John Jaso's Quick Defensive Report Card

A little over a week ago, I published a run down on how I prefer to evaluate catchers in our sad world of pitiful defensive data. Oh alas, to live in a completely mapped and zoned 3D alternality with terabytes of streaming data flowing directly into our nation's best baseball minds. We have a choice of regular, zero or ten-calorie Dr. Pepper™ but not this? I shake my head at humanity's misguided priorities.

Until that fantasy is realized, I will continue to make do with reasonable proxies. Now I will turn that partially illuminating strobe light on John Jaso. Did you hear the Mariners acquired him? Unlike Ryan Doumit, who the team did not acquire. Jaso only has a bit over a full catcher's season worth of Major League data in the past two years so there's bigger than normal error bars on this. This referring to these forthcoming numbers. Ready?

Jaso Olivo League
WP+PB (per 1,000IP) 51 67 44
Run Value (-.27 per) -13.8 -18.1 -11.9
Data covering 2009-11

Jaso has shown more aptitude at preventing pitches from reaching the backstop, though still at a pace below average. Lucky for you and I, and maybe Peter, homo sapiens tend to judge on relative merits rather than an absolute basis. To us, he'll just be an improvement over Olivo! Maybe. Since, of course, error bars! The chocolatey, juicey, nougaty, almond paste filled bar covered in error. Coming soon, fun size error bars; fit for Chone Figgins.

Now stolen bases are the part where Jaso seems to have the poor reputation, but mitigating his poor kill rate is that runners did not frequently attempt to steal on him. The pitching staff likely has some skin in that positive rate. Some gross, dead skin that has flaked off and attached itself temporarily to the baseball. People are gross. However, that's nothing special about John Jaso or even about his ability to keep base runners close. Also, fans weren't keen on his throwing ability last year.

Jaso Olivo League
Attempts (per 1,000IP) 85 93 100
Kill Rate (per attempt) 19% 32% 28%
Steals Value (-.2 per SB) -13.8 -12.6 -14.4
Kill Value (+.44 per CS) +7.5 +13.2 +12.3
Value Sum -6.3 +0.6 -2.1
Data covering 2009-11

Moving to pitch framing, John Jaso did not reach the cutoff to be listed on Mike Fast's report, but he does appear on the full data dump and it's not stellar news there either with range somewhere between six and seven runs below average. Adding up the three rates shows Jaso to be noticeably worse than Olivo in the doing good things with the glove thingy.

Jaso Olivo
WP+PB -1.9 -6.2
SB+CS -4.2 +2.7
Pitch Framing -6.6 -1
Total vs Avg per 120GS -12.7 -4.5

I repeat that Jaso's numbers are comprised of barely over one full season's worth of starts at catcher. You all should understand by now the limitations of defensive recordings over small samples. Please do not overreact to them. Instead, overreact to this.

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