AL Central Rankings: Who has the top catcher in the division?
4. Tyler Flowers (Chicago White Sox)
Sep 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers (21) receives congratulations from teammates after he hits a two run home run in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
A look at last season:
If Tyler Flowers could be more consistent, he would have a better spot on this list, but for his career, he’s had decent numbers but not at a consistent enough level for anyone to be comfortable with.
With Flowers, his is truly a tale of two halves, because his second-half numbers were much better than what they were before the All-Star break.
Before the All-Star game, Flowers was batting .218 with a .273 on-base percentage and .304 slugging percentage. In that span, he had 102 strikeouts and 26 RBIs.
Following the All-Star break (and a new pair of Oakley sports glasses), Flowers had second-half numbers that included a .280 average with a .337 OBP and .553 SLG. Those numbers are vastly improved from where he was in the first half.
The question about Flowers is can he finally put together a complete season, as he was the catcher chosen to replace A.J. Pierzynski as the White Sox catcher after the ’12 season.
Last year, Flowers finished with final numbers of a .241 batting average with a .297 OBP and .396 SLG. Behind the plate, the White Sox catcher had a .991 fielding percentage with eight errors in 124 games.
Those aren’t great, but better than some. What I’m really looking forward to seeing with Flowers is if we get the Flowers of the second half of the ’14 season to start out this year, or will it be another tough first half of the season from the White Sox catcher?
2015 Baseball Prospectus Projections:
For the ’15 season, Flowers is projected to bat .216 with a .296 OBP and .379 SLG, all three numbers lower than what he batted last season.
Within those numbers, Baseball Prospectus says Flowers will have 13 home runs, 14 doubles, one triple, 33 walks and 44 RBIs.
If he has those numbers anywhere near the All-Star break, look for the White Sox to go to a Plan B when it comes to their catcher.
They said it:
In late January, White Sox General manager Rick Hahn said the following about Flowers as the starting catcher in an ESPN Chicago article:
"“At this point, there’s no reason to move off of that. Competition is good. It brings out the best in people. And if someone comes in and fights for that job and earns it, I’m sure we’ll be flexible. But certainly we view Tyler as the starter.”"
Next: No. 3: Kurt Suzuki