Mariners Dan Wilson – 14.2
Of course it’s Dan the Man. There are going to be some obvious ones throughout this series, but I’m glad we got to put Dan Wilson here.
I know people like to point out that he wasn’t great offensively, and never had a WRC+ of 100 or better. He did have four seasons in the mid-90s, as well as an 89. That means that Wilson’s war essentially came from just his defense, which is a strong reminder of how good he was at it.
The stretch that he had from 95-97 was incredible and actually accounts for the 9th, 4th, and 3rd best seasons by a catcher in Mariners history. Add those three up (2.6, 3.5, 3.5) and you get 9.6 of his WAR. You would actually hear about Wilson as one of the best catchers in baseball, in large part to that defense.
Maybe those are just the memories of a 7-9 year old boy, but I’m going to trust them because I want to keep believing it. He would finish with a .262/.309/.382 slash for his career. It sounds and looks a lot better than it was. Nowadays, it would be a really solid line for a catcher. In the 90s, it wasn’t as great but was still acceptable.
Dan Wilson was a great catcher to have behind the plate for the mid/late 90s and early 2000s. Although the Mariners haven’t had any all-time catchers in their history, they’ve still had some good ones, and Dan the Man leads the way.