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Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Buster Posey to reportedly retire after fantastic 12-year career with Giants | Yahoo Sports

The heart and soul of the San Francisco Giants is reportedly ready to call it a career. Catcher Buster Posey will reportedly announce his retirement Thursday, ending a fantastic 12-year run with the franchise, according to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.

Posey, 34, returned for the 2021 MLB season after opting in 2020. He experienced a resurgence at the plate, hitting .304/.390/.499, with 18 home runs, over 454 plate appearances. That performance resulted in Posey making the National League All-Star team for the first time since 2018.

I’m shocked.

Hombre Brotani Posted: November 03, 2021 at 06:42 PM | 178 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: buster posey, san francisco giants, via con dios

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   1. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6051091)

If this is true, it's a pretty complete career. ROY, MVP, Comeback Player of the Year, 7 AS appearances, 1 Gold Glove, and 3 World Series rings. (And something like $145 million in career earnings.)
   2. JRVJ Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6051092)
Good for Posey, in that this seems to be a life decision for him and his family.

A pity that he is retiring when he still had a good couple of seasons in the tank.

The inevitable question then becomes the HoF. I would hope Posey gets in, but his numbers do not suggest an early entry.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6051099)
Can’t argue with Pusey’s career. I assume he could pretty much take a dump on the San Francisco courthouse and they’d frame it and consider it a civil landmark. Good for him.
   4. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:23 PM (#6051100)
The inevitable question then becomes the HoF.
Not on the first ballot, but I can't imagine he doesn't get in after just a few years. It's a relatively short career for a Hall of Famer, just 10 full seasons and that sophomore season injury that triggered the rule protecting catchers. Like #1 notes, though, it's a complete career. Even his commercials were great.
   5. bfan Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:33 PM (#6051105)
I assume he could pretty much take a dump on the San Francisco courthouse


How could they tell his from the rest?

He was one high draft choice/slight risk (a college SS as I remember, until his last year at FSU, so could he stick at catcher?)that turned out very well.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:42 PM (#6051111)
How could they tell his from the rest?
It smells like gardenias.
   7. Mefisto Posted: November 03, 2021 at 07:42 PM (#6051112)
Very sad. The weird thing is, Posey is almost certainly the greatest catcher in Giants' history (I suppose an argument could be made for Bresnahan or Ewing), and yet I feel his career was significantly less impressive than it should have been due to injuries. I'm not sure if or how that might affect his HOF (or HOM) case.
   8. TomH Posted: November 03, 2021 at 08:09 PM (#6051118)
Um, yes, I *suppose* an argument could be made for Bresnahan or Ewing

Given that the original HOF vote for best players of the 19th century went
1 Buck Ewing
2 Cap Anson
3 Willie Keeler
4 Cy Young
5 Ed Delahanty

I suppose Ewing has an argument...
   9. Tin Angel Posted: November 03, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6051120)
and yet I feel his career was significantly less impressive than it should have been due to injuries. I'm not sure if or how that might affect his HOF (or HOM) case.


He missed three fourths of a season (after winning an MVP) because of the knee. There is no way to prove it but taking last year off because of Covid concerns might have significantly helped his numbers this year.
   10. AndrewJ Posted: November 03, 2021 at 08:57 PM (#6051126)
Johnny Bench and Pudge Rodriguez are the only catchers elected to the HOF in their first year on the ballot. I doubt Buster will make it three, but the BBWAA will ultimately vote him in.

How many healthy 34-year-olds have retired following a 107-55 season, I wonder?
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:10 PM (#6051130)
There is no way to prove it but taking last year off because of Covid concerns might have significantly helped his numbers this year.


Well it's settled then. He'll take next year off, drive his wife crazy and come back when he's 36 and have a great year.

As for the HOF; it's a really short career. Definitely a HOF level of play and talent, just don't know about a full HOF career. I could be easily convinced he belongs though as I'm a peak guy and prefer players who were considered either one of the best in the league or one of the best at their position whilst playing.

Also, I believe catcher WAR is always about 5-7 WAR short over the career of a good catcher. It's the hardest position on the diamond by far and that doesn't seem to be captured by all the metrics. I'm not great on the stats so will let other's prove or disprove my position on that.
   12. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:25 PM (#6051135)
Posey will be enshrined in Cooperstown with little fuss.

Hall of Merit is a bit trickier as he finishes with only 5607 PA, but I think he gets in there too. Thurman Munson also had a truncated career and finished with 5905 PA; he's on my ballot this year, and Posey has a 129 OPS+ to Munson's 116. He'd be #2 behind A-Rod if he were eligible now.

Mickey Cochrane is another comp. 6211 PA, one full season's worth more than Posey, also with a 129 OPS+. Both were great at handling pitchers; Posey controlled the running game much better (as Pepper Martin would tell us).

Roy Campanella's Dodgers career is three-fourths of Posey's career with a VERY similar player profile obscured by the difference in their home parks. Of course, Roy has an extensive Negro Leagues record prior to age 26 that has to be figured in.
   13. Mefisto Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:28 PM (#6051137)
There is no way to prove it but taking last year off because of Covid concerns might have significantly helped his numbers this year.


I think it really helped him this year. I wonder if more time off would have helped his comeback from the 2011 injury.

