Hedges vs MLB Average Catchers
I have read a tremendous amount of comments recently about how terrible Austin Hedges is at the plate. Talk that the Padres should trade him for a bag of balls because he can’t hit and other such garbage.
The Best Behind the Plate
Anyone that has been paying attention knows that Hedges is probably the best catcher in baseball behind the plate. His pitch framing, blocking, game calling, and control of baserunners is all at an elite level. You would be hard pressed to argue that any other catcher is better at those 4 critical portions of a catchers job behind the plate.
For those that are trying to say but, but, but UZR, DRS, WAR. When any of those take into account pitch framing and catchers ERA then we can discuss them. As of today, they are completely useless when attempting to compare a catcher’s performance behind the plate. If there is anyone better behind the plate today, I have not found him.
So how did Hedges do AT the plate?
Let’s take a look.
.232/.304/.374/.678 with a HR every 33.6 AB
.231/.282/.429/.711 with a HR every 21.6 AB
wRC+ – 84
I understand what most people are trying to do. They are comparing Hedges offensive production to the star MLB players and saying that because he doesn’t hit like Mookie Betts or Mike Trout that he must suck. Nothing could be further from the truth because that is comparing apples to oranges.
When compared with his peers, catchers, Austin Hedges is above average at the plate and the best behind the plate.