Scioscia marvels at what Martín has done

Game 5 of the 2021 World Series will be long remembered by Puerto Rican Astros wide receiver Martín Maldonado. In addition to managing the match in a great way from the plate, the native of Naguabo drove in three runs to help his team to defeat 9-5 to the Braves and avoid elimination.

Maldonado is not known for his bat. This is indicated by the .212 batting average he has so far in his career. But what was done in Game 5 did not surprise Mike Scioscia, who managed Maldonado in 2017 and for most of 2018, when they were both with the Angels.

Scioscia even mentioned that Maldonado is not an easy out, no matter what his average is. One of the best years of the Puerto Rican at the plate was in 2017, when he reached personal highs in home runs (14) and in hits (95).

“One of his skills was shown on Sunday when he traded a bases loaded walk. He hardly ever pursues a pitch that is out of the zone, ”Scioscia said. “He has control of the area. You look at his numbers and he’s not at an elite level in several of the areas. But he always has good shifts. ”

“If you make a mistake, he has the strength to get the ball out of the park. Always has been [capaz] to put the ball in play. He was a good hitter for a run and hit play. There are many things that Martín contributes from the offensive point of view that do not appear in the statistics ”.

From a defensive perspective, Maldonado won his only Gold Glove in 2017. But the awards don’t tell the whole story. The Astros are fascinated by the way he handles the pitching staff. At the time, Scioscia felt the same way when he had the Puerto Rican on his Angels roster.

“Martín is an elite catcher for a number of reasons,” Scioscia said. “It’s easy to look at the arm, its mobility and the way it controls its zone, blocking balls and moving to receive the pitch in the best way.”

“The biggest impact he has is his ability to bring the game plan into the game and make the necessary adjustments for each hitter, whether or not something is working for a pitcher. Understand the importance of being ahead of the bill. I cannot speak highly enough about his mental abilities. He’s a smart catcher. His baseball intelligence is tremendous. ”

When Scioscia was told that he sounded like Astros manager Dusty Baker describing Maldonado behind the plate, he said, “I grew up in the game the same way Dusty did, in terms of various positions. If you have an elite defender in shortstop, center field and catching, you want them there every day, because they will have a major impact on your season, compared to someone with a better bat, but not the same glove skills. ” .


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Scioscia marvels at what Martín has done