Baseball Prospectus, one of the leading analytical outlets in sports, projected Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal to bat .243 this season, with 17 home runs.
Grandal also was projected as a strong candidate for National League most valuable player.
There might be no clearer illustration of the rise of alternative ways to measure player production, even if Grandal himself scoffed at the notion that he could find himself in the thick of an MVP race.
"That's just absurd," he said.
Catchers have won the MVP 16 times since 1931, when the Baseball Writers Assn. of America first voted on the award. The most recent winners, Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and...