@8: Yeah, the issue is whether you want to timeline. I would.
   14. cookiedabookie Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6051140)
He'd be #2 behind A-Rod if he were eligible now.

I think I'd have him fourth, behind A-Rod, Pettitte, and Hudson
   15. The Duke Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6051141)
Molina retires next year so Posey may get a clear run if Pujols doesn’t retire as well. I just don’t see him as a first ballot but he’s a got a great story.

Catching is hard. Basically done at 30, manages to put together one last year at 34. Still a great career

Makes you appreciate Pudge and Molina. Such a tough position
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 03, 2021 at 09:51 PM (#6051147)
Posey will be enshrined in Cooperstown with little fuss.

I have a hard time seeing that. 5600 PA is just a super short career. 45 WAR isn't ringing any bells. He's way behind Mauer, IMHO.
   17. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 03, 2021 at 10:21 PM (#6051153)
I have a hard time seeing that. 5600 PA is just a super short career. 45 WAR isn't ringing any bells.
10 of the 15 catchers in the Hall have less than 45 WAR. (I'm leaving off Jim O'Rourke and his foggy old-timey statistical profile.) Posey's 10 year run is certainly Hall-worthy. Just going by BRef WAR, Posey's six-year peak is comparable to Carlton Fisks' and Yogi Berra's best six year stretches, and beats Bill Dickey's best six-year stretch. A lack of longevity means those guys are inner-circle guys and Posey isn't, but Posey is clear, clear, clearly an all-time catching great.

Posey hanging around for five years just to squeeze out 6 WAR and get over 50 wouldn't strengthen his Hall argument any.
   18. Srul Itza Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:02 PM (#6051163)
I think the three World Series wins over 5 years will do a lot to get him in. He did not hit well, but he was lauded for his handling of the pitching staff. The ROY and MVP are also nice, shiny baubles.

   19. John Northey Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:03 PM (#6051164)
The HOF will be tough for him - Gary Carter had to wait 6 years and his resume was crazy good (2000+ hits, 300+ HR, 11 time All-Star, 1 Gold Glove, 5 Silver Sluggers, 1 WS win, over 70 bWAR, solid playoff performer), as did most modern catchers. Fisk had to wait for a second ballot, Mike Piazza for crying out loud had to wait 4 years. IRod snuck in on the first ballot (76%) somehow. I don't see Buster Posey as being in that group. Yes, he has 7 All-Star games, 1 Gold Glove, 4 Silver Slugger, a ROY, an MVP - he has the peak case, but no longevity at all with just 12 seasons (includes a 7 game season and a 45 game one). His bat in the postseason was nothing to write home about (252/321/345, WS: 230/288/328) but 3 WS titles is significant regardless of his horrid hitting during the WS. Of course Pat Borders has 2 WS titles as primary catcher and he didn't even get on the ballot (was a WS MVP who hit 315/339/414 in the playoffs and played in 17 seasons but just 3.6 WAR, yeah he wasn't that good a player but just right place, right time, and hot at the perfect time). But looking at Posey I see a guy who just had way too short a career to be put into the HOF (maybe vets someday if few catchers make it from this era), with low odds of writers doing it unless a story is built up around him that they love.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:15 PM (#6051166)
I think the three World Series wins over 5 years will do a lot to get him in.


Yup. Being the best player on a multiple title winner is a really good Hall hook (it almost certainly helped Kirby). I don't think it takes him long to get in.
   21. The Duke Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:15 PM (#6051167)
The story is already there. Leader of the lteam of the decade. Bumgarner might have had a bit more press at the time but the giants have continued to be excellent with posey.
   22. Jack Sommers Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:24 PM (#6051168)
Trotting out WAA for this case. And going back to 1990, so last 31 years, keeping the context somewhat current. I had to drop the playing time requirement to 45% of games at catcher to head the Mauer fanboys off at the pass.

He's easily one of the top 5 catcher in MLB in the last 30 years. And the only way you can bump him down to 5th is if you move Yadi up to 3rd or 4th, metrics be damned, cuz reasons.

Personally, I have him above Mauer and Yadi, as the 3rd best catcher in MLB since 1990. Posey played 85% of his defensive innings at catcher, compared to Mauer just 60% of his defensive innings, AND Mauer DH'd over 300 games while Posey just a few dozen


I'm a big "positional" guy, and I like to keep the context within a reasonable time frame. For me, when examining a guy's career, I want to see how he compares to guys that played ten years before and ten years after. We don't have the after yet of course.

Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, In the Regular Season, from 1990 to 2021, Played at least 45% of games at C, requiring Fielding Runs >= -100 and WAR Position Players >= 20 and Batting Runs >= -100 and Adjusted OPS+ >= 0, sorted by greatest WAA Position Players.

