So, I have had this thought before, but while looking at the Homer Bailey and Ryan Hanigan article at fangraphs, I thought about it again and wanted to bring it up and see what you guys think.
In that article, the author notes this:
Then there are two images that show the target and the pitch being caught. We have data that shows us that there is a rather large difference between catchers abilities to frame pitches to get strike calls.Ryan Hanigan is nothing if not explicit when he shows his target behind the plate. It’s especially noticeable when he calls for a pitch on or around the corners of the plate. Hanigan will exaggerate the spot and push his glove out of the strike zone before placing his final target. It’s as if to tell Bailey, “Hey, if you miss it, miss it out here.”
Now, obviously I think there is something to it. But I also wonder if a decent part of being able to frame the pitch has more to do with the pitcher being able to hit his spot. In the most recently linked article, Mike Fast notes that glove or even head movement may be costing pitchers/catchers strikes. Well, if the pitch is consistently hitting the target directly, the glove isn't moving. If the target is being hit directly, there is no reason for the head to move either.
So, my question is, and there isn't really a way to test this out with data unless someone were to literally overlay video for every pitch and then chart that for every pitch in the game (this isn't going to happen), do catchers who have pitchers who can better control their fastball "frame pitches" better by default, since their guys can more often hit the target they put out there, and thus are getting "more value" in these pitch framing articles? Just a thought here, but I wanted to share it and see what you guys thought.