Jarrod Saltalamacchia was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Boston Red Sox during the 2010 season. He only played 10 games with Boston, but he came back with a vengeance in the 2011 season.
He demolished 16 homers with a .450 slugging percentage. He hit slightly below league average, but for his first season with more than 100 games, it wasn’t terrible. Especially for the ever-difficult catcher position, Salty didn’t falter in his first season in a Boston uniform.
He wasn’t bad, he was actually very good, behind the plate – earning 6 Defensive Runs Saved Above Average/year. He had a good mentor to learn from on the team in the aging veteran Jason Varitek. Jarrod ultimately took over the majority of the playing time in 2011 as he played more than 100 games and Varitek played fewer than 70 (Saltalamacchia also spent some time at DH in 2011).
This season was the first of three pretty good Red Sox seasons that would see him grow on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. In his following two seasons in Boston, he would grow a little every year, but stay generally the same player – strong offense, average defense.
He ultimately laid the ground-work in his 2011 season by showing that he can be a solid defensive catcher while also having lots of pop in his bat.