Rk            Player WAA/pos WAR/pos OPS+  Rbat Rfield From   To   Age    G    PA   AB    R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO HBP   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS         Pos
1        Mike Piazza    35.8    59.5  143 417.7  
-63.1 1992 2007 23-38 1912  7745 6911 1048 2127 344  8 427 1335 759 1113  30 .308 .377 .545 .922      *2DH/3
2     Ivan Rodriguez    33.3    68.7  106  73.7  147.0 1991 2011 19
-39 2543 10270 9592 1354 2844 572 51 311 1332 513 1474  58 .296 .334 .464 .798     *2H/D34
3          Joe Mauer    27.5    55.2  124 239.4   19.0 2004 2018 21
-35 1858  7960 6930 1018 2123 428 30 143  923 939 1034  25 .306 .388 .439 .827      23D/H9
4       Buster Posey    27.1    44.9  129 190.1   40.0 2009 2021 22
-34 1371  5607 4970  663 1500 293  9 158  729 540  721  43 .302 .372 .460 .831      *23/HD
5       Jorge Posada    17.3    42.7  121 203.9  
-59.9 1995 2011 24-40 1829  7150 6092  900 1664 379 10 275 1065 936 1453  74 .273 .374 .474 .848     *2DH/34
6     Russell Martin    17.2    38.8  101  31.6   56.0 2006 2019 23
-36 1693  6648 5701  803 1416 255  9 191  771 792 1211 107 .248 .349 .397 .746 *2/H5D41679
7      Yadier Molina    16.3    42.1   97 
-33.2  132.0 2004 2021 21-38 2146  8284 7555  758 2112 400  7 171  998 537  882  74 .280 .330 .402 .733     *2/3HD5
8      Jason Kendall    14.6    41.7   95  19.0   16.5 1996 2010 22
-36 2085  8702 7627 1030 2195 394 35  75  744 721  686 254 .288 .366 .378 .744     *2/H79D
9     Salvador Perez    13.8    29.6  104  20.9   72.0 2011 2021 21
-31 1140  4558 4307  491 1161 213 10 200  656 162  805  53 .270 .302 .463 .765      *2D/H3
10    Darren Daulton    12.2    22.3  125  89.9  
-12.9 1990 1997 28-35  832  3298 2745  426  709 166 22 113  487 489  526  21 .258 .371 .458 .829    *2/9H3D7
11     J
.TRealmuto    12.1    23.2  111  51.0    9.0 2014 2021 23-30  866  3477 3175  444  874 181 23 112  431 227  688  47 .275 .331 .453 .783      *2/H3D
12      Chris Hoiles    12.0    23.6  119  82.2    6.1 1990 1998 25
-33  888  3329 2811  415  738 121  2 151  448 434  613  44 .263 .367 .468 .835     *2/HD35
13        Javy Lopez    11.3    29.7  112 102.3  
-11.0 1992 2006 21-35 1503  5793 5319  674 1527 267 19 260  864 357  969  66 .287 .337 .491 .828      *2DH/3
14      Brian McCann    10.2    32.0  110  76.6  
-22.0 2005 2019 21-35 1755  6850 6067  742 1590 294  5 282 1018 640 1054  75 .262 .337 .452 .789      *2H/D3
15       Carlos Ruiz     9.9    22.5  100   7.6   39.0 2006 2017 27
-38 1136  4069 3539  405  935 223  7  71  415 403  499  78 .264 .350 .391 .742    *2/HD531
16   Yasmani Grandal     9.4    21.7  119  94.5  
-11.0 2012 2021 23-32 1018  3861 3233  461  777 152  7 172  505 574  913  20 .240 .355 .451 .807      *2H/3D
17   Charles Johnson     8.8    22.6   97 
-14.7   73.0 1994 2005 22-33 1188  4386 3836  465  940 211  4 167  570 475  997  25 .245 .330 .433 .762       *2/HD
18      Mike Stanley     7.5    22.3  122 130.3  
-30.0 1990 2000 27-37 1213  4274 3605  557  982 198  5 176  626 569  783  45 .272 .374 .477 .851     23DH/57
19   Terry Steinbach     5.4    21.2  100  
-4.9   21.7 1990 1999 28-37 1184  4562 4158  490 1120 225 16 128  592 322  759  31 .269 .324 .424 .748      *2/HD3
20     Jason Varitek     3.6    24.2   99 
-27.2   -7.0 1997 2011 25-39 1546  5839 5099  664 1307 306 14 193  757 614 1216  61 .256 .341 .435 .776       *2H/D
21   Ramon Hernandez     2.8    22.0   96 
-23.8    1.8 1999 2013 23-37 1526  5701 5105  580 1345 262  8 169  757 430  734  74 .263 .327 .417 .744     *2/H3D5
22   A
.JPierzynski    -3.5    23.8   94 -84.1  -43.0 1998 2016 21-39 2059  7815 7290  807 2043 407 24 188  909 308  895 129 .280 .319 .420 .739       *2H/


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 11/3/2021.
   23. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 03, 2021 at 11:55 PM (#6051172)
I assume he could pretty much take a dump on the San Francisco courthouse and they’d frame it and consider it a civil landmark.
How could they tell his from the rest?
The work of the MLB Authenticator is never done.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:22 AM (#6051174)
10 of the 15 catchers in the Hall have less than 45 WAR.

(Leaving aside the NeL guys since WAR doesn't really work for them.)

Your numbers are backward -- 10 of the 15 have more than 45 WAR. Of the 5 who don't, 4 played before WW2 (Lombardi very briefly after) and the 5th is Campanella who got a late start due to the racist ban and WW2, then won 3 MVP, then had his career ended in a horrible accident (but was probably not going to add much).

