For the past few months, I've been dabbling in sabermetrics. The idea that baseball can be valued in a certain set of figures can be hard to follow. There are all kinds of figures, WAR, RAR, wOBA, OPS, BABIP and so on.
The one column that I've done the most work on is WAR, which stands for Wins Above Replacement. To my limited understanding, WAR basically shows us the value of a current player over an average player. Thus, the higher the WAR the better team should be at the end of the season. Today, I'm going to focus on the WAR's of the Catchers in the NL Central. I've been using Fangraphs.com for all the figures. Many other sites have their own figures, but I wanted to keep things simple.
Last year, Geovany Soto had a bounce back year at the plate after his performance dropped in 2009. Only, two catchers actually qualified last year in Fangraphs figures, Brian McCann and Yadier Molina. Soto only had 387 ABs with a few injuries, but when he played it was solid.
2010 WAR Figures
The Cubs fair well here with the top catcher in the NL Central with a 3.5 WAR. There is a flaw somewhat, because the two Reds catcher add together for a 4.8, so they actually had the best value. The Cubs were pulled down from Koyie Hill's (-0.7) value, making him the least valuable catcher in the NL last season. Isn't it great that Jim Hendry just inked Hill to another deal?
The Cubs are in good shape, but it would be nice if Soto could get close to 500 ABs, because it would limit Hills impact in wins. For the Cubs to compete in 2011 they need Soto to be on the field.