Mariners Mike Zunino – 13.6
This caught me off guard a bit. Then again, it shouldn’t really. Zunino was an incredible defender, putting up some great defensive numbers for the Mariners. He didn’t make many errors, had a good arm, and was a great pitch framer as well. Although he may not have stood out in any particular area, he was strong all around and it made him a great defensive catcher.
The season that everyone always thinks of with Zunino, at least during his time with the Mariners, is the 2017 season. It really seemed like Zunino had put everything together that year, and put high hopes in the minds of Mariners fans that we were going to have one of the better catchers in all of baseball.
.251/.331/.509, 126 WRC+, 4.6 WAR, 25 HR
The K rate was still high, and those who took a look at his BABIP knew that he was due for a regression. At .355, there was little to no chance that he would be able to put together a BABIP that high again, so his average was likely to drop.
It would do just that in 2018, as he fell to a slash line of .201/.259/.410. The Mariners would see him leave after that season, and it seemed to be the right decision until 2021. That 2017 season was special though, and was far and away the best WAR season ever by a Mariners catcher, beating out his own previous team record of 3.8 from 2014. He’s still not the best catcher the Mariners have had, and I think everyone has been waiting for this one.