So no, Posey's WAR does not compare at all to a contemporary HoF catcher. The closest by career WAR is Simmons at 50 but he peaked at 53 WAR (27 WAA) then was a terrible DH and PH. Simmons is a reasonable comp but did make it over 8000 PA in his C years and more than 600 more starts at C than Posey. We'll count his 119 starts and say that Posey had two seasons with 120 starts at C which is very low for a HoF catcher. This is where the point is made that he stayed in the lineup at other positions for his bat which is true but it was still only about 140 starts a year ... Simmons did that (or more) every year from 22 to 28 (sometimes with that many starts at C). So did Bench while Carter regularly had about 140+ starts a year at C in his 20s then cut back to about 130 while picking up starts elsewhere in his early 30s.

So Posey was a very lightly used C even in his healthy seasons. The best comp then probably is Mauer who also had 45 WAR, 27 WAA in his C years with about 600 fewer PA and 150 fewer starts at C. Mauer's WAR edge is 5 average-ish years at 1B/DH. I don't see any reason to move him ahead of Mauer. If you want to ignore Mauer's extra value as a 1B (about 2300 extra PAs) then you have to compare their defensive innings at C only over the period Mauer was a C and, as I just noted, that's only about 1 season extra for Posey while Mauer was able to produce the same WAR in that time.**

Which doesn't mean he shouldn't be a HoFer and I'll guess he will be. Simmons is a VC selection and, while those don't generally have much impact on future BBWAA selections, he at least opens the door. Mauer will probably get in and Yadi probably will so any WAR-based voter is likely to adopt Posey too. I suspect Munson will get a VC nod soon as well.

** This is another case where the league difference being hidden in RAR rather than RAA matters a bit. Although Posey has a full season's more play over the C periods, his Rrep edge is only 4, not 22. This means Mauer got extra Rrep every year for playing in the tougher league. If this was shifted over to RAA (where it should be for player comparisons), Mauer would have about 29 WAA, not 27. Too close to call, don't hang your hat on it, but Mauer was the slightly better player as a C, Posey lasted a bit longer as a C. So Mauer as the slightly better C who was also able to hang on for 2300 more PA at 1B while Posey is retiring puts Mauer as the better of these two.
   25. Zach Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:22 AM (#6051175)
High peak, mini dynasty, and a generous allowance for the demands of the catching position give him a strong argument.

Is he going to be sharing the ballot with any serious competitors? I assume Mauer will be in or out by the time Buster arrives. Molina is 38, so he'll be sharing the ballot if Posey takes a few years to make it in. But their cases are so different, there might not be a lot of ballot splitting. Are there a lot of people open to voting for Posey who would vote for Molina instead if they were on the same ballot?
   26. Walt Davis Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:31 AM (#6051176)
10 of the 15 catchers in the Hall have less than 45 WAR.

(Leaving aside the NeL guys since WAR doesn't really work for them.)

Your numbers are backward -- 10 of the 15 have more than 45 WAR. Of the 5 who don't, 4 played before WW2 (Lombardi very briefly after) and the 5th is Campanella who got a late start due to the racist ban and WW2, then won 3 MVP, then had his career ended in a horrible accident (but was probably not going to add much).

So no, Posey's WAR does not compare at all to a contemporary HoF catcher. The closest by career WAR is Simmons at 50 but he peaked at 53 WAR (27 WAA) then was a terrible DH and PH. Simmons is a reasonable comp but did make it over 8000 PA in his C years and more than 600 more starts at C than Posey. We'll count his 119 starts and say that Posey had two seasons with 120 starts at C which is very low for a HoF catcher. This is where the point is made that he stayed in the lineup at other positions for his bat which is true but it was still only about 140 starts a year ... Simmons did that (or more) every year from 22 to 28 (sometimes with that many starts at C). So did Bench while Carter regularly had about 140+ starts a year at C in his 20s then cut back to about 130 while picking up starts elsewhere in his early 30s.

So Posey was a very lightly used C even in his healthy seasons. The best comp then probably is Mauer who also had 45 WAR, 27 WAA in his C years with about 600 fewer PA and 150 fewer starts at C. Mauer's WAR edge is 5 average-ish years at 1B/DH. I don't see any reason to move him ahead of Mauer. If you want to ignore Mauer's extra value as a 1B (about 2300 extra PAs) then you have to compare their defensive innings at C only over the period Mauer was a C and, as I just noted, that's only about 1 season extra for Posey while Mauer was able to produce the same WAR in that time.**

Which doesn't mean he shouldn't be a HoFer and I'll guess he will be. Simmons is a VC selection and, while those don't generally have much impact on future BBWAA selections, he at least opens the door. Mauer will probably get in and Yadi probably will so any WAR-based voter is likely to adopt Posey too. I suspect Munson will get a VC nod soon as well.

** This is another case where the league difference being hidden in RAR rather than RAA matters a bit. Although Posey has a full season's more play over the C periods, his Rrep edge is only 4, not 22. This means Mauer got extra Rrep every year for playing in the tougher league. If this was shifted over to RAA (where it should be for player comparisons), Mauer would have about 29 WAA, not 27. Too close to call, don't hang your hat on it, but Mauer was the slightly better player as a C, Posey lasted a bit longer as a C. So Mauer as the slightly better C who was also able to hang on for 2300 more PA at 1B while Posey is retiring puts Mauer as the better of these two.

EDIT: OK technically if we comped them both to a ML average player, Posey would lose one WAA and Mauer gain one WAA but the gap would be about 2.
   27. Jack Sommers Posted: November 04, 2021 at 01:16 AM (#6051180)
Mauer was a better hitter. But he wasn't a better catcher.

