In the few months that this blog has existed, I have brought up Jorge Posada’s case for the Hall of Fame on a number of occasions. I posted the following from THT:
Jorge Posada may not be the most glamorous offensive player, but his high-OBP, grind-it out game has been a key element in the Yankees’ success over his career. Posada’s prime, at eight years, is a little on the light side—without his monster 2007 season, he’d clearly be an also-ran, and it doesn’t help him that his first year as a full-time starter was the last one of the Yankees’ postseason dominance, or that Posada has not put up good numbers overall in October.
But his offensive game, for a guy who was a durable catcher for eight seasons and never has a serious off year, is solid. Posada’s success against base thieves has been less than impressive (slightly worse than league average) despite a reputation as a guy with a good arm. He’ll be a legitimate contender for the Hall even if he isn’t able to have a second act behind the plate beginning in 2009.
At the time, I added this:
Personally, I have always thought of Jorge as a great catcher but not an all-time type player. However, if you think about it, he has certainly been a top 3 or 4 catcher in baseball for the last 8 seasons. His case is likely better than you think, and the numbers seem to suggest that he should get plenty of consideration. However, being that he played on various teams that had a glut of stars bigger than Posada, Jorge’s accomplishments may continue to be overshadowed. I do not think he will get in, but he should definitely hang around on the ballot for a while.
Over the last day or two, Rob Neyer and Jonah Keri have chimed in on the issue. Rob selected Posada as the catcher on his All-Decade team, but was less enthused with his HOF chances:
Ivan Rodriguez is going into the Hall of Fame. Posada isn’t, and shouldn’t; he just happens to have played the lion’s share of his fine career in a single decade.
Keri disagrees (Check out the article, it has some good links at the end for more on this subject):
5 All-Star Games
5 Silver Sluggers
2 Top-10 MVP finishes (he had a legit MVP argument in 2007)
Career 277/380/479 hitter at the toughest position on the diamond
Multiple World Series, if that matters to you (I can see an argument either way)
Still hitting and likely to tack on a couple more decent to good years
And finally…Career OPS+ of 124
For comparison’s sake:
Jorge Posada, to me, looks like a clear choice as one of the dozen best catchers of all-time, and that’s the relevant context here. It’s incredibly difficult (ostensibly impossible) for a catcher to put up huge counting stats in his career, because catchers can’t play every day, and because they tend to wear down over time, and are usually only able to prolong their careers if they move to another position (Craig Biggio, an automatic Hall of Famer) or they’re an all-time great (Fisk, etc.).
I never thought of Jorge in a “top 10 of all time” light, but the numbers are pretty compelling, even once discounted for his below average defense behind the plate. Jorge should get into the Hall of Fame, but it may take him a while on the ballot before people take notice of just how good his career was.
Do you agree?
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