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Mike Piazza - Can an argument be made that he's the best catcher ever?

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  • #91
    Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
    The Nl in 1976, a representative year scored 3.98 runs per game

    The NL in 1997, scored 4.6 runs a game

    That is a 16% increase in offense which is huge
    I know steroids weren't the only reason for the increase and not saying your blaming them or accusing anyone of using.

    What first came to my mind (what I'm thinking, not what I think you were thinking) when I read this is that Piazza's numbers aren't given their proper significance because of the users around him. I have never seen evidence Piazza used either. He only missed out on an MVP to a user in '96. But 32 HR was really off the radar in '98, then 40, 38, 36, 33. Among Sosa, Bonds, Gonzalez, McGwire, Rodriguez, Palmeiro, etc. a TRUE offensive force like Piazza gets lost in the shuffle sometimes. Nearly 50% of the top ten leaders in power numbers were users.

    1998
    HR - McGwire, Sosa, Vaughn, Griffey, Belle, Castilla, Canseco, Ramirez, Gonzalez, Galarraga
    RBI - Sosa, Gonzalez, Belle, McGwire, Griffey, Ramirez, Castilla, Kent, Burnitz, Alou
    OBP - McGwire, Olerud, Walker, Bonds, Martinez, Sheffield, Bagwell, B. Williams, Thome, Kendall
    SLG - McGwire, Belle, Sosa, Gonzalez, Walker, Griffey, Bonds, Ramirez, Vaughn, Galarraga

    1999
    HR - McGwire, Sosa, Griffey, Palmeiro, Vaughn, Jones, Ramirez, Delgado, Guerrero, Green, Bagwell
    RBI - Ramirez, Palmeiro, McGwire, Williams, Sosa, Delgado, Griffey, Bichette, Guerrero, Gonzalez
    OBP - Walker, Bagwell, Martinez, Abreu, Ramirez, Jones, Jeter, B. Williams, Olerud, Fernandez
    SLG - Walker, McGwire, Ramirez, Sosa, Jones, Palmeiro, Giles, Garciaparra, Gonzalez, Guerrero

    2000
    HR - Sosa, Bonds, Glaus, Bagwell, Hidalgo, Guerrero, Giambi, Thomas, Sheffield, Helton, Edmonds
    RBI - Helton, Martinez, Sweeney, Thomas, Sosa, Giambi, Delgado, Rodriguez, Bagwell, Ordonez
    OBP - Giambi, Delgado, Helton, Ramirez, Bonds, Sheffield, Thomas, Garciaparra, Giles, Alfonzo
    SLG - Helton, Ramirez, Bonds, Delgado, Guerrero, Giambi, Sheffield, Hidalgo, Sosa, Thomas

    2001
    HR -Bonds, Sosa, Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Helton, Thome, Green, Palmeiro, Sexson, Glaus, Ramirez
    RBI - Sosa, Helton, Gonzalez, Boone, Gonzalez, Bonds, Rodriguez, Bagwell, Pujols, Berkman
    OBP - Bonds, Giambi, Walker, Sosa, Helton, Berkman, Gonzalez, Jones, Martinez, Sheffield
    SLG - Bonds, Sosa, Gonzalez, Helton, Walker, Giambi, Thome, Rodriguez, Berkman, Pujols

    2002
    HR - Rodriguez, Thome, Sosa, Bonds, Palmeiro, Berkman, Green, Giambi, Guerrero, Soriano
    RBI - Rodriguez, Ordonez, Tejada, Berkman, Pujols, Anderson, Giambi, Garciaparra, Thome, Burrell
    OBP - Bonds, Giles, Ramirez, Thome, Giambi, Jones, Helton, Walker, Edmonds, Guerrero
    SLG - Bonds, Thome, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Giles, Walker, Giambi, Ordonez, Sosa, Guerrero

    2003
    HR - Rodriguez, Thome, Bonds, Sexson, Lopez, Pujols, Delgado, Thomas, Giambi, Sosa
    RBI - Delgado, Wilson, Sheffield, Thome, Sexson, Pujols, Rodriguez, Helton, Wells, Boone
    OBP - Bonds, Helton, Pujols, Ramirez, Giles, Delgado, Walker, Sheffield, Berkman, Giambi
    SLG - Bonds, Lopez, Pujols, Helton, Edmonds, Sheffield, Rodriguez, Delgado, Ortiz, Ramirez

    There's a couple names I'd bet were users but didn't redden because they weren't caught "red handed."
    Last edited by bluesky5; 04-27-2012, 06:59 PM.
    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
      He had an excellent year in 1974 in which he finished second in the league in HR and led the league in RBI and won a gold glove as usual

      He was fourth in the league in WAR in 1975 and cranked 31 HR in just 494 AB in 1977

      Bench also finished fourth in MBVP voting in both 1974 and 1975
      But Bench was just 24 in 1972. He didn't even turn 25 until December. '73-'77 should have been BETTER than '72.



