Dewan: Could Jonathan Lucroy be as good as Yadier Molina?

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on March 6, 2015:

Yadier Molina is considered to be the best defensive catcher in baseball. He’s won six of the nine Fielding Bible Awards since we began them in 2006, and he’s won seven consecutive Gold Glove Awards.

Those accolades are well deserved because Molina is an exceptional defender in all facets of catcher defense. He has thrown out 40.8 percent of baserunners attempting to steal since he became a full-time player in 2005, which is the most of any catcher with at least 1,400 innings over that span. He’s tied for fourth among the same qualifiers with a 94.2 percent block rate of pitches in the dirt. He’s second in total Good Fielding Plays in that time, and he’s a great handler of pitchers, as evidenced by his 21 Adjusted Earned Runs Saved, the most in baseball in that time.

Jonathan Lucroy has recently started to be recognized as an elite defender. In fact, he won his first Fielding Bible Award in 2014. But prior to 2014, when he dramatically improved his pitch blocking and pitcher handling, Lucroy was actually a below-average defensive catcher except for one skill: pitch framing.

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Originally published: March 6, 2015. Last Updated: March 6, 2015.