Saturday, February 16, 2008

2008 Red Sox/Yankees Comparison- Catcher

In the following week I will do a series of comparisons of the 2008 Yankees and Red Sox position by position. I will do the bench with the position they are back up and the bullpen as one entity but the others will be seperate. So here`s the first one.


Yankees- Jorge Posada/Jose Molina- Posada is an interesting case. At a time when most catchers hit a steep decline he had an MVP type season. Not only that but the year before was also arguably his second best season. This earned him a 4 year deal this off-season at 13 million a year. For an ordinary catcher a sharp decline would be expected to come but Posada has spent less time behind the plate then most. As has been noted before he started his career as a second baseman and for a while split time with Joe Girardi. For next year he certainly won't repeat his 2007 but 2006 would probably be reasonable. He doesn't have the strongest arm and all in all isn`t a great catcher. I consider Posada to be the best catcher in baseball right now and retaining him was a must although we might be regretting it in 2012. Jose Molina was traded for mid-season last year and was an excellent backup. His top knotch defense was expected but nobody could have dreamed of him hitting as well as he did. He likely won't repeat this but earned an extension and will still be a very good backup.

Red Sox- Jason Varitek/Doug Mirabelli- Varitek is the Red Sox captain and will always be beloved in Boston for his grand slam in Game 7 of the 2004 World Series. However, their can be no doubt he is in decline. He`s still a good defensive catcher but won't be winning any gold gloves. His offense has also taken a dip. His BA/OBP/SLG% was .255/.367/.421 compared to a career line of .267/.350/.447. Although his OBP increased his more important SLG% has fallen. He`s still a good catcher and a key member of the team but he`s not what he used to. Doug Mirabelli is essentially on the team for Tim Wakefield. When they traded Josh Bard and Cla Meredith for Mirabelli I thought it was a mistake and I still do. His line of .202/.278/.360 was just plain pitiful (although he always does well when I watch). He`s essentially there as the personal catcher for their 4th or 5th starter which is a bad idea.

Conclusion- Yankees- Jorge Posada/Doug Mirabelli- Although Varitek is a good player and team leader he is brought down slightly by having Doug Mirabelli playing every 5 days and I consider Posada to be the best catcher in baseball. Jose Molina also gives Posada a little bump.

Hope, you enjoyed this. I tried to be impartial but if you have any problems please post in the comments. :)

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