Goal #2 – Defense, Defense, Defense
As we have, defense should be the least of the worrise at catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. Stallings is coming off a season in which he was a Gold Glove Award finalist in the National League, and, honestly, he probably should have won the award.
In his career Stallings owns an 18.1 dWAR and a +20 Defensive Runs Saved behind the dish. This includes a +7 DRS last season, which would have put him on pace for a DRS around +30 over the course of a full MLB season. Wolters is also a defensive stud. His lifetime dWAR is 45.3, while his DRS is +24.
Both catchers also rate out positively as pitch framers. Stallings has been worth +6.9 framing runs in his MLB career while Wolters has been worth +11.3 framing runs. Framing can also help with the confidence of the team’s young pitching staff.
Perez is also a plus defensive catcher. He has a lifetime +4 DRS in 549 MLB innings behind the plate. Odds are, Perez will see time with the Pittsburgh Pirates at some point during the 2021 season and when that happens the Pirates will still get strong defense from the catcher position.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will have plenty of warts in 2021, but two areas they could be strong are defense at catcher and in the middle infield. The team’s catchers need to make it come to fruition on their end.