New defensive metric??


(disclaimer: OBP, OPS/OPS+, WHIP, and FIP are about the peak of my sabermetric understanding, so if what I'm about to discuss is an actual metric out there somwhere, then sorry, I'll delete the fanpost)

I was watching the game last night against the Brewers and saw a pitch from Westbrook go WAY outside. Yadi lunged about 4 feet to his right and made an extremely good catch with a runner on third. That got me thinking about a possible "defensive stat" for catchers. I'd appreciate any discussion from the saber-smart folks around VEB. The idea I have is sort of an UZR/fielding bible +/- for catchers.

Scenario: With a runner on base (any base), if there is a pitch that is anything but right around the plate, there is a chance of the runner advancing (i.e. past ball, wild pitch).

Let's say that over the course of a full season a catcher has 100 of these scenarios (It would obviously be a lot more, but let's make the math easy here). 100 times during the season there was a runner on base and a pitch that was either in the dirt, way outside/inside, or high to where the catcher would be unable to stop it from his normal rested crouch position.

My question to the people of VEB is: is there a way (with Pitch FX, or whatever tool) to easily find out how many times this happened and what the results were??

Using the scenario above, let's hypothesize that Yadier Molina had 100 of these instances last year. 92 times he stopped/smothered the ball and the runner did not advance (good). 8 times the pitch got away and the runner advanced (bad). By that logic, he would have had a 92% efficiency, or +84 rating (+92 times he stopped it/-8 times he didn't), or however the stat could be termed.

Anyway, anyone smarter than I care to help me out in understanding this? It would basically be a way to compare catchers around the league purely by their ability to stop/smother an out of control pitch when it actually matters (with a runner on).


Thanks in advance.

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