- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 771 days ago
A Retrospective on the Career of Jorge Posada
- Updated: January 16, 2012
With the impending retirement announcement of Yankee veteran Jorge Posada, baseball fans are wondering, what will his legacy be? For the diehard fans of New York, Posada will go down among the greats. For those who analyze statistics, Jorge Posada was a quality player on both sides of the plate, but his lack of production in the playoffs and overall average seasons leave much to be desired.
A career .273 hitter, Posada racked up 275 home runs, a .374 on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and a respectable .848 OPS. Posada collected 936 walks which is good enough for 15th place among active players and swatted 379 doubles. Yet, Posada also managed to strike out 1,453 times (58th most all-time and 13th most among active players). The 40-year-old catcher’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stands at 44.7, which means he has consistently made himself an asset to the Yankee starting lineup. Among active players, Posada ranks 27th in Runs Created (RC) with 1,100. Defensively, he provided a career 7.49 Range Factor per 9 innings (RF/9 is a statistic used to measure how many outs a player is involved with, thus allowing a more comprehensive evaluation of one’s defensive play), which ranks 24th all-time among catchers. Also don’t forget Posada’s 2007 season, he remains the only catcher in history to hit at least .330 with 20 homers and 90 RBI.
Posada’s postseason shortcomings damaged what is otherwise an outstanding catching career. With the exception of last fall’s ALDS, Posada failed to impress during the crucial playoff games. What’s worse is that as the Yankees got deeper into postseason, Posada’s production fell further into the abyss. Posada’s postseason batting average is a measly .248. In six World Series, he hit just .219. His OPS in the playoffs is more than 100 points lower than his career average at just .745.
Still, Yankee fans will see far past those lackluster playoff numbers and remember the mighty catcher who won five World Series rings, caught a perfect game, collected five Silver Sluggers, was named to five All-Star games, and started 1,574 games behind the plate for the Yankees (trailing only Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey). Posada was an integral part of the latest Yankee dynasty, part of the legendary “Core Four” along with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte. What’s even more impressive about Posada is his durability, which until recently was unwavering. The Bronx Bombers never placed Posada on the disabled list until the 2007 season.
Is Jorge Posada a Hall of Famer? No, probably not. Will he be remembered as a winner, an intense competitor, and a highly respected battery mate? Absolutely. Take a look back at the infamous 2003 ALCS brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees (Note: Pedro Martinez vs. Don Zimmer). Who was the first to stand up to the mouthy Martinez and defend his team? Captain Jeter? Joe Torre? No, it was Jorge Posada who took the first bullet for New York by exchanging verbal jabs with Pedro. He’s a fiercely loyal guy who didn’t mind taking a back seat to big name players in the name of winning championships. If there was a Hall of Fame for players with heart, Posada would be one of the first inducted.