Now that we officially have Javy Lopez in the fold, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how he compares to our other catchers. One interesting new (and free!) projection system that I have been watching the development of this offseason is "Chone" Smith's CHONE projection, which once you get over the bitter titular reminder of one of our least favorite trades of the past five years, seems to be shaping up as a nice alternative to other similar regression models. Anyway, according to CHONE 2.1, here's how the three competitors for our primary catching slots shape up offensively heading into Spring Training:
Javy Lopez: 400 AB, .265/.315/.427
Chris Iannetta: 366 AB, .269/.353/.429
Yorvit Torrealba: 241 AB, .256/.316/.405
Torrealba and Iannetta are easily better defenders, but Lopez's advantage over Yorvit on offense and apparent durability edge might make him the better back-up to Iannetta entering the season. Regardless, it's clear to me that as long as he lives up to his potential, there's no reason to have Chris in a reserve, or worse, a minor league role. I'm going to go on the record here before they even report to Arizona that Iannetta -if given the opportunity- is my pick to win the NL's Jackie Robinson Award in 2007, holding off early favorites like Chris Young and teammate Troy Tulowitzki, and potential late chasers like Tim Lincecum and Mike Pelfrey.
Anyway, I've got give kudos to one of my fellow SBN bloggers this morning, Gaslamp Ball's jbox was able to interview Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Way cool. Also for more HOF fun, check out BA's flashback to when Gwynn was just a prospect. Anyway, congrats to Gwynn and Cal Ripken for their achievement, and though Dante Bichette lost out in his bid for the Hall, here's hoping the Rockies won't have too long to wait for a worthy player. A hint for Todd Helton: A World Series ring this year will go a long way to establishing some cred for your bid :)