If one wants to say Mauer was a better player, or had a more HOF worthy career, I can easily accept that view. I just have a hard time lumping him with the catchers when barely 50% of his PA came while behind the plate.

But if we must, then I accept Posey at # 4, with a big gap between 4 & 5, whoever 5 is.

So does being top 4 at a key position like Catcher over a 30 year time period get him in. Also, nobody is passing him over the next 5-10 years, (MAYBE Perez or Realmuto get there, but unlikely).

So in 2026 we will be looking at a guy that still ranks as a top 4 catcher over a 36 year period.

I fully concede the points made in this thread about how difficult it is for catchers to get in. But in my book, if a guy is top 4 at catcher over a nearly 4 decade span, PLUS all the narrative that goes with him.....it SHOULD be a slam dunk. It probably won't. But it should.

   28. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:15 AM (#6051183)
Your numbers are backward -- 10 of the 15 have more than 45 WAR.
Yeah, I flipped it. My point was that, if fully a third of the post-19th century MLB catchers in the Hall are under 45 WAR, that doesn't make it weird if Posey gets in with ~45, especially given his peak. Beyond that, Jack is making the argument better than I, so I'll let him speak for me, and co-sign his posts.
   29. Addie Joss Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:58 AM (#6051184)
I've always thought it was interesting that Yogi Berra caught 120 doubleheaders during his career. Can't imagine that happening now even if as many twin bills were played.
   30. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: November 04, 2021 at 06:39 AM (#6051185)
I've always thought it was interesting that Yogi Berra caught 120 doubleheaders during his career. Can't imagine that happening now even if as many twin bills were played.
And yet I (and I would assume most good high-school catchers) have caught 7 games in a weekend and nobody gave a ####.
   31. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 04, 2021 at 07:20 AM (#6051188)
About that 45 WAR -- that would be bWAR. Fangraphs pegs him at 57.6 WAR. Which puts him 8th all time, right above Bill Dickey. Molina is right after that. Given their rings, I think both are getting in via the writers fairly easily, if not on the first ballot.

Does fWAR count pitch framing, and how far does that go back? Molina also goes up a dozen or so WAR. Looking at Posey's MVP year, bb-ref credits him with +1 rField, while Fangraphs gives him +30.4 fielding runs. So he has a 10.1 fWAR and 7.6 bWAR for that season.
   32. bfan Posted: November 04, 2021 at 07:32 AM (#6051189)
And yet I (and I would assume most good high-school catchers) have caught 7 games in a weekend and nobody gave a ####.


I think this is a fair point, but I can personally attest that the body recovery differences between a 17 year old and a 27 year-old are pretty dramatic.
   33. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 04, 2021 at 08:37 AM (#6051190)
Even with a full "catcher's bonus", Posey's only in the mid-fifties WAR -- in the conversation, sure, especially with the MVP, ROY and three rings -- but I just don't think he gets there.

About that 45 WAR -- that would be bWAR. Fangraphs pegs him at 57.6 WAR. Which puts him 8th all time, right above Bill Dickey.

Which WAR has the most pull with the voters? And why is there such a discrepancy?
   34. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2021 at 08:44 AM (#6051193)
Posey hanging around for five years just to squeeze out 6 WAR and get over 50 wouldn't strengthen his Hall argument any.


It might have only taken 2 years. He was at 3.5 WAR this season. He was probably going to make $22M in 2022. It really surprises me that he turned that down.
   35. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2021 at 08:52 AM (#6051194)
And yet I (and I would assume most good high-school catchers) have caught 7 games in a weekend and nobody gave a ####.


Since when does a high school game take 3-1/2 hours to complete? I don't think Berra could catch back-to-back doubleheaders today. He'd have to be in a squat an extra 2 hours because of the increased length of games. That's a plus for Buster Posey. He may not have as many innings behind the plate but his innings were certainly longer than Yogi Berra's.
   36. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6051197)

The difference between fWAR and bWAR is all in the fielding component for Posey -- 155 vs. 40 fielding runs above average, so a difference of 115. Fangraphs WAR includes pitch framing and if I'm reading it correctly, Posey gets 73 there, so that's most but not all of the difference.
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 04, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6051204)
I love Posey, and he had several wonderful years, but can you really vote into the HOF somebody who:
- had six seasons of playing more than 114 games;
- started 1,063 games at catcher;
- had 158 HRs and 1500 career hits;
- has one Gold Glove

I bring those specific bullets up because:
- Nobody can make an argument for him based on career stats or counting stats
- It would be an extremely short career for a HOFer
- If you're making an argument that some of those points should be discounted because he was a catcher (and I obviously agree that there should be some adjustment for that), then you need to be able to argue that he was an outstanding defensive catcher, and/or that he caught for a long time (for a catcher). These are some of the points that may well get Molina in the HOF (2000+ starts at catcher, nine Gold Gloves).

