clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Braves Season in Review: Catcher

New, 38 comments

Somewhat surprising performances out of Tyler Flowers and Anthony Recker saved things from getting ugly with A.J. Pierzynski.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves went into 2016 banking on a repeat performance from A.J. Pierzynski after a surprisingly good 2015 and that Tyler Flowers would be a competent backup. One out of two ain't bad.

Let's get to Pierzynski first, who was downright awful. He was one of the worst players in baseball on a per-game basis -- his WAR was -1.0 in just 81 games -- and hit a miserable .219/.243/.304 with a 41 wRC+. This just one season removed from a 125 wRC+. The Braves shouldn't be beat up too much for his incredible decline over the course of 12 months, but man, AJP was bad. Enjoy retirement.

The bright light was Flowers, who surpassed all expectations after being signed cheap during the offseason. Flowers was hindered by injuries a bit but still appeared in 83 games, hitting .270/.357/.420 with a solid 1.1 WAR. He seemed to call a good game behind the plate and drew praise from some of the team's young starters, though he was awful at controlling the base paths.

Anthony Recker served as the team's primary backup the final two months, and he held his own while posting a 125 wRC+. Not bad for a guy who was just floating around AAA.

The Pierzynski-Flowers-Recker trio combined for a 0.9 WAR, which ranked 21st in baseball. Not great, but without Flowers and Recker stepping up, it could have been ugly.

It's possible the Braves lean on a Flowers and Recker tandem once again next year, though they will look into the free agent and trade markets for a possible upgrade at the position. Brian McCann makes sense, as would Wilson Ramos or Matt Wieters if the price is right.