One of the most fun debates in baseball has been who the best offensive Catchers of all time is. Some may say Johnny Bench, others Mickey Cochrane, some may say Yogi Berra or perhaps Gary Carter. We however think that Mike Piazza might have the greatest claim to that title.
It is easy for us make that statement. The 1993 National League Rookie of the Year has a resume that has 427 Home Runs, a lifetime .306 Batting Average and a career OPS that puts him in the top fifty of all time. As for position dominance, Piazza won the coveted Silver Slugger ten straight seasons. The main blemish may be his defensive skills as ten times he let the league is Stolen Bases Allowed, but with a bat like his, it was often overlooked.
As Piazza is entering his first year of eligibility with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, it is possible that Piazza will be lumped in with them, as PED allegations (although to a lesser degree) has been thrown in the Catcher’s direction. What a year for the Hall of Fame vote!
The Bullet Points: Country of Origin: Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Eligible Since: 2012
Played for: Los Angeles Dodgers Florida Marlins New York Mets San Diego Padres Oakland A’s
Major Accolades and Awards: NL Rookie of the Year (1993) All Star Game MVP (1996) 12 Time All Star (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 & 2005) Silver Slugger (10) (NL) (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002)
Other Points of Note: Top Ten MVP Finishes: (NL: 1993, 9th), (NL: 1994, 6th), (NL: 1995, 4th), (NL: 1996, 2nd), (NL: 1997, 2nd), (NL: 1997, 9th) & (NL: 2000, 3rd) 6 Top Ten Finishes (Batting Average) 3 Top Ten Finishes (On Base Percentage) 7 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage) 1 Top Ten Finish (Runs Scored) 1 Top Ten Finish (Most Hits) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Total Bases) 7 Top Ten Finishes (Home Runs) 5 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Batted In) 1 Top Ten Finish (Walks) 5 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players) 5 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)
Notable All Time Rankings: 31. Slugging Percentage: .545 43. Home Runs: 427 50. OPS: .922 84. Runs Batted In: 1,335
Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: N/A