Jorge Posada: Hall of Fame Worthy?

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Jorge Posada addresses the media during a press conference to announces his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Jorge Posada, having spent all 17 years of his major league career with the New York Yankees, has officially hung 'em up. He'll be remembered as one of the figureheads of the legendary Yankee dynasty of the late 90s and for his consistent, outstanding offensive seasons for the majority of the 2000s.

The question I'd like to briefly examine is whether or not Posada is worthy of being enshrined in the hall of fame.

Yes, I understand that Posada won't be eligible for induction until 2017. That's a very, very long time to mull over the decision.

There are currently 16 members in the hall of fame that served primarily as a catcher in their playing days. Three of those players; Josh Gibson, Louis Santop, and Biz Mackey, played only in the Negro Leagues.

Of the remaining 13 players, the most notable are legends such as Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk.

Baseball Writers Association of America has fairly subjective voting when it comes to the Hall of Fame. Some voters stress offensive production more than defensive play. Others include "intangibles" such as leadership in the clubhouse when considering candidates.

Posada was not known for his defense. While it wasn't necessarily poor his entire career, it was never stellar or near the top of the league. Offensively, however, is a different story. In the last 20 years, only two catchers had higher WAR value than Posada (Ivan Rodriguez at 73.4 and Mike Piazza at 66.7). It's worth mentioning that Rodriguez played exactly 700 more games than Posada did.

Posada's career WAR is 47.6, all according to FanGraphs.com.

Scanning Baseball-Reference quickly, it's funny to compare the breakdown of oWAR and dWAR between those three players:

Posada: 47.6 oWAR, -2.9 dWAR

Piazza: 67.4 oWAR, -8.3 dWAR

Rodriguez: 50.4 oWAR, 16.9 dWAR

The chart beyond the jump is the basic offensive categories for all current HOFers that are catchers. It has been taken directly from Baseball-Almanac.com.

Catchers

BOLD Indicates Statistical Leader For HOF Catchers

Name [Link To Full Stats] AVG OBP SLG HITS HR RBI RUNS SB

Johnny Bench

.267

.345

.476

2,048

389

1,376

1,091

68

Yogi Berra

.285

.350

.482

2,150

358

1,430

1,175

30

Roger Bresnahan

.279

.386

.377

1,252

26

530

682

212

Roy Campanella

.276

.362

.500

1,161

242

856

627

25

Gary Carter

.262

.335

.439

2,092

324

1,225

1,025

39

Mickey Cochrane

.320

.419

.478

1,652

119

832

1,041

64

Bill Dickey

.313

.382

.486

1,969

202

1,209

930

36

Buck Ewing

.303

.351

.456

1,625

71

883

1,129

354

Rick Ferrell

.281

.378

.363

1,692

28

734

687

29

Carlton Fisk

.269

.343

.457

2,356

376

1,330

1,276

128

Gabby Hartnett

.297

.370

.489

1,912

236

1,179

867

28

Ernie Lombardi

.306

.358

.460

1,792

190

990

601

8

Ray Schalk

.253

.340

.316

1,345

11

594

579

177

Name [Link To Full Stats] AVG OBP SLG HITS HR RBI RUNS SB

Hall of Fame Catchers


Here are Posada's career numbers in the same categories:

Jorge Posada: .273 AVG, .374 OBP, .474 SLG, 1664 HITS, 275 HR, 1065 RBI, 900 RUNS, 20 SB

Posada, in the traditional statistic sense, could be thrown in with these names. I won't run through all these numbers and draw a narrative off them. To each their own subjective weight given to specific offensive or defensive categories.

However, if his offensive numbers are any indicator, he's got a chance down the line to be enshrined in Cooperstown one day.

If it were up to me, I'd vote him in sometime after his first ballot.

How would you classify Posada? And would you give him the nod?

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