Monday, January 20, 2014

Catchers By Age

The best way to analyze prospects is using their age in relation to the level they are playing at. Without taking too much of the level into account to start, I'll just be looking at age. I use a players age based on the date that MLB uses to define whether a player will be a draft eligible sophomore, because much of my analysis originates with a players drafted year. If a player is 26.01 on that date, he falls into the 26 year old age category. The age won't always match what is listed on Baseball Reference or FanGraphs but that is how I do it. If I don't have a players birthdate, I use the age listed on Baseball Reference.

Catchers typically progress slower than players at most other positions. The average time for a  college catcher to make it to the majors is 4.15 years. The average for a high school catchers is 5.27 years. This time can be reduced if a player has a higher skill level. Elite players only take 3.04 years out of college and 4.09 out of high school. These are averages. It's not to say a prep catcher will take 4 years. Joe Mauer took just over two years but usually catchers don't make an impact until they are 24-25.



On average, each MLB team carries three catchers throughout the year. A starter who catchers 116 games, a backup who plays in 62 and a 3rd catcher who gets into 15 games. Actually, over the last 5 years, MLB teams have average using just over 1.5 players like this. So most teams should have 3 catchers on their 40 man roster and most likely rotate one more through the roster annually. The averages don't account for them playing other positions, only that they are primarily catchers. This is a position that very little offense is required to be a major leaguer if they defend well enough. They also can play at a later age than many other positions, as long as their body can take it. Experience and knowledge is a neccesity behind the dish. It takes time to get the reps to acquire the knowledge and skills. That is why many catchers become good managers.

Catchers have the most reponsibility of any position on the field and are the only position to be able to see the game unfold in front of them. It's a unique position that takes a certain type of player to succeed at. It is rigorous and difficult and very hard to stand out as. The players that succeed are usually flawed players based on tools and offensive stats. They are typically slow, have below average speed and usually don't have impressive bats or on-base skills. If they do, they are impressive. That is why players like Reese McGuire are so tantalizing. The bat could be very good, as well as the defense. That is also the reason to be excited about players like Nick Ciuffo and Max Pentecost who have average skills across the board and look like they have the skills to stick behind the dish.

Using stats from 2009-2013, here are the positional averages.

Poistion G AB PA H 2B 3B HR R RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Elite C 142 511 578 144 29 1 17 66 77 56 84 4 2 0.282 0.355 0.440
C 116 392 440 102 21 1 13 47 54 38 78 2 1 0.260 0.329 0.421
BACKUP C 62 177 198 41 8 0 4 17 19 16 42 1 0 0.232 0.301 0.339
3RD CATCHER 15 39 43 8 2 0 1 4 4 3 10 0 0 0.205 0.262 0.359

This is to give perspective on how many MLB players come from each age group. I hope it shows how amazing even backup players are. You have to be a special player to make it to the majors and the best of the best to be good. Most ages only have 2 or 3 starter caliber players. It shows how much of a success it is for a team to develop a player to get them to the majors.

Age 25 and Under

Age 25
Travis d'Arnaud
Wilin Rosario
Derek Norris
Yasmani Grandal
Josmil Pinto
Curt Casali
Cameron Rupp
Austin Romine
Rob Brantly
Audry Perez
Cody Stanley
Matt Koch
Sandy Leon

Age 24
Salvador Perez
James Mccann
Andrew Susac
Kyle Skipworth
Hector Sanchez
Peter O'Brien
Adrian Nieto
A.J. Jimenez
Ramon Cabrera
Jake Lowery
Pratt Maynard
Juan Centeno
Sebastian Valle
Patrick Cantwell
Julio Rodriguez

Age 23
Mike Zunino
Tommy Joseph
Max Stassi
Tomas Telis
J.T. Realmuto
Thomas Murphy
J.R. Murphy
Kevin Plawecki
Michael Ohlman
Christian Vazquez
Tucker Barnhart
Tyler Heineman
Cam Maron
Cameron Garfield
Ryan Casteel
Bruce Maxwell
Luke Maile
Richard Stock
Mitch Garver
Alex Lavisky
Dane Phillips
Lucas Bailey

Age 22
Christian Bethancourt
Blake Swihart
Stuart Turner
Tony Wolters
Zane Evans
Alex Monsalve
Kellin Deglan
William Swanner
Justin O'Conner
Wynston Sawyer
Wade Wass

Age 21

Austin Hedges
Gary Sanchez
Jorge Alfaro
Max Pentecost
Grayson Greiner
Tyler Marlette
Mark Zagunis
Aramis Garcia
Garrett Boulware
Connor Lynch
Brett Austin
Eric Haase
Oscar Hernandez
Rodney Daal
Santiago Nessy
Jin-De Jhang
Hunter Lockwood
Seongmin Kim
Michael Perez
Cameron Gallagher
Chris Harvey
AJ Murray
Wayne Taylor
Jerrick Suiter
Devon Fisher
Zach Fish
Sicnarf Loopstok
Spencer Navin