      Here's an old thread. Hmmm interesting.
      http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...ench-overrated

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by willshad View Post
        You're forgetting the most important thing: smaller PLAYERS in the 70s.
        For the most part, the players were not strong enough to hit for both power and average. Swinging for the fences would cause them to strikeout a ton, and bring down their average , so they had to choose to be power guys, or batting average guys. Guys like Reggie and Schmidt really stood out due to their athletic ability and power, but in the steroid era, they would have been just another slugger.


        But now we raise a question of whether we are trying to directly compare players from different eras. I thought you were contending that hitters are better today (and conversely pitchers not as good), as in the balance being shifted to the hitters. I actually think that pitchers are better today, or at least the quality of the average pitch thrown today is better (largely because innings are reduced).

        I think that Mike Shmidt with the low strike zone of the 90s and beyond would have been a better relative contact hitter-he actually hit the league average, but batting averages are lower today! Put him at home in Philadelphia today with a typical low strike zone of the last 20 years and he would put up numbers similar to Barry Bonds run in the 90s. Schmidt was virtually a right handed mirror of 1990s bonds, and he was a tremendous low ball power hitter.

        Actually thinking about it I think that the large strike zone with high strikes and low strikes in the 70s/80s, combined with better pitches being thrown and specialized relievers and 5 man rotations is WHY a hitter had a hard time hitting for average and power.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by brett View Post
          But now we raise a question of whether we are trying to directly compare players from different eras. I thought you were contending that hitters are better today (and conversely pitchers not as good), as in the balance being shifted to the hitters. I actually think that pitchers are better today, or at least the quality of the average pitch thrown today is better (largely because innings are reduced).

          I think that Mike Shmidt with the low strike zone of the 90s and beyond would have been a better relative contact hitter-he actually hit the league average, but batting averages are lower today! Put him at home in Philadelphia today with a typical low strike zone of the last 20 years and he would put up numbers similar to Barry Bonds run in the 90s. Schmidt was virtually a right handed mirror of 1990s bonds, and he was a tremendous low ball power hitter.

          Actually thinking about it I think that the large strike zone with high strikes and low strikes in the 70s/80s, combined with better pitches being thrown and specialized relievers and 5 man rotations is WHY a hitter had a hard time hitting for average and power.
          I don't see the strike zone as being an issue. If that were the case, walks would have increased a lot and strikeouts would have decreased. I think strikeouts in fact increased during the steroid era. The main factor for me is the pure strength of the players. A small increase in strength could mean the difference between a flyout and a home run...or a groundout and a single.

          Comment


          • #95
            Bench had more WAR only because he played longer?

            TOP FIVE WAR

            Piazza 9.3, 7.0, 6.3, 6.1, 5.5 = 34.2

            Bench 9.1, 7.6, 6.5, 6.5, 6.1 = 35.8

            we already know Bench blows him away in career and now we see Bench edges him in peak
            Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 04-27-2012, 07:40 PM.
            1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
            2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
            3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
              Bench had more WAR only because he played longer?

              TOP FIVE WAR

              Piazza 9.3, 7.0, 6.3, 6.1, 5.5 = 34.2

              Bench 9.1, 7.6, 6.5, 6.5, 6.1 = 35.8

              we already know Bench blows him away in career and now we see Bench edges him in peak

              WAR for catchers is a joke.
              I think at each players' best, it is close. Bench's defense comes close to making up for Pizza's superior hitting. The difference is that Piazza had more seasons at or near his peak level. Bench had 4 or maybe 5 seasons that I would consider HOF type seasons. Piazza had 9 such seasons. Bench just had a bunch of OK-good seasons to pull ahead in WAR.

              The hitting difference in the two men is not as close as WAR would make it seem. In 1979, for instance, Bench hit 22 80 .276 and managed 5.0 WAR. In just the first HALF of 2000, in 74 games, Piazza went 24 78 .348. His half a season's worth of stats is superior to all but maybe 5 of Bench's entire seasons.
              Last edited by willshad; 04-28-2012, 01:42 AM.

