Cooperstown Choices: Mike Piazza

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2013, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty four men on the ballot for the first time this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2013 menu at the top of the page.

In this article, we take a look at Mike Piazza


Mike Piazza
One of the most prolific hitting catchers of all time, Piazza hits the ballot after a 16 year career.  During that career, he would appear in 12 All Star games and win 10 Silver Slugger Awards and the Rookie Of The Year Award in 1993.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1992 LAD 21 69 5 16 3 0 1 7 0 4 12 .232 .284 .319 .603 72
1993 LAD 149 547 81 174 24 2 35 112 3 46 86 .318 .370 .561 .932 153
1994 LAD 107 405 64 129 18 0 24 92 1 33 65 .319 .370 .541 .910 140
1995 LAD 112 434 82 150 17 0 32 93 1 39 80 .346 .400 .606 1.006 172
1996 LAD 148 547 87 184 16 0 36 105 0 81 93 .336 .422 .563 .985 166
1997 LAD 152 556 104 201 32 1 40 124 5 69 77 .362 .431 .638 1.070 185
1998 TOT 151 561 88 184 38 1 32 111 1 58 80 .328 .390 .570 .960 152
1998 LAD 37 149 20 42 5 0 9 30 0 11 27 .282 .329 .497 .826 119
1998 FLA 5 18 1 5 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 .278 .263 .389 .652 74
1998 NYM 109 394 67 137 33 0 23 76 1 47 53 .348 .417 .607 1.024 167
1999 NYM 141 534 100 162 25 0 40 124 2 51 70 .303 .361 .575 .936 135
2000 NYM 136 482 90 156 26 0 38 113 4 58 69 .324 .398 .614 1.012 155
2001 NYM 141 503 81 151 29 0 36 94 0 67 87 .300 .384 .573 .957 148
2002 NYM 135 478 69 134 23 2 33 98 0 57 82 .280 .359 .544 .903 138
2003 NYM 68 234 37 67 13 0 11 34 0 35 40 .286 .377 .483 .860 126
2004 NYM 129 455 47 121 21 0 20 54 0 68 78 .266 .362 .444 .806 109
2005 NYM 113 398 41 100 23 0 19 62 0 41 67 .251 .326 .452 .778 104
2006 SDP 126 399 39 113 19 1 22 68 0 34 66 .283 .342 .501 .843 122
2007 OAK 83 309 33 85 17 1 8 44 0 18 61 .275 .313 .414 .727 95
16 Yrs 1912 6911 1048 2127 344 8 427 1335 17 759 1113 .308 .377 .545 .922 143
162 Game Avg. 162 586 89 180 29 1 36 113 1 64 94 .308 .377 .545 .922 143
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
NYM (8 yrs) 972 3478 532 1028 193 2 220 655 7 424 546 .296 .373 .542 .915 136
LAD (7 yrs) 726 2707 443 896 115 3 177 563 10 283 440 .331 .394 .572 .966 160
OAK (1 yr) 83 309 33 85 17 1 8 44 0 18 61 .275 .313 .414 .727 95
SDP (1 yr) 126 399 39 113 19 1 22 68 0 34 66 .283 .342 .501 .843 122
FLA (1 yr) 5 18 1 5 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 .278 .263 .389 .652 74
NL (15 yrs) 1829 6602 1015 2042 327 7 419 1291 17 741 1052 .309 .379 .551 .931 145
AL (1 yr) 83 309 33 85 17 1 8 44 0 18 61 .275 .313 .414 .727 95
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2012.

Why He Should Get In
The numbers our outstanding, especially for a catcher.  His position may, in fact, be his saving grace.  While his defense was sub-par for his entire career, his offensive numbers show him to be one of the best hitters to play his position of all time.  While his totals for home runs, runs batted in, and hits are not overly impressive on their own, the fact that he compiled the majority of them while being a backstop keeps him in the discussion.

Why He Should Not Get In
His numbers, as stated above, are not outstanding if he were anywhere else on the field.  That being said, most people feel that he had no business being a catcher for as log as he was, given his lack of ability at that position.  Being a great offensive star at a position generally only works if you were a defensive star at that position as well.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
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