Combining the offensive and defensive strike zone, the Milwaukee Brewers have gotten some luck and great catching so far this season.
As trade rumors seem to be never-ending for Jonathan Lucroy, it’s easy to forget just how much he does at the catcher position. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has the Milwaukee Brewers at +111 extra strikes, while the Pittsburgh Pirates are well behind at +94.
The offensive side for the team had 49 extra strikes, while the pitching had 62. So, there’s always a bit of luck involved when you include hitting.
Here’s the graph:
While Milwaukee Brewers fans at this point might have not be at all surprised by this graph, it no doubt was a bit different last year as C Martin Maldonado had to take over from April 20th – June 1st as Lucroy had to go on the disabled list with a broken toe.
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FanGraphs had a chart on May 18th, 2015 to show who was “winning” the strike zone. At that time the Los Angeles Dodgers had the highest “total benefit” with a +83, while the Milwaukee Brewers were 9th with a +22.
Pitching made up for most of it as it was +18 and hitting was +4. By July 1st, 2015, the Milwaukee Brewers got up to 6th at +70, all pitching as Jonathan Lucroy was back for a full month.
While Jonathan Lucroy has certainly been known for his bat, if other teams throughout MLB are looking for that too, he’s certainly provided that. In 106 games last year, he had 7 HRs, 43 RBIs with a 93 wRC+ and 1.1 WAR.
Thus far, he’s outdone those numbers in a few areas hitting 9 HRs, 28 RBIs with a 138 wRC+ (would be highest of career) and 2.3 WAR. A long way to go, but certainly fun to watch for Milwaukee Brewers fans while they still have him on the roster.
So, it will be interesting the next time FanGraphs has a Strike Zone article up. Will Milwaukee Brewers fans be seeing the numbers missing Jonathan Lucroy or still seeing them at the very top? Only time will tell as there are no guarantees come trade deadline.