Christian Vasquez burst onto the Boston Baseball scene back in 2014, known for his work behind the plate, including a dazzling arm that runners soon appreciated. Never known for the bat as much as his fielding, one of his more memorable moments was a bomb off of Dellin Betances (NYY RHP) to give the Sox the lead at Fenway last year. But he tapered off, especially with the emergence of Sandy Leon during the 2016 campaign.
Obviously, Colo, as some call him, is one for heroics, finishing off a wild game against the Cleveland Indians two weeks ago in the 2nd, with a majestic walk-off, three-run big fly over the monster. That moment encapsulated the 2017 Vasquez contribution for the Sox. His year has Red Sox Nation fired up about what he can do in the future for the club.
Breaking Down The Stats
In 2017, Vasquez has 67 hits in 234 at bats (.286 AVG) with three homers and twenty-four RBI. His competition for the starting catcher spot, Sandy Leon, is 49-210 (.233 AVG) with six homers and thirty-two RBI. Numbers never lie, and the numbers show that Christian Vasquez is a superior hitter to Sandy Leon.
It’s hard to argue about fielding as the most important part of a catchers play. A good fielding catcher who can also perform as a top-tier hitter is very rare.
When it comes to fielding stats, Vasquez is straight up better than Leon. Vasquez has 16 runners that he has caught stealing, and 37% of runners have been caught. On the flip, Leon has caught only 13 runners stealing and only 33% of runners trying to advance on him. Leon has four fewer passed balls. But passed balls are not a huge concern for Vasquez.
Not by the Numbers
Coming through in the clutch
As noted, Christian Vasquez came up with a huge walk-off home run against the Cleveland Indians. As a fan who catches almost every game, it seems Vasquez always comes through with clutch or timely hits. It’s great to see a catcher with defensive skills who can also handle the bat and handle pressure.
Vasquez is 27 years old and Leon only 28. Behind the plate and in the box Vasquez appears more athletic than Leon. Also for their respected careers, Vasquez has only half as much service time in the Bigs (three years), as Leon (six years).
The reason why we see a platoon between Vasquez and Leon? Chris Sale and Rick Porcello like pitching to Leon more than Vasquez. The younger guys in the rotation (E-Rod and Pomeranz) like throwing to Vasquez.
In 2018, it would be beneficial to the Red Sox to have Christian Vasquez as their everyday catcher.