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Catcher an Offensive Hole for Baltimore Orioles? not So Fast

August 20th, 2014 at 12:39 PM
By Josh Michael

Many experts and fans alike were a little surprised when the Baltimore Orioles both stated and elected that they were not going to look for a catcher at the trade deadline as those experts and fans felt that the catcher spot was an offensive hole for this team. Not so fast.

What we are about to present is admittedly a little skewed in that it does include what Matt Wieters did in his 86 at bats as a catcher for the Orioles this season, but even still, that is just 86 of the 432 at bats O's catchers have accrued this season.

So let's get to it, where do the Orioles rank in the American League in regards catcher offensive production?

The below table presents several offensive categories with where the Orioles rank in those respective categories in the American League.

Offensive Production from Catchers
Orioles Catchers43251108241657321071.250.302


AL Rank11th6th8th5tht-4tht-4th9th7tht-4th7th10th3rd

Any of that surprise you? The first thing that jumped out to us was the fact that Orioles catchers have boasted the third best OPS in the American League, which is fantastic. Also, while the Orioles are known for their high number of strikeouts, O's catchers have the 7th fewest strikeouts in the AL, which translates to a good approach to have towards the bottom of your lineup.

The collection of catchers that have played for the O's this season do not lead the league in any of the above mentioned categories, but to be in the top half of the league in most of those categories is extremely valuable for the Birds.

Here is how each individual catcher has done for the Orioles this season, and remember that these numbers are solely when they are the catcher and do not include other plate appearances.

Orioles Individual Performances as Catcher
Matt Wieters86122955186160.337.372.942
Steve Clevenger707177065140.243.293.665
Caleb Joseph1691938982113430.225.287.707
Nick Hundley107132433128341.224.274.610

Given, Wieters, while he did not play very long for the O's this season, still has a big effect on the overall catching numbers, but even if you take Wieters' numbers out of the equation, the rest of Baltimore's catchers have still represented well and believe it or not, would still be in the top half of the league in most of the offensive categories if you extrapolate their numbers to replace the plate appearances that Wieters had.

We are not here to say that the Orioles catching core is an offensive juggernaut, nothing of the sort, but what we are saying is that the situation could be much worse.


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