When you talk of CS%, do you count bases stolen when the catcher can't make a throw because the pitch was a curve in the dirt and he had to go block it?
Or do you just count the plays where a throw is made?
I see a lot of posts on this board where people say a catcher throws out 70 or 80%.
In my experience watching baseball at the HS level, a significant percentage of the time that a steal is on, the pitch hits the dirt. I've yet to see a catcher who can go into blocking position and still make the throw in time even if he does catch it cleanly (which the blocking position isn't even designed to do.)
So when I read 70-80%, are these situations excluded?
The other question I have: a lot of successful stolen bases are stolen on the pitcher. When I read 70-80% I think "wow I wish all my son's pitchers were that quick to the plate."
My freshman son just had his first varsity start, and I am sure that varsity pitchers are indeed better at holding runners and getting to the plate quickly. But I can tell you that JV and below, at least half the SB's were off the pitchers.
When I hear of a 13 or 14 year old with a high CS%, I just have to wonder....
So tell me, coaches and dads: do you exclude plays where no throw is made?
The other question I have: what is a good measure of catcher's defensive skill? I think passed balls are more or less meaningless. Any good catcher should have very few PB's.
WP's get blamed on the pitcher, but in my opinion a whole lot of what would technically be scored WP can be blocked by the catcher if he is good.
Of course some WP's simply can't be blocked, or can only be blocked with some good luck.
So, how do you create some meaningful statistic or measurement for how well a catcher actually does block and throw?
I keep track of how "base runners advanced," which basically ignores the reason - passed ball, WP, clean steal, or steal attempt where pitch must be blocked so no throw is made.
This of course "blames" the catcher for a lot of sins not of his making. But for the team, it seems like this is the most relevant stat: how many bases are we giving up without a ball being put in play?
Has anybody else thought through this question?
Stats aren't the point - the point is for the coaching staff to have information that helps them win games. It seems to me that the stats we have for catcher skill are woefully inadequate.
Passed balls should be rare for any quality catcher. Preventing wild pitches, at least at the HS level, seems to me to be one of the most important things a catcher can do, but there isn't any way I know that it is measured. CS% is just too fraught with factors beyond a catcher's control.
I'd be very interested in hearing the thoughts of coaches, catchers and other catcher dads.