It’s been a few weeks, but I am back with another top 10 for Mets positions! Last time I did starting pitchers, and today we move to the next position- catchers.
The catcher position has been probably the least effective position in Mets history. It is incredibly difficult to put together a top 10. The top 2 are obvious, but after that it really comes down to eyeballing it.
10 Vance Wilson
Vance Wilson is a name that not many Mets fans know, which is the case for most players on this list. His numbers didn’t jump off the page, but he still is the #10 catcher in Mets history. He only hit 17 home runs over the course of six seasons with the Amazin’s, and hit .254, but in a very thin Mets catcher position, he is the tenth spot.
9 Jesse Gonder
Gonder’s stats weren’t overwhelming with the Mets, but his first two seasons were very good. He compiled 19 home runs with the Mets over three seasons, and hit over .300 in his first season after coming over in a trade from Cincinnati. One of the earliest Mets catchers, he played in 1963-1965. He had a very good average, good enough to get him #9.
8 Jerry Grote
Jerry Grote was one of the longest tenured Mets in their franchise, but the numbers he put up weren’t amazing. Most Mets fans probably would put him top 5 just because of how well-known he is, but most tend to forget that his bat wasn’t the most potent. He only hit 35 home runs over the span of 11 seasons, and hit .256. That average was low because of a few tough seasons, but he did have many years of solid success. Compared to the players above him, it is hard to place him higher just because of the numbers he put up.
7 Travis D’Arnaud
Travis d’Arnaud’s stats speak for themselves. Plagued by injuries, d’Arnaud had so much more potential than he showed on the field, as evidence by his 2020 season. Looking like he will be the next Daniel Murphy, d’Arnaud is probably going to be a star for the Braves and other teams in the near future. He only hit .245, but his presence with the Mets was always boom or bust. He had some memorable moments, both good and bad, and some moments we all chose to forget. I think d’Arnaud and Grote are probably interchangeable on this list, but because d’Arnaud was injured so much that it hurt his stats, he is above.
6 John Stearns
John Stearns. A name that most Mets fans know, but probably didn’t know of his stats. He hit 46 homers with the Mets over 10 years, and hit .259. Mets catchers to this point have barely hit over .260, so this is a very impressive number over a career span to this point. Mets catchers have historically been known for not hitting for power, so it is not a surprise that he had a SLG of .375 for his Mets career. Not quite enough to crack the top 5, but a definitely solid catcher for the Mets.
5 Todd Hundley
Todd Hundley starts off our top 5 as a very different player than the previous 5. Hundley was a .240 hitter with the Mets, but his power was something we haven’t seen yet. He had a .438 SLG in his 9 years in New York. That might not sound like a big number, but it is significantly higher than anyone else mentioned so far. He also has the most home runs out of anyone on the list so far, with 124. Definitely deserving of the #5 spot.
4 Todd Pratt
In the battle of the Todd’s, Todd Pratt, in my opinion, holds the title as the best Todd Mets catcher. Barely. This is a weird spot, because Pratt only player in four full seasons with the Mets. However, it is hard to ignore that batting average. He played a good amount of games, and his stat lines are better than anyone else so far on this list. I would say that Pratt and Hundley are interchangeable, making it even more ironic that the two Mets catchers ever that were named Todd, ranked about the same.
3 Mackey Sasser
Mackey Sasser is a name that not enough Mets fans know. He played for five years with the Mets, and has the best batting average out of the group so far. He only hit 15 home runs with the Mets, but had a very impressive stat line with more than double the amount of at bats as Todd Pratt. Number five through three are really up in the air, but I feel like Sasser is well deserving of this spot. There is something to be said about a starting catcher who can hit .283.
2 Gary Carter
There really wasn’t any question who the top two catchers in Mets history are. However, I am very surprised with Gary Carter’s numbers with the Mets. This comes as a surprise for many Mets fans, especially considering that he was an All-Star four out of five years with the team, and was in the MVP discussion for two. I personally was aware of Carter’s numbers not being as good as they seemed to be before this list. His leadership and overall importance to the team means that there is no question he is the second best catcher in Mets history.
1 Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza is the undeniable answer as the best catcher in Mets history, and is even in the conversation for best catcher of all time. He is second in the all time Mets home run list, and is a Hall of Famer with the Mets. He was an All Star six out of the seven seasons that he played in New York. The 220 home runs with the Mets, as well as a very impressive batting average of .296 in that span, solidify him as the best Mets catcher of all time. When there is eventually a list of top 10 Mets players of all time, Piazza will definitely be high on that list.
The catching position has been barren for a long time. With James McCann entering the scene this season, there are early discussions of him potentially being a top 5 catcher of all time. Based on this list, there is no question that there is an open door to possibly even becoming a top 3 Mets catcher of all time. McCann already signed a 4-year contract, which puts him in a great position to take a spot on this list. Considering that most Mets catchers all time barely made it past five seasons with the club, he is already looking good.
Regardless, Mike Piazza will reign supreme as the best Mets catcher of all time for a very long time. It is going to take someone that spends a majority of their career with the Mets as the catcher to possibly take that title away. Francisco Alvarez is an early pick to do so. As history has shown, the Mets catcher prospects haven’t turned out to be much in the past.
Photo credit Bleacher Report