Selfishly, I guess I could say I’m glad that Jorge Posada is retiring. It’s too bad to see a favorite player go, but I’m glad that we’ll never have to watch him play for another team. All of the memories we have of him will stay “pure,” in a way, because he’ll never wear anything but the pinstripes or the road grays.
There were times when Posada was frustrating, mostly on defense, but we loved him nonetheless. He wore his baseball heart on his jersey sleeve each and every game and while at times it looked like he was taking baseball a bit too seriously, those times were merely a reflection of his remarkable passion for the game.
Looking back at Posada, we see a player who ended his career with a .273/.374/.474/.848 line, an OPS+ of 121. His wOBA was .366 and his wRC+ 122. He topped a .360 wOBA seven times in his career, twice cracking the .400+ mark (.417 in 2007; .404 in 2000). Seven times he had a wRC+ of 120 or greater (and one season of 119). Only twice did his wRC+ or OPS+ fall below 100. He had 20+ homers eight times (one season of 19) and drove in 80 or more runs eight times. He had four .400+ OBP seasons and dipped below .350 in a full season only once. He had a .200+ Iso nine times and was below .160 only twice. You don’t need the reminder, but I’ll give it anyway: Posada was a catcher. He may not have been a great defender, or even an average one, but he made up for it with the bat. Now that we’ve looked back, let’s peek forward.
I’ve made the argument more than once that Jorge Posada is a Hall of Fame player, and I’m sure I’ll make it again in the future. Yesterday, friend of the blog Jason Rosenberg, he of IIATMS fame, bolstered my argument with this tweet:
From a commenter: There are 13 C’s in the HOF. Posada would fit in: 10th in BA, 4th OBP, 6th in SLG, 8th in Hits, 4th in HR, 4th in RBI.
Back in September, William also took a look at how Posada ranked among Hall of Fame catchers (and likely inductees). Yesterday, I ran a few numbers in light of those findings. I took a look at the Hall of Fame Catchers and their career oWAR numbers. I broke them down, then, by oWAR/650 PA. The leader of the group was Mickey Cochrane at 5.3253. The trailer was Ray Schalk at 2.0283. Posada came in at 4.3273 oWAR/650 PA, good for ninth on the list. If we include Mike Piazza and his gargantuan 5.6566 oWAR/650 PA, Posada gets bumped down to 10th. As we saw before, offensively, Posada is right in the thick of it when it comes to Hall of Fame catchers. I don’t expect Jorge to be voted in, but it’d be a pleasant surprise. I think, though, we can confidently look forward to the day when the number 20 is added to monument park. Thanks for all the wonderful memories, Jorge. We’ll miss you dearly.
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