Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Catcher Development: Throwing Out More Runners

The other day I saw this tweet:
That is an impressive stat and puts him in impressive company.  It got me thinking about how well Roberto Pena has been throwing out runners this season and it made me curious about how much growth this showed. The growth with Pena was significant and I wondered if it was just him or were other catchers in the Astros organization showing similar growth. So I went back and looked across the system at each catcher who had caught in at least 20 games this season and compared their 2012 stolen base percentage (SB%) to their 2013 SB%.  Here is what I found:

As you can see, several players have made significant jumps in their SB%.  Pena's is the biggest jump but Rene Garcia & Carlos Perez both jumping more than 10% is also impressive.  Especially since they are performing at higher levels. 

Max Stassi just misses the 10% jump and he too is at a higher level. 

As for the others, lets start with Tyler Heineman. I am not going to quibble with -1% drop when you jump from short season A ball to Hi A ball. His number is still impressive.  Most players would show a greater drop making that jump.

Jobduan Morales is the only young guy not showing growth.  But he is still somewhat still raw.  In five seasons, he has only caught 144 games.  Never more than 34 in a season and he has caught 33 this year. 

Cody Clark is a journeyman and not really a focus of development.

The Astros have talked about improving the receiving skills of their catchers using analysis developed my Mike Fast.  But this data indicates they also may have been working on something that has improved the development of their catchers in throwing out runners attempting to steal bases.  Having a catcher at each of your full season affiliates throwing out 40% or more would be base stealers is impressive. Something worth keeping an eye on.

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