In 2007, only 2 catchers hit 20 or more homeruns.
Jorge Posada has been injured and only has 3 HR, while Victor Martinez currently sits on the DL and has yet to go deep.
So how has the 2008 class of catchers improved?
There are 5 catchers that are likely to hit 20 or more homeruns, 4 guys that are on pace for 80+ RBI and 16 players batting .280 or better.
We have all seen a dominant pitcher get hot and virtually carrying a team into the postseason and even to a World Series title, but the other half of the battery may be even more important to a team’s success.
Let’s take a closer look at the top catchers (min. 200 AB) as we near the All-Star Break…
Brian McCann (Atlanta Braves)
McCann is turning in a wonderful season thus far. He’s batting .299 with 14 homeruns, tops among catchers. His 35 runs is ranks 4th and his 45 RBI put him 3rd. The Braves have disappointing with a 40-43 record, but sit just 4.5 games back in the division race.
Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins)
Mauer is batting a remarkable .322 and shows discipline at the plate evidenced by his 41 walks. He has just 3 homeruns on the year, but power has never been his game. He has contributed 32 RBI and leads all catchers with 48 runs scored. Mauer and the Twins have won 10 of the last 11 games and have closed to within 1 game of the White Sox for first in the Central.
Russell Martin (LA Dodgers)
Martin is a big reason that the Dodgers are just 2 games out of first place in the division. He’s been called upon to pick up the slack for the injured Andruw Jones and that’s exactly what he’s done. Martin has been solid all around with a .310 batting average, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 41 runs, 7 stolen bases and 44 walks.
Geovany Soto (Chicago Cubs)
Soto ranks 2nd among catchers in HR and RBI, with 13 HR and 47 RBI. He’s batting .280 with 27 runs and 37 walks. Soto has helped the Cubs to a 49-32 record. Those 49 wins are 2nd only to the Boston Red Sox.
Bengie Molina (San Francisco Giants)
Molina has been one of the lone bright spots for a Giants team that was picked to finish dead last after the loss of Barry Bonds. Molina is batting .308 with 6 HR and 25 runs scored. He has 48 RBI, which leads all catchers. The Giants don’t have the best-looking record but they are in 3rd place and 5.5 games isn’t too much to overcome.