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Mike Piazza as a 1B

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  • Mike Piazza as a 1B

    Some at BBF have referred to Mike Piazza "a first baseman with a catcher's glove'. Ok, lets play what if. What if after Piazza's rookie season Lasorda came to Piazza and said, "Mikey, you're my starting first baseman." what kind of career do you he would have had as a first baseman? To me he seems like a match for Jeff Bagwell as a hitter, probably better. Would he have hit 500 HRs? Win a couple batting titles? Win an MVP? Hit .330 for his career? what say you BBF?
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  • #2
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
    Some at BBF have referred to Mike Piazza "a first baseman with a catcher's glove'. Ok, lets play what if. What if after Piazza's rookie season Lasorda came to Piazza and said, "Mikey, you're my starting first baseman." what kind of career do you he would have had as a first baseman? To me he seems like a match for Jeff Bagwell as a hitter, probably better. Would he have hit 500 HRs? Win a couple batting titles? Win an MVP? Hit .330 for his career? what say you BBF?
    Right behind Jeff Bagwell. Right behind. I think Bags was a decent 1B and for a big guy could run a little bit, steal bases.
    Mike Piazza was not fast that's for sure. Plus, his defense at first would have been shky, learning a new postion, while Bags played it his whole life.
    And Bagwell is my vote for best NL 1B ever.

    Yankees Fan Since 1957

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    • #3
      Bagwell came up a 3B.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BoSox Rule View Post
        Bagwell came up a 3B.
        Don't you know, BoSox - how's Larry Andersen treating ya?

        Sorry! I know that was completely uncalled for.
        THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

        In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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        • #5
          If anything, I think playing catcher actually helped his MVP chances, even though he didn't end up winning any.

          Berra, Campanella, and I'm sure a few other catchers, won the award not because they were the best hitter in the league, rather because they put up very good numbers at the catcher position, which is a rare and extremely valuable. (I'm sure playing for pennant winners didn't hurt either)

          1997 was a tremendous year for Mike. But the fact that he put up those numbers as a catcher makes it all the more impressive. I think he deserved the award that year, but he only managed to come in 2nd to Larry Walker. Would he have had any better chance of winning if he were a first baseman instead of a catcher? Doubtful.
          My top 10 players:

          1. Babe Ruth
          2. Barry Bonds
          3. Ty Cobb
          4. Ted Williams
          5. Willie Mays
          6. Alex Rodriguez
          7. Hank Aaron
          8. Honus Wagner
          9. Lou Gehrig
          10. Mickey Mantle

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
            If anything, I think playing catcher actually helped his MVP chances, even though he didn't end up winning any.

            Berra, Campanella, and I'm sure a few other catchers, won the award not because they were the best hitter in the league, rather because they put up very good numbers at the catcher position, which is a rare and extremely valuable. (I'm sure playing for pennant winners didn't hurt either)

            1997 was a tremendous year for Mike. But the fact that he put up those numbers as a catcher makes it all the more impressive. I think he deserved the award that year, but he only managed to come in 2nd to Larry Walker. Would he have had any better chance of winning if he were a first baseman instead of a catcher? Doubtful.
            I believe it's quite possible that had Piazza played 1B his numbers would have increased. If he could hit .362 with 40 HRs in '97 logically he could have hit even better without the wear and tear of playing catcher every day.
            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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            • #7
              I believe he would have had a better career at catcher actually. There is less defensive pressure at catcher, so he could concentrate on batting more. I would like to see him as a DH next season.
              MySpace Codes

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              • #8
                Originally posted by stejay View Post
                There is less defensive pressure at catcher, so he could concentrate on batting more.
                First base is the least demanding defensive position on the diamond. Catcher is the most demanding, both in terms of physical toll as well as time that has to be spent in defensive preparation.
                "In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don't know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win - if they're nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last." --Sandy Koufax

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  I believe it's quite possible that had Piazza played 1B his numbers would have increased. If he could hit .362 with 40 HRs in '97 logically he could have hit even better without the wear and tear of playing catcher every day.
                  But would his numbers have been better than Walker's?

