Danny Jansen (Left), Alejandro Kirk (Middle) and former Blue Jays Moreno (right).
Photo credit: MLB.com

How Toronto Blue Jays catchers set the Gold Glove standard

Published May 2, 2024 at 7:50 PM

MLB scouts and observers used to rely on their eyes and on basic stats like errors, passed balls, and caught stealing percentages to assess a catcher's defense ability. However, modern analytics have introduced advanced metrics like Catcher Framing, Catcher Blocking, and Catcher Throwing that offer deeper evaluation into how good they actually are. This is where The Blue Jays Catchers shine.

The Toronto Blue Jays: How Their Catchers Provide Top-Tier Defence

Framing or pitch receiving is subtle but important art when it comes to be a proficient catcher. Something that a average viewer will not even understand how difficult it can be, let alone doing it well.

"The art of a catcher receiving a pitch in a way that makes it more likely for an umpire to call it a strike. Many people refer to catcher framing as stealing strikes."

Regarding the Toronto Blue Jays, in the 2023 Top Ten Catcher Framing Teams, Toronto's catchers achieved a +7 Catcher Framing Runs (CFR), placing them tied for the 8th-highest. Alejandro Kirk stood out as the top framer with a +5 CFR (775 innings), ranking tied for 11th-best among catchers. Meanwhile, Danny JansenDanny Jansen recorded a +2 CFR (T24, 577 innings).

Alejandro Kirk leads MLB catchers in pitch framing runs this year and maybe you can see why (these were all called strikes).

Blocking is another extremely difficult task of the catchers duties. To essentially use ones chest to stop the ball from going tot he backstop is insanely hard and takes a lot of courage. So how did the Blue Jays catchers do in this category?

Toronto's catchers collectively earned a +4 Catcher Blocking Runs (CBR), which was tied for the second-highest score in MLB. Among them, Alejandro Kirk had a +4 CBR, sharing the top spot in MLB with Atlanta's Sean Murphy. Despite playing nearly 200 fewer innings than Kirk, Danny Jansen still managed a respectable +1 CBR (T27).

An appreciation of Toronto's catchers:
*Kirk the best framer in the game
*Jansen & Kirk, combined, probably best blocking tandem in MLB.
*Pitchers mostly to blame for opposing running games

- Add it all up, Jays get more defensive value from Catchers than any other team in MLB

The metrics are confirming the eye tests, the Blue Jays Catchers collectively are among the top in the league when it comes to the subtleties of being behind the plate.

Source: BLUEJAYSNATION - The Toronto Blue Jays: How Their Catchers Provide Top-Tier Defence
May 2   |   124 answers
How Toronto Blue Jays catchers set the Gold Glove standard

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