Posts Tagged “Tony Cruz”
The Cardinals are approaching the end of what will be a nine-year relationship with catcher Yadier Molina barring an extension beyond 2012. Over that 9 year period, Molina will have earned something in the neighborhood of $25M according to Cot’s Contracts. It’s almost certain that Molina would have been a starting catcher on the merits of his defense alone but he has also proven a capable hitter at the plate.
From 2004-2011, Yadier Molina ranks 8th in Fangraphs’ WAR among catchers. This understates his talent though as defensive rankings for catchers are rudimentary. While other catchers are getting nearly full credit for their talent since they are offense first players (e.g. Jorge Posada), Yadier Molina doesn’t even crack the top 30 in wOBA over that time period. There’s a compelling rationale that Molina is a top 5 catcher during his MLB tenure.
The Cardinals have become accustomed in recent years to consistency in their backstop. Prior to Molina, now manager Mike Matheny was the primary catcher from 2000-2004. Matheny personified the Cardinals desire for a defensive catcher in spite of offensive shortcomings. Loved by his pitchers, Matheny was nothing short of anemic at the plate. Posting a .277 wOBA, about .055 points worse than league average or 3 wins below league average on offense, Matheny was still behind the plate for no less than 110 games each year.
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Posted on February 16th, 2009 by erik in Interviews, tags: Adam Reifer, Beau Riportella, Brett Wallace, Daryl Jones, George Kissell, Ian Oslund, Jaime Garcia, Jess Todd, Joe Thurston, John Vuch, Jon Edwards, Jon Jay, Lance Lynn, Luis Perdomo, Roberto De La Cruz, Sam Freeman, Tommy Pham, Tony Cruz, Tyler Greene
John Vuch has been with the Cardinals ever since he was a teenager, and has has played a vital role in several departments before settling into the role of being the Director of Minor League Operations. Few, if any, know more about the Cardinals and the inner workings the farm system. After settling down in Jupiter for spring training, John was kind enough to answer questions from myself and the other writers at FR. Good stuff, as always. Enjoy.
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Posted on December 16th, 2008 by erik in Bryan Anderson, Nick Derba, tags: Blake Murphy, Brandon Yarbrough, Bryan Anderson, Kevin Moscatel, Luis de la Cruz, Nick Derba, Paul Vasquez, Steve Hill, Tony Cruz
Ben Badler takes a look at catchers in the minors who best controlled the running game. The good news is out of the 55 catchers on his list, 3 Cardinals are in the top twenty in caught stealing percentage.
- Nick Derba caught 34 out of 78 attempts (43.6%) and came in 5th on Badler’s list.
- Luis De La Cruz caught 20 out of 52 (38.5%), coming in 13th.
- Bryan Anderson was much improved from last year, catching 41 out of 109 attempts (37.6%), good for 19th. Last year his CS% was 26.8%. Hopefully that will squelch some of this nonsensical talk that he should be moved to another position.
Badler only looked at players whose names were in one of their handbooks so I figured I may as well could look around and see how well our other catchers controlled the running game. Onward bullet points, ho!
- Arnoldi Cruz: 15-for-55, good for 27.2%.
- Blake Murphy: 20-for-53, 37.7%.
- Paul Vasquez: 31-for-74, 41.9%
- Brandon Yarbrough: 26-for-75, 34.6%
- Kevin Moscatel: 12-for-35, 34.2%.
- Steve Hill: 1-f0r-4, I don’t have is AFL #’s, unfortunately.
Some quick thoughts:
- The reverse-Inge experiment with Cruz is probably still worth exploring, but he has some work to do. That percentage would put him well in the bottom third of Badler’s list.
- Nick Derba fooled us into thinking he could hit, posting a .377 wOBA for the Quad Cities last season. This season at Palm Beach his wOBA .274, but he dominated the running game. Another Jason Motte experiment in line?
- Murphy was my favorite late round pick last season, and here is another reason why. The 42 round pick completely dominated college ball both on offense and defense, then he hit pretty well in Batavia before struggling a bit at the QC. We’ll see what he can do over a full season before I get really interested.
- Paul Vasquez came from the independent leagues to hit for a .394 wOBA in the Quad Cities. He struggled in under 70 plate appearances at Palm Beach. Maybe he’s a hidden gem.
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Hawaii. The most sought-after postal route of them all. The air is so dewy-sweet you don’t even have to lick the stamps. ~Newman
The Hawaiian Winter League was brought back a couple of years ago for a good reason, and that is to provide a better alternative to nurse a “project prospect” into getting some extra work in than the Caribbean Leagues. Unlike the dry air of Arizona, the dewy-sweet air of Hawaii makes for a more neutral or even pitcher friendly environment.
The Hawaii League has also more recently has been used for clubs to send some of their late-signing draft picks, but in most cases it’s more for lower level prospects coming off of disappointing years whether it be due to injury or struggles. I wish my job did that. I’d love to hear “Erik, you’ve been really getting your can kicked lately, so we’re sending you to work in Hawaii”.
It’s a mixed league that includes Japanese players, which provides a great test for hitters needing to work on their approach. If you were one of the few and obsessed people like me that took the time to watch Olympic baseball, you noticed Asian pitchers have a tendency to pitch backwards. A hurler from the Far East is more likely drop a breaking ball or a change-up on you in a fastball count, so “dead red” hitters need to be on their toes. The Cardinals sent four players to Hawaii to work on their game, some more interesting than others.
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