Ways In Which Toronto Blue Jays’ J.P. Arencibia Had A Good Year
By most measures, Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia had a pretty dismal 2013 season. Arencibia finished the year with a .194/.227/.365 line, and a 57 wRC+. Since 1918, only four players with at least 400 plate appearances have posted a lower single-season on-base percentage. He demonstrated his allergy to plate discipline by going 25 games between walks in April and May. Overall, he swung at nearly 40% of pitches outside of the strike zone.
The first half wasn’t pretty, but post all-star break was even worse. Arencibia hit just .145/.173/.265 in the second half with a pitcher-like 11 wRC+. That’s the lowest second half on-base percentage in baseball history for any hitter with at least 150 PA. In September, he had an 0-22 stretch with 10 strikeouts. He also led all catchers in passed balls and errors. Fangraphs credits Arencibia with -0.6 WAR, Baseball-Reference with 0.1.
Seems like a pretty miserable year, right? Well, let me inform you of the ways in which J.P. Arencibia had a good year.
1. Arencibia hit 21 home runs. Among catchers, only Matt Wieters had more. They were pretty impressive home runs too. This one in particular was hammered. It wasn’t his furthest, but it got out the quickest.
Isn’t that some right-handed power that everybody is talking about this offseason? Sure, home runs may be overrated, but chicks still dig the long ball right? More on that later.
2. He greatly improved his pitch-framing skills. According to StatCorner, Arencibia was one of the worst pitch-framers in baseball in 2012, costing his team eight runs over the course of the season. He improved greatly in 2013. His 16 runs saved moved him into the top ten in the MLB. He worked with roving catching instructor Sal Fasano on his technique. Thanks to Baseball Prospectus, here’s an illustrative GIF.
Nice and still, strong hands, subtle movement to bring the ball back to the zone. Impressive.
3. Last, but not least, in fact most importantly, J.P. Arencibia got engaged to this lovely lady, singer Kimberly Perry, lead singer from the country music group The Band Perry.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, J.P. Arencibia made over $500,000 in 2013 playing the great game of baseball. Let’s hope J.P. Arencibia doesn’t define himself by his WAR. If he did, he’d be pretty miserable. I suspect he’s doing a little better than that.