I am nothing if not timely, and so I would like to alert your attention to a certain Keith Law ESPN chat that happened on the 2nd of August, 2012. In said chat, Law was asked by a reader about catcher’s receiving skills and what exactly makes one a good receiving catcher in comparison to a player who just isn’t very good. Here was his response:
…Depends on how hard/soft your hands are, and how strong. Some guys can just grab a pitch and freeze their hands to keep it in the zone. Some stab and dive and otherwise catch like they’ve got goat’s heads in their gloves.
Now, I don’t know about all those technical and interesting and useful baseball details, but I do know that I just read the words “goat’s hands” in reference to poor receiving catchers. At least, I think I did. Further complicating this completely useless exercise, Mr. Law seems to have typed “heads” instead of “hands” in his answer, and while I’m sure he could have meant that, I’m going to make an ass out of you and me and presume that “heads” was a minor typo. Heads would certainly work, and it would still be quite funny, but hands makes more sense to me and I just wasted a bunch of my time Photoshopping goat hooves over player’s hands and so we’re going with hands. I hope that’s alright with everyone. Below, you will find a few submissions of poor defensive catchers with goat’s hands. To help me select specific players for this dubious honor, I consulted Mike Fast’s excellent pitch framing article for some catcher’s who seem to be really bad at catching and receiving baseballs pitched to them. I also chose Jesus Montero because he’s a Seattle Mariner and I’m familiar with him, and people make fun of him all the time for sucking at defense.