Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Mike Piazza

Hall-of-Famers as Seen Through Player Won-Lost Records: Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza was elected to the Hall of Fame in his fourth year of eligibility, 2016, with 83.0% of the vote.

Five highlights of Mike Piazza's career: The first two tables below present Mike Piazza's career as measured by Player won-lost records, in and out of context.

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWORL pWOPA
1992LAN23
21
1.21.9-0.5-0.6
1993LAN24
149
18.113.56.65.0
1994LAN25
107
12.59.74.23.1
1995LAN26
112
14.610.26.04.7
1996LAN27
148
19.513.08.56.9
1997LAN28
152
18.113.46.75.1
29
151
18.613.27.66.0
1999NYN30
141
17.914.06.14.5
2000NYN31
136
17.911.88.06.5
2001NYN32
141
16.713.35.64.1
2002NYN33
135
13.613.22.41.1
2003NYN34
67
6.46.40.90.3
2004NYN35
129
11.211.90.2-1.0
2005NYN36
113
9.710.60.6-0.4
2006SDN37
126
10.910.61.80.7
2007OAK38
83
6.67.10.1-0.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,911
213.7173.664.745.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
32
2.53.4-0.5-0.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,943
216.2177.064.244.4


Expected Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games eWins eLosses eWORL eWOPA
1992LAN23
21
1.51.50.20.0
1993LAN24
149
18.013.76.34.7
1994LAN25
107
12.39.93.92.8
1995LAN26
112
14.710.16.14.9
1996LAN27
148
18.414.06.54.9
1997LAN28
152
18.612.97.55.9
29
151
18.213.66.85.2
1999NYN30
141
17.914.06.04.5
2000NYN31
136
17.312.46.85.4
2001NYN32
141
16.813.35.84.3
2002NYN33
135
14.412.43.92.5
2003NYN34
67
6.86.11.61.0
2004NYN35
129
11.811.31.30.1
2005NYN36
113
10.110.31.20.2
2006SDN37
126
11.210.32.51.4
2007OAK38
83
6.57.2-0.1-1.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,911
214.3173.066.346.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
32
2.83.00.2-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,943
217.1176.166.546.7


Mike Piazza is considered by many to be the best hitting catcher in major-league history. Player won-lost records agrees.

The next table shows the top 10 players in offensive wins over positional average as a catcher since 1961 (the first year of major-league expansion and the 162-game season).

Top 10 Catchers, Offense Only
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Piazza173.2132.10.56747.0
2Carlton Fisk198.7169.20.54040.2
3Johnny Bench170.5134.70.55939.1
4Gary Carter184.3160.20.53529.2
5Jorge Posada130.2112.60.53626.8
6Ted Simmons167.1146.60.53324.7
7Gene Tenace71.352.30.57720.6
8Joe Mauer86.971.80.54820.4
9Bill Freehan130.2115.10.53119.7
10Joe Torre85.469.60.55118.2


But Player won-lost records go one step farther. Mike Piazza was not merely the best hitting catcher since expansion, he was arguably the best catcher, period, over this time period.

The next table shows the top 10 players in wins over positional average as a catcher since 1961.

Top 10 Catchers, ranked by eWOPA at Catcher
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Mike Piazza192.2154.90.55443.2
2Johnny Bench193.1154.20.55642.2
3Carlton Fisk227.1196.20.53741.7
4Gary Carter220.1190.70.53634.5
5Jorge Posada147.5131.20.52925.5
6Ted Simmons192.1171.50.52824.8
7Joe Mauer95.279.20.54621.3
8Ivan Rodriguez228.5221.80.50721.0
9Gene Tenace83.364.60.56320.4
10Bill Freehan150.4134.70.52820.3


Mike Piazza's record as a catcher is virtually identical to that of two-time NL MVP and 10-time Gold Glove winner Johnny Bench. The choice of which one was better comes down to one's choice of positional average.

Mike Piazza had a well-deserved reputation for being extremely poor at controlling an opponent's running game (what I call Component 1). And, with the possible exception of game calling and pitch framing, which Player won-lost records make no attempt to measure, Component 1 is by far the most important component of catcher defense.

