Todd Zeile – 1990 Fleer
March 22, 2011
Catcher? Oh, Yeah….
Well, here’s a question to ponder.
Would Todd Zeile have been an All-Star player if he stayed at catcher?
Now, don’t invoke Sharia Law and stone me right now…but just think critically about this.
When he came up, he was the Cardinals #1 prospect. But the Cards also had Tom Pagnozzi as a catching prospect. And Joe Torre wanted Pagnozzi to catch, and so he moved Zeile to third.
Was that a smart move?
Zeile wasn’t a great defensive catcher. But unlike Brandon Inge, he was a catcher in college. And while Pagnozzi was a good (but not great) defensive catcher, he didn’t hit much. Of course, you want defense at catcher, but Zeile was worse at third than he was at catcher, according to the metrics.
What would have happened if Torre kept Zeile at catcher for longer than he did? It was obvious that Zeile would have to move at some point, but not right away for Tom Pagnozzi. It’s like moving Mike Piazza for Alex Trevino; you just don’t do it.
Think about it…and when you’re done, think about Zeile’s wife.