- 07/09/2012, 12:39PM ET
kalbrecht17 said 07/09, 12:39 PM
Can't use any type of pitcher and you can use whatever metric you want to decide who is the most important.
Mrlns Fn said 07/09, 06:05 PM
I'm going with catcher. There about a zillion reasons why but I'm gonna hold off on that until I know what position my opponent is going to pick.
kalbrecht17 said 07/10, 01:15 AM
I'll go with SS then.
As was mentioned in the comments, a great, athletic SS is often the most highly demanded and sought after players in baseball as a great SS can make or break your team because they can have such a large impact on games in a variety of ways.
1. SS is often looked to as the leader and face of the team.
2. SS can make a huge impact on the game from a fielding perspective.
3. The SS is often expected to be a major contributor to the team's offense.
4. A SS is also expected to be fast for range purposes and for stealing bases.
5. A SS needs to have a strong arm for relay throws and for throwing out runners when they have to make difficult plays.
It is very rare that you find a guy with great ability in all of these characteristics at one time, but if you do find that unique blend of SS that can do it all, it can truly push your team over the edge. Look at a player like Honus Wagner. He had the ability to do it all and was the driving force behind the Pirates being contenders in that time span.
Overall I'd say that just due to the sheer variety of ways a SS can impact a game, they are the most important guy on the field aside from pitcher.
Mrlns Fn said 07/10, 09:27 PM
Third and final attempt at posting this argument.
I had said something about how catchers are much more physically strained during games. They crouch for about an hour and a half per game. They throw balls back to the pitcher constantly. They're involved in brutally physical home plate collisions. The position of catcher is ultra demanding, physically. Which in and of itself wouldn't make the position the most important, but then you have to consider the level of mental strain they endure as well.
Catchers are responsible for calling virtually every pitch; the type of pitch, location... its a very difficult task, as is knowing each and every batters tendencies while simultaneously recognizing which pitches are working on any given night.
The combination of physical attain and mental fortitude is a doozy. Catchers have to be involved in the chess game of pitch selection while still keeping an eye on baserunners and a ton of other factors, all at the same time.
Because of the amount of times a catcher is directly involved in a play AND because of the high stakes of calling pitches, the position of catcher is infinitely more important than any other position on the field.
kalbrecht17 said 07/11, 12:52 AM
I'll be honest. I was initially going to pick catcher. However the more I think about it, the less I deem the catcher as important. At least how I'm choosing to define it ha.
The catcher often times, because of what you said about the catcher being required to be involved in many defensive plays in addition to calling pitches, is often let off the hook in regards to other portions of the game. Namely offense and baserunning. Often times catchers can still be regarded as being great players even if their hitting stats aren't considered elite if they were playing any other position. Now I know that the argument can be made that they are under greater physical strain because they are in a crouch all game and therefore their offensive and baserunning numbers should go down.
However, this just further adds to why the SS has an even further increased importance. A SS isn't looked as being able to have any holes in his game or they are immediately knocked for it. Where the catcher can contribute less on offense, if a guy like Troy Tulowitski has just one of his stat columns drop, he is rode hard by fans to produce. This just adds to importance to have an all around, impactful SS.
Mrlns Fn said 07/12, 02:02 AM
To me, offensive prowess shouldn't be an issue here. Offensively, all players are expected to do the same things... recognize pitches, swing at good pitches, lay off the bad pitches, etc. Offensively there is no difference between positions. There's only a difference when the position players take the field.
And defensively, there is no question that catchers play the most important role.
Again, shortstops are involved in a limited number of plays during the course of a game. There are routine groundouts to short, pop ups to short, double play possibilites, and they cover second base during steal attempts. None of those plays are as important as the things a catcher does, such as:
calling pitch types and location
blocking the plate to prevent runs from scoring
That right there, blocking the plate, is more important than anything shortstops do. The point of playing baseball is to score more runs than your opponent. Catchers are the plate's last line of defense; shortstops are one of two players to cover second base, the midway point to the plate.
Catchers roles are much more important than shortstops, as they play a much larger role in run prevention.
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