But, outside of Component 1, Mike Piazza was actually quite good at the other aspects of catcher defense which I measure: preventing wild pitches and passed balls (Component 2), fielding balls in play (Component 5), and preventing baserunner advancements on balls in play (Components 8 and 9).

The next table shows the top 25 players in fielding wins over positional average as a catcher, excluding Component 1, since 1961. As I said above, these records do not include any evaluation of a catcher's game calling ability or his ability to frame pitches. But recent research on these topics by other researchers suggest that Mike Piazza was well above average in these aspects of catcher defense as well.

Catcher
eWins eLosses eWinPct eWOPA
1Carlton Fisk10.98.90.5502.0
2Matt Wieters5.44.00.5751.4
3Brad Ausmus8.57.10.5451.4
4Bill Freehan8.57.20.5411.3
5Terry Kennedy6.75.60.5481.2
6Dan Wilson5.44.20.5611.2
7Charles Johnson5.74.60.5511.0
8Jason Varitek5.44.50.5491.0
9Johnny Bench9.18.10.5281.0
10Jim Sundberg9.08.00.5270.9
11Jake Gibbs2.81.90.5950.9
12Buster Posey4.83.90.5510.9
13Tom Haller6.55.70.5360.9
14Jason Kendall11.210.40.5190.8
15Greg Myers3.62.80.5630.8
16Scott Servais3.83.00.5580.8
17Elston Howard4.94.20.5420.8
18Mike J. Ryan3.83.00.5570.8
19Mike Piazza7.46.60.5270.8
20Gary Carter10.09.20.5190.7
21Robinson Chirinos2.61.90.5830.7
22Steve Yeager5.85.10.5340.7
23Bruce Benedict4.23.50.5470.7
24Mike Matheny5.64.80.5340.7
25Brian McCann7.97.20.5230.7


Expanding beyond catchers, Mike Piazza's offensive contributions at a key defensive position lead, as one would expect, to his ranking very highly among all major-league baseball players. The final table below shows the top 30 non-pitchers (since 1961) in pWins over positional average.

Top 30 Position Players
(since 1961, ranked by pWOPA)
pWins pLosses pWinPct pWOPA pWORL
1Barry Bonds466.8310.60.600136.5174.3
2Joe L. Morgan371.3293.30.55984.9117.5
3Alex Rodriguez373.8298.70.55681.2114.9
4Albert Pujols359.8267.30.57471.8104.3
5Mike Schmidt338.3257.60.56870.999.6
6Chipper Jones336.2257.60.56669.698.6
7Willie Mays267.4189.50.58567.390.2
8Hank Aaron332.0249.00.57162.992.4
9Rickey Henderson428.1350.20.55062.3100.3
10Frank Robinson296.8217.60.57762.088.5
11Derek Jeter367.6323.10.53261.294.9
12Manny Ramirez320.0247.60.56460.288.9
13Reggie Jackson370.2295.90.55658.592.8
14Mike Trout178.0122.30.59353.668.3
15David Ortiz250.9189.00.57052.481.4
16Jim Thome273.8209.50.56752.278.7
17Barry Larkin291.5249.50.53951.677.9
18Johnny Bench247.2196.90.55751.473.2
19Lou Whitaker303.5262.20.53751.378.6
20Frank E. Thomas254.1190.20.57250.876.9
21Jeff Bagwell276.4202.30.57750.874.2
22Cal Ripken382.4351.60.52149.384.6
23Willie McCovey280.0209.10.57349.173.6
24Mark McGwire221.1158.20.58348.767.2
25Harmon Killebrew259.3196.90.56846.569.7
26Jim Edmonds258.9207.30.55546.569.3
27Willie Stargell295.9230.20.56245.771.8
28Darryl Strawberry219.9163.10.57445.764.4
29Carl Yastrzemski430.6360.10.54545.485.5
30Dwight Evans329.9272.00.54845.475.1


Mike Piazza: easy Hall-of-Famer.

Article last updated: October 9, 2019



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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