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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Joe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons

{quote]Joe Mauer, the 2009 American League MVP who has spent all 15 seasons of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins, announced his retirement Friday.

Mauer made his announcement in a letter to fans that was released by the Twins and is set to run in both The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday.

 

One of the game’s greats says good-bye.

Chris Fluit Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:43 AM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe mauer, twins

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   1. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: November 10, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5785414)
Well played, Mauer.
   2. eric Posted: November 10, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5785441)
Great career, Joe, and from all accounts, a great person.

At the risk of (re-) opening a can of worms--who am I kidding, around here all it takes is that headline to open it--I think he's a HOFer, and I hope the voters agree when the time comes.

   3. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 10, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5785454)
And now Joe Mauer rounds out a pretty nice MIN/WAS only roster:

C - Joe Mauer
1B - Kent Hrbek
2B - John Castino
3B - Ossie Bluege
SS - Cecil Travis
LF - Clyde Milan
CF- Kirby Puckett
RF - Tony Oliva
SP - Walter Johnson
   4. Scott Ross Posted: November 10, 2018 at 05:10 PM (#5785497)
I think he's a HOFer


He doesn't quite feel like one to me, but when I look at him in the context of other catchers, he clearly makes the cut.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 10, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5785504)
Mauer is far from the first player whose whole career I watched but there is something about him retiring that really makes me fel old. The concussions really changed the shape of his career so he feels like he’s 30 to me.

Looking at his career he’s been a lot better than I realized. That 2009 season almost obscures it. Rather than looking at a career with a high degree of consistency and having played a lot more games than I expected it almost feels like 2009 makes him an underachiever the rest of the time rather than the regularly good player he remained.
   6. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 10, 2018 at 06:21 PM (#5785524)
I was sad to see him move off of catcher so early. I knew it was the end of his greatness as a player.
   7. Ray (CTL) Posted: November 10, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5785526)
He doesn't quite feel like one to me, but when I look at him in the context of other catchers, he clearly makes the cut.


921 games at catcher is light. I'd have to see a comparison of him with other HOF catchers.

His 30s were essentially filler - he was still a useful player, but his performance in his 30s did not add to his HOF case.

He's all peak/prime. Maybe that's enough for a C.
   8. BDC Posted: November 10, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5785538)
DIE MAUER IST WEG
   9. BDC Posted: November 10, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5785539)
OK, I'd been waiting almost 15 years to post that. But seriously, here's this, cross-posted from the Dugout: closest careers to Mauer by PA, OPS+, and within that list, by dWAR.

Player          dWAR   PA OPS+  HR  RBI  SB   BA  OBP  SLG        Pos
Bobby Grich     16.8 8220  125 224  864 104 .266 .371 .424   
*46/3H5D
Chet Lemon       9.0 7874  121 215  884  58 .273 .355 .442  
*89/HD547
Joe Mauer        2.9 7960  124 143  923  52 .306 .388 .439     23D
/H9
Mark Teixeira    0.2 8029  126 409 1298  26 .268 .360 .509   
*3/DH957
Kirby Puckett   
-0.3 7831  124 207 1085 134 .318 .360 .477 *89/DH7456
Bob Elliott     
-3.0 8204  124 170 1195  60 .289 .375 .440  *59/H7864
George Foster   
-3.4 7812  126 348 1239  51 .274 .338 .480   *789H/D3
Cesar Cedeno    
-4.3 8133  123 199  976 550 .285 .347 .443     *8397H
Kiki Cuyler     
-5.5 8100  125 128 1065 328 .321 .386 .474      987/H
Dixie Walker    
-5.7 7669  121 105 1023  59 .306 .383 .437    *987H/3
Roy White       
-5.8 7735  121 160  758 233 .271 .360 .404 *7HD/89534
Edd Roush       
-6.0 8148  126  68  981 268 .323 .369 .446   *8H/7394
Don Mattingly   
-6.2 7722  127 222 1099  14 .307 .358 .471 *3/D9H7584 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/10/2018.

Other similar batting careers: Derrek Lee, Bobby Murcer, Hal McRae: with much less defensive value.

Puckett is an appropriately close comp. Mattingly had a very similar career arc. I think Mauer was better at his peak than any of these comps; he is one guy from this range that you can rank high on the Keltner question "was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball?"
   10. The Duke Posted: November 10, 2018 at 08:20 PM (#5785564)
He has an advantage on the hall vote as he will hit 2-3 years before Molina and 4-7 years before Posey. But he’s not a first ballot hall of famer and I don’t think he will get over the finish line until after both of them are in and I don’t think they are getting in l right away either. So maybe he has a shot in year 9-10 or in one of the Era committees
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5785565)
Mauer was always going to be a tough pick for the hof, at his peak he was close to Piazza as an offensive force while being widely accepted as an average or better defensive catcher, the issue is of course his short time there and the fact that catchers are going to be underrated by pretty much every metric out there, at least as far as starting catchers and the 'intangibles' they bring to the table. At the same time, half of his games are played at non-defense first positions... when guys like Piazza are playing 1600 games at catcher and having to wait a few years to get in, it's hard to justify an inferior hitter with a lot fewer games getting the same catcher bonus that Piazza should get.


Still, you have to look at eras to an extent, and there really isn't a hof catcher by war that has played during the era that encompasses Mauer's career except for Posey(and tail end of Irod's career) and there really doesn't look like there is any current ones right now that are 5 or so years into their career....Salvador Perez might end up being even better war candidate than Molina depending on how quickly they utilize statcast in their defensive ratings going forward, but there are no catchers with any established history that is on pace to really put up a good career war in comparison to Mauer, so you are looking at basically from 1997 until probably 2022 with only Mauer and Posey being legitimate war hofers(and Yadier as a writer favorite) among catchers. I don't know if that is unusual or not, but it does mean he has a heck of a chance if the voters look at relative to era as a factor.
   12. Zonk Can't Hide his Disdain or Disgust Posted: November 10, 2018 at 08:27 PM (#5785568)
I’d vote for him, but I just don’t see room on the balllot for at least the foreseeable future.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2018 at 08:37 PM (#5785570)
Of course the question to ask is "who will be on the ballot at the same time as him?" Even assuming he's not in on the first ballot, what other names will be on the ballot, and how much will that hurt him?

