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Jorge Posada a Hall of Famer?

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Is Jorge Posada worthy of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Occasionally throughout the 2009 season, and recently during this off-season, I have seen the phrase "Future Hall of Famer" attached to Posada's name.

Is that really true? It might be, but each time I have read that statement I have questioned it. So, let's take a look at Jorge's Hall of Fame worthiness.

There are 16 catchers enshrined in Cooperstown. It's probably fair to compare Jorge to the two most modern catchers enshrined -- Carlton Fisk and Gary Carter. I'd say Carter might be the best comparison, especially since the length of their careers will be almost identical when Posada is done playing.

In an 18-year career, Carter finished with 324 home runs, 1,225 RBI and a .262 batting average. In 15 seasons, Posada is at .277 with 243 home runs and 943 RBI. Two more relatively productive seasons and he will be around 270 home runs and close to 1,100 RBIs in 17 seasons. Posada does have higher on-base percentages (.379-.335) and slugging percentages (.480-.439) than Carter.

Are those numbers close enough that you would consider them a wash? You could certainly make that argument, in which case you probably have to say is Carter is a Hall of Famer then Posada should also get in.

There are other factors, though.

There is, of course, Posada's often-discussed defense. As he ages, his defensive deficiencies become more and more of a topic of discussion. In my mind, he has never been great defensively but throughout much of his career you have to say he has been good enough. He has been the catcher for five World Series winners, and that has to count for something.

The other test, for me, is how dominant a player is during his era. Posada has the five rings, and five All-Star appearances. Clearly, though, the dominant catcher of this era is Ivan Rodriguez.

Rodriguez dwarfs Posada both offensively and defensively. Offensively, a .299 career average, 305 home runs, 1,264 RBI, 125 stolen bases. Defensively, 13 Gold Gloves to none for Posada, and a career percentage of throwing out 46 percent of potential base-stealers to Posada's 29 percent.

So, by the dominant player of his era test, Posada does not measure up.

I guess I have always thought of Posada as a very good player, and a very important Yankee during this era because of his bat and his toughness. I have never thought of him as 'great' though, and I am still on the fence about whether or not he will eventually belong in Cooperstown.

What do you guys think?

[NOTE: At some point in the next few days we will also debate Andy Pettitte's HOF worthiness. So, leave him out of this for now, please.]