This was easily the toughest decision I had to make while writing this. The Red Sox have two very strong players at the catcher position in Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez. Both had similar numbers offensively with Leon (.177/5HR/22RBI) and Vazquez (2.07/3HR/16RBI) being almost identical. So then I had to look at some other factors to make my decision.
Leon played in more games this season (89) compared to Vazquez (80), which granted isn’t a huge margin but it still means something. That’s nine more games that Leon was able to be on the field and contribute to the team.
The factor that led me to Leon over Vazquez is his ability to work with the pitchers. He seemed as if he was the pitcher whisperer this season. Whenever some seemed as if they were slipping or getting into trouble, more often than not he could calm them down.
Leon reminded me of legendary Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek in that he owns his pitching staff. He knows their strengths, their weaknesses and how to best use their abilities to allow the team to succeed. He may not put up the greatest offensive numbers, but he is more valuable for what he does behind the plate and in the film room.