Yes, you read correctly. I am actually awarding the Chicago Cubs with an award. I’ve got to give credit to the Cubs catchers. What seemed like two misfits at the beginning of 2013, has turned out to be the best 1-2 catching combo in the Majors. (Stats current as of Sept. 9, 2013)
Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro have put together great offensive numbers and defensive stats. Welington spelt with one “L”, is known more for his defensive style of play. Castillo has thrown out 26 base stealers which is good for 2nd in the MLB behind Russell Martin. Welington is currently the starting catcher and is only 26-years-old. He may not have as much power as Navarro but I’ll take any catcher hitting above .260. This is the first year Castillo has played more than 60 games and has played for the Cubs in parts of 4 seasons.
I don’t have enough good things to say about Dioner Navarro. He is the definition of a clutch hitter. The way he has been playing this year, with limited opportunities, I would easily let him or Castillo be the starting catcher. Navarro and Castillo are both under 6’0″ and over 200 lbs. Dioner has been tossed around to five teams including the Yankees, Dodgers, Rays and Reds. He was an All-Star in 2008 and his numbers are much better this year. The Venezuelan is now 29-years-old with 9 years of experience under his belt. Navarro is currently batting above .300 which is good for 4th in the MLB for catchers with more than 200 at bats.
Of course, these are not the first catchers I would pick in fantasy pool and probably not even in my top 10, but Castillo and Navarro are, in my eyes, the best catching combo of the 2013 season. Looking around the league, other teams have better starting catchers, but no team has a better 1-2 knockout like the Cubs. The only team I considered was the Atlanta Braves, but the inconsistency from Evan Gattis, put Chicago over the top. The Cubs have very few bright spots this year and I guess you could say this is the only positive offensively for Chicago.
Here are the side-by-side stats for the two catchers.
|Catcher||Games Played||Hits||Home Runs||RBI||Batting AVG.||Height||Weight (lbs.)||Caught Stealing|
Welington Castillo Dioner Navarro