Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Mike Piazza
2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series: Mike Piazza

The first table below presents Mike Piazza's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Mike Piazza
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1992LAN23
21
1.21.90.389-0.3
-0.2
1.81.90.4930.00.2
1993LAN24
149
18.113.80.5672.2
3.5
17.913.60.5692.23.5
1994LAN25
107
12.59.80.5611.6
2.5
11.69.30.5551.32.2
1995LAN26
112
14.710.20.5912.4
3.4
14.19.60.5942.43.3
1996LAN27
148
19.513.10.5973.4
4.7
17.313.20.5672.33.5
1997LAN28
152
18.013.30.5762.5
3.7
18.613.00.5892.94.2
29
151
18.513.20.5843.1
4.3
17.513.00.5732.63.8
1999NYN30
141
17.914.00.5612.3
3.6
16.212.60.5622.13.2
2000NYN31
136
17.911.80.6033.2
4.5
15.711.30.5812.43.5
2001NYN32
141
16.813.40.5562.3
3.6
16.413.10.5572.23.5
2002NYN33
135
13.513.40.5010.6
1.7
14.312.50.5331.42.5
2003NYN34
67
6.46.50.4980.1
0.6
6.86.10.5270.51.0
2004NYN35
129
11.312.10.482-0.6
0.4
12.011.50.5110.11.0
2005NYN36
113
9.810.60.480-0.2
0.6
9.810.00.4960.10.9
2006SDN37
126
11.110.80.5060.3
1.1
10.39.40.5240.61.3
2007OAK38
83
6.87.10.492-0.4
0.5
6.26.80.477-0.50.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,911
214.0174.90.55022.4
38.4
206.5166.90.55322.638.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
32
2.43.30.423 -0.23.13.20.493 0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,943
216.4178.20.550
38.3
209.6170.00.553 38.2


Mike Piazza is widely regarded as the greatest hitting catcher in (white) major-league baseball history. A near-contemporary of Piazza's, Ivan Rodriguez is considered by some to be the best defensive catcher of all time and he did win the most Gold Gloves ever by a catcher (13).

Catcher is generally thought of as a defense-first position. On the other hand, hitting is a larger overall component of the game than fielding, since fielders are only partially responsible for the defensive side of the game.

So, which is more valuable: the best-hitting catcher ever or the best defensive catcher ever? Without necessarily endorsing the position that either of these players really is the "best ever" at their strength, I thought it might be interesting to compare Mike Piazza and Ivan Rodriguez. The next table presents the basic comparison, year-by-year.

Context-Neutral, Teammate-Adjusted Player Won-Lost Records
Mike Piazza Ivan Rodriguez
Year Games Wins Losses Win Pct. WOPA WORL Games Wins Losses Win Pct. WOPA WORL
1991
 
886.17.40.455-0.30.2
1992
211.81.90.4930.0
0.2
1239.911.30.469-0.30.5
1993
14917.913.60.5692.2
3.5
13711.211.90.485-0.00.9
1994
10711.69.30.5551.3
2.2
999.58.50.5270.81.6
1995
11214.19.60.5942.4
3.3
13012.011.80.5050.51.5
1996
14817.313.20.5672.3
3.5
15315.114.40.5130.92.1
1997
15218.613.00.5892.9
4.2
15014.913.60.5231.02.2
1998
15117.513.00.5732.6
3.8
14514.413.10.5251.32.4
1999
14116.212.60.5622.1
3.2
14416.014.00.5341.72.8
2000
13615.711.30.5812.4
3.5
9110.48.40.5521.32.1
2001
14116.413.10.5572.2
3.5
11112.69.80.5622.03.0
2002
13514.312.50.5331.4
2.5
10810.79.50.5291.22.0
2003
676.86.10.5270.5
1.0
14414.812.90.5331.22.3
2004
12912.011.50.5110.1
1.0
13513.612.60.5191.12.1
2005
1139.810.00.4960.1
0.9
12911.912.00.4960.41.3
2006
12610.39.40.5240.6
1.3
13612.712.30.5070.51.5
2007
836.26.80.477-0.5
0.3
12910.411.80.468-0.10.7
2008
 
1159.29.70.4870.10.8
2009
 
1219.010.20.471-0.30.4
2010
 
1118.510.40.450-0.8-0.0
2011
 
443.53.90.472-0.10.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS1,911206.5166.90.55322.6
38.0
2,543236.5229.50.50812.130.5


Catcher defense is a tough nut to crack and I don't really feel like I've done an entirely adequate job of measuring it here. The aspects of catcher defense that can be (fairly easily) measured are, frankly, not that significant. As a result, catcher defense accounts for only 5% of total fielding Player won-lost decisions.

Piazza and Rodriguez are, in fact, the absolute extremes in terms of career net (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) fielding wins as measured by Player won-lost records. Their career fielding records are compared below.

