The last 20 seasons of New York Mets baseball has not been kind when it comes to the catching position. After our number one spot, the list quickly falls in talent. The position is lacking talent to a point where they have not produced an All-Star catcher since 2006.
1. Mike Piazza (1998-2005)
There is no doubt about the number one spot on the list. Mike Piazza came to the Mets in 1998 and immediately took the city by storm. Though not the best defensive catcher on the list, he hit .296/.373/.542 with 220 home runs during his time in Flushing. Piazza made six All-Star teams with the Mets, provided countless clutch hits, and entered the Hall of Fame with a Mets cap. He also earned the distinct honor of having his number retired by the franchise.
2. Paul Lo Duca (2006-07)
Paul Lo Duca had to fill Piazza’s shoes during his time with the Mets. His power could not match up to Piazza’s, but he made up for it in every other facet of the game. Lo Duca earned an All-Star appearance in 2006 and slashed .297/.334/.404 with the Mets. He threw out baserunners at a slightly better rate than Piazza but was better overall defensively. Lo Duca also provided an experienced bat in the two spot, which allowed Jose Reyes to steal bases and gave a contact hitter to a potent lineup.
3. Wilson Ramos (2019)
Yes, one season of Wilson Ramos makes him the third-best catcher the Mets had in the last 20 seasons. After a slow first half, Ramos turned things on in the second half, and it included a 26-game hitting streak. His power numbers were not typical of his career, and even Ramos admitted he could drive the ball more. Ramos was also one of the best clutch hitters on the team, hitting .307 with runners in scoring position.
4. Travis d’Arnaud (2013-19)
Travis d’Arnaud never turned into the prized prospect Noah Syndergaard turned became. Health issues and an inconsistent swing/approach at the plate held him back from reaching the potential he tapped into once he left the Mets. During his seven seasons with the Mets, he only batted higher than .250 once but had three seasons of double-digit home run totals. Very overlooked was his pitch framing, which allowed him to steal strikes as good as any catcher in baseball.
5. Ramon Castro (2005-09)
Ramon Castro never earned the nod as the everyday catcher but was a very productive back-up. He was the definition of an excellent second-string catcher, hit for power, and throw guys out. Castro hit .252/.321/.452 with 33 homers and 121 RBIs during his time as a Met.
6. Josh Thole (2009-12)
Josh Thole was a unique hitter that has become a dying breed in baseball. His choke-up, put the ball in play focus, prevented him from ever solidifying himself as a starting catcher. Thole only had a slugging percentage of .333 and hit seven home runs during his four seasons in Flushing. The one thing he holds over every catcher in Mets history is that he caught the only no-hitter in franchise history.
7. John Buck (2013)
John Buck had a white-hot April in the power department. He homered nine times and had more extra-base hits than singles. Buck came back to Earth, only hitting .206 with six homers for the rest of his time before the Mets shipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also helped guide Matt Harvey to a dominant season, catching all but one of his starts.
8. Kevin Plawecki (2015-18)
Kevin Plawecki was another Mets catching prospect who never panned out. He slashed .218/.308/.330 with 14 home runs and was a clubhouse favorite. Plawecki also received the rare task of pitching in two games where he had a 12.00 ERA.
9. Jason Phillips (2001-04)
The rec specs made Jason Phillips a fan favorite who was also a kind person. He did not earn consistent playing time until 2003 when he played some first base and caught when Mike Piazza needed a break. It was his best season hitting in the big leagues at .298/.373/.442. The next year was the complete opposite hitting .218. The consensus from a lot of Mets fans was that he was the slowest player they had seen.
10. Brian Schneider (2008-09)
When Brian Schneider arrived to the Mets, he was no longer the underrated catcher he once was. His career was on the decline, and the Mets only received one decent year from him. Schneider had 12 home runs in 169 games, but his defense was a considerable upgrade. He threw out runners above league average and handled a jumbled pitching staff very well.
Honorable Mentions (Who Could Easily Make the Bottom Half of the List):
Vance Wilson and Omir Santos