   14. cardsfanboy Posted: November 10, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5785575)
Just looking at the 2022 ballot(and he won't be eligible until the 2024 ballot) you have likely holdovers of Arod, Vizquel(maybe), Manny, Sheffield(last ballot), Wagner, Rolen, Andruw Jones, Helton, Abreu, Berkman, Giambi, Pettitte, Buehrle...... and maybe David Ortiz(but not likely) .... I don't think any of them are going to hurt his chances.

Looking at players from 2017/2018 who retired...you have Beltran, Utley, Ichiro, and Beltre(maybe) ...and that is all I could find with a quick search, that could have reasonable hof support.... Ichiro will be an easy first ballot, same with Beltre(but not quite as easy) Beltran will probably require a couple of years, and Utley is going to be the new Bobby Grich probably.
   15. Sweatpants Posted: November 10, 2018 at 09:12 PM (#5785577)
Molina isn't getting into the Hall of Fame before Mauer. Posey could, but 2018 was his age-31 season and the only thing he has over Mauer through age 31 is that he hasn't been moved off catcher yet. They were about equal as hitters, with Mauer having an edge in playing time and in games caught. Mauer wasn't close to Piazza as a hitter, though. As a Dodger, Piazza posted a 160 OPS+. Mauer had one season in which he hit that well.

I never thought of Mauer as an underachiever. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I recall his 2009 being viewed as a dream season even as it was happening, rather than the new norm to be expected from him.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 10, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5785579)
921 games at catcher is light.

That, and Mauer's production falling off so significantly after he stopped catching, makes him a tough Hall of Fame vote. He appears well-liked, and perhaps that will affect the voters, but if so, they should also take a look at some of the long-haul catchers who were slighted by those unwilling to make a proper positional adjustment. For most of those catchers, that will have to be via the Veterans Committee.
   17. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 09:54 PM (#5785591)
Well played, Mauer.


I'll be very disappointed if Joe makes the HOF and that's not the last line on his plaque.

I'd vote for him. He's borderline, of course, but the uniqueness of his peak moves him to "borderline yes" in my PHOF. A .306 career avg, almost half the batting titles for a catcher in MLB history (3 of 7), and a unanimous MVP where he won the slash line Triple Crown (AVG/OBP/SLG), set the single season batting average record for a catcher, and led the league in OPS+, one of just 4 catcher seasons ever to do that (Piazza in 1995 and 1997, Posey in 2012).

Catchers just don't catch as many games as they used to*, so guys like Piazza, Carter, and both Pudges can't be the standard going forward anymore. You'll either have to induct dominant peak/short-ish time behind the plate guys like Mauer and (most likely) Posey, or guys who caught forever but were rarely truly dominant, like Molina (or Sal Perez if he keeps going). I'd pick the former (though I suppose they might do both groups).

* Too lazy to look it up, but I heard that Perez was the only AL catcher to even qualify for the batting title this season.
   18. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 09:56 PM (#5785592)
Just looking at the 2022 ballot(and he won't be eligible until the 2024 ballot) you have likely holdovers of Arod, Vizquel(maybe), Manny, Sheffield(last ballot), Wagner, Rolen, Andruw Jones, Helton, Abreu, Berkman, Giambi, Pettitte, Buehrle...... and maybe David Ortiz(but not likely) .... I don't think any of them are going to hurt his chances.


I'd be pretty surprised if Abreu, Berkman, and Giambi even see a 2nd ballot. I'm not sure that Buehrle is a lock to, either, actually.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: November 10, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5785594)
Mauer's 6-year offensive peak is remarkably similar to..... Johnny Bench's!

Mauer peak years as a catcher, OPS+ and PA:

2009 - 171, 606
2006 - 144, 608
2013 - 142, 508*
2012 - 140, 641*
2010 - 140, 584
2008 - 134, 633

* - hybrid C-DH-1B

Bench's peak years:
1972 - 166, 653
1974 - 143, 708
1970 - 141, 671
1975 - 140, 606
1977 - 133, 563
1978 - 129, 592

then one measure after another pulls Bench far, far ahead, of course.

but you don't have to be only one 'far' behind Bench to be in the HOF conversation.
   20. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 10:05 PM (#5785595)
From the article:

He is one of 22 former MVPs to play his entire 15-plus-year career with one franchise. Each of the previous 21 is in the Hall of Fame.


Trivia time! Name the other 21!

I got 18 before I had to cheat and look up the rest. I felt dumb for the ones I missed cuz they were pretty obvious, but well, by nature of the question - guys who played at least 15 years, all for one team, won MVP's, and made the HOF - they're pretty much ALL obvious. It's hard to be too obscure when you've hit all those criteria.
   21. BDC Posted: November 10, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5785599)
I don’t think it’s easy to get all 21, though all 21 are very famous. You have to be certain who matches all three criteria. I guessed Gabby Hartnett, for instance: 19 years with the Cubs and one MVP award, but I did not know till today that he’d played a couple of months for the 1941 Giants.
   22. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 10, 2018 at 10:58 PM (#5785600)
Banks
Williams
Musial
Clemente
Bench
Yount
Bagwell
Stargell
Mantle
DiMaggio
Gehrig
Ripken
Brooks
Rice
Yaz
Schmidt
Brett


Are we including pitchers?

Hubbell
Gibson
Johnson



   23. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:07 PM (#5785602)
#22 - No on DiMaggio (played only 13 years due to the war). We are including pitchers, but I don't think they were counting Johnson, since he played before the MVP award was official.

So 3 left...
   24. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:07 PM (#5785603)
double post
   25. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:19 PM (#5785606)
Chipper
Gheringer
   26. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5785607)
#25 - Yep. 1 more.
   27. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:35 PM (#5785608)
Larkin
   28. Booey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 11:44 PM (#5785609)
Got 'em.

Several guys barely missed. In addition to the aforementioned Johnson (who would have qualified if they were counting previous incarnations of the MVP award) and Harnett, Sandberg missed by 6 at bats with the Phillies to start his career. Killebrew played his final season with the Royals. And the Yankees had several close calls; Mattingly only played 14 seasons and narrowly missed throwing that "all HOFers" criteria out the window, DiMaggio and Rizzuto played only 13 seasons due to WW2, and Berra missed out due to 9 at bats with the Mets in his final season.

