Copying what other sucky team’s bloggers do

molinaI was trying to think of something to write about. I had an idea, looked into it, lost interest and left a brief comment summarizing what I found. I've done this many times over the past 6 to 8 months. Then I had an idea last night that couldn't fail. It's so simple I'm surprised my dumbass hadn't thought about it before: look to see what blogs for teams that suck are doing and just copy them. It's brilliant. It's not original, but brilliance doesn't have to be original. Right?

My first team to look for was the Royals. They suck. What are their bloggers doing? Turns out, one of them is comparing players at each position in the division. I'm not going to put together a neat little graph showing the percent of wRC+ thingy that guy did. I'm not sure that's even of much use, but I can't complain since I'm stealing an idea. Thanks, man.

We'll start with catchers and move onto other positions. Or I'll get bored and never do this again. Could go either way. I'm using the projected lineups from RotoChamp.

The starting catchers are Ryan Hanigan, Welington Castillo, Jonathan Lucroy, Russell Martin and Yadier Molina. I had initially included the Astros Jason Castro and then remembered they moved to the AL West. Good luck with that.

Below are the previous 3 year stats for the 5 catchers.

Name PA HR ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld BsR WAR
Yadier Molina 1602 42 0.143 0.295 0.351 0.438 0.343 117 27 -13.2 14.2
Russell Martin 1348 44 0.154 0.231 0.326 0.385 0.316 95 2.7 0.7 7.4
Ryan Hanigan 918 13 0.089 0.279 0.373 0.368 0.328 101 14.2 0.1 7.2
Jonathan Lucroy 1111 28 0.133 0.279 0.326 0.412 0.324 101 0.1 -1 6.6
Welington Castillo 224 6 0.163 0.261 0.326 0.424 0.325 99 1.2 -0.8 1.4

It's no surprise that Molina is far and away the best catcher in the division. I'm always a little surprised at how good a hitter he has become, but his fielding is ridiculously good and the metric here probably doesn't even match the reality of his defensive contribution.

Hanigan has been the next best catcher over the previous 3 seasons followed closely by Lucroy (considering the playing time).

The CAIRO projections show the four after Molina to be closely bunched together.

Name PA HR BB SO avg obp slg wOBA oWAR WAR/550
Yadier Molina 550 15 44 58 .290 .349 .437 .344 3.5 3.5
Jonathan Lucroy 389 10 32 63 .269 .333 .412 .329 1.8 2.5
Welington Castillo 364 14 29 88 .249 .316 .430 .326 1.7 2.6
Russell Martin 490 12 51 86 .225 .313 .353 .299 1.7 1.9
Ryan Hanigan 360 5 41 43 .265 .352 .359 .323 1.3 2.1

The WAR/550 is oWAR.

CAIRO's defensive projections are +10 for Molina, +4 for Hanigan and +1 for Lucroy, Castillo and Martin. Adding that to their oWAR that would be 4.5 WAR for Molina, 1.9 for Lucroy, 1.8 for Castillo and Martin and 1.7 for Hanigan.

It will be interesting to see how Castillo does in an everyday role. He won't be as good as Molina, but he could end up being the 2nd best of this group. My money is on the under for Castillo and then when you factor in Dioner Navarro's -1 WAR per game the Cubs are in trouble behind the plate.

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