It may be that these standards are evolving as the game evolves, and that comparing future retirees to even more recent HOF catchers like IRod, Piazza, Fisk, Bench, etc is apples-to-oranges. It may also be the case that we are in the early stages of the next relative drought of top-tier HOF candidates, and there will be increased pressure to elect somebody every year. But if the historical standards continue to apply for Posey, it strikes me as awfully few games to get into the HOF.
   38. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6051205)
then you need to be able to argue that he was an outstanding defensive catcher


155 fielding runs above average in 10 seasons is pretty outstanding
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6051212)
155 fielding runs above average in 10 seasons is pretty outstanding
That’s if you buy Fangraphs’ valuation of pitch framing, which many believe is seriously inflated.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6051213)
That’s if you buy Fangraphs’ valuation of pitch framing, which many believe is seriously inflated.


I don't think you have to buy it completely. If you think that his defensive contributions fall somewhere between what bWAR and fWAR have for him, he's comfortably qualified.
   41. Mefisto Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6051214)
then you need to be able to argue that he was an outstanding defensive catcher


Posey was an excellent defensive catcher even by BRefWAR (that is, no pitch framing): 7 Rfield/162 versus 10/162 for Yadier. If you take the view that Yadi was a historically great defensive catcher, then Posey was at least excellent.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6051215)
Posey was an excellent defensive catcher even by BRefWAR (that is, no pitch framing): 7 Rfield/162 versus 10/162 for Yadier. If you take the view that Yadi was a historically great defensive catcher, then Posey was at least excellent.


Yes, it was tough to stockpile Gold Gloves as a catcher in the NL over the past 15 years.
   43. . . . . . . Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:30 AM (#6051216)
I bring those specific bullets up because:
- Nobody can make an argument for him based on career stats or counting stats
- It would be an extremely short career for a HOFer
- If you're making an argument that some of those points should be discounted because he was a catcher (and I obviously agree that there should be some adjustment for that), then you need to be able to argue that he was an outstanding defensive catcher, and/or that he caught for a long time (for a catcher). These are some of the points that may well get Molina in the HOF (2000+ starts at catcher, nine Gold Gloves).

It may be that these standards are evolving as the game evolves, and that comparing future retirees to even more recent HOF catchers like IRod, Piazza, Fisk, Bench, etc is apples-to-oranges. It may also be the case that we are in the early stages of the next relative drought of top-tier HOF candidates, and there will be increased pressure to elect somebody every year. But if the historical standards continue to apply for Posey, it strikes me as awfully few games to get into the HOF.


I think this post is sort of funny because IMO literally every assertion in it is false. It may be the wrongest post I've ever seen on BBTF, and I've been around since Bush was president.
   44. Mefisto Posted: November 04, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6051224)
Yes, it was tough to stockpile Gold Gloves as a catcher in the NL over the past 15 years.


Yeah, and pretty hard to get a GG playing CF in the early/mid '60s. But Curt Flood was still a great CFer.
   45. JRVJ Posted: November 04, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6051225)
Been thinking since last night whether Buster Posey may benefit from Mike Mussina's decision to retire 30 wins away from getting 300.

Mussina had a much longer career than Posey, but he retired as an elite pitcher (his last season was the first one where Mussina won 20 games, Mussina was 6th in AL CY voting and he added 5.1 to his career WAR that year).

Mussina would have certainly benefited from one or two more years (especially if he'd gotten to 300 wins in that second year), but by and large, he was seeing as somebody who walked away from the game on his own terms, while still being more than able to perform at the highest level.

Still, it took Mussina 6 years to get elected into Cooperstown, so I would not be surprised if Posey takes at least as long to be voted in (though Posey may benefit from much lighter ballots than Mussina, who was up for induction during the thick of the Ballotgeddon days).
   46. reech Posted: November 04, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6051226)
Still not seeing how Posey has any more of a case than Thurman Munson.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 11:26 AM (#6051227)
Still not seeing how Posey has any more of a case than Thurman Munson.


He doesn't have to.

Munson (and Freehan) have good cases. But they're not on the ballot.
   48. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 04, 2021 at 11:42 AM (#6051231)
Posey is a solidly better hitter than Munson: .302/.372/.460 for a 129 OPS+, as opposed to Munson's .292/.346/.410, for a 116 OPS+.
   49. Jack Sommers Posted: November 04, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6051232)
Utilizing similar thought process I mentioned above, here are all the catchers with 20 or more WAR between 1955-1993. That's +/- 14 years on either end of Munson's career.

Over that 38 year span, he ranks 5th best in WAA among catchers who played at least 50% of their games at catcher. And he only drops to 6th if you change the sort to WAR, falling slightly behind Ted Simmons, who simply was not as great a player as Thurman Munson

Had he not died in that plane he might not have added a whole lot to his WAA and likely would have even seen that total drop, but his WAR would have likely surpassed Simmons. But even without taking account any early death adjustment akin to War Time adjustments, he's in the top 5 or 6 over a 4 decade span. So applying the same criteria, I think it's pretty reasonable to say Munson is a miss and the VC should reconsider. Of course, Gene Tenace says hello too.



