The catcher position is no longer home to a guy who is only good defensively. A steady bat in the middle of the order is just as important. Luckily, the Yankees have just that.
How important is it to have a legitimate backstop that not only calls a good game, but has an above average arm, can block balls like nobodies business, and just so happens to either hit for average or power?
Well, look no further than the American League East for a collection of just that. Three out of five teams in this division made the playoffs, while the Yankees who were left on the outside looking in, each have the type of player that commands a pitching rotation while doing more than their fair share when it comes to offensive ability.
The one team that doesn’t–that plays in an old Arena Football stadium, finished the year 68-94, 25 GB of first place.
For years it was acceptable to have an all glove no stick type guy behind the plate. It was almost a given, I mean they don’t call it the tools of ignorance for nothing. Players who came out of college or up through the Minor League system that showed a knack for driving the ball to various parts of the park were immediately moved away from catching to save their aching knees in the years to come.
There’s a bunch of All-Stars and even a Hall of Famer or two within that group.
Yet since Buster Posey came on the scene in 2010, many new-age catchers have taken great pride in being two-way players–one’s that are situated within a batting order to hit for power, while also commanding the respect of their pitching staff–players like Jonathan Lucroy, Salvador Perez, Wilson Ramos and a few others we’ll discuss next.