Red Sox Rankings: Top 10 catcher performances from this decade
By Tim Starr
Building off of his 2011 season, Salty improved in 2012. They were very similar, but he made slight improvements the following year. His on-base percentage, slugging percentage, strikeouts/PA, and Defensive Runs Saved Above Average were nearly the same.
The reason this season is superior to the prior season is because of two reasons, home runs and games played. Saltalamacchia took over as the primary catcher in the dreadful 2012 season. He played 104 games at catcher, 13 games at DH, and 1 at first base, for a total of 121 games. Jarrod only played 103 games in the 2011 season.
He proved to be much more durable for the Red Sox in 2012 while keeping his offensive production relatively similar. Except for the fact that he nearly doubled his home runs from 2012 to 2011.
Yes, he played more games, but Salty still vastly increased his homers in 2012. Hitting 25 in 2012, he only cranked 16 in the 2011 season. Despite his increase in homers, his number of extra-base hits basically stayed the same, rising from 42 to 43. This could actually be shown as a bad thing as his extra-base hits barely increased despite playing in 18 more games. His slugging percentage barely moved the needle from .450 to .454.
Overall, Saltalamacchia nearly replicated his 2011 season in 2012 which made them very hard to give one the nod over the other. However, because of the rigor it takes to be a catcher, I will reward Salty’s durability in 2012 and rank it number five.