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Miami Marlins 2012 Season Preview: Catcher Position


Today we are getting started with the Miami Marlins 2012 season preview. In this series, we will be looking at projections for each player. I will also make my projections for what I expect from each player in 2012. We will take a look at the catcher position today.

Depth Chart

1. John Buck

2. Brett Hayes

The Marlins signed catcher John Buck to a 3-year $18 million contract after he posted a career year in 2010. There was a great chance that John Buck would regress from his 2010 production, and make the Marlins signing that contract look bad.

That is exactly what happened. In the 2011 season, Buck’s BABIP actually dipped below his career average. As a result, Buck’s average plummeted. John Buck also saw his ISO plummet to a career low of .139. This is the year after he posted an ISO of .208. Buck and his defense was nothing to write home about either. John Buck has never been a strong defensive catcher and that did not change last season.

The good news for Buck in 2011? He improved his overall plate approach. Buck walked at a career high pace as well as brought down his strikeout rate. Now the question is, can Buck sustain those numbers?

Here is a look at some projections for Buck in the 2012 season:

Bill James482.239.309.409.3081.717
Roto Champ450.240.316.398.3111.715

I like to make my own projections as well. These are the player projections that I submitted for John Buck on


I am right in line with the three projection systems above. Buck is a solid player for the Marlins, but he is very unspectacular.

A lot of Marlins fans have been clamoring for the team to sign veteran catcher and former Marlin Ivan Rodriguez to backup Buck. I disagree. A quick look at Brett Hayes numbers compared to Pudge’s explains that.

Ivan Rodriguez137.218.281.323.2650.4
Brett Hayes144.231.291.415.3040.6

Both are backup catchers, so their numbers do not matter much as Buck played in most of the games in 2011. With the Marlins playing indoors next season, it is likely Buck will repeat how many games he played.

Rodriguez provides nothing offensively, but is still a very solid defender. For a guy coming off of the bench and playing minimally, I prefer to have Hayes bat and his average defense.