The Marlins have a history of really talented catchers, especially on the defensive side of things. Christian Bethancourt is a very talented defender, will he fit in as just another catcher or will he go into the history books as one of the best catchers the Marlins have ever had?
Christian Bethancourt can join Marlins legends as a defensive leader
Christian Bethancourt was traded to the Miami Marlins by the Cleveland Guardians in early December for cash considerations. Bethancourt had a solid 2023 and as we wrote about previously, he is the best defensive catcher option on the market this off-season and he was 5th overall in caught stealing and 2nd in pop time. He is and can be an elite defensive catcher for the Marlins and add to their legacy of high powered catchers.
Bethancourt may not have the offensive production as other Marlins great catchers but defensively he is top notch. He has a great arm, akin to the greatness of Charles Johnson and Ivan Rodriguez of old. Charles Johnson was among the best all time as he has a career mid 40s caught stealing percentage. Bethancourt has had 3 different seasons where he was at that same rate out of 5 total.
Ivan Rodriguez had a short stint with the Marlins but he regularly led the league in caught stealing percentage throughout his career. J.T. Realmuto has also been high up in his career with a 34% caught stealing rate. Bethancourt is not far behind Realmuto with his 32% caught stealing average for his career.
Christian Bethancourt can certainly put his mark on the Marlins franchise if he can produce a similar or slightly better caught stealing rate. The Marlins need a lot of help in that department as they caught only 15% of base stealers last season. Nick Fortes and Jacob Stallings combined caught 23 base stealers out of 153 opportunities, to put it lightly it was a big green light for any team that wants an extra base. Bethancourt will sent another signal and teams now will certainly think twice before running.
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