Potential future members: Active MVP's with at least 10 seasons with their only MLB team - Kershaw, Posey, Braun, Votto, and Pedroia. Pedroia's HOF chances are dwindling, though, and Braun's are pretty much non-existent.
   29. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 11, 2018 at 12:02 AM (#5785611)
Several guys barely missed. In addition to the aforementioned Johnson (who would have qualified if they were counting previous incarnations of the MVP award) and Harnett, Sandberg missed by 6 at bats with the Phillies to start his career. Killebrew played his final season with the Royals. And the Yankees had several close calls; Mattingly only played 14 seasons and narrowly missed throwing that "all HOFers" criteria out the window, DiMaggio and Rizzuto played only 13 seasons due to WW2, and Berra missed out due to 9 at bats with the Mets in his final season.


Not sure what you were trying to say, but Hartnett missed by 64 games with another team. By a similar standard, Phil Cavaretta missed by 77 games, Lou Boudreau missed by 86, Hal Newhouser missed by 49 IP
   30. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2018 at 04:08 AM (#5785629)
I guessed Gabby Hartnett, for instance: 19 years with the Cubs and one MVP award, but I did not know till today that he’d played a couple of months for the 1941 Giants.

And with the mention of Sandberg, we have the all/nearly all of their career with the Cubs all-time lineup:

C -- Hartnett (165 PA with NYG)
1B -- Chance (33 PA with NYY, player-manager)
2B -- Sandberg (6 PA with Philly)
SS -- Banks
3B -- Santo (418 PA with Sox) ... Hack will do if you're a stickler
OF -- not sure ... Billy had over 1000 PA with the A's which is clearly too many. Cavaretta had 192 with the Sox so he's in. Ned Williamson (19th c) kinda comes close. That's really about it down to 15 WAR.

Pitching's not amazing either, Charlie Root (60 with the Browns) is the best. Zambrano had 132 with the Marlins. So not a bad front two. Keep in mind, pretty much all teams other than the Yanks suck by the "entire career" criterion ... sometimes a couple of superstars, rarely much else.

My loose threshold is less than a "full" season elsewhere. Santo's pushing it as is Z I suppose.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: November 11, 2018 at 04:39 AM (#5785632)
On Mauer ...

To date, all HoF Cs have spent basically their entire career at C (a bit of DH and other for Fisk, a bit of OF for Carter, a bit of end of 1B, 3B for Bench). Yogi's the closest to an exception with about 15% of his games in the OF but still over 1600 starts at C.

On the borderline, Simmons had a lot of time at 1B/DH but over 1700 starts at C and it's not like his hitting at 1B/DH does his case any favors. Torre had fewer than 900 starts there (for unclear reasons, JAWS puts him at 1B) and of course Tenace. Munson, Freehan, Posada were essentially full-career Cs.

Through Yogi, a long-time C career generally was around 1500-1700 games. Since then, 1800+ and even 2000+ have been pretty common and are standard and the only one seriously bwlow that is Piazza who still reached 1600 and of course was the greatest-hitting C ever ... and still had to wait.

So in career terms, there's just nothing too special about Mauer. He's 5 WAR ahead of Simmons but 800 C starts behind plus half his WAR advantage is due to Simmons hanging on way too long. By career standards, I put Simmons ahead, I probably put Freehan and Munson ahead too although those are closer. I wouldn't mind if Simmons, Munson and Freehan all made it but I'm not concerned they're on the outside.

Of course his case is peak and it's excellent. WAR7 works well for Cs since none of the serious candidates had good seasons away from C. Mauer is 5th all-time but well behind the top 3. Just behind Pudge II, just ahead of Pudge I, 2 wins better than Posey, Berra, Munson, Cochrane, 5 wins better than Simmons (about as far he is behind Piazza). The knock on Mauer here is that in those years, he still had 192 starts at DH/1B ... and that while that's an excellent peak, it's not like it's way better than most HoF C peaks and he has little C career to add to it.

So he's borderline at best. He's got a HoF-worthy peak but not a HoF-worthy peak-only peak if you know what I mean. He's got the MVP, GGs and AS games to help his cause but it's not enough to overcome so few starts at C in my opinion. For HoF purposes, he's not a "catcher", he's a "half-catcher." You can't really define your way out of that problem.

His most favorable comp really is Banks who also was a mediocre 1B for half his career. But Ernie's WAR7 is 52, not 39. The PA gap in those years is only about 500.

As to ballots -- yes, generally weak classes coming up. More than enough 1st ballot types but very few strong backlog types. That will obviously help him as will, in its way, the 10-year limit ... i.e. when we hit that 80s player lull of no-doubt HoFers, the voters pushed through a lot of guys who languished on the ballot for a long time. Most of those guys will be gone by the time Mauer hits. As to "what other C is there to vote for?", the answer is nobody -- as in that's probably who'll they'll vote for. It was 13 years between the election of Carter and Piazza (both had to wait). With Pudge going in 2017, with Posey and Molina on the way, there's no reason HoF voters should feel antsy about not putting in a C. Still, votes per ballot has been much stickier than I expected the last couple of years so if it remains high, he'll probably make it fairly easily.
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 11, 2018 at 07:06 AM (#5785638)

It was 13 years between the election of Carter and Piazza (both had to wait). With Pudge going in 2017, with Posey and Molina on the way, there's no reason HoF voters should feel antsy about not putting in a C.

Is it self-evident to everyone that Molina has a better HOF case than Mauer? To me it seems like the opposite, at least at this point. Molina has more postseason success and I get that people give him some credit for intangibles. Maybe in 5 years it will look different, but otherwise what am I missing? Same question for Posey, obviously.
   33. BDC Posted: November 11, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5785646)
He's got a HoF-worthy peak but not a HoF-worthy peak-only peak if you know what I mean


That makes sense. As Sweatpants noted above, Mauer's MVP season (2009) is an outlier: career highs in pretty much everything, including more than twice as many HR as in his next-best season. My tendency is to think that because Mauer won a couple of other batting titles, he was 2009-good for several years, but it was only for one. In his other two BA-title seasons, Mauer hit more like Bill Madlock than George Brett.

I think that Mauer will get into the Hall of Merit. Though who knows? There are only 13 lively-ball major-league catchers in the HOM. Aside from Freehan and Simmons (and Torre, who is in the HOF partly as a manager), it's not like they're adding boatloads of modern-day catchers to the HOFers.
   34. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5785659)
Keep in mind, pretty much all teams other than the Yanks suck by the "entire career" criterion ... sometimes a couple of superstars, rarely much else.


