clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Blind Battle: Willson Contreras vs. Wilson Ramos

Heath compares a couple of catchers.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

This is the first installment of “Blind Battles,” a simple sketch that involves removing the names while comparing the numbers of two different guys. Sure, I put the names in the title, but we’ll see who is who at the end. As a general FYI, unless stated otherwise all numbers are CAREER numbers.

Career Triple Slash/wOBA/wRC+

Player A: .266/.349/.450, .344 wOBA, 113 wRC+

Player B: .273/.317/.439, .325 wOBA, 103 wRC

Player A gets the advantage in OBP leagues, but overall these lines are really similar.


Player A: 9.9% walk rate, 22.8% K-rate, .184 ISO, .321 BABIP

Player B: 6.2% walk rate, 17.1% K-rate, .166 ISO, .287 BABIP

This data reads like Player A is again the stronger candidate...unless walks don’t help you all that much. Player B strikes out less but has a much lower BABIP...

Statcast Data

Player A: 27.6 ft/sec sprint speed, 8.6 Barrel%, 87.2 AEV, 6.3 Launch Angle, 34.2% Hard%

Player B: 22.8 ft/sec sprint speed, 7.4% Barrel%, 90.1 AEV, 4.8 Launch Angle, 43.8 Hard%

I chose this data next for a specific reason. Here we have an explanation for Player B’s lower BABIP—that 22.8 ft/sec sprint speed is really poor and way below league average (27 ft/sec). Meanwhile, Player A is above average, which is excellent for a catcher. Player A also gets the nod in barrels and launch angle...though Player B has that higher AEV and hard hit rate.

Batted Ball Profiles

Player A: 17.5 LD%, 53.0 GB%, 29.6 FB%, 18.0 HR/FB%, 42.7%/33.5%/23.9% (pull/center/oppo)

Player B: 18.9 LD%, 54.2 GB%, 26.9 FB%, 18.0 HR/FB%, 38.3%/35.2%/26.5% (pull/center/oppo)

Again, these profiles look really similar. Identical HR/FB rates and simliar rates of fly balls and etc. Player A pulls the ball a little more, so maybe that makes sense about the slightly higher mark with regard to barrels.


Player A: 19.5% soft, 48.6% medium, 31.9% hard

Player B: 18.0% soft, 49.6% medium, 32.3% hard

Player B has the slight edge here in all three categories.

Plate Discipline

Player A: 33.7 O-Swing%, 48.3 Swing%, 79.5 Z-Contact%, 72.3 Contact%, 13.3 SwStr%

Player B: 35.5 O-Swing%, 52.9 Swing%, 87.7 Z-Contact%, 79.5 Contact%, 10.8 SwStr%

Now here’s a big difference. Player B swings more but still has a superior 17.1% strikeout rate. Player B also has far better contact rates overall and in the zone. And Player B is right at the league average 10.7 SwStr%, while Player A lags far behind and is below average. As a pure hitter of the baseball, Player B has what looks like a solid edge here.

The Verdict

Player A is the 26-year-old Willson Contreras, and Player B is the 31-year-old Wilson Ramos. Ramos (135 NFBC ADP) appears to have the edge as a pure hitter, with a better line drive rate, more of an ability to hit to all fields, less soft contact, more hard contact, more recognition of pitches (and far more contact) in the zone—as well as a superior strikeout rate despite swinging more often and “chasing” more often.

It’s not all in Ramos’ favor, though. Contreras is younger, with room to grow. He’s also much faster, with Ramos’ poor sprint speed a massive liability (good thing he’s a better pure hitter right now). In fact, Ramos has NEVER stolen a base in the Majors, while Contreras could possibly chip in with 3-5 or so. Contreras also walks more, hits slightly more fly balls, and has a slightly higher rate of barrels. He strikes out more, but he doesn’t strike out too much more and when he does hit the ball he shows a little more power.

So pick your poison, gamers. The younger guy who could improve, or the older veteran who comes with more injury risk?


Which catcher would you rather draft?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Willson Contreras, Cubs (141 ADP)
    (140 votes)
  • 44%
    Wilson Ramos, Mets (135 ADP)
    (111 votes)
251 votes total Vote Now