Age 20

Clint Coulter
Wyatt Mathisen
Taylor Gushue
Jason Goldstein
C.J. Saylor
Blake Baxendale
R.J. Ybarra
Victor Caratini
Stryker Trahan
Wilfredo Rodriguez
Blake Hickman
Bryan De La Rosa
Steve Bean
Chris Breen
Riley Moore
Tomas Nido
Chris Chinea
Collin Yelich
Argy Raga
John Silviano
Sammy Ayala
Cassidy Brown
Logan Koch

Age 19

Reese Mcguire
Chris Okey
Nick Ciuffo
Jon Denney
Dom Nunez
Tyler O'Neill
Jeremy Martinez
Matthew Thaiss
Arden Pabst
Chuckie Robinson
Ronnie Healy
Benito Santiago
Marcus Greene
Jose Godoy
Alex Murphy
Jacob Nottingham
Brian Navarreto
Tyler Alamo
Anthony Sherlag
Jose Ruiz
Jonah Heim
Jake Sweaney
Kreiber Auciello
Juan Kelly
Luis Subero
Phildrick Llewellyn
Jonah Girand
Jose Lopez
Christian Stewart
Logan Ice
Ryan McCullers
Colby Fitch
DEMPSEY GROVER

Age 18
Jakson Reetz
Francisco Mejia
Bryce Carter
Spencer Levine
Francis Christy
Evan Skoug
Iolana Akau
Michael Cantu
Kainoa Harrison
Slade Heggen
Simeon Lucas
J.J. Schwarz
Handsome Monica
Griffin Helms
Justin Morris
Michael Rivera
Tommy Pincin
Roy Morales Rivera
Tim Susnara

Age 17


Chase Vallot
Jose Herrera
Luis Torrens
Deivy Grullon
Chris Betts
Michael Hickman
Wyatt Cross
Lucas Herbert
Ihan Bernal
Michael Curry
Drew Lugbauer
Christopher Cullen
Dominic DiCaprio

Age 16

Tyler Duvall
TJ Collett
Jake Jessell
Brad Debo
Blake Sabol
Luke Robinson
Sam Ferri
Michael Neustifter
Jake Sullivan
Maverick Handley
Garrett Wolforth
Nick Cheema
Jake Goodreau
Aaron Greenfield
Owen von Esslinger
Cole Jackson
Dallas Beaver
Riley Troutt
David Clawson
Aaron Pilkington
Thomas Dillard
Herbert Iser
Daniel Seres
Dustin Skelton
James Williams
Marc Coffers
Cal Elvers
Jake Zarrello
Drew Blakely


Veterans

Age 26-29

Buster Posey
Matt Wieters
Wilson Ramos
Devin Mesoraco
Alex Avila
Jason Castro
Evan Gattis
Francisco Cervelli
Jonathan Lucroy
Carlos Santana
J.P. Arencibia
Tyler Flowers
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Bryan Holaday
Hank Conger
Ryan Lavarnway
Tim Federowicz
Josh Phegley
Josh Thole
Welington Castillo
Martin Maldonado
Yan Gomes
Bryan Anderson
Brandon Bantz
Lou Marson
Jose Lobaton
Michael McKenry
Koyie Hill
Tony Sanchez
Chris Herrmann
Luis Exposito
Dan Butler
Manny Pina
Eric Fryer
Jordan Pacheco
Steven Clevenger
Jhonatan Solano
Luis Martinez
Stephen Vogt
Max Ramirez
Steven Lerud
Carlos Ramirez
Michael Brenly
Johnny Monell
Caleb Joseph
Konrad Schmidt

Age 30-33

Joe Mauer
Brian McCann
Yadier Molina
Dioner Navarro
John Jaso
Kurt Suzuki
Russell Martin
Miguel Montero
Chris Iannetta
Nick Hundley
Brett Hayes
Anthony Recker
Chris Robinson
Taylor Teagarden
Adam Moore
Ryan Doumit
Ryan Hanigan
A.J. Ellis
Geovany Soto
George Kottaras
Hector Gimenez
Brayan Pena
Chris Stewart
Chris Snyder
John Baker
Tuffy Gosewisch
Drew Butera
Miguel Gonzalez
Carlos Corporan
John Hester
Robinson Chirinos
Jeff Mathis
Chris Gimenez
Rene Rivera
Mike Nickeas

Age 34+

Carlos Ruiz
John Buck
Gerald Laird
Erik Kratz
Kelly Shoppach
Humberto Quintero
A.J. Pierzynski
Miguel Olivo
Yorvit Torrealba
David Ross
Wil Nieves


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