Despite dropping off the Hall Of Fame ballot, former New York Yankees’ catcher Jorge Posada’s career will not be debased.
Registering just 17-of-442 votes (3.8 percent), the five-time All-Star and silver-slugger fell short of the five percent required to return on next year’s ballot.
Now, Posada’s numbers don’t necessarily deserve enshrinement in the hall, but the mere 3.8 percent of the vote honestly doesn’t symbolize how great the gritty backstop was.
In fact, when considering a particular quantity of viewpoints, there was, remarkably, a substantial Hall of Fame case here.
First off, Jorge Posada was “that guy” that every manager wanted on their team. He served as a vital piece in four Yankees’ World Series championships and, no matter what, he played his heart out with exceptional results.
Posada finished his 17-year career with a respectable slash line of .273/.374/.474 and while his 275 career homers are not up to par with legends like Johnny Bench, catchers have gotten a call to the hall with inferior numbers to Posada.
When compared to the 16 Hall of Fame catchers (not including the Negro League inductees), Posada ranks seventh in home runs, sixth in on-base plus slugging (.848), fifth in doubles (379), first in walks (936) and first in fielding percentage (.992).
While playing at baseball’s most fatiguing position, Posada registered five seasons in which he drove in over 90 RBI’s — good for second on the list among catchers since 1990 (behind HOFer Mike Piazza, 10).
Ivan Rodriguez, one of the three inducted into Cooperstown here in 2017, had just two seasons in which he registered more than 90 RBI’s.
Speaking of Pudge, his career OPS (.798) was a staggering 50 points lower than Posada’s (.848). Just stirring the pot a little.
Anyway, there are seven Hall of Fame catchers that have a worse WAR than Posada’s 42.7. However, instead of a legitimate argument for one of the fiercest players of our generation, we’re arguing that he may be one of the best one-and-done Hall of Fame candidates the sport has ever seen.
Were the writers right in keeping him out of the hall? Conceivably.
Posada’s JAW (Jaffe WAR Score), a system developed by sabermetrician Jay Jaffe as a means to measure a player’s Hall of Fame worthiness, ranked slightly below the average (43.4) of Hall of Famers at the position.
The point is: he may not be a Hall of Famer, but he indisputably deserves better than one year on the ballot. And, even worse, it’s not even his fault.
We live in what most would regard as the crowded ballot era, where a stockpile of candidates are contaminated by performance enhancing drugs like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Posada’s former teammate Roger Clemens.
The problem here is that we are all distracted by the dialogue on who’s deemed “worthy” of a vote from the Baseballs writers’ Association of America.
Those conversations about the asterisk, political views or what the candidate had for breakfast gears our focus away from legitimate arguments from guys like Posada — who’s career unquestionably merits more than one year on the ballot.
Don’t let these talks take degrade the legacy of Jorge Posada or others on the list of the greatest one-and-done candidates (Mike Axisa of CBS Sports did an excellent job in ranking them).
Hall or no hall, he was a great Yankee and had a huge bearing on the last four World Series Championships in the franchise’s history.
There’s no Aaron Boone walk-off without him, Derek Jeter’s flip play would be nothing more than a daring flip attempt and who knows if David Wells achieves perfection without Posada’s leadership. There’s a reason his No. 20 is retired and a reason why the switch-hitter owns his very own plaque in monument park.
Yes, the highly regarded member of the Core Four with a ring on five fingers should have gotten more recognition this year, but he’s one of the old school type of guys that won’t, nor shouldn’t, be misremembered by his one-and-done experience.