Red Sox Rankings: Top 10 catcher performances from this decade
By Tim Starr
Now, after reading the number 8 slide, you probably think that you can hit better than Leon. You might have been able to hit better than him in most seasons – except for 2016. Sandy’s 2016 season actually ties him for the highest OPS+ on this list.
After two last-place finishes in 2014 and 2015, the Red Sox took back the AL East crown in 2016 by scoring the most runs in baseball. Catcher, Leon’s position, was actually one of the more productive spots in the batting order.
Sandy hit 22 percent better than league average while hitting .310 with a .845 OPS. If only he could still produce those numbers today!
He only played in 78 games, still the most on the team at catcher. His defense was not nearly as good in 2016 as the years ahead of him. He posted a -1 Defensive Runs Saved Above Average, not awful.
All in all, this was Leon’s finest offensive season by a lot. A career OPS+ of 63, he had a 2016 season in which he had a 122. This was a teaser of Sandy’s offensive capabilities, but ultimately it wasn’t sustainable.
A possible reason for why he never replicated this offensive showing is because his defense improved greatly over the next few seasons. With his steep offensive decline, if he never improved his defensive abilities then he would definitely not be on the Red Sox today.