Red Sox Rankings: Top 10 catcher performances from this decade
By Tim Starr
The 2014 Red Sox, fresh off winning the World Series, lost their starting catcher and center-fielder in Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury. To prevent a dip in production at the catcher position, A.J. Pierzynski, the longtime White Sox star, came over to Boston.
The year before, Pierzynski had a 95 OPS+. The year prior it was 120, but he was a below league-average hitter in 9 of the previous 10 seasons, dating all the way back to 2004. That trend would continue in the 2014 season.
Pierzynski hit just .254 with 4 homers in 72 games. With the Red Sox out of contention in 2014, and Pierzynski apparently disliked in the clubhouse, he was released and eventually signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Quite an ending to an awful tenure in a Boston uniform.
The failure he was exposed to with the Red Sox was to be expected as he had been consistently below average for the decade prior. He was entering his age 37-season and did not follow up on his 2012 Silver Slugger award in his 2013 season.
Pierzynski by far had the worst season of any catcher (69 OPS+), but luckily he only signed a 1-year contract with the Red Sox and they were able to release him. Let’s just be happy A.J. didn’t stay around after the dreadful 2014 season.