Catchers that Won a Rookie of the Year Award [Learn More Here!]

Rookie of the Year catchers

All Catchers to win Rookie of the Year

Since it was first awarded to Jackie Robinson in 1947, there have been only nine catchers to win Rookie of the Year

Each of those nine winners are shown below, beginning with the first catcher to claim the award, none other than Johnny Bench.

Johnny Bench (1968)

The first catcher to win a Rookie of the Year award, Johnny Bench had a great 1968 season. He hit .275 with 15 home runs and 82 RBIs, and he took home the first of an eventual ten Gold Glove awards.

johnny bench in catchers gear
The legendary Johnny Bench


Thurman Munson (1970)

Thurman Munson's debut season in 1970 with the Yankees showcased his defensive prowess as a catcher along with a solid .302 batting average and 137 hits.

Earl Williams (1971)

Earl Williams of the Atlanta Braves made a notable impact in his rookie year of 1971, displaying power with 33 home runs and 87 RBIs while maintaining a .260 batting average.

Carlton Fisk (1972)

Carlton Fisk had an impressive start to his big league career in 1972, hitting .293 with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs, while also excelling defensively behind the plate for the Boston Red Sox.

Benito Santiago (1987)

Benito Santiago burst onto the scene in 1987, captivating fans in San Diego with a 34-game hitting streak and capturing his first of several Silver Slugger awards.

Sandy Alomar (1990)

sandy alomar jr at bat
Sandy Alomar Jr. at bat in the early 90's

Sandy Alomar Jr. of the Cleveland Indians impressed in his rookie season of 1990, batting .290 with 9 home runs and 66 RBIs while also showcasing his defensive skills, earning him a Gold Glove.

Mike Piazza (1993)

Despite being picked in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft, Mike Piazza emerged as a standout player in 1993. The LA Dodgers catcher boasted a .318 batting average, 35 home runs and 112 RBIs that year, establishing himself as one of the premier catchers in the big leagues.

Geovany Soto (2008)

Geovany Soto had a solid rookie season in 2008, hitting .285 with 23 home runs and 86 RBIs for the Chicago Cubs. He also started behind the plate in the All-Star game that year.

Buster Posey (2010)

Buster Posey made an immediate impact in his first full MLB season in 2010, as he contributed to the World Series winning Giants with a .305 batting average, 18 home runs, and 67 RBIs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Many Rookie of the Year Catchers are in the Hall of Fame?

Of the nine Rookie of the Year winning catchers on this list, three are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame (as of the date of publication).

Those three are Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Mike Piazza.

The most likely from this list to make it to Cooperstown next? Our guess would be Buster Posey. 

buster posey catching
Buster Posey... the next ROY catcher to make the Hall of Fame?

What Teams Had a Catcher That Won a Rookie of the Year (ROY) Award?

Nine teams have had a Rookie of the Year catcher - and no team can claim two!

Those MLB teams are the following:

  • Cincinnati Reds
  • New York Yankees
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Boston Red Sox
  • San Diego Padres
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Chicago Cubs
  • San Francisco Giants


Which League Had More ROY Catchers? The American League or the National League?

So far, the National League has had the most ROY catchers with six (Bench, Williams, Santiago, Piazza, Soto, Posey). 

The American League trails with only three catchers that won ROY (Munson, Fisk, Alomar).

That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article, we hope you thought it was interesting!

Contact us at any time with questions or comments. We love to hear from readers.

Scott Perry is the owner and lead author at Catchers Home. He's a former baseball player, a current coach, a husband and a Dad. He remains as passionate about baseball today as he was as a kid.