Red Sox Rankings: Top 10 catcher performances from this decade
By Tim Starr
Saltalamacchia’s final season with the Red Sox was definitely his best. He was the primary catcher on a roster that went on to outlast the Cardinals and win the 2013 World Series.
He hit 18 percent better than league average, a 20 percent improvement from 2012. However, his defense faltered, posting -5 Defensive Runs Saved Above Average. His offensive improvements definitely made up for his decline in defense.
Jarrod also caught the most games in his career that season at 119. He showed off his durability and was instrumental in the run-up to the postseason. However, he was not very effective in the postseason.
Salty declined as the Red Sox went deeper into the postseason. He was pretty good in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays – .764 OPS to pair with a .300 batting average. It looked as if Saltalamacchia would have a good postseason at that point.
In the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, he wasn’t very good – .375 OPS in 5 games. His biggest moment in that series was hitting a walk-off single after an amazing Game 2 comeback. Despite his struggles, Boston still advanced to its first World Series since 2007.
The Red Sox were met by the St. Louis Cardinals and because of Jarrod’s struggles in the previous round, he only played 2 games out of the 6-game series. He lost playing time to the veteran David Ross. Even in his limited playing time, Salty wasn’t effective, counting zero hits in 8 at-bats.
Despite his postseason struggles, Saltalamacchia was key and helped secure the bottom of Boston’s order. Because of his offensive showing this season, he ended up signing with the Marlins with a 3-year, $21 million dollar contract after the 2013 season.