Detroit Tigers: Top Ten Catchers in Franchise History
By Andy Patton
Detroit Tigers: 1991-1994
Tettleton only played four years in Detroit, and only caught in 347 games. However, he was an outstanding hitter with elite plate discipline, enough to earn him the number three spot on this list.
Tettleton came to the Tigers in a January 1991 trade for relief pitcher Jeff Robinson.
His time with the Tigers, which spanned from 1991-1994, was some of the best of his career. Tettleton posted a .387 on-base percentage, which was due almost exclusively to his ability to draw a walk. Tettleton led the league with 122 walks in 1992. He had over 100 in 1991 and 1993, and even posted 97 in a strike-shortened 1994 season.
Tettleton could do some damage when he swung the bat as well. Across his four seasons in the Motor City, Tettleton averaged 28 home runs and 83 RBI per season. He won the Silver slugger Award in both 1991 and 1992, and was an All-Star in 1994.
He became a free agent after the 1994 season and signed with the Texas Rangers, where he played until 1997 when at age 36 he decided to call it a career.
Tettleton’s lack of defensive prowess and relatively short career (he didn’t become a big league regular until age 28) kept him from reaching the upper echelon of catchers. Still, he goes down as one of Detroit’s best catchers ever, and checks in as the 34th greatest catcher of all-time according to JAWS.