Rk             Player WAA/pos WAR/pos OPS+   Rbat Rfield From   To   Age    G   PA   AB    R    H  2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS        Pos                      Tm
1        Johnny Bench    46.6    75.1  126  268.9   72.3 1967 1983 19
-35 2158 8674 7658 1091 2048 381 24 389 1376 891 1278 .267 .342 .476 .817  *253H/798                     CIN
2         Gary Carter    40.1    70.1  115  159.3  112.1 1974 1992 20
-38 2296 9019 7971 1025 2092 371 31 324 1225 848  997 .262 .335 .439 .773   *29H/375         MON-NYM-SFG-LAD
3        Carlton Fisk    35.3    68.4  117  167.7   27.2 1969 1993 21
-45 2499 9853 8756 1276 2356 421 47 376 1330 849 1386 .269 .341 .457 .797   *2DH/735                 BOS-CHW
4         Gene Tenace    28.0    46.8  136  258.8   
-8.2 1969 1983 22-36 1555 5527 4390  653 1060 179 20 201  674 984  998 .241 .388 .429 .817  23H/59D47         OAK-SDP-STL-PIT
5      Thurman Munson    25.5    46.1  116  123.6   31.5 1969 1979 22
-32 1423 5905 5344  696 1558 229 32 113  701 438  571 .292 .346 .410 .756  *2/DH9375                     NYY
6        Bill Freehan    21.2    44.8  112   93.0   28.0 1961 1976 19
-34 1774 6900 6073  706 1591 241 35 200  758 626  753 .262 .340 .412 .752   *23/HD79                     DET
7         Ted Simmons    19.0    50.3  118  171.7  
-33.6 1968 1988 18-38 2456 9685 8680 1074 2472 483 47 248 1389 855  694 .285 .348 .437 .785  *2DH3/759             STL-MIL-ATL
8      Darrell Porter    18.4    40.8  113   81.0    9.1 1971 1987 19
-35 1782 6570 5539  765 1369 237 48 188  826 905 1025 .247 .354 .409 .763     *2HD/3         MIL-KCR-STL-TEX
9        Jim Sundberg    17.6    40.5   90  
-58.5  114.1 1974 1989 23-38 1962 6899 6021  621 1493 243 36  95  624 699  963 .248 .327 .348 .674     *2/H7D         TEX-MIL-KCR-CHC
10      Lance Parrish    14.7    39.4  107   46.2   37.5 1977 1993 21
-37 1878 7448 6763  831 1712 291 27 317 1032 579 1447 .253 .313 .445 .758   *2D/H397     DET-PHI-CAL-SEA-CLE
11         Yogi Berra    13.9    26.3  120   81.1   21.9 1955 1965 30
-40 1067 4031 3591  529  975 144 12 177  640 372  235 .272 .341 .466 .807    *2H7/93                 NYY-NYM
12         Tom Haller    12.6    29.3  114   49.7   
-1.7 1961 1972 24-35 1294 4520 3935  461 1011 153 31 134  504 477  593 .257 .340 .414 .753    *2H/937             SFG-LAD-DET
13          Ed Bailey    11.2    26.5  111   45.9   29.8 1955 1966 24
-35 1137 3980 3390  410  876 125 12 146  519 509  540 .258 .356 .432 .788     *2H/37     CIN-SFG-MLN-CHC-CAL
14   Mickey Tettleton    10.9    24.8  124  109.6  
-25.4 1984 1993 23-32 1084 4107 3395  495  821 146 12 169  516 647  950 .242 .363 .441 .804   *2D/3H97             OAK-BAL-DET
15        John Romano    10.8    20.9  122   87.5   
-4.1 1958 1967 23-32  905 3256 2767  355  706 112 10 129  417 414  485 .255 .354 .443 .797     *2H/73             CHW-CLE-STL
16      Smoky Burgess    10.3    24.0  117   68.6   12.0 1955 1967 28
-40 1231 3547 3168  339  920 155 19 109  503 324  205 .290 .355 .455 .809         2H         PHI-CIN-PIT-CHW
17   Manny Sanguillen     9.9    27.6  102   
-9.3   41.1 1967 1980 23-36 1448 5383 5062  566 1500 205 57  65  585 223  331 .296 .326 .398 .724   *2H/9D37                 PIT-OAK
18      Butch Wynegar     9.7    26.5   93  
-31.4   53.9 1976 1988 20-32 1301 5067 4330  498 1102 176 15  65  506 626  428 .255 .348 .347 .695     *2/HD5             MIN-NYY-CAL
19       Joe Ferguson     9.4    21.0  116   71.4   
-2.5 1970 1983 23-36 1013 3624 3001  407  719 121 11 122  445 562  607 .240 .358 .409 .767    *29H/73         LAD-STL-HOU-CAL
20      Mike Scioscia     9.2    26.1   99  
-13.3   38.0 1980 1992 21-33 1441 5057 4373  398 1131 198 12  68  446 567  307 .259 .344 .356 .700        *2H                     LAD
21       Sherm Lollar     8.9    20.3  107   35.7   30.4 1955 1963 30
-38 1006 3715 3204  373  859 139  9  96  493 387  269 .268 .357 .407 .764      *2/H3                     CHW
22      Elston Howard     8.8    27.1  108   40.6   40.0 1955 1968 26
-39 1605 5845 5363  619 1471 218 50 167  762 373  786 .274 .322 .427 .749    *27H/39                 NYY-BOS
23       Del Crandall     8.2    24.1   99  
-11.2   59.8 1955 1966 25-36 1173 4136 3698  428  944 127 14 135  471 329  332 .255 .316 .407 .723    *2/H397         MLN-SFG-PIT-CLE
24       Rick Dempsey     7.4    25.1   87  
-78.5   71.4 1969 1992 19-42 1765 5407 4692  525 1093 223 12  96  471 592  736 .233 .319 .347 .666 *2H/D97315 MIN-NYY-BAL-CLE-LAD-MIL
25       Tim McCarver     6.3    28.3  102    1.4  
-24.5 1959 1980 17-38 1909 6206 5529  590 1501 242 57  97  645 548  422 .271 .337 .388 .725   *2H3/75D         STL-PHI-MON-BOS
26          Tony Pena     3.6    25.6   87 
-101.4   54.2 1980 1993 23-36 1750 6375 5854  604 1536 267 26  99  633 407  750 .262 .311 .368 .679    *2/H39D             PIT-STL-BOS
27      Terry Kennedy     3.4    21.6   96  
-51.1   22.0 1978 1991 22-35 1491 5421 4979  474 1313 244 12 113  628 365  855 .264 .314 .386 .699     *2H/73         STL-SDP-BAL-SFG
28      John Roseboro     1.6    22.4   95  
-53.5    1.4 1957 1970 24-37 1585 5529 4847  512 1206 190 44 104  548 547  677 .249 .326 .371 .697   *2H/3758         BRO-LAD-MIN-WSA
29          Bob Boone     1.2    27.4   82 
-183.3  105.3 1972 1990 24-42 2264 8148 7245  679 1838 303 26 105  826 663  608 .254 .315 .346 .661   *2/H357D             PHI-CAL-KCR 


