Rather than doing a series preview for the Astros series, I want to focus on specific players, in particular, the catchers. The Astros signed a Hall of Famer, Ivan Rodriguez, to shore up their catcher’s position. Rodriguez is not what he once was. Meanwhile, the Cubs have their own star catcher; Geovany Soto won the NL rookie of the year last year (obviously, this is not news to the twelve people reading this). I thought I’d see how Geo compares to the future Hall of Famer with the stick.
That’s pretty favorable for Geo; Pudge had more than just his bat going for him in his prime, but he was a good hitter for a catcher, and Geo makes Rodriguez’s career numbers look pretty bland.
Of course, the future is brighter for one than the other. Here’s what their CHONE projections for this coming season look like:
Here, Geo really gets the better of things. CHONE thinks Pudge is going to be a terrible, terrible hitter this year, and Geo projects to be one of the best catchers in baseball. I imagine savvy Houston fans weren’t especially excited about the Pudge signing, but for the casual ones expecting a Hall of Fame season, they’re going to be disappointed. Pudge might be the worst catcher in the division. Meanwhile, the Cubs have one of the best in baseball. Soto is unlikely to have the kind of career Rodriguez has, but he’s a special player, and we ought to enjoy the show.