Blue Jays: Ranking the top five catchers in franchise history

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 29: Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes the play and throws out the baserunner in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre on April 29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 29: Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes the play and throws out the baserunner in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre on April 29, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 1: Former player and television broadcast personality Gregg Zaun wears a cowboy hat on Canada Day before the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the Detroit Tigers on July 1, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA – JULY 1: Former player and television broadcast personality Gregg Zaun wears a cowboy hat on Canada Day before the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the Detroit Tigers on July 1, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

#3- Gregg Zaun

I mentioned earlier that Charlie O’Brien was the second biggest surprise for me on this list, and now we get to the biggest surprise: Gregg Zaun was pretty good as a Blue Jay.

Don’t get me wrong, I was an avid fan of the team back then and watched the majority of games during Zaun’s tenure with the team from 2004-2008, I just didn’t remember him being as good as the numbers show.

He shared duties with a variety of other catchers such as Kevin Cash (2004), Ken Huckaby (2005), Bengie Molina (2006), Jason Phillips (2007), and Rod Barajas (2008), but Zaun managed to play well enough to earn at least half-time duties in every year as a Blue Jay. He also had a career high of 3.6 bWAR in 2005 as a 34 year old, and continued to bring a positive WAR rating into his mid to late 30’s, which is impressive as a catcher. In total he was worth 10.8 bWAR as a Blue Jay, making up the majority of his 13.7 career bWAR.

In 2006, during his best offensive season, Zaun slashed .273/.363/.462 with 12 home runs, 40 RBI, and 19 doubles in 99 games played. He retired after the 2010 season after having played a couple more years in the National League, and was eventually hired as an analyst and commentator by Sportsnet. However, after watching him on our television screens for a few years, Zaun was dismissed before the 2018 season with Rogers citing inappropriate workplace behaviour as the reason for his termination.

He continues to work in media through his own channels, and also through a variety of charity ventures, but we haven’t heard much about the former Blue Jay player and employee in 2018.