Rowley: Lifestyles of the Pitchin’ Frameous

From Meg Rowley at Baseball Prospectus on January 21, 2016, with mention of SABR member Harry Pavlidis:

Last week, Baseball Prospectus debuted expanded catcher statistics in an all-day festival immortalized forever as Catchella. We have long known that catcher defense, particularly pitch framing—we will not be referring to it as “presentation” whatever your preferences, players—is hugely important in assessing a catcher’s value. With framing data going back to 1988, and blocking and throwing data going back to 1950, we have a wealth of new information to sort through and analyze to help understand exactly how much those skills affect the game. The totality of that analysis will take time, but as we start to unpack this treasure chest, a few interesting tidbits emerge.

One way to gauge how much catcher defense contributes to overall value is to see who benefits from a more precise accounting of it. The addition of our catcher statistics didn’t shake up the top 10 career catcher WARP too dramatically. But there was a fair amount of movement within it. There were also a couple of new faces whose new totals were aided by impressive framing metrics that, as we saw from Jonathan Judge and Harry Pavlidisprimer last week, can be a significant driver of catcher defensive value.

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Originally published: January 25, 2016. Last Updated: January 25, 2016.