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|The Fan EloRater tool on Baseball-reference.com |
ranks Posada as the 208th best player in
Here are some of his highlights...
-His squads won five World Series and seven American League pennants, and he was an integral cog in those Yankee machines
-During Posada's prime, from 2000 to 2007, the switch-hitting receiver provided steady, reliable production with a .283/.389/.492 line, good for a 130 OPS+ and 37.1 of his 44.7 career bWAR. A model of consistency, over the same period he averaged 23 home runs, 90 RBI, and 142 games played per year, figures that established him as one of the best offensive catchers in the game before he was overshadowed in the second half of his career by Joe Mauer, Brian McCann and Victor Martinez.
-Made five All-Star teams and received five Silver Sluggers; four each from 2000-2003 and his final ones coming in 2007
-Eight seasons with at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI, but only one with 30 and 100 (2003)
-His career spanned 17 seasons, and the Yankees made the playoffs every year except one (2008, when Posada missed over 100 games)
-Finished third in the 2003 AL MVP race (behind Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Delgado) and sixth in the 2007 race
-Finished fourth in the AL batting race in 2007 with a .338 average, the only time in his career he eclipsed .287
-With an .846 OPS batting lefty and .852 OPS hitting righty, he was the rare switch-hitter who is equally effective from both sides of the plate
-The durable backstop caught 1,574 games for New York, teaming up with great pitchers such as Pettitte, Rivera, Johnson, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, and C.C. Sabathia. Only Berra and Dickey caught more
|Posada was one of the best offensive catchers ever, |
one of the few who could rake from both sides of the plate
-Posada was never a great defensive catcher; he was average at best and finished with -2.9 dWAR for his career. Twice he led the league in passed balls and allowed his fair share of stolen bases. In short, he was no Ivan Rodriguez
-He wasn't a great baserunner either; he was notoriously slow and was successful in less than half of his stolen base attempts with 20 thefts and 21 caught stealings
-Jorge struck out a lot early in his career, including 151 times in 505 at-bats in 2000 and 143 times in 511 at-bats two years later, although he eventually cut his whiff rate down
-He never led the league in any major offensive category, outside of double plays grounded into, which he led twice
-Posada played in 125 playoff games, and it's fair to say he was no Mr. October. His .248/.358/.387 line leaves a lot to be desired, and his statistics only got worse as his teams made it deeper into the playoffs (meaning he was spent by the World Series and less effective than a cardboard cutout in the batter's box). He never hit multiple home runs in a postseason series, despite playing in 29 of them, but did come through with the game-tying double off a fatigued Pedro Martinez in the bottom of the eighth in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Unfortunately Posada was a late bloomer; he was 25 during his rookie season, didn't start receiving serious playing time until he was 26, and didn't take over the full-time gig from future skipper Joe Girardi until he was 28. Had he been able to start his career a few years sooner, he probably would have been abe to reach some significant milestones like 1,000 walks and runs, 300 home runs and 3,000 total bases, which would have helped bolster his Hall of Fame case (as it is, I think he's a borderline case who probably won't get voted in because he didn't dominant during his peak nor compile overwhelming numbers, but like any Yankee he has a decent chance to get the call from a veteran's committee some day). Similarly, his career was marked by a swift and rapid decline after the Yankees inked their 36 year old catcher to an ill-advised four year, $52.4 million deal during the same winter they handed A-Rod a ten year, $275 million megadeal. Predictably, he had trouble staying healthy, and even though the Yanks eventually gave him the everyday DH job he was already 39 and his bat was no longer productive enough for that role. Maybe if they had moved him there a couple years earlier he could have preserved his legs and extended his career, but on the flip side they weren't paying him over thirteen million bucks a year just to hit.
|Posada leaves the game on his own terms|