10 Best Offensive Seasons By A Catcher

Catcher has been a position where defense is valued over offense. Even during stretches where offense ruled the game the primary goal of most teams was to employ a top-notch defensive catcher. Any offensive value is considered extra. Over the years though, there have been catchers who could hit with the best of them. Still, these types of catchers are the exception, not the rule. Below is my list of the 10 greatest offensive seasons by catchers.

Honorable Mention


  • 10. Jorge Posada, New York Yankees, 2007

  • Posada caught 136 of the 144 games he played in during the 2007 season. He led all catchers in runs, hits, doubles, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS. His domination wasn’t just positional. He was third in the AL in on-base percentage, fourth in batting average, sixth in OPS, eighth in doubles and slugging percentage. Posada also made the AL all-star team, won a Silver Slugger and finished sixth in AL MVP voting. Not bad for a 35-year old.


    Jorge Posada Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    5.4 144 506 91 171 42 1 20 90 2 0 74 98 .338 .426 .543 .970

  • 9. Joe Torre, Atlanta Braves, 1966

  • Torre was by far the best catcher in 1966. He led all catchers in runs, hits, home runs, rbi, slugging, and OPS. He also stacked up quite well against the rest of the majors. He was fifth in slugging, sixth in home runs and OPS, eighth in batting average, ninth in on-base percentage, and tenth in rbi and WAR. In addition, he made the NL all-star team and finished 16 in NL MVP voting. Not a bad year for a 25-year old catcher playing in the shadows of two hall of famers to be Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews.


    Joe Torre Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    6.4 148 546 83 172 20 3 36 102 0 4 60 61 .315 .382 .560 .943

  • 8. Roy Campanella, Brooklyn Dodgers, 1951

  • Campanella and Yogi Berra were the only two catchers who played enough to qualify for the batting title in 1951. To say he was the best catcher in 1951 is underselling what he accomplished. He was third in all of baseball in home runs and slugging, fourth in OPS, sixth in WAR, seventh in rbi, tenth in doubles, and sixteenth in on-base percentage. He was also selected to the NL all-star team and won the NL MVP by a safe margin over Stan Musial.


    Roy Campanella Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    6.7 143 505 90 164 33 1 33 108 1 2 53 52 .325 .393 .590 .983

  • 7. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants, 2012

  • In his first full season back from a broken leg sustained in a collision with a base runner at home plate Posey took the majors by storm. The 25-year old backstop led the majors in batting average, finished third in WAR and on-base percentage, fourth in OPS, and ninth in slugging. Posey was selected to the NL all-star team, won a Silver Slugger, and was voted NL MVP.


    Buster Posey Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    7.3 148 530 78 178 39 1 24 103 1 1 69 96 .336 .408 .549 .957

  • 6. Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox, 1972

  • The 1972 AL Rookie of the Year Carlton Fisk announced his presence with a splash. The 24-year old rookie tied for third in the majors in triples, fifth in slugging, and sixth in OPS and WAR. He was named to the AL all-star team and finished fourth in the AL MVP race. Fisk remains the only catcher to ever lead the American League in triples.


    Carlton Fisk Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    7.3 131 457 74 134 28 9 22 61 5 2 52 83 .293 .370 .538 .908

  • 5. Mike Piazza, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1996

  • Piazza’s first appearance on this list is right in the middle of the offensive explosion following the 1994-1995 strike. The 27-year old backstop finished third in the majors in intentional walks, sixth in batting average, and ninth in OBP. He was also selected to the NL all-star team, won a Silver Slugger Award, and was runner-up to Ken Caminiti in the NL MVP voting.


    Mike Piazza Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    5.4 148 547 87 184 16 0 36 105 0 3 81 93 .336 .422 .563 .985

  • 4. Chris Hoiles, Baltimore Orioles, 1993

  • Every list has one. Someone who you didn’t see coming and Chris Hoiles has the honor of being that guy on this list. While he only played in 126 games he produced at an extremely high level for a backstop. He finished sixth in the majors in OPS, seventh in slugging and WAR, and eighth in on-base percentage. Despite his performance he did bot get selected to the all-star team nor did he take home any hardware.


    Chris Hoiles Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    6.8 126 419 80 130 28 0 29 82 1 1 69 94 .310 .416 .585 1.001

  • 3. Mike Piazza, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1995

  • Piazza’s second appearances here is his strike shortened campaign. He finished third in the bigs in batting average, tied with Frank Thomas for fifth in slugging, sixth in OPS, tenth in WAR, and tied with teammate Eric Karros for thirteenth in home runs. Piazza also won a Silver Slugger, was named to the NL all-star team and finished fourth in NL MVP voting


    Mike Piazza Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    6.2 112 434 82 150 17 0 32 93 1 0 39 80 .346 .400 .606 1.006

  • 2. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins, 2009

  • Despite not playing a game until May 1st due to a month long DL stint Mauer lands at the number two spot. He led the majors in batting average and on-base percentage, finished second in OPS, third in slugging, fourth in WAR, tied with Lance Berkman, Miguel Cabrera, and Hanley Ramirez for seventh in intentional walks, and ninth in hits. Mauer was named to the AL all-star team, won a Silver Slugger, and was the AL MVP. What if he would have played in Aptil?


    Joe Mauer Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    7.8 138 523 94 191 30 1 28 96 4 1 76 63 .365 .444 .587 1.031

  • 1. Mike Piazza, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1997

  • Mike Piazza’s 1997 is the offensive standard by which all catchers are measured. Piazza finished second in the majors in OPS, third in batting average, fourth in hits, slugging, and WAR, fifth in on-base percentage, tied with Barry Bonds, Vinny Castilla, Jay Buhner, and Jim Thome for eighth, and ninth in rbi. Again, Piazza was named to the NL all-star team, won a Silver Slugger and finished second in NL MVP voting to Larry Walker.


    Mike Piazza Batting Statistics
    WAR G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
    8.7 152 556 104 201 32 1 40 124 5 1 69 77 .362 .431 .638 1.070

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