There are some good catchers in the National League. To understand the importance of this position in baseball, all you have to do is understand that this is the quarterback of a baseball team. The best, therefore, are usually associated with the best pitching staffs. With little question, and in no certain order, the five best pitching staffs are the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves. Each of these teams have an exceptional catcher behind the plate.
On offense through Sunday, for the ‘Fightin’s’ there is Carlos Ruiz, hitting .327 with a slugging percentage of .582 with 22 RBI. For the BrewCrew, Jonathan Lucroy has a .341 BA; .505 SLG and 16 RBI. For the Giants, coming back from a serious injury last season, Buster Posey, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, has a batting average this season of .282; .486 SLG and has driven in 12 RBI so far this season. For the Cards, the All-Star, Yadier Molina has a BA of .296; .504 SLG and 16 RBI so far this year. For the Braves, Brian McCann, an All-Star for the past six seasons, has a .284 BA; .406 SLG and has driven in 20 RBI.
On defense this season, Ruiz has thrown out 11 of 28 runners and 1 passed ball in 236.2 innings. Lucroy has thrown out 9 of 35 runners and has 3 passed balls in 222.1 innings so far. Posey, just beginning his season after the injury has only 57.0 innings played. As for Yadier, the perennial All-Star behind the plate, has thrown out 6 runners out of 19 attempting to steal. He has 3 passed balls in his 253.0 innings. McCann has thrown out 6 runners out of 22 attempting to steal a base. He has 2 passed balls in 239 innings this season.
As you can see, all are exceptional back stops. But for the two top catchers so far this season, you have to probably throw out Posey because he is just coming back and doesn’t have the innings yet this season. Now you are down to four.
The past performances of Molina and McCann automatically puts them into consideration. But this season, their hitting has not been up to par and they are behind both Ruiz and Lucroy in throwing out runners. Ruiz and Lucroy are also the top two hitting catchers in the National League.
But so far this season the arm of Ruiz appears to be on fire. Therefore through the first 35 games, Carlos Joaquin Ruiz appears to be the best the National League has to offer.