The Toronto Blue Jays have the luxury of rostering three very good, starting-caliber catchers.
Kirk, however, is on a whole different level.
Not only is Kirk a fine defensive catcher with 7.6 Framing Runs and the ability to call a great game, but he is also the gold standard for hitting catchers.
The position, historically, hasn’t required players to be elite hitters: teams needed their catcher to call a game, establish satisfactory communication channels with pitchers, block balls back there, and limit the running game.
Players like Kirk, however, are the reason why the game evolves: he is a good defensive catcher with the hitting skills of a designated hitter.
That’s right: you could play Kirk as your DH and nobody would tell he is actually a catcher, because he is so good at the plate that his offense plays anywhere.
A Consolidation Year For Kirk
2022 was a consolidation year for him: in 541 plate appearances, Kirk posted a .285/.372/.415 line with 14 home runs.
Just look at that beautiful on-base percentage!
It’s better than the vast majority of leadoff hitters in baseball.
Those offensive stats helped him win the Silver Slugger award and make some franchise history.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 10, 2022
The Blue Jays have won two World Series championships and had a very good run in the late-2010s.
They have had several top catchers, so seeing a second-year player winning the Silver Slugger award at the position for the first time in franchise history is nothing short of amazing.
Kirk is still young and has his whole career in front of him: this probably won’t be his last award.