Tampa Bay Rays’ Steamer Projections – Catcher
By Seth Carter
Steamer Projections is one of the most well-known baseball statistic projection companies around. We take a look at what they foresee for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020.
The Tampa Bay Rays have made several clever moves this off-season to keep them competitive with the high payrolls of the Yankees and the Red Sox. We’ll take a look at what one of the top projection companies has to say about our current roster construction.
Steamer Projections was developed by a high school science teacher named Jared Cross. He and two students developed a system using past performances and age-based trends to create a statistical projection for Major League Baseball players.
Steamer Projections can be found in all sorts of baseball publications including Fangraphs. Today, we take a look at how Steamer thinks our favorite Rays’ players will do in 2020.
Catcher – 2.1 WAR
Mike Zunino: .204 AVG // .276 OBP // .395 SLG // 389 PA // 348 ABs // 71 H // 14 2B // 1 3B // 17 HR // 43 R // 47 RBI // 31 BB // 134 K // 1 SB // 1 CS // 78 wRC+ // 1.9 WAR
Michael Perez: .228 AVG // .294 SLG // .372 OBP // 165 PAs // 148 ABs // 34 H // 7 2B // 0 3B // 5 HR // 17 R // 17 RBI // 13 BB // 42 K // 1 SB // 0 CS // 79 wRC+ // .1 WAR
Both catchers project to be plus defenders as they are both known for their defensive prowess. Steamer is projecting a big bounceback season for Zunino at the plate. I know it’s borderline hilarious to get excited over projected .205 average but he hit only .165 last year.
Any offensive production from Zunino has to be considered a bonus in 2020. He’s getting paid $4.5 million for his glove and the occasional home run, so if he reaches 15 or 20, it’s safe to say that Rays’ nation will be pleased.
Perez has shown very good power numbers in AAA-Durham. Over three seasons with the Bulls, he has slashed .270/.343/.467. Perez has blasted 20 homers in just 115 games.
Perez was also a surprise name on our 2019 Statistical Leaders – Offense when he showed up as the team leader in BB% and hard-hit percentage.
Rays Colored Glasses’ Take
I believe we’ll see a better version of Zunino in 2020 than we got last year. Michael Perez seems to be an afterthought at this point, but I believe he has the potential to really shine behind the plate for the Rays in 2020. He should get plenty of opportunities to show what he can do.
While the catcher position may not be the most talked-about position for the Rays, it’s rock-solid defensively with a lot of potential on offense.
I think the catcher position is something worth being excited about in 2020!