A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 75 Mike Piazza (Number 7 Catcher)

The best hitting catcher of all time in the American and National League. Since the Negro Leagues are now recognized as a major league, Piazza has dropped to number 2 in MLB history behind Josh Gibson. How do the best hitters at each of the positions rank at their position? OK one done; Piazza is number 7 at his position. However, my next problem is answering who is the best hitter at each position.

OK, I have now done some research. I looked at offense for WAR and Win shares and came up with a team. I am going to do the easiest fielding positions first since they should be a close match. They are. First base Lou Gehrig who is my number one first baseman.

Now for the outfield. Left Field Barry Bonds who is my number one left fielder. An argument can be made for Ted Williams, but he is my number two left fielder. For right field Babe Ruth, also number one at the position overall. Ty Cobb is the best hitting Center Fielder is second on my list.

Let’s see about the rest of the infield. Third base Eddie Mathews is the number one hitter. He ends up as the number 2 third baseman. One player put pressure on him for offense, Mike Schmidt the number 1 third baseman. For second base I have Rogers Hornsby over Eddie Collins. Hornsby is my third best second baseman, while Collins is first. In third place is Joe Morgan who is my 2nd best 2nd baseman. Shortstop is Hans Wagner who is number 1 at his position.

The best hitting pitcher is Wes Ferrell. I’m not counting guys like Ruth and Smokey Joe Woods who actually played in the field for a few years. I have Ferrell as the 84th best pitcher. However, he is comfortably over 600 points. He is comfortably in the grey area between 600 and 750 points. My feeling is that if a player has 750 points or more there has to be a good argument for keeping you out of the hall of fame. If a player has 600 to 749 points they are in the grey area and each is on equal footing to me as if they should they be in the hall of fame.

Piazza I read was anything from a poor to not a bad catcher. I saw a lot of writers call him call him a poor defensive catcher. Bill James wrote he wasn’t that bad. Let’s just say if someone writes that you aren’t that bad, you’re not great. However, it isn’t easy being a major league catcher. To me it’s the hardest job on the field. Piazza caught over 1,600 major league games. That is 10-years’ worth. That in itself is an accomplishment.



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