Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June 14th, 2010

Jorge Posada’s two grand slams over the weekend did more than just help the Yankees win two games. They also served as a reminder of how important he is to the Yankee lineup, particularly when healthy enough to play behind the plate.

Despite being such an important part of the Yankees’ 15-year run of success, Posada has often been overlooked by the media and fans alike. Most recently, the push to install Posada as a permanent DH has illustrated the lack of appreciation for the role Posada has played as an “offensive catcher”. Even as his defense has started to decline, Posada’s ability to catch has always been a huge asset to the Yankees. Although his bat is strong enough to serve as DH, the Yankees’ advantage is mitigated by shifting Posada from behind the plate.

Clearly, Francisco Cervelli has emerged as a significantly better defensive catcher than Posada. However, extended playing time has also exposed Cervelli’s much weaker bat. For that reason, the Yankees should not settle on the idea of Cervelli as an everyday catcher with Posada assuming the role of DH. Regardless of who else is missing from the lineup, the Yankees need Posada to catch as much as he physically can.

As the Yankees figure out Posada’s role in the present, it’s worth taking a look back at how his career fits into a historical perspective. Over the last few years, Posada has emerged as a borderline candidate for the Hall of Fame, but how close is he to clearing the bar? Listed below are Posada’s career stats to date along side the 11 modern era catchers in the Hall of Fame as well as two contemporaries who are all but assured of enshrinement?

Career Stats of Hall of Fame Catchers And Three Most Likely Candidates From Current Era (ranked by WAR)

Player PA R HR RBI OBP SLG OPS OPS+ WAR
Johnny Bench 8669 1091 389 1376 0.342 0.476 0.817 126 71.3
Ivan Rodriguez 9861 1324 306 1283 0.376 0.471 0.806 108 67.9
Carlton Fisk 9853 1276 376 1330 0.341 0.457 0.797 117 67.3
Gary Carter 9019 1025 324 1225 0.335 0.439 0.773 115 66.3
Yogi Berra 8364 1175 358 1430 0.348 0.482 0.830 125 61.9
Mike Piazza 7745 1048 427 1335 0.377 0.545 0.922 142 59.1
Bill Dickey 7060 930 202 1209 0.382 0.486 0.868 127 54.4
Mickey Cochrane 6206 1041 119 832 0.419 0.478 0.897 128 51.2
Gabby Hartnett 7297 867 236 1179 0.37 0.489 0.858 126 50.3
Jorge Posada 6459 837 251 987 0.379 0.482 0.861 125 45.7
Ernie Lombardi 6349 601 190 990 0.358 0.46 0.818 125 39
Roy Campanella 4816 627 242 856 0.36 0.5 0.86 124 36.2
Rick Ferrell 7072 687 28 734 0.378 0.363 0.741 95 22.9
Ray Schalk 6217 579 11 594 0.34 0.316 0.656 83 22.6

Note: Includes all players with at least 75% of career games as a catcher.

Jorge Posada’s Ranking Among 14 Catchers Listed Above

G PA R H HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ WAR
Jorge Posada 12 10 10 12 7 10 9 3 5 4 t6 10

Among the 14 catchers included in this comparison, Posada currently ranks fourth in OPS and is tied for sixth in adjusted OPS. Even though OPS is not the best measurement of offensive production because it discounts OBP by weighting it equally with SLG, Posada’s relatively higher ranking in the former actually makes his OPS+ ranking even more impressive.

Aside from Mike Piazza, whose reputation as a strictly offensive catcher separates him from the pack, the upper echelon of Hall of Fame catchers share remarkably similar offensive numbers. Posada already possesses rate stats that place him among the all-time leaders, but does rank a notch below in accumulated totals. However, if he is able to sustain a solid level of production throughout the last year and half of his contract, he’d close that gap considerably. (more…)

Read Full Post »