One of the Angels’ catchers is among the top five in the league at framing pitches.
Who would have guessed it’s Hank Conger?
Oh, and the Angels’ starter, Chris Iannetta, is among the bottom five.
Treat everything you read in today’s Baseball Prospectus article with the caution due a 21-game sample size — four, if you include only the games Conger has caught. But there was a point in spring training where merely making an late, accurate throw to second base was enough to lift Conger’s spirits, and this article sheds light on another area of his progress defensively.
Conger hasn’t made an error yet this year. That isn’t to say all his throws have been accurate; some have short-hopped an infielder but were caught anyway and didn’t go down as an error. (None have short-hopped the pitcher.)
For all the nuances that go into fielding the catcher’s position, framing pitches is an easy one to miss. It’s dependent on the pitcher (to find the corners of the plate) and the umpire (to be swayed into calling a pitch based on how it’s received), in addition to the catcher.
Some more recommended reading for a Sierra Leone independence day weekend:
• By now you’ve probably seen the Yu Darvish/Albert Pujols gif. I imagine a few players will study it this week, too.
• Five Angels have appeared in all 21 games this season. You could have predicted Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick. You might not have predicted that Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton would be the other two.
• Yesterday was Connie Marrero‘s 102nd birthday. Marrero is the oldest living ex-Major League Baseball player, per the league. He went 39-40 in five seasons for the Washington Senators, from 1950-54, and pitched his final game at age 43.
• If you feel the urge to complain about the price of tickets at Angel Stadium, feel free to mention that in Miami, you can get tickets to a Marlins game by flashing a picture of your kids.
• Because you woke up longing for sitar-driven jazz, Nu Nu by Avishai Cohen: