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Jose Trevino: A Yankee deep dive

Babbling on Twitter about players and statistical anomalies or feats they’ve reached is quite fun. Jose Trevino, acquired for LHP Robert Ahlstrom (7th Round Pick in the 2021 Draft) and RHP Albert Abreu is interesting. Abreu showed flashes of brilliance, though those flashes were ruined by stretches of horrid pitching. He struggled with command, and without MiLB options, he was the odd man out in a deep bullpen. The upside is still there for Abreu, who had a strong start to Spring Training, but ultimately it seems a fresh start in Texas is where he’ll get the chance to breakout. As for the Yankees, what are they left with in Trevino? Let’s talk about it.

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Jose Trevino’s Offense (Or Lack Thereof)

Trevino is by all statistical regards a bad hitter. A 66 wRC+ hitter, Trevino struggles to get on base (.270 OBP), slug (.364 SLG), or hit for average (.245). His splits are even as well, with a 65 wRC+ vs RHP and 67 wRC+ vs LHP. His baserunning is also awful too, with a -5.5 BsR, ranking him as the 8th worst baserunner in the sport last year minimum 300 PAs. No matter how you slice it, Trevino is just bad on that side of the ball, however that seemingly detrimental aspect of his game hasn’t prevented Trevino from being a valuable catcher.

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Best Defensive Catcher in Baseball?

Trevino’s defensive excellence is statistically as good as it gets. His volume wasn’t very high last season and yet he was able to rank near the top in some of the most in-depth defensive metrics for Catchers.

8.8 FRM (3rd)
11.6 FRAA (3rd)
14.7 CDA (3rd)
0.018 CSAA (3rd)

FRM is a simple framing metric found on Fangraphs.com, and FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average), CDA (Catching Defensive Adjustment), and CSAA (Called Strikes Above Average) can be found on BaseballProspectus.com. FRAA and CDA give us a general glimpse of a catchers’ defensive output, and CSAA and FRM give us strong idea as to how good that catcher is at stealing strikes, which is something that greatly helps pitchers.

For as bad as Trevino’s offensive value is, his defensive value is unreal. When you’re better than Kyle Higashioka defensively, you’re unreal. In terms of Baseball Prospectus Wins Above Replacement Player (bWARP), he was 14th among catchers. This was just in 302 PAs, and he was tied with Willson Contreras, who’s considered to be an All-Star. At a 2.1 bWARP, he would’ve led all Yankee catchers in bWARP last year too. However you slice it, he’s a good catcher all things considered, but what about Ben Rortvedt?

Giving the Youngster Time

Ben Rortvedt is someone I like, but he struggled against MLB competition in 2021. He was 23 for most of the 2021 campaign, and looked rightfully overmatched. In AAA he can continue to develop that 50-grade raw power. If he ever figures out how to have that raw power translate to the MLB level, he could probably figure out how to have an OPS that’s above .700 with really good defense, which is a good catcher.

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Rortvedt has time to perform without pressure and with someone to have to earn a spot over. Now, he suddenly has a better trajectory for his own progression as a player.

Ultimately, the Yankees got a good catcher in Trevino, and they didn’t give up more than they should’ve to stabilize themself as the best defensive catching team at the MLB level in 2022.