Red Sox Rankings: Top 10 catcher performances from this decade
By Tim Starr
Now, the best season by a catcher of this decade goes to Victor Martinez. Martinez only played in Boston for one season this decade, but boy was it a good one.
He had an OPS+ of 122, no one on this list has done better, and he made the All-Star team. In 127 games, he sent 20 missiles over the wall, leading to a .844 OPS. Martinez hit well above-average that season. The Red Sox haven’t received consistent production like this since Victor departed after the 2010 season.
He wasn’t a great defender (-8 Defensive Runs Saved Above Average), but his offense was the reason he was Boston’s everyday catcher. He had a very similar season to Saltalamacchia’s 2013 except that he played on the All-Star team, was a little better offensively, and ultimately didn’t struggle in the postseason. Despite his defensive struggles, it is safe to say Martinez has the best season by any Red Sox catcher this decade.
Because of his offensive prowess, he was outside the Red Sox budget and landed a 4-year, $50 million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers. He would eventually clash against the Red Sox in the 2013 ALCS. Martinez was with Boston for less than two seasons, but he did damage at that time.
Overall, Martinez lacked the defensive abilities of some of the other catchers on this list (Leon specifically), but he had a bat that could be compared to no other on this list. Because of that, Martinez will go down as the best single-season of any Red Sox catcher this decade.