The Milwaukee Brewers catching lab is at it again with William Contreras
Improvements by catchers in their final season with former teams to first year as a Milwaukee Brewer
The Milwaukee Brewers catching lab wastes no time improving catchers in their first seasons in Milwaukee. William Contreras is just the latest example.
Looking at Victor Caratini, in 2021, his lone season with the San Diego Padres he posted -3 framing runs, last summer with the Brewers he was +1. Caratini's framing strike rate in 2021 was 46.3 percent, in 2022 it rose over two percent to 48.4 percent. Victor Caratini to his credit was a pretty good blocker behind the plate in 2021, posting a blocks above average of +5, Caratini was still above average in 2022 at +1. As for baserunners attempting to steal, Caratini posted the same percentage in 2021 and 2022 at 35 percent, however Caratini faced 31 attempts in 2022 as opposed to just 17 in 2021.
Manny Pina is a little harder to study because he spent most of his major league career has a member of the Milwaukee Brewers. However, Pina posted +1 framing runs, +3 blocking above average and a strong 63 percent caught stealing percentage on a low eight attempts in 2020. Also in 2020, Pina was among league leaders in framing strike rate at 53.9 percent. Pina improved in nearly aspect in 2021, +3 framing runs, +6 blocking above average and still 42 percent caught steal on three times the amount of attempts he faced in 2020. His framing strike rate went down a little bit to 49 percent but was still a strong performer.
Pina signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2021 and played with the man who would become the Brewers 2023 starting catcher William Contreras. In 2022 Pina struggled to replicate any of his strong numbers from the two years prior, age and injuries certainly may be a factor, however Pina had zero framing runs, zero blocking above average, didn't catch the one baserunner that attempted a steal against him and a framing strike rate of just 43.5 percent. The fall of could be explained away by age however examining the Brewers catching lab with other players, the answer certainly could be his departure from Milwaukee.
Arguably the strongest example of the Milwaukee Brewers catching lab is Omar Narvaez. In 2019, his final season with the Seattle Mariners, Narvaez posted -6 framing runs, -20 blocking above average, framing strike rate of 46.6 percent and caught just 13 percent of 39 baserunner attempts to steal. In 2020 Narvaez improved in ever single area exponentially. Narvaez recorded +5 framing runs, +1 blocking above average, a framing strike rate of 53.6 percent and caught over double the amount of baserunners as he did his final year in Seattle at 28 percent. In 2021, Omar Narvaez became an even better pitch framer, posting +10 framing runs.