Well, I just posted the Twins. Maybe that's your definition of a few superstars and not much else, but it looks like a pretty good team to me. The Tigers have 3 HOFers (Trammell, Gehringer, and Kaline), plus Whitaker, Freehan, Mickey Stanley (hey, he was the 3rd best OF of the sixties after all), John Hiller, Tommy Bridges.

The Dodgers have Jackie, Pee Wee, Koufax, Drysdale, Campy, Gillium, Furillo. Fill out the roster with cromulent players like Wes Parker, Andre Ethier, Bill Russell, Erskine, and possibility of Kershaw, Jansen, and Puig and you've got a hell of a team.


   35. cardsfanboy Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5785663)
Is it self-evident to everyone that Molina has a better HOF case than Mauer? To me it seems like the opposite, at least at this point. Molina has more postseason success and I get that people give him some credit for intangibles. Maybe in 5 years it will look different, but otherwise what am I missing? Same question for Posey, obviously.


It's self evident that the people who traditionally make up the voting/commenting on this, think that Molina has a better argument. It's to the point now that he's being referred to as a future hall of famer every time a visiting announcer, writer or talking head joins the Cardinals booth. Olney and Rosenthal both have been saying this for a few years now, and he hasn't hurt his case since they started to say it.

Mauer gets mentioned as a potential hofer if he winds his career down usually, but people don't really rave or argue for his case in the same way that non-Cardinal writers and broadcasters do. Brian Kenny did a twitter poll that had nearly 20,000 respondents and it was 73% yes Yadier is a hofer.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5785664)
The Red Sox are pretty good:

C - Varitek
1B - Yaz
2B - Doerr
SS - Petrocelli
3B - Naehring
LF - Greenwell
CF - Dimaggio
RF - Williams
DH - Rice
SP - Parnell
   37. BDC Posted: November 11, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5785667)
I think that Rusty Greer might be the only Ranger on the just-the-Rangers all-star team who's not on their active roster right now.
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: November 11, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5785671)
I also forgot to mention one of Bill James stats on the hof, which is the hof monitor, which has historically been used to gauge how likely a player will make the hof, not how deserving they are. A score of 100 means likely, around 130 it means a near cinch. Molina with his newest gold glove and all star game appearance is up to 160 now, Mauer is at 92. This is about perception of course, and we are all hoping that the hof monitor stops being as accurate as it has in the past because it looks at things like average, gold gloves, generic number of games played and some counting stats(most of Molina's value is from him being a catcher on a playoff team, and 1800 games caught = 60 of those points--so there is always a chance that with the increase number of post season games becoming norm, that his value reputation from the post season will be hurt a bit because of the relative frequency)


In comparison though Posada, who was a regular catcher for a frequent post season team, and who has 1574 games caught(worth 30 points) is at 98 hof monitor score.
Ted Simmons though, who was one and done was 124 on the hof monitor,
Freehan was 84.
Tenace 7(ouch)
Kendall 108.(again it's about the 1800 games caught that makes up a big portion of this number)
Vizquel 120 (he's frequently mentioned when talking about Yadier because he's a similar type of player/reputation...and he started at 37% on the ballot, so the 120 isn't a lock, but it does show that it's still accurately modeling perception of a players hof case)


(of course just on the most recent ballot, among those not-tainted with ped Schilling with 171 hofm, Walker with 148, Edgar with 132, Kent with 123 and Mussina with 121....so make of that what you will.--among the 78 players with a higher hof monitor than Yadier who won't see the hof for non-ped/banned issues is maybe Helton, you have to scroll down to the 93rd player, Miguel Tejada at 149 to find the next guy who won't make the hof, Walker at 148 and then down Belle/Mattingly/Bernie at 135/134 ) Basically what I'm saying is that the way the voters have traditionally voted for this honor, matches up with Yadier being more likely to get the vote than Mauer....at the same time I think the voting is changing more to a stat based approach and that is going to make these Bill James predictors off a bit more frequently going forward.
   39. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 11, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5785677)
I think that Rusty Greer might be the only Ranger on the just-the-Rangers all-star team who's not on their active roster right now.


Yes, some teams are pretty pathetic. But until Chipper jones retired, Greer was better than whoever the Braves, who's history spans 150 years, had. The Mets just upgraded from Ed Kranepool to David Wright. The Cubs, who also have 150 years of history, have but 2 players of note.
   40. eric Posted: November 11, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5785684)
Piazza who still reached 1600 and of course was the greatest-hitting C ever ... and still had to wait.


Backne. Seriously--I think Piazza was considered a possible/likely steroid user and so his having to wait was his punishment. No whispers of any kind and he would have been in first ballot no matter who else was on it alongside him.

I think judging modern catchers against historical usage standards is not going to fly. Catchers outside of Molina just do not catch as many games per season as they used to. We don't expect pitchers to pitch 300 innings per season any more, so we can't expect catchers to catch 130+ any more.

As mentioned above, Posey just completed his age-31 season, whereas Mauer stopped catching after his age-30 season.

Posey through 31/Mauer through 30:
G: 1144/1178
GC: 886/920
WAR: 41.3/44.7

Now Posey may add to that, but he's at an age (will be 32 next year) where many catchers, even HOF catchers, are just producing filler seasons--Gary Carter had 7.5WAR/-1.4 WAA from age 32+, Bench had 5.6/0.8, as examples. If we maintain the same GC standards, the only modern catcher even considered eligible would be Molina.

His most favorable comp really is Banks who also was a mediocre 1B for half his career. But Ernie's WAR7 is 52, not 39.


Knocking Mauer for his WAR7 of 39 and then comparing that number against Banks' is disingenuous at best. Mauer is fifth for catchers; that's his comparison group. He also has more career WAR than all but one player below him, which includes 10 HOFers (with the normal caveats applying).

For what it's worth, Banks was 4th in WAR7 amongst SS, 7th in JAWS, so Mauer's 5th/7th to me means they are comparable players within their comparison groups--so saying Mauer is the Banks of catchers is both appropriate and a boon to his case.

