“Schneider is barely worth owning in NL-only Fantasy Leagues.”
That was a quote from CBSsports’s profile page for the Phillies back up back stop. To say this sums up Schneider’s season with Philadelphia this year isn’t fair, but it isn’t too far off either.
Schneider started 38 games this season playing second fiddle to fan favorite Carlos Ruiz. Having played his whole career inside the NL East, Schneider was signed December of ’09 for his third division team. Fourth if you count Montreal and Washington separately.
Now I have never played professional baseball so I have no clue what it takes to come off the bench every fifth or sixth day and catch a baseball game. I can’t imagine it is the easiest thing to do and then (to quote Ted Williams) attempt to hit a round ball with a round bat; squarely.
Schneider’s season was mediocre at best. Defensively he did perform very well. He boasted a .993 fielding percentage committing only two errors in 276 chances. Unfortunately his offensive stat line of .240/.345/.384 had him sitting well below the average of the league. He added four homers and 15 RBIs to his stat sheet.
To be fair we can’t really compare Schneider to everyday players. Like I said before, it is hard to come in once a week and be asked to perform at a top level. And looking at every back up catcher would push me way over my word count comfort level. So for your sake I have chosen three teams to look at; the other three playoff teams from the National League.
Inside the Phillies division, the Braves had David Ross backing up All Star Brian McCann. Ross had a decent year starting 33 games, hitting .289 and knocking in 28 runs. Defensively he had a few more chances than Schneider and committed only two additional errors (4).
The World Champion Giants (too soon?) couldn’t even get by with starting Buster Posey everyday. So when he wasn’t starting, and going through puberty, Eli Whiteside was earning valuable experience catching their pitching staff. Whiteside, like Ross, started less games than Schneider but put up similar numbers. He hit .238 and had four homers.
The Reds starting catcher Ramon Hernandez only started 87 games so Ryan Hanigan, his backup, was able to start 58 games in his own right. Hanigan, having the most opportunities definitely made the best of his chances. He hit .300 and had 40 RBIs. His defense was very similar to Schneider’s with a .991 fielding percentage.
So after all this, Brian Schneider was your Philadelphia Phillies back up catcher. And even with not comparing him to everyday players, I still didn’t grade him favorably.
KIERAN’S GRADE: 4.3/10
NICK’S GRADE: 6.5/10 Schneider gave the Phillies a valid backup at catcher. Big hitting catchers don’t grow on trees, and Schneider’s numbers as a starter were quite serviceable for a catcher: .265/.366/.425.