My buddy John called me the other day to talk a little bit about the Brewers, one of the things he said to me was "dude, Gregg Zaun is awful." Now, I'm pretty sure that he judged this completely off of the one televised game the Brewers had shown at the time. Or maybe he is basing it off of his career numbers. Either way, he is pretty sure that Gregg Zaun is awful. Which is okay by him because "as long as you are a Brewers fan, you shouldn't expect any production out of the catcher position".
Of course, he's right. Dave Nilsson and BJ Surhoff were probably the two best catchers the Brewers have had in the past twenty years and their best seasons came away from the dish. The rest of the list is filled with a who's who of backup catchers from other, far better teams. If your team has ever signed Jason Kendall and had him be considered an "upgrade", you can be pretty sure your catcher wasn't that good.
Of course, he's also wrong. You don't judge Gregg Zaun by the same standard that you judge, say, Corey Hart. A catcher's body gets extremely beaten up over the season (and in Jason Kendall's case, his face too), while Corey Hart's just gets tatt-ed up. Hitting isn't the be-all, end-all of the catcher position. As an outfielder or a DH, Gregg Zaun IS awful, but as a catcher he is average to above average. It's all relative. (He's also wrong because as of this writing Gregg Zaun is hitting .417 in spring training! WOOO!) Read the rest of this entry »