We’re only a few games into the 2020 MLB Season but Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez is on fire! After an improved 2019 season at the dish, it would appear that Vazquez’s offensive prowess is very much real. This begs the question. Is it time to acknowledge that Vazquez is the best catcher in baseball? At this rate, it’s time to at least admit he’s part of the conversation.
Salvador Perez, Buster Posey, and Yadier Molina have been great catchers forever. All 3 are aging and Posey even opted out of the 2020 season. If you have been paying attention, Vazquez is starting to emerge. After being heralded little Yaddy coming up in the Red Sox system, Vazquez is no longer little. He’s exploded into a star.
When we talk best catcher in the sport, it has to be a two way street. Offense is sexy but everything starts with defense at this position. The Sox backstop has hit and home run and thrown out a runner stealing in 6 career games. That’s downright insane. What’s even crazier is what Vazquez does controlling the running game. I’ve never seen a catcher do what Christian Vazquez does.
I don’t understand how he does it. Vazquez doesn’t just get runners trying to steal. This dude routinely picks guys off already on base. It’s literally impossible. I don’t know how else to explain it. All I know is nobody else does this. This isn’t 4th grade. Vazquez is picking off major leaguers already on base. It’s truly insane. Nobody is better defensively.
A year ago, Vazquez had a batting line of .276/.320/.477 with 23 bombs and an OPS of .798. I’ll take that any day of the week for a catcher. In 2020, it’s clear Vazquez is taking his game to another level. Yes, it’s only a 5 game sample but he already has 4 homers to go along with a .421 average. Not bad for a guy experts claimed was going to provide very little offense in the majors coming up.
You can very easily make the argument that Christian Vazquez is the best catcher in the sport. JT Realmuto is an offensive force but he’s not close defensively. Yasmani Grandal is a great defender but his bat disappears. Grandal has a postseason average of .115. Gary Sanchez can rake with power but he’s lost behind the plate and struggles with passed balls. I’m not sure anybody is a better two way catcher right now.
As the Red Sox rebuild Vazquez a building block moving forward. The best part is he’s under contract for two more years after this one for a total of $13 million. It only makes Vazquez even more valuable than he already is. It’s time to start giving Vazquez the respect he deserves.