Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Cash app Customer Service +1*619-393-2951 Cash app Custom...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:38 AM
Cash App is an advanced cell installment application app which encourages the client to interface up their ledger. Furthermore to...
Full topic ›

Cash App Support Number +1 (619)_393_2951 Premium

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:18 AM
You came here to see Square Cash's phone number, the real-time current wait on hold and a way to skip right through the phone lines to ge...
Full topic ›

Cash App Customer Service Number +▶𝟏⥂619-393-2951 Minnes...

Other Baseball Today, 08:01 AM
While Square Cash does not have a toll-free number, it is also the only way to get in touch with them. The next best way to talk to their...
Full topic ›

The Robes

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:32 AM
It’s hokey, but I don’t think the fact that Donaldson gifted everyone on the team their own robes, and they have turned it into a “thing”...
Full topic ›

GAME THREAD 9/25/20 Twins vs. Reds 7:10 CDT.

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:03 AM
The Twins are in 1st place. The offense is starting to find itself. Edwar Colina is up with the big league squad. Is there anything else...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


Alex Avila Is Better Than You Think

The Twins are blessed with depth at a number of their positions. Of course, you can point to players like Ehire Adrianza, Jake Cave, and Marwin González who provide an incredible amount of value to the team. Having starter-quality players ready at a moments notice is crucial in the modern game. This is their other great depth piece, Alex Avila, comes into play.
Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The reaction among most Twins fans when the Avila signing was announced was more of a reserved acceptance of the fact rather than an outright celebration. In fairness, most normal human beings don’t celebrate signing backup catchers. Plus, Avila had just spent the last decade being a decidedly average player by traditional stats (with the exception of his monstrous 2011 season). It was also obvious from the beginning that Avila would play the Robin role to Mitch Garver’s batman as Garver had just figured out how to hit baseballs like Mike Trout.

For my money, the combo of Avila’s uninteresting surface stats and the naturally humdrum nature of the catcher position are to blame for this reaction. This is the same mixture that doomed Jason Castro to be the butt of many jokes despite how valuable he actually was to the team. Don’t try and say you actually liked Castro, I’ve seen all your tweets about him.

But why does Avila have the aesthetic of a boring ballplayer? Well, the backup catcher position naturally is not one that inspires awe in the average fan. They tend to be glove-first players who bring their value in ways that tend to be either difficult to track or nerdy to do so. You don’t often see YouTube compilations of great framing. Beyond that, they also typically find themselves replacing a player with a better bat (Garver). It’s much easier for you, the fan, to appreciate it when Garver launches a titanic homer than when Avila swipes a strike with some tricky framing.

But just because a player may be boring does not mean that they lack value. Avila had the 13th most valuable glove out of every catcher with at least 200 PA last season. That may not sound too impressive, but 48 catchers in total hit that plateau last year which places Avila in the upper echelon. Beyond that, just five catchers ahead of him on the list hit for a better wRC+ than Avila in 2019; meaning that Avila wasn’t a standard Drew Butera-type who couldn’t hit his way out of a boot.

Avila was also a Statcast darling in 2019. His hard hit % of 49.0 puts him in between such names as Matt Chapman and Yordan Álvarez. His average exit velocity of 91.4 was better than both Manny Machado and J.D. Martinez. To top it off, his Brls/BBE% (barrels per batted ball event) was seventh in all of baseball (min 50 BBE). Yes, I’m aware that every baseball fan over the age of 40 just rolled their eyes at that doozy of a stat. Just understand that Avila often hits the ball hard.

With the struggles of Garver and the short season emphasizing the importance of playing the hot bat, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Twins moved towards giving Avila more playing. Such a choice should not make Twins fans worry. Avila is capable of providing great defense behind the plate along with some offense that may be better than expected. He is much more than just the prototypical “all glove no bat” backup that most teams employ at catcher.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

  • Dman likes this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

2 Comments

Agreed, but I like the idea of Garver's bat heating up keeping him in the lineup as much as possible.

Photo
VivaBomboRivera!
Aug 07 2020 08:26 AM
"The reaction among most Twins fans when the Avila signing was announced was more of a reserved acceptance of the fact rather than an outright celebration. In fairness, most normal human beings don’t celebrate signing backup catchers."

This.

Jason Castro was a fine catcher and all-around contributor on the 2019 squad. If he had to be replaced, the Twins couldn't do much better than Avila to keep from missing a beat.
    • Dman likes this