Backup catchers are expected to see regular at-bats about once every time through the rotation, but that was not the case for Milwaukee Brewers backup catcher, Martin Maldonado this season. Being thrust into his biggest role since the 2012 season, here is a look at Maldonado’s year in review.
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Throughout his whole time in Milwaukee, Maldonado has always been known more for his cannon of an arm and less for his bat. Getting a bigger opportunity to catch this season in place of the injured Jonathan Lucroy, Maldonado threw out a career best 38% percent of runners who attempted to steal against him (which was good enough for fourth in the National League). Even while catching in over 30 more games this season he only allowed three passed-balls (just one more than last year).
At the plate however, Maldonado struggled often. After batting just .191 for the first half of the season as he had an opportunity to see consistent at bats, he batted just .231 after the all-star break to finish the year with a .210 average. Even more alarming was his .575 OPS, which was good enough for worst among regulars and close to the worst OPS among catchers.
His season wasn’t without high points however. Not only did he single in the 11th for a walk-off Mother’s Day win, but he also was able to hit a walk-off homer to end the 17th inning marathon game at Miller Park.
All things considered, Maldonado did a fine job filling in for Lucroy, but his bat will keep him a backup for the majority of his career.
Final Grade: C