Mike Piazza or Ivan Rodriguez: Who Was the Better Catcher?

Parker EhingerContributor IJune 21, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 11: Mike Piazza #31 of the Oakland Athletics stands ready at bat against the Chicago White Sox during a Major League Baseball game on April 11, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Mike Piazza or Ivan Rodriguez: who do you think is better?

In my opinion, I would say Mike Piazza. Don't get me wrong, Pudge is a great catcher but Mike Piazza had much better stats in a shorter amount of time, even though he was picked in the last round of the MLB draft because his dad was friends with Tommy Lasorda; he was basically a courtesy pick.

Piazza hit 35 home runs well driving in 112 with a .318 BA in 149 games in his rookie season, and won NL Rookie of the Year.  Piazza won the Silver Slugger Award 10 times in a row (93-02), he was a 12 time All-Star, and the 1996 All-Star MVP. He hit over 30 homers seven different times, including one 40 homer season, and from 1993-2001 he hit over .300 every year.  He hit a total of 427 home runs, he had 1335 RBI, with a career .308 BA, in 16 seasons.  I wish he could have played longer but he had bad knees and was getting hurt too much. 

Then there is Pudge, who won 12 Gold Gloves and may be the better fielder, but Piazza has him in total stats. Pudge won the Silver Slugger Award seven times, and is a 14 time All-Star, but he has played three more seasons than Piazza did. Pudge has 301 career home runs as of right now, 1246 career RBI, and a lifetime .300 BA.  But I think back then he did steroids because he weighed around 225 or 235 pounds, and now he is around 190.

How does that happen?  He hit more than 20 homers five years in a row, hitting 35 in 1995, but from then on Pudge couldn't even hit above 20 homers Steroids? Maybe, who knows though.  But in my own opinion Mike Piazza has to the most underrated catcher ever, being drafted in 62nd round, he sure showed what he could do.  But like I said it is my opinion, some say Piazza is better, some say Pudge. What is your opinion?