              Comment


              • #97
                I think adjusting for era is what pulls Piazza below both Bench and Berra, but I'm considering defense in that equation. It's a bit unfair to say that Piazza was a lousy defender; it really wasn't until the latter years of his career that he dipped into the bottom of catchers in defensive ratings. For most of his career, he was average plus, then had a big slide starting in 2001.
                http://baseballevaluation.com

                Comment


                • #98
                  Bench clearly beats Piazza in career WAR and also had better PEAK WAR

                  that it hurts your support of Piazza does not make it a joke

                  71 to 59 career WAR is not enough to "pull ahead", it is enough to clearly dominate, a 20% difference

                  Piazza's ony hope was to show better peak, and clearly he did not do that either

                  your argument that Piazza had more seasons near his peak is also faulty

                  Piazza had 9 seasons above 4.0 WAR, Bench had 10

                  and Piazza had nothing else close to a good season, Bench had several more in the 3.0-3.9 range

                  Bench was the much better player

                  Originally posted by willshad View Post
                  WAR for catchers is a joke.
                  I think at each players' best, it is close. Bench's defense comes close to making up for Pizza's superior hitting. The difference is that Piazza had more seasons at or near his peak level. Bench had 4 or maybe 5 seasons that I would consider HOF type seasons. Piazza had 9 such seasons. Bench just had a bunch of OK-good seasons to pull ahead in WAR.

                  The hitting difference in the two men is not as close as WAR would make it seem. In 1979, for instance, Bench hit 22 80 .276 and managed 5.0 WAR. In just the first HALF of 2000, in 74 games, Piazza went 24 78 .348. His half a season's worth of stats is superior to all but maybe 5 of Bench's entire seasons.
                  Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 04-28-2012, 07:57 AM.
                  1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                  2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                  3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    and there were MANY seasons is which Bench was the second best hitter just a tad behind one of the other big three

                    same difference
                    Originally posted by willshad View Post
                    OK Bench was the team's best hitter ONE year, in a season in which they also had Rose, Morgan, and Perez in the lineup..who all had seasons close to Bench. Berra may have been the best hitter during a season when the Yankees pitching carried them. Even then, his season would have been a terrible season for Piazza.

                    You missed my point...that Piazza could carry an offense, Bench and Berra needed a lot of help.
                    1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                    2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                    3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • The hitting difference in the two men is not as close as WAR would make it seem. In 1979, for instance, Bench hit 22 80 .276 and managed 5.0 WAR. In just the first HALF of 2000, in 74 games, Piazza went 24 78 .348. His half a season's worth of stats is superior to all but maybe 5 of Bench's entire seasons.

                      and 2000 was surrounded by a bunch of seasons where guys hit 60, 66, 70 and 73 home runs

                      big deal

                      the eras were different

                      you seem to have a hard time including this in your evaluation
                      1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                      2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                      3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • Here are the top 10 OPS+ seasons for various catchers(100+ games per season):

                        Bench 166 143 141 140 133 129 129 123 123 119 avg 134.6
                        Piazza 185 172 166 155 153 152 148 140 138 135 avg 154.4
                        Berra 142 141 137 136 135 130 125 120 120 119 avg 130.5
                        Pudge 137 128 126 125 120 120 114 100 98 98 avg 116.6
                        Gabby 158 151 144 142 138 129 126 116 115 113 avg 133.2
                        Mickey 158 149 138 134 134 129 124 122 117 108 avg 131.3

                        Piazza murders the above in hitting. He's in a different league altogether, when it comes to hitting. Piazza, unfortunately, gave back his advantage and then some with his muscle-bound throwing arm.

                        Piazza allowed 139 SB while thowing out 42 runners per 162 games caught for his entire career. Pudge, on the other hand, allowed only 52 SB while throwing out 44 runners per 162 games caught. I.e, Piazza allowed 87 more bases per 162 games while creating a similar amount of outs. If we subtract those 87 extra bases from Piazza's total bases created offensively, then Pudge actually edges him out(by 22 points in OPS). To be fair, Pudge had arguably the best arm in history. He consistently threw out 50% more runners than the league average. Only Campanella comes close to making that claim. No other Hall of Famer comes remotely close in throwing dominance. Cochrane had a mediocre arm compared to his peers. Thus, I'll take Piazza over Cochrane.

                        I'd hate to play the 1980s Cards with Piazza as my catcher. Similarly, I wouldn't want to play Ty Cobb's Tigers with Piazza as my catcher. Giving up a stolen base during that low-scoring era is much more likely to cost you a ball game. But like I said earlier, in eras where SB are way down(1920-1950s), I'll take Piazza over anyone. When considering all eras, I still think he ends up around 3rd.

