Everyone knows catchers don’t run well, but the Yankees actually have one of the better running catchers in the game. In his second season in the bigs, Russell Martin swiped 21 bases. A few knee and back surgeries later and he still managed to swipe a league leading eight bags last year.
This year he has his sights set on 20 again.
“It’s definitely not crazy,” Martin told Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. “I might steal 20 in spring training.”
Martin, who is a year recovered from knee surgery, is not only quick for a catcher, he is smart too. He already leads the Yankees in spring training with four stolen bases and it sounds like he takes a lot of pride in being able to grab some extra bags.
“You don’t just steal with speed, you steal with your knowledge and your mind,” Martin said. “I am better now, for sure. I’m more knowledgable, and just being a catcher helps, because you understand the situations better.”
Martin was considered one of the best all-around young catchers when he stole 21 bases back in 2007. If he can get back to that point and also bring up his average a bit while still playing stellar defense, Martin will be able to demand a lot in his pending free agency next year. He’ll also be a huge help in the Yankees winning games between now and then too.