Blue Jays Top 10 Catchers of All Time

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5. Charlie O’Brien

Charlie O’Brien was drafted by the Athletics in 1982 and made his debut with them in 1985. He played with Oakland, Milwaukee, New York Mets and Braves before joining the Blue Jays as a free agent in 1996. O’Brien had been a backup in the 10 years prior to becoming a Jay but when he came to Toronto, he was tasked with starting the majority of games behind the plate.

He was up to the increased responsibility and put together a fine season offensively and defensively. He slashed .238/.331/.410 with 13 home runs and was worth 1.2 dWAR. He saw his playing time reduced with the acquisition of Benito Santiago and his offensive numbers dropped off in 1997 but he put together perhaps the finest defensive season by a Jays catcher. He threw out 55% of would-be base-stealers and racked up 2 dWAR—as a backup.

O’Brien is probably best remembered for debuting the hockey-style catcher’s mask as a Blue Jay in 1996. He also caught Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens during their Cy Young seasons.

O’Brien played the best baseball of his career during his time with the Jays. He played with the White Sox, Angels and Expos after leaving the Jays but was clearly in decline. He appeared in his last MLB in 2000.  At present, O’Brien appears to simply be enjoying his retirement.

Among Jays’ catchers all-time he ranks 6th in WAR, 3rd in WARPA, 10th in ISO, 2nd in Defensive runs.

Next: No. 4: The Ex-Expo that shined in Toronto