If Mauer had played out his last five seasons batting his .278/.359/.388 105 OPS+ at catcher rather than at 1B but had only played 500 games instead of 680 since he was catching, keeping him at the same approximate WAR levels, would he then be a HOFer? Why? His case was written 2005-2013, and that case stands out both within the context of his time, as well as historically. Put him in the HOF.
   41. bobm Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5785700)
BB REF: Player Batting Comparison Finder: Joe Mauer (2004-2013) vs. Ernie Banks (1953-1961)

                                                                            
Rk          Name From   To   Age    G   PA    H  HR   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
1      Joe Mauer 2004 2013 21-30 1178 5060 1414 105 .323 .405 .468 .873  135
2    Ernie Banks 1953 1961 22-30 1216 5205 1355 298 .290 .353 .552 .905  138


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

                                                                                                 
Rk          Name From   To Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos RAA  WAA Rrep RAR  WAR oWAR dWAR      Salary
1      Joe Mauer 2004 2013  218      8  -1     -1   41 265 27.0  185 449 44.7 44.8  4.7 103,025,000
2    Ernie Banks 1953 1961  231     -2  -1     57   67 352 35.1  195 546 54.8 50.2 12.4     235,500


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.
   42. bobm Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5785703)
Player Batting Comparison Finder: Joe Mauer (2014-2018) vs. Ernie Banks (1962-1971)

                                                                            
Rk          Name From   To   Age    G   PA    H  HR   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
1      Joe Mauer 2014 2018 31-35  680 2900  709  38 .278 .359 .388 .746  105
2    Ernie Banks 1962 1971 31-40 1312 5190 1228 214 .258 .306 .448 .755  106


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.

                                                                                                 
Rk          Name From   To Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos RAA  WAA Rrep RAR  WAR oWAR dWAR      Salary
1      Joe Mauer 2014 2018   22      1  -3     20  -41  -2  0.4  103 101 10.4  8.2 -1.8 115,000,000
2    Ernie Banks 1962 1971   24     -4 -15     -2  -70 -67 -6.5  188 121 12.7 12.0 -7.3     445,000


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2018.
   43. bobm Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5785704)
Of the recent retirees, who is the more likely and/or deserving Hall of Famer? Mauer or Utley? Both likely and/or deserving?
   44. cardsfanboy Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5785705)
Of the recent retirees, who is the more likely and/or deserving Hall of Famer? Mauer or Utley? Both likely and/or deserving?


Utley, but also both. Mauer is on the border for me, but I usually put him over the line simply because catchers are underrepresented and he qualifies as a catcher in the same way Ernie Banks qualifies as a shortstop, all of his real value came from that peak and the non-catcher portion of his career was just him playing because he had a job and a team willing to pay for him.

Utley is probably a bit overrated by war to be honest...or maybe not, but a large portion of his value is tied up in his defense, which might be overrating him, but even nudging him down a bit, he's pretty over the line, and if the defensive metrics are correct then he's clearly over the line. Sadly he does have the Larry Walker issue which is a relatively low career pa, and several non-complete seasons, but I have Walker over the line and Utley is right there.
   45. eric Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5785708)
I think Mauer is the more likely HOFer, while I think both are about equally deserving. Writers have cut catchers some slack (although perhaps not enough) in terms of counting numbers, and Mauer has the MVP and the BA titles, as well as more black ink in general. Utley's sub-2000 career hits, one time leading the league in runs, and HBP leader three-peat just won't impress too many voters.

Quick, who had more PAs in his career, Mauer or Utley? It's Mauer by a nose: 7960 to 7863.

I think Mauer has a real chance, although it's still very much up in the air just how much support he'll receive. Utley is like Bobby Grich in a lot of ways, only with ~350 fewer career PAs. Utley will likely end up with the same fate as Grich as no real HOF threat, although maybe lingering for more than just the one ballot simply because more writers are sabermetrically aware nowadays.
   46. The Duke Posted: November 11, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5785767)
Molina’s case is resting on his World Series appearances (leader of men reputation) plus a huge number of games/innings caught. If he puts up two- three more seasons like the last two he will get in easily especially in an era where catchers aren’t putting in a huge number of games/innings. Last season was one of his best ever all around seasons and he took a 100 mph fastball right in the family jewels
   47. BDC Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5785772)
I'm OK with Molina as a HOFer on the theory that he is the Mazeroski or Aparicio of catchers. But right now, as a hitter, he's the slightly-more-comfortably-off man's Rick Ferrell. And Rick Ferrell was a pretty good catcher if not Molinesque.

I remember a thread awhile back where some breathless writer had said in TFA that Molina – coming off a 22 HR, 76 RBI campaign – was as good an offensive player then as Johnny Bench in his prime. This was arguable only if you fed the stats through some funhouse mirrors, but it seemed to me to exemplify the mystique of Molina.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: November 11, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5785774)
Not to derail this more on Molina, but did anyone see the highlights from todays game?

he had three hits, a weird ass magic moving single, was caught stealing in a bizarre rundown, picked off a runner and had a homerun. I'm not sure that non-American games played helps, but his reputation in the WBC and now Japan can't hurt when it comes to the "fame" side of the equation(along with picking up the Roberto Clemente award this year)

   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5785823)
Mauer is far from the first player whose whole career I watched but there is something about him retiring that really makes me fel old.

I'm told that what really makes you feel old is when a player has a Hall of Fame start to his career, and you realize that there is some actuarial uncertainty as to whether you'll be around to find out if he makes it.
   50. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 12, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5785881)
Keep in mind, pretty much all teams other than the Yanks suck by the "entire career" criterion ... sometimes a couple of superstars, rarely much else.


The Blue Jays best "entire career" position player (based on WAR) is current CF Kevin Pillar (14.3 bWAR) as he's the first player in their top career bWAR list (#20).
For inactive players, you have to drop all the way down to #66 on their list, the immortal Gart Iorg (3.4 bWAR).

Their "starting lineup" (assuming active players are allowed) may be the worst in the league.

