Both Joe P. of River Ave Blues and our own Steve S. have wondered aloud if Jorge Posada is headed for a decline in 2010. There’s no doubt that, having read those articles or not, the same question has crossed all of our minds. After all, Jorge’s a catcher, which makes the aging process at the plate much more accelerated.
Due to Jorge missing a lot of time in ’08 (51 games played) and ’09 (111 games played), the projection systems–including the fans–don’t see Jorge reaching 500 PAs, something he hasn’t done since 2007. Anyway, on to the numbers.
Despite the worrying–which is still warranted–Jorge’s average projected line actually looks pretty good. It comes in at .274/.367/.469 with 18 HR and 69 batted in across 460 PAs. As I said, though, some of the worrying is warranted. The average projection still has Jorge striking out above 20% with a walk rate of about 11.5%. While those aren’t bad numbers, they’re still worse than his career averages. On the positive side, it is nice to see Jorge projecting to have a .469 SLG and a .195 IsoP. Getting consistent power from the catcher’s spot–like the Yankees have been lucky enough to get for the past 15 years–is always important and it looks like Jorge can still do that. It’s worth noting that Jorge was definitely helped by Yankee Stadium last year, as he slugged over .600 at home in ’09, while slugging “only” .432 in away games; I say “only” because Jorge still had a solid IsoP of .187 while playing in away games.
Regardless of where he’s doing his hitting, though, Jorge can more than hold his own at the plate. Hopefully, he can give another solid year there before seeing some more time at DH as Jesus Montero begins knocking on the door to the Bronx and as Austin Romine continues to climb the ladder.