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More notes on Willingham's defensive progress


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Willingham's defense: The steady progress Josh Willingham has made behind the plate has been a pleasant surprise to the Marlins.


To keep Willingham fresh, his time will be split between catching and playing left field. But in terms of improving as a catcher, bench coach Gary Tuck couldn't be happier.


Tuck is a respected catching instructor, who has basically re-taught Willingham and the other catchers the position.


How far has Willingham come since the start of Spring Training? Tuck says, 360 degrees.


"He's done everything we've asked him to do," Tuck said. "He's adjusted, changed every technique. He's gone in a completely different direction. He's not scared to try something new. And he's stayed with it. And he's progressed daily."


This spring, Willingham has dropped one ball, and he's thrown out three of four runners trying to steal. He's also improved calling pitches.


"It's a credit to his tremendous dedication to it," Tuck said. "It's been unbelievable."


Tuck says he's worked Willingham -- and the rest of the catchers -- hard.


"He's never balked at it," Tuck said. "I've continued to whip and whip him. He's out there early and out there late. He's fought through a stiff back, and worked through that. I give the guy a lot of credit." Willingham's hitting also continues to impress. He belted two home runs in Monday's 5-4 win over the Orioles.

All four of Willingham's homers this spring have been against the Orioles.



.197 3HR folks. Mark it down. :lol

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Guest markotsay7

Whoops. I made a post with this in it, but since this is dedicated just to this I'll say this here...



How far has Willingham come since the start of Spring Training? Tuck says, 360 degrees.


I think he meant 180.



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In the little bit I have seen of him so far he has looked great at the plate. HEll he kocked out 2 homers in yesterday's game against the O's. One of them he totally crushed I meqan even the Baltimore announcers said "ohhh that's gone" as soon as he hit it.

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If Willy can be just average defensively, he's probably going to be on a short list for the best catcher in the National League.


If Willy is below average defensively, he's going to be one of the best catchers in baseball, let alone the NL. Who is his competition? Paul LoDuca? Michael Barret? Maybe one of the Reds guys if they played exclusively.




I would say .250/.360/.460. A lot of you are thinking .280, and I can't see that with his whiffs. He strikes out a lot, even if he bashes the crap out of the ball and walks. That is going to hurt him a little. If some of you are right though and he hits .280+ over a full season..... he is going to have a monstrous season, and career. I wouldn't be shocked if its a 900+ OPS if he hits for that much average, and I might cry with happiness every night before bed if we have a catcher that ridiculously amazing.


I think he settles low 800s though..... which is Vmart or Varitek on offense. :)



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