harry Pavlidis and an estimated catcher position catcher of 3 feet behind the front of home plate to divine which balls were likely in the dirt.

There's not a tremendous amount of overlap between the pitches the stringers classify as in the dirt and those the formula identifies. I'm not certain which is more reliable at this point in time, so I'll present the numbers for both.

One effort I'd like to kick off next season is to score pitches in the dirt at home and see those compare to both the stringers and the formula. I'll probably be looking for volunteers sometime during the spring to help out with that.

Anyway, on to the numbers.

First we'll look at those pitches the stringers scored as in the dirt. These are all the catcher with 100 or more opportunities. Clicking on the column headers allows you to sort.

Catcher Innings Misses Opportunities Block % Blocks AA Runs Runs/120
Gregg Zaun 643 11 269 0.959 18.79 5.07 7.06
Jason Varitek 924 18 377 0.952 23.75 6.41 6.37
Carlos Ruiz 882.33 14 251 0.944 13.8 3.73 5.56
Mike Rivera 271 8 142 0.944 7.73 2.09 5.5
Michel Hernandez 264.33 6 100 0.940 5.07 1.37 5.13
Raul Chavez 399 13 212 0.939 10.48 2.83 5
Jason LaRue 254 7 109 0.936 5.07 1.37 4.71
Chris Coste 352 7 107 0.935 4.85 1.31 4.58
Yadier Molina 1176.67 35 532 0.934 23.92 6.46 4.55
Kurt Suzuki 1173.33 33 485 0.932 20.71 5.59 4.32
Humberto Quintero 427 15 213 0.930 8.59 2.32 4.08
Matt Wieters 738.33 17 235 0.928 9.03 2.44 3.88
Ryan Doumit 615.33 21 265 0.921 8.35 2.25 3.19
Rod Barajas 974.33 29 356 0.919 10.43 2.82 2.96
Jeff Mathis 657 27 325 0.917 8.99 2.43 2.8
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 714 20 233 0.914 5.8 1.57 2.52
Jason Kendall 1162 51 563 0.909 11.35 3.06 2.04
Taylor Teagarden 491.67 17 181 0.906 3.05 0.82 1.7
Ramon Hernandez 451 13 136 0.904 2.06 0.56 1.53
Victor Martinez 687 23 239 0.904 3.47 0.94 1.47
Wil Nieves 553.67 25 256 0.902 3.35 0.9 1.32
Robinzon Diaz 283 16 159 0.899 1.61 0.43 1.02
Omir Santos 680.33 18 175 0.897 1.38 0.37 0.8
Mike Redmond 330.67 11 107 0.897 0.85 0.23 0.8
Yorvit Torrealba 545.33 20 187 0.893 0.71 0.19 0.38
Koyie Hill 627.33 25 230 0.891 0.47 0.13 0.21
Joe Mauer 939 29 266 0.891 0.46 0.12 0.17
Ivan Rodriguez 962 30 269 0.888 -0.21 -0.06 -0.08
Henry Blanco 508 18 161 0.888 -0.17 -0.05 -0.11
Chris Iannetta 763.67 24 212 0.887 -0.52 -0.14 -0.25
Kenji Johjima 580 21 185 0.886 -0.51 -0.14 -0.28
Gerald Laird 1090.33 43 374 0.885 -1.58 -0.43 -0.43
John Buck 366.67 17 147 0.884 -0.72 -0.19 -0.5
Jesus Flores 205.67 13 111 0.883 -0.71 -0.19 -0.64
Mike Napoli 758 43 361 0.881 -3.02 -0.82 -0.85
Dioner Navarro 921.33 35 291 0.880 -2.77 -0.75 -0.96
Jason Jaramillo 520 20 165 0.879 -1.73 -0.47 -1.06
Brian Schneider 437.33 14 114 0.877 -1.37 -0.37 -1.22
Bengie Molina 1042 48 359 0.866 -8.24 -2.22 -2.32
Ryan Hanigan 670.33 24 179 0.866 -4.18 -1.13 -2.36
Brian McCann 1078.67 37 276 0.866 -6.43 -1.74 -2.36
Miguel Montero 924.67 44 324 0.864 -8.12 -2.19 -2.53
Geovany Soto 811 34 247 0.862 -6.65 -1.8 -2.72
Russell Martin 1201 62 444 0.860 -12.83 -3.46 -2.92
A.J. Pierzynski 1104 43 302 0.858 -9.55 -2.58 -3.2
Nick Hundley 643.33 29 199 0.854 -6.96 -1.88 -3.54
Ronny Paulino 582.33 23 156 0.853 -5.72 -1.54 -3.71
John Baker 864 37 249 0.851 -9.42 -2.54 -3.83
Jorge Posada 785 41 272 0.849 -10.88 -2.94 -4.04
Eli Whiteside 314 18 113 0.841 -5.49 -1.48 -4.91
Miguel Olivo 845.67 59 368 0.840 -18.24 -4.92 -5.01
Kelly Shoppach 672 31 188 0.835 -10.18 -2.75 -5.48
Chris Snyder 436 28 157 0.822 -10.61 -2.86 -6.84
Josh Bard 630.67 41 218 0.812 -16.86 -4.55 -7.82
Rob Johnson 684.33 32 152 0.789 -15.17 -4.1 -10.09

 

And now the numbers based on Harry's formula. Same rules as above.

