“Yankees catching instructor Tanner Swanson told FiveThirtyEight that an automated zone would completely change the position: “It would be almost a second DH.’”
As far as the future of catching is concerned, the art form itself could be lost with an automated zone. “Catchers have been among the worst hitters in baseball—and sometimes the very worst offensive performers in a given season.” Their advanced prowess behind the plate could justify a less productive bat, but that prowess could hit a wall if an automated zone takes away their pitch framing skills.
If catchers actually end up turning into a “second DH,” this would put top hitting catchers at a premium—even more valuable than they already are.
The Rockies may have already seen how scarce the position can be this offseason. General manager Jeff Bridich expressed interest in acquiring a catcher this winter, and a right-handed-hitting backstop would complement the left-handed bat of Tony Wolters. The switch-hitting Yasmani Grandal could have fit the bill, but the price tag may have easily been too high.
Colorado signed catchers Elias…