NL Central Smackdown : Catchers
Before we head to the outfield, we take on the field generals. A difficult position to evaluate with the numbers just because there's just no great way to numerically measure a catcher's defense, leadership and ability to work with his pitching staff...but we'll do our best. I did want to note, I'll keep going with these through the weekend just so we can finish this up by early next week. If you take the weekends off from TCR, be sure to check back Monday and vote on the polls you missed.
The backstops after the jump...
|Player||3-Year Warp-3 Average
||3 Year Warp-3 Projection
|Ronny Paulino||4.4 (2 years)||2.87||5|
|Ryan Doumit||3.1 (2 years)||1.57||5|
The Justification: Have I mentioned that I did these before the season started? I'll admit I was a bit skeptical on our boy Soto to start the year and that Yadier Molina entering his age 25 season with decent walk to strikeout totals for his career (138 K:104 BB) might be ready to break out for a few decent seasons with the bat to compliment his exceptional defensive skills. That still might be the case, but Soto has clearly shown he belongs in the majors and ready to take the top spot in the division. Fellow rookie catcher JR Towles hasn't started off quite as well (197/338/443), but it looks like he has a bright future as well. Kendall gets knocked by the Baseball Prospectus projections, but he can still get on-base and is chock full of veteran savvy. The Pirates seem to still be deciding between Ronny Paulino and Ryan Doumit, and although the projections favor Paulino (mostly due to playing time), Doumit's making a case with his bat (159 OPS+ at the moment). Whichever Reds catcher stakes the claim for the most playing time will end comfortably on the bottom of these rankings.
There's another poll for you guys to fill out below this and I'll leave the old polls open until we finish this. I'll keep the series going through the weekend so we can finish this up early next week.
Please note, you do have to register to vote. This isn't some scheme to solicit registrations, it's just an anomaly of the site and the poll software that's built in. Trust me, I'd love to fix it, but I haven't found another piece of integrated software that does these ranking polls which I really like. Plus if you register, you get a better user experience as I tend to test everything as a registered user and you get an uncached version of the site. You can also view the results of the poll after you vote, instead of having to wait until I close it. It takes all of two minutes to register and unlikes some sites, I'll be more than happy to cancel your account if you wish. You'll never receive any spam from us either...promise.