I only counted players at a position if they played at least 10 games there during their Blue Jays career (name, Blue Jays bWAR, season(s), total games played regardless of position):

C: Danny Jansen (0.7) - 2018 - 31G
1B: Domingo Martinez (0.3) - 1992-93 - 15G
2B: Richard Urena (0.2) - 2018 - 61G (he'd also be the #1 SS)
3B: Garth Iorg (3.4) - 1978-1987 - 931G (he would also be the #1 2B and #2 OF (only 14G, however))
SS: Lourdes Gurriel Jr (0.1) - 2017-18 - 40G
OF: Kevin Pillar (14.3) - 2013-18 - 690G
OF: Dalton Pompey (0.6) - 2014-18 - 64G
OF: Willie Canate (0.1) - 1993 - 38G

SP: Luis Leal (10.7) - 1980-85 - 165G (151GS)
RP: Ryan Tepera (2.9) - 2015-18 - 193G (0GS)


   51. BDC Posted: November 12, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5785890)
when a player has a Hall of Fame start to his career, and you realize that there is some actuarial uncertainty as to whether you'll be around to find out if he makes it


I'm congratulating Ronald Acuña and Juan Soto in advance for that very reason.
   52. Master of the Horse Posted: November 12, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5785930)
   53. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 12, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5785950)
I'm told that what really makes you feel old is when a player has a Hall of Fame start to his career, and you realize that there is some actuarial uncertainty as to whether you'll be around to find out if he makes it.
My dad told me that it's when guys you saw play in the minor leagues start dying of old age.
   54. Howie Menckel Posted: November 12, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5785993)
Jose Reyes says he feels old because he played in the minors with Ronald Acuna Sr.! (he actually did)
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 12, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5786050)

Now Posey may add to that, but he's at an age (will be 32 next year) where many catchers, even HOF catchers, are just producing filler seasons--Gary Carter had 7.5WAR/-1.4 WAA from age 32+, Bench had 5.6/0.8, as examples.

You may consider those filler seasons for Carter, but those years included his time on the 1986 Mets, 3 more All-Star appearances, and a #3 MVP finish, and got him to 2,000 hits, 300 homers, 1,000 runs and 1,000 RBIs. He would have probably made the HOF eventually without any of that, but it certainly helped (even with all that it took him 6 years).

Carter is an interesting case. I remember growing up as a baseball fan in the 80s, Carter was the top catcher in the NL and obviously a future HOFer. Then when I first found sabermetrics, and before the advanced stats incorporated defense or there was a widespread understanding that the standards had to be different for catchers, I began to think Carter actually wasn't as good as I'd believed in my childhood. Now, the metrics have caught up to what most of us knew at the time.
   56. DanG Posted: November 12, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5786164)
I thought I would put together a list of similar players to Joe Mauer. I’m looking for players who 1) had long careers, 2) were good hitters, 3) did about as much catching as Mauer.

It turns out this is a rare animal. In his career, Mauer had 7960 PA, a 124 OPS+ and 921 games at catcher. Players in the list below had 5800+ PA, a 106 or better OPS+, and 550-1250 games at catcher.

Player          GatC WARWAAOPSPA  From   To
Joe Torre        898 57.6 26.8 129 8802 1960 1977
Joe Mauer        921 55.1 27.4 124 7960 2004 2018
Brian Downing    675 51.5 21.1 122 9309 1973 1992
King Kelly       584 44.3 22.9 139 6457 1878 1893
Victor Martinez  858 32.2  3.6 118 8166 2002 2018
Elston Howard   1139 27.0  8.7 108 5845 1955 1968 

Joe Torre is perhaps the only truely similar player to Mauer in baseball history, and he was an easy choice for the Hall of Merit.
   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 12, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5786200)
Joe Torre is perhaps the only truely similar player to Mauer in baseball history . . .

So Mauer needs to win 4 World Series as a Manager to make the Hall of Fame?
   58. Sweatpants Posted: November 12, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5786373)
Molina’s case is resting on his World Series appearances (leader of men reputation) plus a huge number of games/innings caught. If he puts up two- three more seasons like the last two he will get in easily especially in an era where catchers aren’t putting in a huge number of games/innings.
Jorge Posada appeared in and won more World Series, and had a terrific playing record, too. He fell off the ballot in his first year.
Last season was one of his best ever all around seasons and he took a 100 mph fastball right in the family jewels
That last point is interesting, but unless Bob Saget gets a vote then I don't see it swaying the voters too much. Besides, how does that compare to a prime-ending concussion from a foul ball off the bat of BBTF legend Ike Davis?
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5788104)
Jorge Posada appeared in and won more World Series, and had a terrific playing record, too. He fell off the ballot in his first year.


Do you seriously think Molina will fall off the ballot in the first year? Considering that there have been multiple voters to flat out state not only that they will vote for him, but think he will go in, I find that a weird disconnect.

Posada's perceived value to the voters is literally his numbers that they have, Molina's case rest a bit more on 'you know it's porn' type of arguments. Whether they are good arguments or not, but Molina is at the very worst going to be a ten ballot guy, not a one or two and done guy.

That last point is interesting, but unless Bob Saget gets a vote then I don't see it swaying the voters too much. Besides, how does that compare to a prime-ending concussion from a foul ball off the bat of BBTF legend Ike Davis?


well considering that he took the hit and was out a month, and finished third in games caught, that is somewhat an impressive feat.
   60. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 15, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5788112)

Posada was always kind of viewed as a guy who was out of place at catcher, whereas Yadier has always been seen as a natural at the position. As a result I don't think Posada really got any bonus with the writers for being a catcher, whereas Molina will.
   61. QLE Posted: November 15, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5788135)
Late, I admit, but, since this thread has come back to life:

On the one hand, Mauer is clearly very deserving of HOF induction based on his peak performance- the only catchers who are better than him in those terms are Bench, Carter, Piazza, Rodriguez, Fisk, and Cochrane, all of whom have been inducted.

I also don't think all his time at first base matters much to this discussion- the comparison with Ernie Banks in these terms is spot-on.

However, the question as for whether or not this will be recognized comes into play. Of the players behind Mauer in terms of peak performance, Berra (who is only slightly behind Mauer) got in easily, but then there's Munson (who never got much traction with the BBWAA) and Simmons (who was one-and-done with them, though the odds seem good that the VC will induct him the next time he's eligible). I suspect that Mauer will do better than the both of them- that said, how much better is hard to predict at this time, and probably will be heavily influenced both by how stacked the ballot is and by how much the BBWAA electorate will have changed between now and then (though what old-timers remain may like Mauer's batting averages).

Finally, as for the Molina/Posey divide- Molina isn't really deserving, but I can see the same nonsense aiding Vizquel as aiding him. Posey, on the other hand, is deserving- however, the performance of Posada isn't promising in terms of what would happen if the truck hit Posey today, and there is enough variable involving how Posey's future will turn out that I dare not engage in forecasting now.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:20 PM (#5788164)
Finally, as for the Molina/Posey divide- Molina isn't really deserving, but I can see the same nonsense aiding Vizquel as aiding him. Posey, on the other hand, is deserving- however, the performance of Posada isn't promising in terms of what would happen if the truck hit Posey today, and there is enough variable involving how Posey's future will turn out that I dare not engage in forecasting now.


