Beyond the Box Score 2011 Catcher Defense Ratings: May Edition

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for...   the first installment of the Beyond the Box Score Catcher defense ratings of the 2011 season! What, you haven't been waiting for them? What, you aren't interested a catcher defense metric that doesn't  give extra credit for a guy hitting like a pitcher or interrupting a generic interview to defend a helpless youngster? Well, too bad.

These rankings are expressed in runs above and below average based on comparing each players fielding errors (FERns), throwing errors (TERns), passed balls and wild pitches (PBWPRns), and of course, caught stealing (CSRuns), and converting them to their linear weight values. For more specifics on the methodology, click here. As I've written before, I don't make any great claims to originality with this, other people have done it before in similar ways, I've simply added my own tweaks. However, I was encouraged to do them again this season, and will try to update them  monthly. Keep in mind that this is over a short sample (we have to start sometime!), that I don't claim that this is anything like great or comprehensive (it is quick and dirty), and, of course, that there is a difference between observed performance and "true talent," particularly over a small sample size. Without any further ado, let's take a look at some leaders and trailers.

This is raw runs above/below average, not a rate stat. The stats are through Sunday's games.

Overall leaders: Matt Wieters may not be setting the world on fire with his bat (although he's above average in this run environment, very good for a catcher), he's been exclennent defensively, which is, of course, mostly ignored, since a guy has to be old and an awful hitter before his defense is praised. He's currently the overall leader at +5.7 runs. In what is likely an illustration of the small sample issue, Kelly Shoppach is in second with +2.7 runs, although I think he's better than his reputation. Old Man Ramon Hernandez, Buster Posey (if only he could hit, too!), and Kurt Suzuki round out the top five. For those wondering, perennial defensive great Yadier Molina is at -1 so far; I expect taht will change as the season continues.

Overall Trailers: Josh Thole has been as bad behind the plate as he has beside it so far this season, the worst so far at -4.4 runs. Hopefully the Mets will stick with him. Miguel Olivo (-3.6) is another Mariners failure so far, didn't they laern anything the first time they had him? Miguel Montero is at -2.9 runs, but with the way he's been hitting, the Diamondbacks can live with it. America's favorite son A.J. Pierzynski (-2.9) and Toronto's J.P. Arencibia (-2.5) are the fourth- and fifth-from-the-bottom, respectively.

Caught Stealing Leaders and Trailers: As you might expect, this is the main difference between catchers at this point, with Wieters (his arm is Deadly Accurate!) and Hernandez leading the way so far. Matt Treanor (TREANOR!!) totally justifies his existence by coming in third so far at +1.8 runs. Thole and Pierzynski are on bottom, with the Reds' Ryan Hanigan being third-worst.

Passed Balls and Wild PItches Leaders and Trailers: Wieters leads the way here as well at +2.2 runs, followed by Shoppach and Geovany Soto at +1.5 apiece. As for the trailers, this is where Yadier Molina has had some trouble so far at -1.9 runs, which is also Josh Thole's number. But our trailer is fittingly... wait for it... Miguel Olivo, who has returned to being to being Miguel Olivo (-2.0).

The overall rankings and values are in the table below. Take your grain of salt and enjoy, or don't and be infuriated! Until next time...

 