                        Comment


                        • Similar to pheasant's list. Most years 130+ OPS+, minimum 75 G at catcher and 90 G played overall.
                          Code:
                          Rk                   Yrs From   To   Age
                          1        Mike Piazza  10 1993 2002 24-33
                          2     Ernie Lombardi   7 1932 1945 24-37 H
                          3        Bill Dickey   6 1933 1939 26-32 H
                          4        Ted Simmons   5 1975 1980 25-30
                          5        Gene Tenace   5 1974 1980 27-33
                          6       Carlton Fisk   5 1972 1990 24-42 H
                          7       Johnny Bench   5 1970 1977 22-29 H
                          8         Yogi Berra   5 1950 1956 25-31 H
                          9     Roy Campanella   5 1949 1955 27-33 H
                          10   Mickey Cochrane   5 1930 1935 27-32 H
                          11    Gabby Hartnett   5 1924 1937 23-36 H
                          12         Joe Mauer   4 2006 2010 23-27
                          13      Jorge Posada   4 2000 2007 28-35
                          14      Todd Hundley   4 1995 2000 26-31
                          15       Gary Carter   4 1977 1985 23-31 H
                          16         Joe Torre   4 1964 1970 23-29
                          17      Wally Schang   4 1914 1926 24-36
                          Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                          Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                          Comment


                          • your data is wrong bench had six years and 2 at 129 which is almost as good

                            OPS+ is one small way to rank a player and does not include a large portion of the game (defense, base running, leadership, clutch etc.)



                            QUOTE=Freakshow;2005617]Similar to pheasant's list. Most years 130+ OPS+, minimum 75 G at catcher and 90 G played overall.
                            Code:
                            Rk                   Yrs From   To   Age
                            1        Mike Piazza  10 1993 2002 24-33
                            2     Ernie Lombardi   7 1932 1945 24-37 H
                            3        Bill Dickey   6 1933 1939 26-32 H
                            4        Ted Simmons   5 1975 1980 25-30
                            5        Gene Tenace   5 1974 1980 27-33
                            6       Carlton Fisk   5 1972 1990 24-42 H
                            7       Johnny Bench   5 1970 1977 22-29 H
                            8         Yogi Berra   5 1950 1956 25-31 H
                            9     Roy Campanella   5 1949 1955 27-33 H
                            10   Mickey Cochrane   5 1930 1935 27-32 H
                            11    Gabby Hartnett   5 1924 1937 23-36 H
                            12         Joe Mauer   4 2006 2010 23-27
                            13      Jorge Posada   4 2000 2007 28-35
                            14      Todd Hundley   4 1995 2000 26-31
                            15       Gary Carter   4 1977 1985 23-31 H
                            16         Joe Torre   4 1964 1970 23-29
                            17      Wally Schang   4 1914 1926 24-36
                            [/QUOTE]
                            1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                            2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                            3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
                              The hitting difference in the two men is not as close as WAR would make it seem. In 1979, for instance, Bench hit 22 80 .276 and managed 5.0 WAR. In just the first HALF of 2000, in 74 games, Piazza went 24 78 .348. His half a season's worth of stats is superior to all but maybe 5 of Bench's entire seasons.

                              and 2000 was surrounded by a bunch of seasons where guys hit 60, 66, 70 and 73 home runs

                              big deal

                              the eras were different

                              you seem to have a hard time including this in your evaluation
                              I do include this in my evaluation. Should I penalize Piazza because he could not keep up with guys who took steroids? I give him MORE credit, because his relative stats are unfairly skewed due to being compared to players who juiced.

                              He may have been the best CLEAN hitter of his era.

                              If Bench gets 5+ WAR in a season that would be a half a seasons worth of production for Piazza, and Piazza gets less, then it is a flaw with the stat.

                              I give Bench all the credit in the world for his defensive work..he has a good case as a better overall career than Piazza. But please do not try to compare them offensively. Even being in much worse lineups, and competing against roiders, Piazza still beats him by a significant margin in relative rates. He batted over .300 9 years in a row, in Dodger and Shea stadiums.....Bench NEVER did. Piazza has more 100 RBI seasons, despite losing 2 due to the strike, and having nobodies in the lineup...I cant imagine what he would have hit with Morgan, Rose, Foster, Perez, etc in the lineup with him.

                              In terms of hitting, Jorge Posada is a better match for Bench than Piazza is.
                              Last edited by willshad; 04-28-2012, 10:57 AM.

                              Comment


                              • Piazza is among the very short list of players who is highly suspected of steroids

                                calling him 100% clean is a leap

                                I am also sorry you dont like the way WAR works

                                then you have to resort to personal opinions

                                a dime a dozen

                                my opinion (and WAR) is Bench is better than Piazza both career and peak

                                does not leave much else



                                Originally posted by willshad View Post
                                I do include this in my evaluation. Should I penalize Piazza because he could not keep up with guys who took steroids? I give him MORE credit, because his relative stats are unfairly skewed due to being compared to players who juiced.

                                He may have been the best CLEAN hitter of his era.

                                If Bench gets 5+ WAR in a season that would be a half a seasons worth of production for Piazza, and Piazza gets less, then it is a flaw with the stat.
                                Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; 04-28-2012, 10:56 AM.
                                1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
                                2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
                                3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

                                Comment

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