                  The fact that Walker managed to steal 33 bases on top everything else he did that year, plus win a well-deserved Gold Glove in right field, would easily give him the nod over Piazza as a first baseman.
                  My top 10 players:

                  1. Babe Ruth
                  2. Barry Bonds
                  3. Ty Cobb
                  4. Ted Williams
                  5. Willie Mays
                  6. Alex Rodriguez
                  7. Hank Aaron
                  8. Honus Wagner
                  9. Lou Gehrig
                  10. Mickey Mantle

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                    But would his numbers have been better than Walker's?
                    Maybe. As a catcher, I believe you have to work with your own pitchers, as well as preparing for the pitchers you're going to face. This is why most catchers are mostly defensive catchers, with a few exceptions. If he was a 1B, he could have used that extra time to get ready for opposing pitchers. Piazza played in 152 games in '97, one less than Walker. He didn't strike out as much as other guys (Walker struck out 90 times in '97). But we'll never know...
                    Originally posted by bhss89
                    "Hi. My name is John. I'd like you to meet my fastball. Can you catch up to it?
                    Didn't think so. I'll see you again tomorrow night around the top of the ninth."
                    Originally posted by ChineseDemocracy
                    Why can't they just air the doubleheaders? Those programs aimed at children are crap anyway.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post
                      But would his numbers have been better than Walker's?

                      The fact that Walker managed to steal 33 bases on top everything else he did that year, plus win a well-deserved Gold Glove in right field, would easily give him the nod over Piazza as a first baseman.
                      I was commenting more on Piazza's career numbers than his '97 season. Walker had a great '97 season. I think he deserved the MVP. Even though he played his home games at Coors Field his road numbers are just insane:

                      .346/.443/.733, 29 HR, 62 RBI, 61 R, 213 OPS+.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BoSox Rule View Post
                        Bagwell came up a 3B.
                        You're right, I had forgotten that. All the more reason Bags would have been better equipped to handle 1B than Piazza.

                        Yankees Fan Since 1957

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by yanks0714 View Post
                          You're right, I had forgotten that. All the more reason Bags would have been better equipped to handle 1B than Piazza.
                          No kidding. Piazza was bad as a defensive, overall, as a catcher (almost certainly the worst arm and baserunner control of anyone in history). He's been lousy defensively the few times they've been forced to put him at first base.

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                          • #14
                            --Piazza was 35 with 1500 games of wear and tear at catcher behind him when the Mets tried to move him to firstbase. Presumably had he moved there early he could have been at least adequete at the position (or as good as Frank Thomas anyway). It is also highly probable he would have played more and at hit at least a little better (possibly much better) without the physical and mental burden of catching.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                              I was commenting more on Piazza's career numbers than his '97 season. Walker had a great '97 season. I think he deserved the MVP. Even though he played his home games at Coors Field his road numbers are just insane:

                              .346/.443/.733, 29 HR, 62 RBI, 61 R, 213 OPS+.


                              For the love of pete. Larry Walkers numbers were insane if he was hitting on top of Mt Everest/


                              Home/.384/.460/.709
                              Away/.346/.443/.733< note the higher away slg%


                              Larry Walker

                              1994 Expos/.322/.394/.587
                              1995 Rox/..306/.381/.607


                              2003 Rox/.284/.422/.476
                              2005 Cards/.289/.384/.502


                              As you can see the young Larry Walker and the older Larry Walker could hit just as good away from Coors Field. Really quite remarkable since there is 20% more contact at Coors Field by Rockies hitters the last 10 years. (19.7% to be honest)


                              Everyone wants to give a lot more credit to Coors Field hitting then the Coors Field hangover effect which isn't fair. Some of it yes, but not all of it. Take a look at the Rockies big boppers the next year with a different club and you will see that most of them are in the ballpark with their BA/OBP/SLG.....out of all the one's I checked the worse drop in stats was by the light hitting Neifi Perez.

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