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Dodger Catchers Rank Among The Best Pitch-Framers in The Game

Whether you believe in pitch-framing or not, the Dodgers certainly do. According to baseball prospectus the Dodgers have two of the best pitch-framers in baseball in 2018. Dodger’s catchers, Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes each rank in the top ten respectively. Grandal ranks third and Barnes ranks eighth. For the record I do believe in pitch-framing and I think it’s a super valuable skill set. In these modern baseball times I think it’s a must for a backstop.

Pitch-framing is more of an art form these days than anything else. Or at least that’s my opinion. Pitch-framing is the skill of pulling a pitch that is originally out of the strike zone back into the strike zone. It is essentially fooling the home plate umpire into calling a ball a strike. It’s pretty simple, more strikes equals more outs, and more outs equals more wins.


# NAME LVL Framing Chances CSAA Framing Runs
1. Jeff Mathis mlb 3,578 0.023 12.8
2. Tyler Flowers mlb 4,275 0.022 14.7
3. Yasmani Grandal mlb 6,366 0.014 13.5
4. Max Stassi mlb 4,035 0.022 13.3
5. Austin Hedges mlb 5,041 0.016 12.0
6. John Ryan Murphy mlb 2,941 0.022 9.7
7. Jorge Alfaro mlb 6,185 0.013 12.2
8. Austin Barnes mlb 2,742 0.022 9.2
9. Sandy Leon mlb 4,662 0.013 9.5
10. Roberto Perez mlb 3,063 0.018 8.5


Baseball Prospectus lists the top framers and Grandal has registered a 13.5 Framing runs score on their list. That means that Grandal has saved 13.5 runs for the Dodger’s pitching staff. Austin Barnes has a 9.2 framing runs value. Grandal has had over 6,000 framing chances and Barnes over 2,700 such chances.

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Not only does Baseball Prospectus agree Stat corner does as well. Stat Corner measures all things pitch-framing wise and has Grandal and Barnes ranked second and third overall. Arizona catcher Jeff Mathis tops both lists as the best pitch-framer in MLB.

Now Barnes has had a terrible year at the plate. There is no question that Barnes is a horrendous hitter, one of the worst actually. However he’s one of the best pitch-framers, which is probably why the Dodgers keep him around. He certainly handles the pitching staff well enough. Of course all of this is by design as the Dodger management has preached pitch-framing to all of their catchers. Do you believe in pitch-framing? Because the Dodgers have two of the very best in the game.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

One thought on “Dodger Catchers Rank Among The Best Pitch-Framers in The Game

  1. The game has changed. A lot, and one of the things that has changed the most is the strike zone. When I was playing, the zone was from the top of your knees to just under your armpits, or some would say at the letters. Today’s umps are all over the place. They call pitches 2 inches off the plate strikes. I have seen them call strikes on pitches a good 4 to 6 inches under the knee. And they call those pitches because catchers move their gloves after receiving the pitch and this is called framing. It is total deception for the most part. They do steal strikes. Personally, I am starting to like the idea of an electronic zone. Mainly because the umps are so inconsistent. They are also more confrontational. I can understand why the stat geeks value these guys. They get outs that are really not outs. But I do not think it makes them better catchers. And it sure does not help their batting skills. None of those guys listed is a very good hitter. Grandal is up for a silver slugger simply because he hits homers. If that guy ever hit .250 in a season he would be considered Johnny Bench like by the stat geeks. Another thing, for all his so called framing skill, Grandal is a LOUSY defender. Consistently at the top of the league in passed balls. And that guy could not throw out my grandmother trying to steal and she is dead. Phantom skill. Valued by a bunch of computer nerds.

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