Beyond the Box Score Catcher Defense Ratings, May 2011

Rank

Player

PA

Tm

FERns

TERns

PBWPRns

CSRuns

Total

1

Matt Wieters

1090

BAL

0.3

0.7

2.2

2.6

5.7

2

Kelly Shoppach

547

TBR

0.1

-0.1

1.5

1.2

2.7

3

Ramon Hernandez

613

CIN

0.1

0.4

-0.3

2.1

2.4

4

Buster Posey

1016

SFG

-0.5

0.1

0.9

1.7

2.2

5

Kurt Suzuki

1051

OAK

0.2

0.7

-0.2

1.4

2.2

6

Drew Butera

647

MIN

0.2

-0.6

1.2

1.3

2.1

7

Geovany Soto

1143

CHC

-0.5

0.2

1.5

0.5

1.7

8

Carlos Santana

903

CLE

0.2

0.6

1.4

-0.8

1.4

9

Wilson Ramos

700

WSN

0.2

-0.5

0.8

0.9

1.4

10

Ronny Paulino

170

NYM

0.0

0.1

-0.1

1.3

1.4

11

Matt Treanor

748

KCR

0.2

-0.5

-0.2

1.8

1.3

12

Rod Barajas

988

LAD

0.2

0.1

1.3

-0.5

1.2

13

Gerald Laird

313

STL

0.1

0.2

0.0

0.7

1.0

14

Brayan Pena

596

KCR

0.1

-0.1

1.1

-0.1

1.0

15

John Buck

1083

FLA

0.3

-0.3

1.0

0.0

1.0

16

David Ross

217

ATL

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.7

0.9

17

Lou Marson

351

CLE

0.1

0.2

1.0

-0.4

0.9

18

Jose Molina

447

TOR

0.1

0.3

0.1

0.4

0.9

19

Nick Hundley

916

SDP

0.2

-0.4

0.9

0.2

0.8

20

Yorvit Torrealba

998

TEX

0.2

0.1

0.0

0.5

0.8

21

Gustavo Molina

78

NYY

0.0

0.0

0.2

0.3

0.6

22

Henry Blanco

173

ARI

0.0

0.1

-0.1

0.5

0.6

23

Wil Nieves

351

MIL

-0.7

0.2

0.4

0.5

0.5

24

Chris Iannetta

958

COL

0.2

0.6

-1.3

0.9

0.5

25

Landon Powell

260

OAK

0.1

0.2

-0.1

0.3

0.4

26

Brian Schneider

447

PHI

0.1

-0.2

0.7

-0.2

0.4

27

George Kottaras

267

MIL

0.1

0.2

-0.1

0.2

0.4

28

Ivan Rodriguez

586

WSN

-0.6

0.4

-0.3

0.9

0.3

29

Brett Hayes

161

FLA

0.0

0.1

-0.1

0.2

0.2

30

Taylor Teagarden

52

TEX

0.0

0.0

0.1

0.0

0.2

31

Dane Sardinha

115

PHI

0.0

0.1

0.0

0.1

0.2

32

Hank Conger

604

LAA

0.1

-0.1

0.0

0.1

0.1

33

Eli Whiteside

246

SFG

0.1

0.2

0.1

-0.2

0.1

34

Victor Martinez

239

DET

0.1

0.1

-0.2

0.1

0.1

35

Carlos Ruiz

676

PHI

0.2

-0.1

1.0

-1.1

0.1

36

Jose Morales

263

COL

0.1

0.2

-0.1

-0.1

0.0

37

Jason Jaramillo

143

PIT

0.0

0.1

-0.4

0.3

0.0

38

Kyle Phillips

38

SDP

0.0

0.0

0.1

-0.1

0.0

39

Adam Moore

67

SEA

0.0

0.0

0.2

-0.3

0.0

40

Chris Snyder

561

PIT

0.1

0.3

-0.4

-0.1

-0.1

41

J.R. Towles

457

HOU

0.1

-0.2

1.0

-1.0

-0.1

42

Bobby Wilson

94

LAA

0.0

0.1

0.0

-0.1

-0.1

43

Koyie Hill

137

CHC

0.0

-0.4

0.4

-0.1

-0.1

44

Mike Nickeas

257

NYM

0.1

0.2

-0.1

-0.2

-0.1

45

Chris Gimenez

240

SEA

0.1

0.1

-0.5

0.1

-0.1

46

Rene Rivera

38

MIN

0.0

0.0

0.1

-0.3

-0.2

47

Alex Avila

1045

DET

-0.5

0.6

-0.7

0.4

-0.2

48

Jason Varitek

527

BOS

0.1

0.3

0.1

-0.8

-0.3

49

Hector Gimenez

45

LAD

0.0

0.0

-0.2

-0.1

-0.3

50

Ramon Castro

307

CHW

0.1

0.2

0.3

-0.8

-0.3

51

J. C. Boscan

4

ATL

0.0

0.0

-0.3

0.0

-0.3

52

Humberto Quintero

857

HOU

-0.6

-0.4

1.0

-0.3

-0.3

53

Francisco Cervelli

114

NYY

0.0

0.1

0.0

-0.5

-0.3

54

Omir Santos

34

DET

0.0

0.0

-0.5

0.0

-0.4

55

Ryan Hanigan

689

CIN

0.2

-0.1

1.1

-1.7

-0.5

56

Steve Holm

198

MIN

0.0

0.1

0.0

-0.7

-0.6

57

Mike Napoli

263

TEX

0.1

0.2

-0.4

-0.4

-0.6

58

Rob Johnson

354

SDP

-0.7

0.2

-0.1

-0.2

-0.8

59

A.J. Ellis

165

LAD

0.0

0.1

-0.9

0.0

-0.8

60

Joe Mauer

330

MIN

0.1

0.2

-0.5

-0.7

-0.9

61

Brian McCann

1092

ATL

-0.5

0.2

-1.2

0.5

-0.9

62

Yadier Molina

1033

STL

0.2

-0.8

-1.9

1.5

-1.0

63

Jake Fox

171

BAL

0.0

0.1

-0.6

-0.6

-1.1

64

Ryan Doumit

585

PIT

0.1

-0.6

-0.1

-0.6

-1.1

65

Russell Martin

1024

NYY

0.2

-0.8

-0.2

-0.3

-1.1

66

Dioner Navarro

141

LAD

-0.7

-0.4

-0.2

-0.1

-1.4

67

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

759

BOS

0.2

0.0

-0.4

-1.2

-1.4

68

Jeff Mathis

668

LAA

0.2

-0.1

-0.9

-1.0

-1.9

69

Jonathan Lucroy

653

MIL

-0.6

0.4

-0.2

-1.5

-1.9

70

John Jaso

709

TBR

0.2

0.0

-1.4

-1.1

-2.4

71

J. P. Arencibia

843

TOR

0.2

-0.4

-1.6

-0.7

-2.5

72

A.J. Pierzynski

1035

CHW

0.2

0.2

-1.3

-1.8

-2.7

73

Miguel Montero

1114

ARI

-0.5

-2.2

0.3

-0.5

-2.9

74

Miguel Olivo

985

SEA

-0.5

-0.3

-2.0

-0.7

-3.6

75

Josh Thole

925

NYM

0.2

-0.4

-1.9

-2.4

-4.4

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