Looking at Jonathan Lucroy’s Offensive Value

Jonathan Lucroy is now healthy, and now every position player in the league (except Marlon Byrd) is no longer deemed fast enough to run on the Brewers battery. As Jonathan enters another year of what should be serviceable playing time status (+350 PA’s — surely a safe assumption) I find it a point of interest to dissect his offensive value and relative “upside.”

2011’s Baseball Prospectus pens Lucroy as an obvious comparable to the likes of Kurt Suzuki and Rob Johnson. As usual, seems like they hit the nail on the head.

In 2010 Lucroy posted a .628 OPS at both the major league and AAA levels (weird), though his power dropped off by nearly %40 from AAA to MLB. Not surprising, though a relative let down as scouts have whispered him to have “double digit power” potential at times, thus pulling him (hopefully) towards the  +.700 OPS catchers club.

Man, that’d be a weird club.

Anyway…

The expectations from the catcher position now and pretty much always are to beg, borrow or throw your way towards an average-above average WAR, which thanks to his even defense, Lucroy has done. Though Lucroy is a few proverbial miles away from being Yuni-bad with a bat in his hands, it would be just delicious if he could even slightly overachieve his modest, but relevant ZiPS projection: .256/.318/.377.

Interestingly enough, here’s Kurt Suzuki’s career line: .262/.321/.389.

I think I speak for Brewers and A’s faithful alike when I say, both these guys are rad already, but man it’d be cool if some of that pool-jumping power seeped into the slugging % column juuust a little bit.

Anyways, I will use this forum to formally say, welcome back Jon! We missed ya.

As far as George goes, you’re Greek, and that’s awesome, but please stay out of the crouch unless you can channel some of that Pawtucket prowess, which would then negate the horrific noodle. Oh yeah, and you can/should/will pinch hit vs righties sometimes.

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