White Sox Grade Book 2018: Taking a look at the catchers
Defensively, the catchers did their best. And, it showed. Narvaez was one of the 12 qualifying catchers in the AL. Defensively, he ranked 12th with a .989 fielding percentage. Again, Perez with the Royals was at the top with a 1.000 fielding percentage.
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With the White Sox, Narvaez actually had the lowest fielding percentage, but he also had the most innings. Kevan Smith was in second with a fielding percentage of .995, and Castillo was in first with a fielding percentage of .997. They’re fielding percentages seemed to match their innings, as the fewer the innings, the higher the percentage was.
When it came to range, Smith was at the top. His 8.04 was noticably higher than Castillo’s 7.63 and Narvaez’s 7.27. For comparison, the catchers with the highest ranges ended up in the playoffs. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had a range of 10.08, while Cleveland’s Yan Gomes had a range of 9.50. Martin Maldonado of the Astros had a range of 9.19. Smith ranked 20th, Castillo ranked 28th.
One area that Narvaez can improve upon is his errors. He had 7, tying him with Caleb Joseph of the Orioles for third. Only Jonathan Lucroy and Yan Gomes had more errors. Smith had two errors and Castillo had one.
Narvaez also needs to work on his pass balls. He was in third with 12. Sanchez led the AL. Sandy Leon and Martin Maldonado were in second. Narvaez also needs to work on how many stolen bases he allows. He appears to be one of the easiest catchers to steal on as he finished second in stolen bases behind Lucroy. Narvaez caught 21 runners, which put him in fourth. So, maybe it’s more of a pitchers’ problem with the Sox. Lucroy led the AL in catching 31 runners.
In his limited innings, Castillo finished 18th catching 10 runners. Smith finished tied for 25th with seven runners caught stealing. Castillo also finished near the top of the pile in double plays, as he was involved in four of them. Narvaez was involved in three.
With a bit of work and staying away from PEDs, the White Sox catchers could be one of the top platoons in the AL. Of course, their success is dependent on the pitching, but their overall stats weren’t bad. The catchers were very similar in their performances, with the only big differences being related to the number of games they caught.