Johnny Estrada

By all local accounts, he’s the catcher. Nationally, there still seems to be the belief that he’s got to beat Eli Marrero for the job, but the Braves seem to be thinking Marrero is a utility player, and as I’ve stated before the Braves wouldn’t have signed Eddie Perez to back up if they were going to have a competition. Estrada will have to lose his job to not play.

Estrada’s apparent leap forward last year was primarily — but not entirely — in batting average. He went from hitting .279 in 2002 to hitting .328, a 49-point jump. His slugging percentage went up 77 points, his on-base percentage 71. I think some of his gains are real. He should be a credible regular catcher, nothing special, for the next two or three years, until Brian McCann is ready. (Assuming McCann ever is ready and stays at catcher.) He won’t come close to what Javy Lopez did last year, but should be better than what Javy did in 2002. He’s a good defensive catcher but (despite his reputation) so was Javy, so I don’t expect any gains there.

Johnny Estrada Statistics –

5 thoughts on “Johnny Estrada”

  1. Of course, before last year not even Javy had approached his 2003 numbers, in fact very few cathchers in ML history had, so anyone who thinks Estrada will be a letdown ought to know that letdown probably would have happened even if we had re-signed Javy. I for one think Estrada will more than hold his own.

  2. Exactly. Everybody makes a big deal out of us losing 100 homers or whatever, but if Estrada, DeRosa and LaRoche hit 20 apiece and Drew hits 30, what have we lost?

    I’m not saying that WILL happen, but certainly y’all would concede it’s possible.

  3. I agree generally with your point, Troy, and don’t mean to seem dismissive, but I think that it is more likely for monkeys to fly out of Bruce Benedict’s butt than for DeRosa, Estrada, and LaRoche to each hit 20 homers. I think DeRose is most likely, with the other two to hit between 12-17 (numbers made up because my gut just tells me so).

  4. If nothing else, we won’t have to suffer through a .550-OPS offensive sinkhole every fifth day … a .750-.800OPS and decent defense will be more than enough.

  5. Creg, if Marrero does get the 5th day starts behind the plate, I agree. But if Eddie Perez is kept around, a .550 OPS sinkhole is staring us in the face once again.

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