The Top 27 Catching Seasons Over the Last 15 Years
Although we tend to forget that at times, catchers are just as important as any other position on the baseball diamond. And sometimes, they're more important than others.
That includes Gold Glovers like Yadier Molina and Russell Martin -- two guys who know how to control a game from behind of the dish. Both players get it done with their arms, bodies and brains, but how many of their great individual seasons rise to the top between the 2002 and 2016 seasons?
The short answer is quite a few. According to FanGraphs' ultimate zone rating (UZR) -- an advanced defensive metric that uses play-by-play data to estimate a fielder's contribution in runs above or below average at his position -- the two players have combined for 9 of the 27 best individual catching seasons. Which seasons are they, though, and how did we come to this conclusion?
We first referenced UZR, but ties were then broken using stolen base runs above average (rSB) and good fielding plays runs saved (rGFP), both of which you can read more about here.
So, with that process in mind, let's break it down!