Is Jorge Posada a Hall of Famer? When one thinks of the three best catchers from the last 15 years, he will probably think of Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada. Piazza was known for his hitting, Rodriguez for his 13 Gold Gloves, and Posada for his Yankee Championships. But is that enough to get Jorge in The Hall? Let’s go second level:

Only 16 catchers have been inducted in the Hall of Fame. Among those enshrined are Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Roy Campenella, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter. Among these five HOFers, Posada draws a similar statistical comparison to Gary Carter. In his 18 year career, Carter belted 324 HRs and drove in 1,225 RBIs. His career batting average is .267. In 15 seasons thus far, Posada has clubbed 243 HRs, drove in 943 RBIs while posting a career average of .277. Posada’s slugging percentage(.480) is also 41 points higher than Carter’s all-time mark. Jorge is under contract for two more years so we can expect him to play two more full-seasons, probably averaging 110-120 games played per year. After those seasons, he may sign a new deal and slot into a back-up catcher or DH role for a season or two. Let’s assume that Posada adds 50 more HRs and 200 RBIs to his career line. He would finish with 293 HRs and 1,143 RBIs, pretty close Carter’s numbers. Posada also has Carter beat in terms of World Series titles(5 to 2). For argument’s sake, if Carter got in, Posada should too.

However, let’s look at the argument from another angle. Whenever I think about the Hall of Fame, I think about dominance.

Has Posada had a dominant career?

Posada played in era that featured the best offensive catcher ever(Mike Piazza) and one of the best defensive catchers(Ivan Rodriguez). Both of these players place Jorge a bit of a historical disadvantage. Both Piazza and Rodriguez’s offensive numbers tower over Posada’s. Piazza blasted 427 HRs in his 16 year career with a .545 slugging percentage to boot. Rodriguez has hit 299 HRs and is a career .299 hitter. Posada’s 243 HRs and .471 slugging percentage do not stack up offensively to the two best catchers of this era.

Defense?

Defensively, Posada has been better than average. If we measure FRAA(fielding runs above average), Posada has saved 20 runs for the Yankees(compared to Piazza’s -132 FRAA). Among the other NY Catchers, Berra had a figure of 120 RAA and Campanella had 64. In terms of this era, Posada does not stack up to the best catcher. Posada has never won a gold glove. Rodriguez has won 13. Posada has only thrown out 29% of runners. Rodriguez has thrown out 46%. It is tough to measure Posada’s defensive merits against one of the better defensive catchers in history, but his RAA does warrant him some all-time comparison.

Ultimately, Posada is a tough call when it comes to the Hall of Fame. When deciding, you must consider that he plays a premium position and can only compare him to other catchers. I think Posada gets in. He is regarded as one of the best switch hitting catchers in history and has won five championships so far with the Yankees. His defense isn’t anything to write home about, but writers will remember his offensive numbers and rings when voting.

One fun stat: Players that have caught over 1,000 games and have an OPS+ of 120+ have all made the HOF. Posada’s OPS+ currently sits at 124.

What Do You Think? Does Posada Get In? Yes or No?

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