I named Russell Martin’s 2014 season as one of the best seasons in Pittsburgh Pirates history to not be awarded with an All-Star Game bid. However, before his 2014 season, he was having a pretty productive year in 2013.
In 506 plate appearances, Martin was batting for a solid .226/.327/.377 line, hit 15 long balls, a 100 OPS+ and 101 wRC+. While those aren’t outstanding batting numbers, they’re pretty good for a catcher, especially for how good Martin was defensively. Behind the plate, Martin was worth +21 DRS, caught 40% of the runners trying to steal on him and was worth +12.3 framing runs. With his defense combined, Martin had a 5.4 fWAR. That ranked 16th of any position player in baseball.
Martin followed that season up with an even better 2014. Although he did miss a bit of time at the beginning of the season, the talented catcher hit .290/.402/.430 with 11 long balls, and 20 doubles. All told, his offense was worth a 135 OPS+ and 140 wRC+. Defensively, Martin posted an identical DRS mark at +21, while catching 39% of the runners trying to steal on him, and being worth +15.3 framing runs.
Among catchers with at least 800 plate appearances and 1500 innings played behind the dish between 2013 and 2014, Martin ranked 4th in wRC+ (120), 5th in wOBA (.341) and 3rd in fWAR (11.7). Martin’s +42 DRS led all catchers as well. Despite all of that, Martin never appeared in an All-Star Game for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Before going to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Martin had appeared in a few All-Star Games. He made two All-Star Games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007 and 2008, and again in 2011 with the New York Yankees. Martin made a fourth and final All-Star Game appearance the year after he left the Pirates in 2015 with the Toronto Blue Jays.