3 Yankees who never should’ve fallen off Hall of Fame ballot
1. Jorge Posada
Where is the positional love for Jorge Posada, who barely made an MLB impact before age-27, then owned the catcher position on — again — the best team in baseball from 1998 to 2009?
And please don’t say it’s the defense alone that swayed you. It might not have been particularly impressive, but the offense must’ve been awfully crucial to still vault him to stardom — and four World Series wins (in six appearances) as the Team of the Century’s primary starting catcher.
Clearly, the defense wasn’t too decrepit for the Yankees to get by.
After a 1999 slump, Posada posted above-average OPS+ marks for the next 11 seasons, falling as low as 103 in an injury-plagued 2008 season, but averaging ~128 in the other 10 years mentioned.
Despite the big-city bias (which sometimes seems to fuel the opposite reaction from voters), Posada made the All-Star team just five times, and finished top-10 in MVP twice (third in 2003, sixth in 2007 at the age of 36). Perhaps the recognition issue here is that many of his best seasons came post-30 and post-dynasty, during the “very good” years where the Yankees kept finding ways not to fight over the hump in October?
According to the Hall of Fame Monitor, Posada rates as a 98, again just a notch below the 100 mark that denotes a “likely” balloting success. He’s JAWS’ 19th-best catcher of all time, outranking bygone Hall of Famers like Ernie Lombardi (29th) and Ray Schalk (31st).
Oh, and he’s also ahead of baseball’s darling: Yadier Molina ranks 22nd. So, defense or offense? What’ll it be? Any boost Yadi gets for piloting a “winner” all these years should go to Posada, too, considering he has far more rings.
And yet, just 3.8% and one-and-done in 2017. Baffling.