Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero has a new contract for his performance at the plate, on the field and in the clubhouse. One thing that someone will note upon looking at Montero's statistics is how much improved he is in the running game. In his first couple of years, he was terrible, throwing out baserunners at only about a 20 percent clip.
He is much better now. In fact, he leads major league catchers in his throwing-out rate of baserunners. This season, he has thrown out 21 of 40 would-be base stealers -- 52.5 percent (.525) of those runners. It is nearly 14 percent higher than the next best rate, which Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki holds.
Sports Ilustrated conducted a players poll to see what catcher they rate as the hardest to run on. Montero was ninth on the list.
The following catchers were rated harder to run on than Montero (with this year's throwing percentage) -- Yadier Molina (.386), Miguel Olivo (.342), Matt Weiters (.378), Buster Posey (.244) ??, Joe Mauer (.148) ???????, Drew Butera (.200), Russell Martin (.263) and Jose Molina (.158).
Yes, with player polls, they do recall history and Yadier Molina has long been considered the best at throwing out runners. And yes, Montero a few years ago was awful. And yes, Montero's pitchers work on holding runners on, a point of emphasis with manager Kirk Gibson.
However, some of these guys ahead of him are ridiculous.
Montero deserves more recognition from his peers. I guess the solution is to keep throwing guys out. It shouldn't take long after that.
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