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Marlins get their backstop – MLB Sports

The Marlins have one of the most interesting starting pitchers in baseball.They just signed Sandy Alcantara In an extension of five years after his extraordinary 2021 season. Trevor Rogers However Finished in 2nd place behind Jonathan India By voting for the National League Rookie of the Year.Behind those two Pablo Lopez, Jesus Luzard, Sixto Sanchez, Eliza Hernandez, Edward Cabrera, When Max Meyer We provide a lot of dreaming talent. All that was missing was a catcher that helped guide and maximize those young arms.

Since then JT Real Mute The Marlins, traded off after the 2018 season, had no purpose behind the plate. In the three seasons since then, their catchers have accumulated only 1.3 WARs. This is the sixth worst mark in baseball in that range. In 2021 Jorge Alfaro, Sandy Leon, And some other backup catchers combined for -0.1WAR. The situation got worse enough to try to play Alfaro with first baseman and outfielder after the acquisition by Miami. Alex Jackson At the transaction deadline.

But on Monday, the Marlins got their guy: Miami won the catcher Jacob Stallings From pirates in exchange for a right-handed pitcher Zack Thompson And two outlooks, Kyle Nicholas When Conner Scott.. (Alfaro was traded to the Padres one day later and was either nominated at a later date or considered in cash.)

It’s been a long journey for him since he made his debut in Major League Baseball in 2016. He was assigned to two missions, both of which remained in the Pittsburgh organization. He finally became their daily catcher in 2020 and enjoyed a solid breakout season in 2021. Stallings is already in the 32-year-old season, but his short but excellent track record should help the Marlins pitching staff. Since 2019, when he began receiving semi-regular play time, Stall has saved 17.1 framing runs with 1,700 innings behind the plate. This is the fifth best of all catchers in the last three years. He also leads all baseball, saving 42 runs per DRS. Other advanced catching indicators are also in agreement. Over the last three years, Statcast’s catcher framing measurements have saved eight runs. Baseball outlook He is saving 13.2 runs. He also blocks well (did not allow any balls that passed in 2021) and manages the running game properly. Stallings won the Gold Glove Award for his efforts after being selected as an award finalist in 2020.

Stallings recognizes that his work behind the plate is likely to be the best way he can contribute to the team.In his media availability after the trade, he I told Christina Denikola of MLB.com, “The most important role of the catcher is to call the game. [the] Pitcher-catcher relationship — everything including it. Pirates’ pitching staff praises his communication skills and ability to call ball games. In addition to his excellent receiving skills, he needs to provide a stable hand to guide the Marlins pitching staff as the team exits the rebuilding cycle.

On the plate, Stallings has made some significant advances this year as well. Last season, in the taste of his first regular mission, his strikeout rate soared to 28.0%. He was still able to post 93wRC +, mainly due to a corresponding increase in gait rate of up to 10.5%. This year, his overall offensive contribution was slightly higher — 95 wRC + — but his strikeout rate was much more manageable at 19.9% ​​and his walking rate was one point higher. His swing rate in 2020 was 38.5%, one of the lowest in the majors, well below the 49% swing rate established in the last four seasons in the big leagues. That passivity led to what was called too many strikes — he swung at exactly half the pitch he saw in two strike counts. That rate jumped to 64.6% in 2021, and his overall swing rate rose almost 4 points to 42.4%. His swing strike rate has been stable for two seasons, so it seems that the drop in strikeout rate was simply because he was a bit more aggressive with two strikes. If he can take that sophisticated approach to Miami, there is no doubt that he will post an offensive line just below the league average.

In the case of Pittsburgh, Thompson should immediately participate in the 2022 rotation. He signed with Miami in 2021 as a minor league free agent after spending his early professional career with the White Sox, the team that drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. Last summer, the injured ruined Miami’s rotation and he made his major league debut in June with 14 starts and 12 rescue appearances. He posted a 3.24 ERA backed by 3.69 FIP in 75 innings. This is a phenomenal start to his big league career.

Thompson’s xFIP was a bit untouched at 4.65 and taught me a lot about how he succeeded. His 21.0% strikeout rate was nothing special, and his 8.9% walk rate was slightly above the league average. He found most of his success by limiting hard contacts. Opposite batters manage a hard hit rate of 34.4% and a barrel rate of 6.9%, both well below the league average. His best pitch for inducing weak contact was his cutter. The batter posted a .289 expected wOBA on contact from that pitch. This is the 16th lowest mark of that pitch type in the majors.

When Thompson needed to make a swing strike, he turned to curve balls and change-ups. Both pitches ran with a whiff rate of about 40% and he was free to use both to get rid of the batter. Especially his change-up looks pretty interesting. Thrown at an average speed of 85 mph, it does not have a large velocity separation from his 92 mph fastball. Instead, it has a large vertical descent and falls more than 4 inches more than a similar changeup thrown around that velocity. His change-up’s 43.4% whiff rate was 33% better than that pitch-type league equal temperament, and was the 16th highest of all change-ups thrown at least 100 times in 2021.

Of the two prospects for Pittsburgh, Nicholas is the more interesting. He was the first round pick in the 2020 draft and participated in a competitive balance round. 18th place With over 40 FV grade Marlins systems. In his first professional season, he pitched across two levels and finished the season with a double A. Although his pitch weapons are fairly limited, he started 20 games as a minor. He relies primarily on fastballs and hard sliders at 93 mph. These two pitches led to a strikeout rate of 31.9%, but due to the rough command and the lack of a third pitch in his repertoire, his ERA and FIP exceeded four. Without another pitch, he could be obliged to help at some point in the near future, but his fastball / slider combo could work there.

Scott was another first round pick by the Marlins and was ranked 13th overall in the 2018 draft. He was ranked 16th in their system and has just finished the most successful season for minors. After making his professional debut with the 18-year-old rookie ball, the Marlins were actively promoted to single A in the same year and to high A in 2019. He stayed there after losing the minor league season in 2020. Raised the level in ’21 and set 112 wRC +, showing that the in-game power has improved and the overall contact rate has improved. He has the speed and instinct to cover the center field, but much of his growth depends on his ability to handle the hard pitches in the zone. If he can understand how to deal with that hole in the swing, he has a chance to become a speedy fourth outfielder.

As soon as the stall came off the photo, Pirates brought in his replacement and signed it. Roberto Perez It’s a $ 5 million transaction in a year. Luke Hooper has a more detailed breakdown of that addition, but it’s a fairly familiar move by Pittsburgh. Perez has his own Sterling defensive reputation, just a year older than Stallings. The Pirates system has many other capture options other than maximum visibility. Henry Davis And he’s still years away from making his major league debut. Perez needs to provide the pirates’ own young rotation with quality reception skills and veteran leadership.

– MLB Sports

Marlins get their backstop

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-marlins-get-their-backstop/ Marlins get their backstop

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