Sports Reference Blog

Pitch Framing Measures Added to Baseball Reference

Posted by Mike Lynch on March 8, 2018

Our friends at Sports Info Solutions (formerly known as Baseball Info Solutions) have provided us with a pitch framing measure back to 2011, which we have added to Baseball Reference. Before I explain any further, if you're unfamiliar with the concept of pitch framing please read Mike Fast's 2011 article on the topic and Ben Lindbergh's 2013 follow up.

The stat that we have added is called Strike Zone Runs Saved. It represents the runs saved by catcher framing. In our tables, it's labeled RszC and it's available from 2011 to the present. While this statistic is a potential component of Defensive Runs Saved (and therefore WAR), please note that we have elected to not integrate this number into DRS (or WAR) at this time. We may elect to do so in the future, but for now we agree with Bill James's stance that waiting for further research is a good idea.

Here's where you can see Strikes Zone Runs Saved on the site:

Now that we have that out of the way, you're probably wondering who excels in this area (and who does not). Without further ado, here's the top ten in Strike Zone Runs Saved since 2011:

1. Tyler Flowers: 67
2. Jonathan Lucroy: 63
3. Buster Posey: 59
T-4. Miguel Montero: 58
T-4. Russell Martin: 58
6. Yasmani Grandal: 56
T-7. Brian McCann: 37
T-7. Chris Stewart: 37
T-7. Mike Zunino: 37
10. Yadier Molina: 36

And the bottom ten:

251. Kurt Suzuki: -56
250. Nick Hundley: -44
249. Welington Castillo: -40
248. Carlos Santana: -38
247. A.J. Ellis: -37
246. Ryan Doumit: -35
245. Carlos Ruiz: -31
244. Salvador Perez: -29
T-242. Dioner Navarro: -28
T-242. Chris Iannetta: -28

The highest single-season totals are Lucroy's 2011 season (23) and Flowers's 2017 season (20). Flowers was five runs better than any other catcher last season. In fact, over the last three seasons Flowers's total of 50 Strike Zone Runs Saved is 15 more than any other catcher. Yasmani Grandal's 35 are second most, followed by Buster Posey (22) and Christian Vazquez (21).

The worst single-season totals are Navarro's 2014 season (-17) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia's 2014 season (-16).

If you're curious for more information on the methodology behind this number, I'd encourage you to read this piece.

We hope you enjoy this addition to the site. As always, please let us know if you have any comments, questions or feedback.

2 Responses to “Pitch Framing Measures Added to Baseball Reference”

  1. Weekly Sports Analytics News Roundup - March 13th, 2018 - StatSheetStuffer Says:

    […] writes You’ll Never Guess What’s Happening in Spring Training. Baseball Reference adds Pitch Framing Measures. Baseball Hack Day is March […]

  2. 2018 WAR Update | Says:

    […] ball hang time. There was also some recalculation based on changing shift methodology. Though we're now publishing their catcher framing stat (Strike Zone Runs Saved), we have not incorporated it into WAR at this […]

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