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#pounditThursday, September 21, 2023

Jorge Posada Is a Hall of Fame Catcher

How is it possible for someone to play 17 seasons for the Yankees, win four World Series, make five All-Star games, and still be underrated? Maybe we should ask Jorge Posada, because he managed to do it.

Posada held an emotional press conference Tuesday to officially announce his retirement from baseball. At 40 years old, he retired because of declining skills and a lack of interest from the Yankees. Could he have gone somewhere and signed cheaply, and maybe eked out a .260 average at best? It’s possible, but he did the right thing by retiring.

Now the only question that that persists is the one that follows any player who had a decorated career: Is he a Hall of Famer?

While many people say no, I say yes for many reasons.

Jorge Posada was without question one of the best catchers in baseball for a decade. In the early part of his career, only Pudge Rodriguez and Mike Piazza were better. In the second part of his career, guys like Victor Martinez and Joe Mauer came along and had better seasons, but Posada’s consistency kept him in the mix.

When evaluating his candidacy, focus on the following: Of the 13 catchers in the Hall of Fame, Posada’s .375 OBP is 5th. His .474 slugging percentage is 7th. His 1,664 hits are 9th. His 275 home runs are 5th. And his 1,065 RBIs are 7th.

Posada is top 10 all time in several categories for catchers, including doubles (7th with 379), home runs (9th with 275), and extra base hits (9th with 664).

You may tell me that he doesn’t have as many RBIs or home runs as sluggers like Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, and Carlton Fisk. I can’t argue that. But what I can tell you is that Posada’s lifetime .848 OPS was much higher than any of those four, and OPS may be the best measure of a player’s offensive value.

Posada’s numbers may not make him the best catcher in baseball history, but he put up top-10 catcher numbers all time. He was one of the best catchers for a decade, won four World Series rings, and his numbers are amongst the best ever. Outside of rewriting the record books, I’m not sure what more you’re looking for from a catcher.

Also, if you missed his retirement press conference. Watch this:


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