Christian Vazquez: What do we have here?

RedOctober3829

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Christian Vazquez has undergone a transformation at the plate since the beginning of last year. After hitting 10 HRs combined in 4 years before last year, he now has hit 27 since last season. He’s also become a really good overall hitter besides the power. Is this going to be what he is going forward? If it is, he’s a bargain for the next 3 years.
 

sodenj5

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Christian Vazquez has undergone a transformation at the plate since the beginning of last year. After hitting 10 HRs combined in 4 years before last year, he now has hit 27 since last season. He’s also become a really good overall hitter besides the power. Is this going to be what he is going forward? If it is, he’s a bargain for the next 3 years.
Didn’t he completely retool his swing in the 2018-2019 offseason?

I think that combined with a year plus with said new swing and approach has lead to a significant boost at the plate. Good for him because everyone always said he was an elite defender and a liability with the bat.

Catcher is pretty shallow in terms of offense, and it’s traditionally a spot that you’re willing to eat a hole in the lineup for a plus defender, but if he can be more than that, I would agree he’s probably a bargain.
 

joe dokes

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Didn’t he completely retool his swing in the 2018-2019 offseason?

I think that combined with a year plus with said new swing and approach has lead to a significant boost at the plate. Good for him because everyone always said he was an elite defender and a liability with the bat.

Catcher is pretty shallow in terms of offense, and it’s traditionally a spot that you’re willing to eat a hole in the lineup for a plus defender, but if he can be more than that, I would agree he’s probably a bargain.
He did. Both he and the hitting staff agreed at the time that he was having trouble adjusting to a more power-friendly swing plane. I recall some discussion in these parts whether they should just leave him alone because it was making him worse.
 

terrynever

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His body type reminds me of Yogi Berra, who stood 5-7 and weighed 185 in his prime. Vazquez is listed at 5-9 and 205. Yogi was more of a dead-pull hitter who used the short porch in right to his advantage. Yogi bounced around behind the plate, very quick to react to balls in the dirt. Christian is kind of similar, imo. Not comparing Vazquez to Yogi here, just saying they both were short, quick and powerful.
 

burstnbloom

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The swing change really shows up in his balls in play numbers.

GB% 2015 - 57.2
2016- 59.8
2017 - 47.1
2018 - 42.4
2019 - 39.3

When Tim Hyers and JD showed up in 2018 a number of players started working on their swing planes and you can see those numbers shift dramatically downward for Christian in 2018. It's also helped him trade a lot of soft contact for hard contact. in 2017 his hard hit % was 22.3%. Last year it was 40.1%. It's almost always because of a dramatic change in launch angle for him. He hits hilarious moon balls now when he gets under them but I don't think that would have happened much with his old swing.

Launch angle- 2016 1.4
2017 8
2018 (Jd and Hyers) 12.8
2019 13.2

his cumulative numbers last year are buoyed by a huge May that he may never repeat but his overall line outside of that is pretty good. A high .700's OPS catcher with some pop appears to be who he is now after some fundamental swing changes. I never would have thought that was possible in 2016.
 

BaseballJones

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Moving forward, if Vaz ends up being a 25-hr guy with, say, an .800 ops, that really lengthens the lineup considerably and would be a big advantage for Boston. Not many teams have a catcher that can do that.
 

sean1562

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I do not see any reason to go after Realmuto this offseason with Vaz onboard. I think he is a viable starter on a playoff contender. Maybe never an All Star but certainly someone we can lock in as the starting C for the next few years and not worry about
 

TFisNEXT

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Moving forward, if Vaz ends up being a 25-hr guy with, say, an .800 ops, that really lengthens the lineup considerably and would be a big advantage for Boston. Not many teams have a catcher that can do that.
With Vaz consistently ranking as a plus pitch-framer (and top 5 in 2019) along with slightly above average defense/arm stats, he is really blossoming into a legit star catcher. If he could increase his walk rate a little, he'd be in elite territory.
 

DeadlySplitter

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as a Vaz hater 2-3 years ago, it is worth remembering catchers usually peak late. (remember that next time, me)

he's still going for the high risk little reward hero plays on pickoffs sometimes, cut that out.
 

DJnVa

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he's still going for the high risk little reward hero plays on pickoffs sometimes, cut that out.
I think he's fine here. I mean, it is *high risk* if he fires it into the OF, but he hasn't had an error on an errant PO throw in last few seasons.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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There are only two catchers in baseball who have both more homers and a higher wRC+ than Vazquez over the past two seasons and one (Mitch Garver) has only played 97 games in that span. A few seasons ago I might’ve preferred Vaz to Gary Sanchez due to Sanchez’s defense and strikeout problems, but I never would’ve guessed Vazquez would develop into the superior offensive player
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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You know who a good comp for Vazquez is...Yadier Molina. Both broke into the bigs with a good defensive reputation but a questionable bat. Both took a while to mature but found a power stroke in their late 20s. Molina went from 6 HR in his age 27 season to 14 at age 28 to 22 in his age 29 season. Vazquez went from 3 to 23 between his age 27 and 28 seasons. If Vazquez continues this trend, the Sox may be set at the catcher position for another 7-8 years.
 

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You know who a good comp for Vazquez is...Yadier Molina. Both broke into the bigs with a good defensive reputation but a questionable bat. Both took a while to mature but found a power stroke in their late 20s. Molina went from 6 HR in his age 27 season to 14 at age 28 to 22 in his age 29 season. Vazquez went from 3 to 23 between his age 27 and 28 seasons. If Vazquez continues this trend, the Sox may be set at the catcher position for another 7-8 years.
I've always thought that Yadier was the dream scenario for Vaz. It still might be, but maybe no longer a pipe dream.