Context-Neutral, Teammate-Adjusted Player Won-Lost Records
(Fielding only)
Mike Piazza Ivan Rodriguez
Year Wins Losses Win Pct. Net Wins Wins Losses Win Pct. Net Wins
1991
 
1.41.20.5400.2
1992
0.30.40.459-0.1
 
2.22.30.490-0.1
1993
2.22.40.476-0.2
 
1.71.60.5260.2
1994
1.21.50.437-0.3
 
1.21.00.5410.2
1995
1.41.60.470-0.2
 
1.91.40.5700.5
1996
1.72.30.433-0.5
 
2.11.20.6390.9
1997
1.72.20.440-0.5
 
1.71.40.5390.2
1998
1.81.80.494-0.0
 
2.01.40.5910.6
1999
1.41.50.490-0.1
 
1.81.30.5870.5
2000
1.31.40.482-0.1
 
0.90.70.5520.2
2001
1.51.90.444-0.4
 
1.71.10.6180.7
2002
1.11.80.384-0.7
 
1.10.90.5440.2
2003
1.01.20.454-0.2
 
1.31.40.490-0.1
2004
1.41.80.428-0.5
 
1.11.40.435-0.3
2005
1.01.40.423-0.4
 
1.51.20.5650.3
2006
0.91.10.450-0.2
 
1.31.00.5780.4
2007
0.00.00.0
 
1.31.10.5370.2
2008
 
1.41.10.5570.3
2009
 
1.41.20.5530.3
2010
 
1.21.10.5280.1
2011
 
0.70.60.5310.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS20.024.30.452-4.3
 
30.925.40.5495.5


Rodriguez gains 10 net wins on Piazza for fielding over his career. That's certainly not a trivial number, but it's not as big as some other measurements have it, because, frankly, stolen bases just aren't that valuable, and pitchers share much of the blame for allowing them anyway.

Piazza more than makes up for this on offense.

Context-Neutral, Teammate-Adjusted Player Won-Lost Records
(Offense only)
Mike Piazza Ivan Rodriguez
Year Wins Losses Win Pct. WOPA_b Wins Losses Win Pct. WOPA_b
1991
 
4.76.10.435-0.7
1992
1.51.50.500-0.0
 
7.89.00.464-0.6
1993
15.511.40.5781.9
 
9.510.30.479-0.4
1994
10.47.90.5671.1
 
8.37.60.5220.3
1995
12.48.20.6031.9
 
10.110.40.493-0.2
1996
15.411.10.5811.9
 
13.113.30.495-0.1
1997
16.711.10.6012.5
 
13.312.30.5180.5
1998
15.611.40.5771.8
 
12.511.80.5130.3
1999
14.611.30.5641.4
 
14.212.90.5230.6
2000
14.310.10.5861.9
 
9.47.70.5480.8
2001
14.711.30.5651.5
 
10.88.90.5470.9
2002
13.010.80.5480.9
 
9.58.70.5240.4
2003
5.85.00.5390.3
 
13.311.60.5340.7
2004
10.69.70.5230.3
 
12.511.30.5250.6
2005
8.88.60.506-0.0
 
10.410.90.487-0.3
2006
9.48.40.5300.4
 
11.311.40.498-0.1
2007
6.26.70.480-0.3
 
9.110.70.460-0.8
2008
 
7.98.70.476-0.4
2009
 
7.69.00.459-0.8
2010
 
7.39.20.441-1.1
2011
 
2.83.30.461-0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS185.1144.50.56217.5
 
205.3205.40.500-0.8


Finally, the top 12 players, ranked by pWins over replacement level (pWORL), who accumulated at least 50% of their player wins as a catcher.

Top 12 Catchers, sorted by pWORL
Player Games* pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Yogi Berra2,118245.4182.40.57432.650.1220.1185.40.54318.435.0
Johnny Bench2,158246.3197.70.55524.442.1232.6188.80.55222.239.0
Carlton Fisk2,497251.4220.80.53221.340.0244.8214.30.53321.139.3
Mike Piazza1,911214.0174.90.55022.438.4206.5166.90.55322.638.0
Bill Dickey1,604168.1126.10.57123.936.4159.3131.50.54816.829.0
Mickey Cochrane1,314148.6109.10.57722.333.1140.7114.10.55215.826.5
Gabby Hartnett1,693163.4129.30.55819.431.7159.6132.80.54615.728.0
Jorge Posada1,828172.7147.50.53918.631.6166.1149.10.52714.427.2
Gary Carter2,293241.8216.60.52714.131.6239.2207.30.53617.434.5
Ted Simmons2,456248.6232.10.5178.528.5236.0219.00.5198.827.7
Ivan Rodriguez2,543233.5234.30.4998.226.6236.5229.50.50812.130.5
Darrell Porter1,769162.9139.20.53914.326.5159.2143.00.52710.522.7
*Player won-lost records are only calculated for games for which I have Retrosheet play-by-play data. The Games shown here are the total games over which Player won-lost records are calculated.

2013 Hall of Fame Ballot Series


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