2019 Steamer: 384 PA .256/.305/.367, .293 wOBA, -10.0 batting runs, -0.8 Baserunning Runs, 1.7 Fielding Runs, 1.1 WAR
Vazquez had a dreadful year with the bat in 2018, but it was mostly due to a .237 batting average on balls in play (career .293 BABIP). He’ll probably never be a fantastic hitter, but the Sox hope he’s more like his 2017 with the bat. If he hits .290/.330/.400, he’ll be about a league average catcher with his glovework and positive pitch framing marks. Even if he’s closer to .260/.300/.370, he’s still a decent “real life” catcher, although you wouldn’t want to touch him in fantasy baseball..
2019 Steamer: 192 PA, .225/.285/.346 .277 wOBA, -7.5 Batting Runs, -0.5 Baserunning Runs, 1.0 Fielding Runs, 0.3 WAR
Like Vazquez, Sandy Leon had a terrible regular season with the bat in 2018. Also like Vazquez, he had horrible luck on batted balls in play (.226 BABIP / .290 BABIP career). While it’s unlikely he’ll have another year like his 2016 - .310/.369/.476 in 78 games for 2.5 WAR (!) - it’s not impossible. Still, his Steamer projection is in line with his career numbers, and 0.3 WAR is acceptable.
2019 Steamer: 64 PA, .235/.300/.353 .287 wOBA, -2.0 Batting Runs, 0.1 Baserunning Runs -0.1 Fielding Runs, 0.1 WAR
Swihart is a fairly forgotten man at this point. It’s very likely he greatly outperforms that projection. He’s expected to remain at catcher, although he’s been passable in left field and first base. The bar is so low for catchers at this point that if he impresses in spring training, he may even be trade bait if the Sox have no room for him on the roster - which is likely.
While catcher is definitely not a strength for the 2019 Red Sox, it’s very easy for them to beat what they got out of the position in 2018. It’s not a position of clear weakness that the Sox need to address, and Vazquez still has upside. Plus, Leon has shown the tendency to get hot, so this could end up being a lot better than the C-minus grade we have to give them right now.
Red Sox Catchers: C-minus