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It’s always tricky to engage in a player’s Hall of Fame merits when he’s still playing if his case is not slam-dunk in either the positive or negative direction. Such is true of Yankee backstop, Jorge Posada. At first thought, most may not make the leap to say Posada is worthy of enshrinement in the baseball Hall of Fame, mostly because his numbers are solid, not gaudy. However, like most things in terms of baseball analysis, this requires a closer inspection.

Since making his debut as a defensive replacement back in 1995, Jorge leads all catchers in a number of categories including at bats, hits, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, total bases, and walks. This is partially because most catchers don’t last fifteen years in the majors, but it’s also a testament to Jorge’s consistency (Copyright: Joe Morgan).

In a season of at least 200 plate appearances, Posada has just once put up an OPS+ of under 100 (91 in 1999, career 124). Likewise, he’s never put up a wRC+ of less than 100 with the same qualifications, except in 1999 (96). This is getting repetitive, but he’s also never had a wOBA below .340 except in 1999. So, despite some shaky defense and lead feet, Jorge has managed to stay behind the plate for a long time and put up some excellent offensive numbers.

That’s just the general case, now let’s look at some more specific numbers.

Against the other HOF Catchers, Jorge beats five of them in OPS+ and six of them in WAR per season (3.05 for Jorge, which sells him short a bit since that number includes 2010 as a season, though it is incomplete and puts him at only 1.3 WAR) and in terms of raw WAR, Posada bests 19 current Hall of Fame players.

Always on teams with star-studded lineups, Posada has flown somewhat under the radar during his career, but that fact doesn’t make Jorge’s career any less impressive. A 124 OPS+, a .371 wOBA, a 128 wRC+, and a .204 IsoP across fifteen years would be great for a player at any position. That Jorge has put up those numbers at catcher makes him look quite remarkable. Five years after Posada retires, he should wind up with a plaque in Cooperstown, New York.

9 Responses to “The Case for Cooperstown: Jorge Posada”

  1. Five years after Posada retires, he should wind up with a plaque in Cooperstown, New York.

    Another silly post. Much as I love Jorge, he’s borderline HOF, and if he does make it, it surely won’t be on the first try.  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    I’m not sure what your problem is with Matt, but you keep coming here to disparage his work. Why not provide some evidence, like he did? And Matt didnt say he will get in, just that he should. It’s a turn of phrase.  (Quote)

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  2. I like Posada and Jeter but, I am not sure about Posada and much less of Jeter (I know, I must be a Jeter hater). As a catcher, Posada has done a fine job so far, comparing him to other catchers…he should have a chance at the HOF!
    Jeter, on the other hand has a problem and big assets…
    1-Assets…the face of the Yankees, moving up on YANKEE records and very PC.
    2-Problems…The Yankee records are ok but, career records are the standard that count (or should) and his are very iffy.
    My thinking is; he is more of a borderline then is Posada.
    My hope is; Mo, Posada and Jeter make it to the HOF, after all…if Jim Rice is in, these guys should all go in on the first ballot!  (Quote)

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    Brien Jackson Reply:

    I want to be nice to you, I really, really do, but…  (Quote)

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    Moshe Mandel Reply:

    Jeter is a first ballot Hall of Famer. It isnt even close. If you compare his “career records” to shortstops, he is in the top 5 all-time offensively, and is probably in the top 10 overall. I think Jorge should get in, but Jeter is a much, much, much stronger candidate.  (Quote)

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    the other Steve S. Reply:

    It’s pretty hard to take you even a little seriously when you say stuff like this. Jeter will retire with 3700-4000 hits, a .310 BA, a couple Gold Gloves, 300 homers and 300 steals and 5-8 championships. Tell us what you think he would need in addition to that to get into the HOF.  (Quote)

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    Ken (OR) Reply:

    Now that I have your attention….
    This is the bottom line….
    My hope is; Mo, Posada and Jeter make it to the HOF, after all…if Jim Rice is in, these guys should all go in on the first ballot! Ken (OR)(Quote)

    As lenNY’s pointed out BR Hall of Fame has a rating system Jeters is not bad at all but check this out;
    1st # is their score, 2nd is their rank
    Player #1
    Blk Ink – 7 – 313, Gray Ink – 136 – 121, HOF Monitor – 274, 17, HOF Standard – 66 – 19
    Player #2
    BI – 68 – 13, GI – 208 – 36, HOHM – 349 – 9, HOFS – 74- 8
    Going by this scoring system, player #2 should be a shoe in and #1 a good shot. #1 is Jeter and #2 is A-Rod.
    Nowhere did I say, Jeter would not make or should not make it into the HOF!  (Quote)

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  3. Everyone, what are your thoughts on Baseball-Reference’s Hall of Fame tests at the bottom of each player’s page?

    As Matt said, judging active players makes the whole process tougher than it normally is, but I happen to think B-R’s system makes good sense. None of them factor in World Series rings, I believe, which has been proven in the past that it does make a difference in the voting. But based purely on stats, don’t you think the Hall of Fame tests are pretty accurate?  (Quote)

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  4. Good post. I think Posada is a HOF when all is said and done. If he gets to 300 homers, he’s a lock, even if some of them come as a DH. His offensive numbers compare very favorably with the current crop of HOF catchers right now. He’s right in the scrum now. A couple of more years will even add to it. If he retires early, the long run of consistency, as you pointed out, along with being a vital cog of so many playoff teams, and world champions, gets him in easily. He is over the border, as in borderline.  (Quote)

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