Framed! What Happened to Jonathan Lucroy?

Brewer fans probably have a short memory this year.  The team is overachieving and thoughts of losing seasons are starting to fade.  Even with Manny Pina doing well and Stephen Vogt providing production until his injury, I have heard comments such as “Imagine if we still had Lucroy”.  This is not surprising.  Lucroy was a fan favorite in Milwaukee and provided many years of All Star caliber play.  Since joining the Rangers however, he is a changed man, and not for the better.  Not only is his offensive production way down, but his catching has gone from elite to well… you take a look: 

He is not just below average, but worst in the league awful.  Just to compare, here are the ranks from 2011 to 2014:

2011                                                                            2012

 

2013                                                                                             2014

 

In 2011 and 2014 Lucroy was the best catcher in terms of pitch framing in the MLB.  Every year from 2011 to 2014 he was never worse than 6th in that category.  Something happened since moving to Texas.  His fielding runs above average is at a career worse by nearly 16 points.  He also is not blocking balls as effectively as he was in the past.  At the very least, if Lucroy was not to produce with the bat, the Rangers would have been getting an elite defensive catcher.  Instead, this year they are getting arguably the worst defensive catcher in the league.  Maybe he is just lazy and sloppy in his technique this year, or maybe he is aging.  Who knows, maybe if he were a Brewer he would still be an elite catcher.

 

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