Posey at least has a reputation as a good defensive catcher, and as the case for Simmons and even Piazza points out, that is a good thing. Defensive reputation for catchers is huge, this is a position that is basically the on field manager, and having a positive reputation there is worth a lot of cache with the voters(and we'll eventually find out if that is deservedly so.)

I've argued for over a decade that Piazza was a plus defender regardless of the metrics that we grade him by right now, simply because his pitching staff was ALWAYS good... argue that it's the result of the front office, pitchers he had or whatever... but the fact is that in a full season Piazza always caught one of the five(most of the time three) best pitching staffs in baseball.... he didn't hurt his staffs regardless of his lack of arm...there is more to catching than outs recorded by the position.

That is Piazza of course who I always argued was unfairly maligned for his defense(same to a lesser extent can be said about Ted Simmons---probably one of the smartest men to play MLB...catching is more than throwing out runners, but if you can take a great brain, and add in a great arm you have something special... that is the reputation of Johnny Bench and Yadier Molina.... (sorry Irod... I am not convinced that he had the brain on the level of a guy like Simmons, Bench or even a Porter... he had the Yadier arm of course...but his ability to call a game or frame a pitch is not really something people talk about to be honest)


   63. SoSH U at work Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5788167)
Posey, on the other hand, is deserving- however, the performance of Posada isn't promising in terms of what would happen if the truck hit Posey today, and there is enough variable involving how Posey's future will turn out that I dare not engage in forecasting now.


I think an important distinction is that Posada was never the focal point of that dynasty. It had Jeter and Rivera and Pettitte for all of the titles, plus Williams and Clemens and a bunch of other fixtures during various point in the run. New Yorkers might have labeled him one of the Core Four or Five Alive or Six Dicks or whatever rhyming scheme worked for a given argument, but he was always a level below the top dogs in perception.

Posey is undoubtedly the top position player during the Giants title run.

I think that will make a significant difference.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: November 15, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5788180)
Posey is undoubtedly the top position player during the Giants title run.


Was Yogi the top position player during the Yankees title run? It's not really about being the top player, it's about the argument that he is bringing more to the table than the data is showing. Nobody gave Posada the mystique that Jeter has. Is Posey more valuable than the numbers is what the argument is about when it comes to catchers... the numbers actually argue that Posey is pretty valuable beyond the "numbers(that fans know)". Catchers get a benefit of the doubt bonus, but if the guy has the reputation of being poor defensively or even just average, he loses a lot of that extra bonus.
   65. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 15, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5788232)
Was Yogi the top position player during the Yankees title run?


In the seven seasons from 1950 to 1956, Berra's performance in the MVP voting was - three first place, two second place, one third place, one fourth place. That was right at the intersection of the end of DiMaggio's career, and the start of Mantle's. I think most fans of that era would have regarded Berra as the Yankees best player over that span. After that, of course, it was undoubtedly Mantle, especially after the Triple Crown in '56.
   66. Sweatpants Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:48 PM (#5788273)
Do you seriously think Molina will fall off the ballot in the first year? Considering that there have been multiple voters to flat out state not only that they will vote for him, but think he will go in, I find that a weird disconnect.
I have no idea how many ballots Molina will be on. My point was that those arguments for Molina applied to Posada, too, and they didn't get him anywhere. Maybe they'll be more convincing when Molina gets his shot down the road. There's a lot of room between one-and-done and HOFer, though.

It's easy for someone to say now that they'll vote for Molina, when they don't actually have to choose between him and a host of other star players, and while Molina is still a productive major leaguer. Seven years is a long time to expect an opinion to stay the same.
   67. Ziggy's screen name Posted: November 15, 2018 at 10:49 PM (#5788275)
Usually we have a pretty good idea what the hall of fame voters are going to do, but mauer has me stumped. The Ernie Banks analogy is a good one, but it doesn't tell us that much about his chances because, MVP or no, mauer never was the level of star that Banks was.
   68. Master of the Horse Posted: November 15, 2018 at 11:57 PM (#5788303)
Have to ask. Why no discussion of the concussion? I admit I bring it up in Mauer talks because I find the responses pretty bizarre. Like concussions are not a real injury

Hoping maybe a sane poster takes a crack at why Mauer having his career impacted by a brain injurry should or shouldn’t be part of HOF discussion
   69. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:15 AM (#5788314)
Have to ask. Why no discussion of the concussion? I admit I bring it up in Mauer talks because I find the responses pretty bizarre. Like concussions are not a real injury

Hoping maybe a sane poster takes a crack at why Mauer having his career impacted by a brain injurry should or shouldn’t be part of HOF discussion


Because, for better or worse, injuries are part of the calculus. There are oodles and scads of player who might have been HOFers if not for injuries. One cannot induct them all.

Mauer showed HOF talent over a relatively long period of time before succumbing to injury. So did Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Al Rosen, Cesar Cedeno, David Wright, Thurman Munson, Nomar Garciapara, Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis, ...

And that ignores HOF talent player derailed earlier like Mark Prior, Herb Score, Tony Conigliaro, Dickie Thon...
   70. Master of the Horse Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:21 AM (#5788315)
69: Absolutely. Get that. But I read all kinds of posts in prior Mauer threads where other catchers are given some kind of allowance because they got hurt Which makes no sense to me.

Thanks for the response.
   71. Master of the Horse Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:23 AM (#5788317)
if it’s not obvious I think Mauer is an obvious HOF guy. Like totally qualified
   72. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: November 16, 2018 at 12:43 AM (#5788320)
But I read all kinds of posts in prior Mauer threads where other catchers are given some kind of allowance because they got hurt Which makes no sense to me.


Well, in broad strokes, yes. I do take into consideration whether it is an on field injury, or off field/illness. For example, Joe Mauer getting a concussion from playing is tragic. So was Roy Campanella getting into a car accident. I'm more willing to grant dispensation, if you will, to the latter.
   73. SoSH U at work Posted: November 16, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5788379)
The one thing about Mauer, and I'm not sure how to allow for it, or if you should, is his shift was largely due to concussion awareness. I have no doubt many previous catchers would have been shifted off the position earlier in their careers if we knew in the "bell rung" era what we know now.

Was Yogi the top position player during the Yankees title run? It's not really about being the top player, it's about the argument that he is bringing more to the table than the data is showing.


