Jonah Heim showed serious flashes for the Texas Rangers in 2022 it seemed like the pieces never clicked at the same time or for long enough. With an excellent glove, and batting from both sides Jonah Heim has finally put the pieces together to potentially become legitimate backstop for years to come.
The Texas Rangers have something special in Jonah Heim
Heim has been a member of the Texas Rangers for two seasons now, while always being a rock-solid option defensively as indicated by 2nd-best 12 framing runs. This indicates how many runs last season that Heim saved the Rangers as a result of him stealing strikes from the batter based upon his framing. Heim currently sits in 1st in that category.
But beyond his ability as a catcher, his stick this season has caught up with him too, on pace for more home runs, a higher WAR, more RBI just under 25% of his total PAs from last season.
This is due to Heim hitting the ball harder and in the air more. His AVG EV currently sitting at 92.2, 2.9 MPH higher than last year, and he has increased his average launch angle up 1.5 degrees currently at 18.5. Beyond that, Heim has continued to cut down on his K% and increase his BB%, a method that almost always can guarantee a jump in all major statistical categories.
With it being one month into the season, it can be easy for stats to be inflated by BABIP luck or just a case of an new approach other teams are yet to figure out. With Heim this is not the case. In all expected stats that being xAVG, xSLG, and xwOBA he is with in the top 90th percentile of all three and in the case of wOBA he should be doing slightly better with a .402 actual and a .405 expected. In terms of the other two, xAVG and xSLG, he is only outperforming his numbers by 15 or less points telling us regression might be coming but it will be negligible in truly affecting his performance on the field.
Part of this massive swing in numbers may have to do with is approach against off-speed pitches. Heim is currently mashing .571 with a SLG of 1.000 against them. Those are simply gaudy numbers that will be impossible hard to maintain, but we should enjoy them while they’re here.
In summary: Is Jonah Heim’s breakout sustainable? Yes, absolutely, 100%, all of the above, whatever else you would like to use. Heim is currently on an absolute heater and the Texas Rangers are riding his hot hand to a 20-13 record and first place in the AL West. Heim breakout season is upon us, I can not wait to see what else is in store.