Early on, the story with Brayan Pena was the surprising offensive performance the Reds got from him during April. His bat has cooled off a lot since then, and his overall hitting numbers are now more or less on par with his career numbers: 80 wRC+ in 2014, 73 wRC+ career, 80-81 wRC+ projected by ZiPS and Steamer over the rest of the season. That's good for something like a 0.3-0.4 WAR catcher by the end of the season.
I noticed this today, however:
Pena (highlighted) is already at +9.5 context-specific runs saved by his framing skills! If you remove context (specific count), he's only +3 overall. But that's still very solid when we're just over a third of the season played.
Entering the season, Harry Pavlidis projected Pena at +4 runs from framing alone. Therefore, he's probably already shot past that projection. This is great to see, and is consistent with what some of the twitter-verse told me as the season began.
Pena's other fielding numbers have been good: 36% CS rate (26% league average), and +4 runs by Chris Dial's catching system against stolen bases, passed balls, and errors. I don't like him that much as the team's backup first-baseman, but he's been everything you could ask in a backup catcher. And, very clear, he has been a terrific guy in the clubhouse.
Quick bit of prognostication: if we split the difference between the context-specific and context-neutral framing numbers (+6 runs), give him +4 runs for his other fielding performances, that gives him +10 runs on the season. If he can double that, he'd end up a +20 fielder, which is worth 2 WAR. I don't know if he'll do that, but even 1-1.5 WAR by season's end would be a solid performance from a backup!