Off Day WAR: The Best And Worst Seasons By Mets Catchers

Sean Smith's wins above replacement (WAR) database provides the WAR of every position player from 1955-2008.  Since the Mets have been in existence since 1962, we are able to determine just how valuable every Met player's performance has been, according to this statistic. With some help from Microsoft Excel, I compiled the WAR of every Mets starter ever based on Smith's stats.  I only considered players who logged the most innings at each position in a given year.  Here are the top 10 seasons by Mets starting catchers:

Rank Year Player WAR
1 1985 Gary Carter 6.7
2 1998 Mike Piazza 5.6
3 1978 John Stearns 5.5
4 2000 Mike Piazza 5.3
5 1997 Todd Hundley 5.1
6 1996 Todd Hundley 4.9
7 1999 Mike Piazza 4.1
8 2001 Mike Piazza 3.9
9 1986 Gary Carter 3.8
10 1977 John Stearns 3.6

And the bottom 10:

Rank Year Player WAR
38 1962 Chris Cannizzaro 0.3
39 1973 Jerry Grote 0.3
40 1988 Gary Carter 0.2
41 1989 Barry Lyons 0.0
42 1984 Mike Fitzgerald -0.3
43 1992 Todd Hundley -0.4
44 1993 Todd Hundley -0.4
45 1963 Choo Choo Coleman -0.5
46 2004 Jason Phillips -0.5
47 1967 Jerry Grote -1.1

Some notes, bullet-style:

  • Mike Piazza, Gary Carter, and Todd Hundley - the Mets have had some solid catchers over the years.  Smith's WAR is not kind to Piazza's defense.  Carter has the biggest gap between best and worst seasons (6.5 WAR).
  • I wasn't around to witness John Stearns's career, but until I did this I had no idea he was a decently productive player for a few years.
  • Jerry Grote stunk in 1967, but he was a steady contributor for the Mets from 1968-1976.
  • Brian Schneider was worth 1.1 WAR in 2008.  Fangraphs WAR, which doesn't yet account for catcher defense, had him at 1.6.

For a more in-depth look at Mets catchers over the years, check out Alex Nelson's retrospective at Mets Geek: Part 1 and Part 2.  I'll make a quick post like this one for other positions on Mets off days.

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