The five catchers who made the inner circle all finished in the top 24 in games caught. I go with the top 24 because you get your pitcher at the top of the leadership board if you are in the top 24. Gary Carter the fourth best catcher was 4th in games caught. The fifth best and number 47 on the list Ivan Rodriguez was first and Carlton Fisk was second. Bench is in 17th and Berra is 20th. As I am going by career the number of games caught is important. I gave catchers a bonus based on percentage of games caught making these games even more important. Modern catchers are generally higher on the leader board.
Gary Carter and Ivan Rodriguez were close, and I think Rodriguez was the greatest defensive catcher ever. However, that can be argued as I don’t think we are close enough on figuring out defense for catcher to rely on any formula or combination. I think defensive ratings have improved for other positions, but catchers have so many responsibilities we might never get a reliable estimate of their defenses. For example, one thing about the late 80 Mets where Carter was the catcher was that there were young pitchers having outstanding years. I think Carter should get some credit for that. How much, I don’t know. Going back to the original point of my paragraph I strongly consider putting Rodriguez in front of Carter for defense. However, there was one problem. Gary Carter was also considered a great defensive catcher and had very good defensive statistics. He came first in defensive WAR in the league twice and second three times in his career. This was against all the position players not just catchers. Even though I don’t entirely trust the formula that is still impressive. So, I decided to keep them as rated. If you want to put Rodriguez ahead of Carter I wouldn’t have any problem with that.