Yankees Ranks: Top Five American League East Catchers

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Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Russell Martin

Many within baseball circles didn’t understand why the Yankees let Russell Martin walk after the completion of the 2012 season–especially after bringing a sense of stability to a beleaguered pitching staff, not to mention averaging 19 HR, 59 RBI and an All-Star appearance after only two seasons spent in the Bronx.

So Martin took his talents first to Pittsburgh, and then to his native Canada–where he continues to get the absolute most out of mediocre starting pitchers. J.A. Happ winning 20 games, come on!

Aaron Sanchez‘s 15-2 record and 3.00 ERA has just as much to do with the 33-year-old, 11-year veteran calling pitches as much as it does the 24-year-old right-hander’s raw talent. Anyone that says otherwise is dead wrong.

The main issue for Martin as he continues to get up there in age is the fact that it took him almost three full months to get his bat going. I mean, he was struggled to raise his batting average above .200 up until around the All-Star break.

But sans usual, Martin put together another solid second half that helped the Blue Jays solidify their place in last night’s Wild Card play-in game. Martin’s average may have only crept to .231, but his power numbers really reaped the reward of a 30 point swing, as he slugged 20 home runs and 74 RBI.

One other small iota to watch over the course of Martin’s next three years in Toronto–that will pay him $20MM per, is that he allowed 61 stolen bases in 72 attempts. While his overall fielding percentage was still high–.996, Martin and his battery-mates need to get on the same page–to keep base runners closer to the bag, otherwise, this will become a situation other teams look to take advantage of next season.