After trading Gary Sanchez to the Minnesota Twins during the offseason, the New York Yankees handed the keys to the catcher position to two offensively-challenged guys: Jose Trevino and Kyle Higashioka.
Sanchez hit a lot of home runs, but also struck out a lot and hit lots of balls into the shift, limiting his offensive value; and he wasn’t good behind the plate.
Trevino and Higashioka don’t offer Sanchez’s offensive upside, but they do contribute – a lot, actually – as defensive catchers.
In fact, Trevino has given the Yankees a huge boost in the framing department.
Framing is the art of stealing strikes with clever (and quick) movement of the catcher’s mitt.
The best framers in baseball win a lot of strikes for their pitching staff with this move.
Trevino Is An Elite Framer And Pitchers Are Reaping The Benefits
Yankees pitchers certainly appreciate having Trevino around: pitching to him is easy, and they know he will do whatever it takes to steal a strike or two, which can be crucial in a tough at-bat.
“Jose Trevino is in the league’s 100th percentile in framing this season. He’s tied with Yadier Molina and Sean Murphy as the only catchers with 2 Catcher Framing Runs, per Statcast,” SI.com’s Max Goodman tweeted.
Jose Trevino is in the league's 100th percentile in framing this season.
He's tied with Yadier Molina and Sean Murphy as the only catchers with 2 Catcher Framing Runs, per Statcast.
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) May 17, 2022
The Yankees went from having one of the majors’ worst defensive catchers to enjoying one of the best.
No wonder their pitching staff looks so dominant out there.
Higashioka is also a good framer, giving the Yankees two great options behind the plate.
Neither catcher breaks the Mendoza line (.200 points of batting average), but as long as they remain elite framers, it won’t be a problem for the Yankees.