Catcher Innings Misses Opportunities Block % Blocks AA Runs Runs/120
Gregg Zaun 643 11 333 0.967 19.31 5.21 7.14
Carlos Ruiz 882.33 14 344 0.959 17.31 4.67 6.19
Chris Coste 352 7 144 0.951 6.11 1.65 5.22
Yadier Molina 1176.67 35 709 0.951 29.54 7.98 5.13
Mike Rivera 271 8 151 0.947 5.74 1.55 4.68
Michel Hernandez 264.33 6 112 0.946 4.19 1.13 4.61
Jason LaRue 254 7 127 0.945 4.56 1.23 4.42
Matt Wieters 738.33 17 295 0.942 9.85 2.66 4.11
Humberto Quintero 427 15 249 0.940 7.66 2.07 3.79
Chad Moeller 239.33 8 132 0.939 4.02 1.09 3.74
Jason Varitek 924 18 292 0.938 8.58 2.32 3.62
Kurt Suzuki 1173.33 33 529 0.938 15.15 4.09 3.52
Yorvit Torrealba 545.33 20 313 0.936 8.49 2.29 3.34
Jeff Mathis 657 27 422 0.936 11.41 3.08 3.33
Jason Kendall 1162 51 787 0.935 20.64 5.57 3.23
Dave Ross 354 8 121 0.934 3.01 0.81 3.06
Ryan Doumit 615.33 21 312 0.933 7.4 2 2.92
Raul Chavez 399 13 187 0.930 4.02 1.09 2.65
Rod Barajas 974.33 29 400 0.928 7.41 2 2.28
Brian McCann 1078.67 37 509 0.927 9.33 2.52 2.26
Chris Iannetta 763.67 24 305 0.921 3.76 1.02 1.52
Ramon Hernandez 451 13 160 0.919 1.56 0.42 1.2
Ivan Rodriguez 962 30 364 0.918 3.13 0.85 1.06
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 714 20 242 0.917 2.03 0.55 1.03
Jason Jaramillo 520 20 236 0.915 1.48 0.4 0.77
Victor Martinez 687 23 264 0.913 1.03 0.28 0.48
Henry Blanco 508 18 206 0.913 0.75 0.2 0.45
Wil Nieves 553.67 25 281 0.911 0.58 0.16 0.25
Koyie Hill 627.33 25 280 0.911 0.49 0.13 0.21
Mike Napoli 758 43 466 0.908 -0.58 -0.16 -0.15
Landon Powell 274 10 106 0.906 -0.35 -0.09 -0.41
Jesus Flores 205.67 13 137 0.905 -0.53 -0.14 -0.48
Dioner Navarro 921.33 35 367 0.905 -1.59 -0.43 -0.53
Geovany Soto 811 34 352 0.903 -1.96 -0.53 -0.69
John Buck 366.67 17 175 0.903 -1.07 -0.29 -0.75
Ryan Hanigan 670.33 24 247 0.903 -1.52 -0.41 -0.76
Omir Santos 680.33 18 183 0.902 -1.34 -0.36 -0.9
Brian Schneider 437.33 14 142 0.902 -1.07 -0.29 -0.93
A.J. Pierzynski 1104 43 421 0.898 -4.68 -1.26 -1.37
Miguel Montero 924.67 44 422 0.896 -5.59 -1.51 -1.63
Robinzon Diaz 283 16 151 0.894 -2.26 -0.61 -1.84
Ronny Paulino 582.33 23 214 0.893 -3.52 -0.95 -2.02
Taylor Teagarden 491.67 17 158 0.892 -2.62 -0.71 -2.04
Ramon Castro 401.67 11 102 0.892 -1.72 -0.46 -2.07
Kenji Johjima 580 21 191 0.890 -3.61 -0.97 -2.33
Gerald Laird 1090.33 43 391 0.890 -7.41 -2 -2.33
Paul Bako 299.33 13 116 0.888 -2.44 -0.66 -2.59
Brayan Pena 213.67 14 124 0.887 -2.71 -0.73 -2.69
John Baker 864 37 315 0.883 -8.33 -2.25 -3.25
Joe Mauer 939 29 243 0.881 -6.88 -1.86 -3.48
Bengie Molina 1042 48 401 0.880 -11.5 -3.11 -3.53
Miguel Olivo 845.67 59 487 0.879 -14.67 -3.96 -3.71
Jose Molina 356.67 16 127 0.874 -4.44 -1.2 -4.3
Jorge Posada 785 41 318 0.871 -12.05 -3.25 -4.66
Nick Hundley 643.33 29 224 0.871 -8.61 -2.32 -4.73
Russell Martin 1201 62 461 0.866 -20.04 -5.41 -5.35
Eli Whiteside 314 18 128 0.859 -6.35 -1.71 -6.1
Josh Bard 630.67 41 277 0.852 -15.79 -4.26 -7.01
Chris Snyder 436 28 185 0.849 -11.16 -3.01 -7.42
Rob Johnson 684.33 32 209 0.847 -12.98 -3.5 -7.64
Kelly Shoppach 672 31 192 0.839 -13.52 -3.65 -8.67

 

Let's wrap this up with some observations:

  • Gregg Zaun was a nice pickup for the Brewers.
  • The Royals will save about 7 runs with Jason Kendall behind the plate instead of the John Buck / Miguel Olivo combination. Too bad they'll lose more than that on offense.
  • Russell Martin had a poor year across the board - costing his team 3-5 runs with his blocking ability
  • We've found one part of the game where Joe Mauer isn't awesome. There's always been concern with his height affecting his catching, and it looks like there might be something to that theory
  • There are a lot of catchers I've never heard of. Shows what becoming a parent can do to you. Who are Ryan Hanigan, Eli Whiteside and Rob Johnson (besides the QB for the Bills?)
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