Yesterday the Padres announced the signing of veteran catcher Henry Blanco to a one-year deal.
Throughout the off-season we have been discussing the idea of bringing in a veteran catcher who could help mentor both our young catchers and our young starting pitchers. We feel that Henry fits the role perfectly, especially since he has maintained an 86.2 MR (mentor rating) over the past three seasons.
Known as a solid defensive catcher, Henry has thrown out more than 40% of runners throughout his career (45% over the past three years). As is often the case with catchers who throw that well, runners also don't attempt to run as much. Put those two together, and Henry has allowed an average of one stolen base per 18 innings caught throughout his career. As a comparison, our Major League team last year allowed one stolen base for every nine innings (Johnny Bench allowed one for every 24 innings). It's not just his throwing, either, as Henry has consistently been above average in virtually every defensive metric.
On the offensive side, Henry provides a little pop, hitting at least six homers in seven different seasons, including every season in which he's received at least 175 plate appearances. Last season Henry hit .292/.325/.392 in 128 plate appearances while backing up Geovanny Soto in Chicago.
We're happy to add Henry and believe that he'll be a stabilizing force at a critical position.