May 19, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta (17) runs in a score hit by Los Angeles Angels short stop Erick Aybar (not pictured) against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Iannetta: Walking to Production


When the Angels originally traded Tyler Chatwood to the Rockies for Chris Iannetta, my only real reaction was; “At least he’s not Jeff Mathis.”

He also wasn’t Bobby Wilson, or Ryan Budde. He also wasn’t Hank Conger, which didn’t sit well with me personally, but sometimes, collateral damage can’t be avoided. At least, for Conger’s sake, C.J. Wilson needed a personal caddy/Twitter pal/dragon-tail expert, leading to Hank getting into a game on a once-a-week basis at least.

But this isn’t about Hank’s “flare for fashion.” It isn’t about catching either (mostly because, Iannetta hasn’t been all that stellar behind the plate). This is about the crazy thing that Chris is doing when he is standing at the plate with a bat in his hands. Don’t believe me? Well, check this out.

Year Tm H BB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2013 LAA 21 27 .204 .361 .330 .691 97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/20/2013.


27 walks, 21 hits. That's just crazy. And over the last two weeks, his OBP is sitting at a cool .500. Joey Votto started of the season on a similar run. In fact, for a short while, he had more walks than the entire Chicago White Sox team. But Votto has always been a much better hitter than Iannetta (DUH!). Chris has always had exceptional plate discipline, stemming back to his time in Colorado. His power has dropped off considerably since leaving the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field, but any players power number's are going to dip when they come to Anaheim (see Pujols, Albert). Even with the dip in power, his .691 OPS is still right around league average for a catcher, and I will gladly take his .360 OBP (as would Josh Hamilton, I'm sure).

The Angels have a long proud history of offensive futility coming from players who make a living wearing the "tools of ignorance." As do most teams. But, aside from Mike Napoli, catcher's who look lost with a bat in their hands has been a lightning rod for criticism during Mike Scioscia's tenure as manager. Chris Iannetta isn't expected to be the offensive savior of this team, but he is doing his part by not being an automatic out at the bottom of the lineup. And after seeing players like Jorge Fabregas, over the last two decades, don an Angels jersey, that is good enough for me. Now, about this whole "not being able to throw out would be base-stealers thing....."

Tags: Chris Iannetta Los Angeles Angels