Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Catcher Effect

There has been a lot of talk about 3B over the years for the Cubs, but another big hole has been the Catcher. For years the Cubs got low market players and they played below average during those years. So lets look at the past. The Cubs might have a steal in Michael Barrett.

His numbers through Tonight:

.293 AVG. 7 HR 21 RBI .858 OPS

He is well on pace to break all his career highs. His best season would either be his 1999 or his 2002 season, both are very similar.
.293 AVG. 8 HR 52 RBI .781 OPS
.263 AVG. 12 HR 49 RBI .750 OPS

This compared to Damian Miller
This season
.291 AVG. 2 HR 11 RBI .745 OPS
.233 AVG 9 HR 36 RBI .679 OPS

So far this trade has worked wonders, but will it keep up is the key. Barrett has played better than anyone could expect, but his career numbers suggest that it could end.

I went looking for the last time a Cub Catcher had at least what I would call ok numbers. Lets look at the 1996 Cubs.

Scott Servais
.265 AVG. 11 HR 63 RBI .711 OPS

This is not what I would call a monster year, but it was the last time a Cub Catcher had over 60 RBI. This with the monsters like Todd Hundley coming to play for the Cubs.

The best season as a Catcher in the 90's would be Rick Wilkins
.303 AVG. 30 HR 73 RBI .937 OPS

Barrett probably will not match Wilkins numbers, but if he hits:

.280 AVG. 20-25 HR 60+ RBI .800+ OPS

These would be ideal numbers for the Cubs. The season still has many more games to come, but the start looks good.