Love the discussion here. I have tried to find a meaningful way to evaluate catchers without the technology they have in the major leagues. In the major leagues, I understand receiving is more important than blocking and throwing COMBINED.
My son's best skill is receiving. For years, he has had to sit and watch as kids with "the big arm" caught ahead of him. You'd see the kids with the big arm jump out of his stance, lose a strike and then throw the ball into centerfield-awesome. Somehow that would get rewarded but a passed ball or Stolen base allowed was a trip back to the bench for my kid. (doesn't help that he has a June birthday, so always is a year ahead in school.)
On the other hand, last summer my son and the other catcher on his summer team caught approximately the same number of pitches (1700). My son got 70 more called and 22 more swinging strikes. We can debate the factors that may have contributed to 92 more strikes but to me, that is significant (proud dad!).
The issue for me is finding a metric to evaluate pitch framing as a skill. Seems so subjective that a dad would be accused of padding the stats on any sort of evaluation tool. So few coaches have any sort of idea how to work with catchers--(Do they always just have to shag for the coach and catch bullpens?) They get wowed by the big arm but don't value pitch framing as something that is done.
Would love to hear thoughts/suggestions!