Nonsense. First of all, these things should never be reduced to one thing, because it's almost never one thing.

But being perceived as the top player on a multiple-championship team carries significant weight. Posey has that. Posada didn't.
   74. Mefisto Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5788402)
Giants who played only for that franchise (or nearly so) since 1900:

C Posey (so far)
1B Terry
2B ??
3B Jim Ray Hart
SS Crawford (so far)
LF Ross Youngs/Mike Tiernan
CF Jo-Jo Moore (but c'mon)
RF Ott
P Mathewson, Hubbell, Cain, Bumgarner (so far)
   75. Greg Pope Posted: November 16, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5788410)
Well, in broad strokes, yes. I do take into consideration whether it is an on field injury, or off field/illness. For example, Joe Mauer getting a concussion from playing is tragic. So was Roy Campanella getting into a car accident. I'm more willing to grant dispensation, if you will, to the latter.

There might be some distinction in the former, though. In two ways.

First, was it your own body or was it something that happened? Mattingly, Wright, and others had their bodies break down. They didn't have the "stay healthy" skill.

Second, was it something you did or something happened to you? Injuries that come from sliding, crashing into walls, running the bases, etc. are under your control. Getting hit in the head with a baseball is not.

These aren't binary questions, of course. Did Nomar's body break down or did he keep injuring himself? Is a torn ligament in your pitching elbow something that is blamed on your body, or on your pitching?

It seems like Kirby Puckett got some extra "what if" votes because at the time there was the feeling that his career got cut short due to getting beaned. Will Mauer get the same bump?
   76. Where have you gone Brady Anderson? Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5788466)
I think Mauer will get a small narrative boost, as the local boy who made good and played his entire career with the hometown team. I also think his chances improve over time. Right now it is easy to think of him as a mediocre first baseman, since that phase of his career is so recent. As we get further from his playing days, I think the first baseman phase will get forgotten, and the MVP, batting titles, and other more dramatic parts of his career will be better remembered. He was one of my favorite players, so I hope he makes it.
   77. QLE Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5788470)
I’d vote for him, but I just don’t see room on the balllot for at least the foreseeable future.


By the time Mauer makes the ballot, Bonds, Clemens, Martinez, Mussina, Schilling, Sosa, and Walker will all be gone (in one form or another), and the next few years are likely to go as followed:

2019: Rivera in first ballot, Halladay in before 2024, the real possibility that Helton won't make a second ballot, and it being unclear who else on that list will make a second ballot.

2020: Jeter in first ballot, Abreu likely to fall off after the first ballot, and no one else who seems to merit induction.

2021: No one who seems to merit induction, and no one who seems to be likely to be threats for induction.

2022: Rodriguez likely to be stalled, Ortiz likely to get an (undeserved) first-ballot induction, and no one else likely to stick around (unless Rollins gets the Vizquel treatment for whatever reason).

2023: Your guess is as good as mine how Beltran will be treated by the BBWAA.

Which leads us to 2024. Even being generous and assuming that all these viable candidates remain on the ballot, that is only seven people (Abreu, Beltran, Helton, Jones, Ramirez, Rodriguez and Rolen), on a ballot that will have room for ten candidates. Even if you like Sheffield more than I do, that still is only eight. From there, it is a question of how many new players will make the ballot that year. The one who seems likely to get the most attention, Ichiro, is planning to play in the MLB games scheduled in Japan next year- and, if he does so, that moves his eligibility back a year and frees another ballot slot.

In these ways, I don't see ballot room as being an issue- these coming years aren't ones that will produce a glut.
   78. Rally Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5788471)
Mauer showed HOF talent over a relatively long period of time before succumbing to injury. So did Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Al Rosen, Cesar Cedeno, David Wright, Thurman Munson, Nomar Garciapara, Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis, ...


Pretty sure Mauer's 55 WAR is better than all of them.

Plus he was at 45 WAR before he moved to first base. That in itself places him among the best catchers outside the HOF (Simmons, Munson, Schang, Freehan).
   79. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 16, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5788482)
I was curious:

Player      WAR    WAA
Mauer       55.1   27.4
Mattingly   42.4   17.6
Belle       40.1   17.2
Rosen       32.6   19.2
Cedeno      52.8   26.2
Wright      50.4   29.9
Munson      46.1   25.5
Garciaparra 44.2   24.2
Strawberry  42.2   20.9
Davis       36.1   16.0 


By this limited measure, Wright, Mauer, and Cedeno are the class of the group. Unlike most of the list, Mauer doesn't have any negative WAR years (and only two negative WAA years), so if you're one of those people who doesn't look at negative years for HoF/HoM you should probably consider that.
   80. Zach Posted: November 16, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5788611)
You can argue it either way, but I think the combination of peak, favorite son status, and lack of close competitors will give him a lot of ballot support.

Are there any catchers that have definitely been kept out due to a short career despite a HOF peak?
   81. Master of the Horse Posted: November 16, 2018 at 05:38 PM (#5788622)
Interesting how Posey is presented when he still has not caught as many games as Mauer and Mauer is framed as a guy who did not catch enough to make the HOF.

80--Elston Howard has like the weirdest career value path ever. Dude had 19.8 WAR from ages 32-35 so it is crazy to think that if he had not been playing everywhere but catcher because of things I have not had a chance to research he might have had 40 WAR at catcher? 50 maybe?

Another fascinating guy that I know nothing about save for what is on baseballref is Freehan. I can guess that he played hurt a lot because he has two seasons of more than 6 WAR and other seasons of 4 plus WAR but a shitton of years of a WAR where his bat was just dead. Had to be hurt right?? Someone doesn't forget to hit then remember, then forget again.
   82. Mefisto Posted: November 16, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5788635)
Posey's career isn't over yet. If he catches lots more games (doubtful), then he'll have a better case. If he ends up like Mauer -- playing 1B most of the time -- then that'll have a big impact on his career.
   83. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 16, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5788637)
playing everywhere but catcher because of things I have not had a chance to research


The most obvious of those things is that Elston Howard was playing for a team that had Yogi Berra at catcher.
   84. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 16, 2018 at 06:44 PM (#5788639)
Someone doesn't forget to hit then remember, then forget again.

Sounds kind of like Jason Kendall, speaking of catchers. After 2700 PA of 121 OPS+ to start his career, he went 78, 86, 112, 107, followed by 3400 PA of 75 OPS+.

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