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    The Greg Maddux Watch: Stunning at 355

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    Baseball Told the Right Way
    In-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!

      Catchers on fire.
    Seriously, what's going on with catchers so far? I know, its early, but there's a lot of guys hitting the crap out of the ball from behind the plate. Catchers are hitting a combined .278/.338/.443 against the league average of .268/.337/.426. Catchers hit .258/.320/.403 last year, which was the best in a while, thanks to Javy & Jorge (among others). What's really crazy is that right now AL catchers are hitting a combined .292/.349/.470, which just happens to be better than any other postion, and neck and neck with left fielders. When was the last time catchers outhit first baseman? or DHs? I'm going to say with reasonable confidence that its never happened. I'm also going to say it won't happen this year either, but its fun to look at.

    Established Guys
    Pudge Rodriguez .368/.408/.537
    Mike Piazza .272/.327/.457
    Javy Lopez .341/.417/.518
    Jason Kendall .333/.414/.387
    Jason Varitek .320/.433/.560
    Jorge Posada .292/.409/.708

    Johnny Estrada .319/.388/.500
    Kevin Cash .286/.367/.437
    Victor Martinez .286/.367/.543
    Miguel Olivo .298/.365/.532

    Paul LoDuca .400/.438/.525
    Damian Miller .299/.347/.448
    Michael Barrett .339/.375/.615
    Charles Johnson .316/.427/.772!!
    Chad Moeller .255/.349/.455
    Bengie + Jose Molina .326/.351/.489
    Mike Redmond .319/.377/.447
    Mike Matheny .281/.318/.439
    Brandon Inge .322/.403/.542 (I know, he's not really catching, but this guy sucks, right?)

    That list is 18 catchers performing better than expected (maybe not Piazza). If you include guys like Toby Hall, Joe Mauer, Ramon Hernandez, Mike Lieberthall, AJ Pierzynski, who aren't doing so well right now, theres a lot of guys out there that can handle the bat, and almost every team has one (poor Houston). Especially with all the young guys starting to emerge, it sure seems like the catcher position is starting to become more of an offensive position, much like the shortstop position in the years that followed Cal Ripken. If Mike Piazza is Cal Ripken, then Mauer, Martinez, Olivo, and Estrada have a chance to do for catchers what Arod, Nomar, Jeter, and Renteria did for shortstops.

    Or their knees could all wear out by the All-Star break and they will all be back at .250/.320/.400 by season's end.