Red Sox

MLB Notebook: In 2019, Red Sox will seek improvement at the plate from their catchers

As they raced to a record-setting 108-win season and a subsequent World Series title, the 2018 Red Sox were an offensive juggernaut.

They were first in runs scored, hits, doubles, total bases, batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and OPS and ninth in homers.

They had Silver Slugger winners all over the diamond and boasted of having the AL MVP.

The one area where they didn't get much production, however, was at catcher. Collectively, the three Red Sox catchers posted a paltry .533 OPS; by way of comparison, the league average at the position was .677. As a trio, Red Sox receivers batted only .194. The Arizona Diamondbacks were the only other major league team to get a sub-.200 batting average out of their catchers.

It's a given that catchers stress defense first, a philosophy that is endorsed by the organization. But there were times last season when the Red Sox didn't get competitive at-bats from their catchers. For a stretch, they were almost like pitchers at the plate, resulting in automatic outs.

That needs to change.

"I think catching is an area where we can improve the most offensively next year,'' Red Sox hitting instructor Tim Hyers told "And they have it in them.''

Except for brief stretched, that wasn't on display last year. Sandy Leon had a .177/.232./279 slash line. Christian Vazquez was .207/.257/.283 while Blake Swihart was .229/.285/.328.

Certainly, that leaves plenty of room for upgrades.

Keeping in mind that Dave Dombrowski is on record as expecting that one of the three catchers will be traded before Opening Day, we asked Hyers to break down the three.