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Does anyone take issue with a specific part of Piazza's WAR valuation?
I actually kind of agree with this. Piazza was worth 67 career WAR per FanGraphs an 56 career WAR per baseball reference. Those are very borderline numbers - about on par with Lofton, Edmonds, Edgar, Tim Raines.
But that value makes him one of the highest valued catchers of all time, while it only puts an outfielder as maybe the 30th-50th best.
Anyone who thinks Piazza is a borderline candidate is either incredibly ignorant or incredibly stupid
FG also says Piazza was about a -6 win defender over his career, and I think that's probably on the high side.
The defensive values used in either WAR system are highly suspect for all players. They are even more questionable for catchers.
If it's relative value that opens up the door for guys like Edgar Martinez and Billy Wagner to be first ballot HOFers.
Per FanGraphs WAR Piazza is the 7th best catcher of all time, a tiny bit behind Torre and Berra. Berra's a HOF obviously, while Torre is not.
A closer isn't a position. It's a role, like fourth outfielder.
The only thing it doesn't take into account is framing pitchers and pitcher handling and stuff. Are you arguing that Piazza was above average in those?
I tend to think that Piazza is overwhelmingly qualified, but if the demands of a catcher are such that it is impossible to contribute as much as a very good player in the OF, then maybe catchers aren't improperly 'penalized' by WAR.
Not by the numbers so much, but in my mind
FWIW I used BBRef's Play Index to find where Piazza's WAR would rank at each position ... P - 58th (Bunning)
I also don't think measuring catcher defense is that hard. FanGraphs simply looks at SB and CS and passed balls. Those are very easy to measure and quantify the value of. The only thing it doesn't take into account is framing pitchers and pitcher handling and stuff. Are you arguing that Piazza was above average in those?
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