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 11/4/2021.
   50. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6051234)
Short career even by catcher standards, but I think Posey gets elected pretty easily. Regular catchers don't catch as many games as they used to, so similar to starting pitchers, the voters are going to have to make adjustments to their standards or no catchers are going to be elected anymore. I think the days of Fisk/Carter/Piazza/Rodriguez types who were dominant AND had long careers might be pretty much over. They'll have to pick between guys who were dominant in a short career (Posey), played significant time at other positions (Mauer), or caught for a long time but were rarely dominant (Molina). Personally, I think all 3 of those players get in fairly quick.

As others have mentioned, Posey is similar to Munson (who's obviously not in the HOF), but as SoSH notes in #47, they're not contemporaries, so I'm not sure how much that matters. Munson played in the deepest era of catcher dominance in MLB history; he was competing for positional superiority against Bench, Carter, Fisk, and Simmons and coming up short. Posey was competing against Molina, a couple years of Mauer before he moved to 1B (most of Mauer's best years behind the plate came before Posey was a regular), and not much else. It's not an apples to apples comparison.

On a personal note, I'll always root for Posey because his name helped me bond with my son. 5 or 6 years ago when my son was 3 or 4, he was sitting next to me while I was looking up player profiles on Baseball Reference. Each time I'd pull up a new profile, he'd ask, "Who's that guy, Daddy?" and I'd tell him their name. When I said, "That's Buster Posey", my son started laughing hysterically and repeating the name over and over again. He thought it was the silliest and most hilarious name he'd ever heard, and it became a running joke between us for a few years afterwards. Whenever one of us wanted to make the other one laugh, we'd just randomly yell "BUSTER POSEY!!!" and it worked every time. ;-)
   51. bfan Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6051236)
Regular catchers don't catch as many games as they used to, so similar to starting pitchers, the voters are going to have to make adjustments to their standards or no catchers are going to be elected anymore.


I agree with this statement, but why is this the case? I get that pitchers do not pitch as many innings in a year now than in prior decades, because pitches per AB are going up, and pitchers have to work harder on every pitch (especially in a DH league). But there is no difference in how catchers catch these days, is there? I would also suggest that (i) travel, especially cross-country travel, is much easier on the body these days than how it was done in prior eras; and (ii) nutrition is better now than then; and (iii) trainer techniques and approaches (deep massage and the more wise use of heat, cold and electric stimulation therapy) are much better these days.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6051238)
I agree with this statement, but why is this the case? '


We're more aware of noggin injuries.
   53. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6051240)
Munson (and Freehan) have good cases.


The voters didn't think so.

Posey is awesome, I'm certainly not going to deny that. But I'm also afraid that he just cost himself both $22m and the hall of fame. After 2019 he was looking like a high peak flame-out. The catching version of Johan Santana. That version of Posey, even if he hung on hitting .240 for a few years, doesn't get into the hall of fame. He added 120 hit and 18 HR to that. How does an extra 18 home runs turn "oh, what might have been?" into "surely he'll be elected"?

>

Looking for HOFers with low hit totals.

Positional differences, of course, but Posey has nine more hits than Ross Youngs, a man who died when he was 30. Posey has 200 fewer hits than Freddie Lindstrom. He has 34 more hits than Chick Hafey. He's got seven more hits than Tommy McCarthy. Of course he was a better player than those guys, but as far as raw totals go, he's comparable to the worst mistakes the hall of fame ever made. The BBWAA are the same guys who couldn't elect Ted Simmons (or Johnny Mize!). It seems more likely to me that they're going to look at Posey, say "the hall made a mistake electing Chick Hafey, let's not go down that road again", and pass him over, than recognize contextual differences and realize that he's much better than those bottom-of-the-barrel guys.
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6051244)
The voters didn't think so.


Yeah, they didn't get a very good shake from the voters. They also had similar lapses with Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker and Ron Santo, but that was never justification for not electing Ryne Sandberg, Craig Biggio or Edgar Martinez.
   55. DanG Posted: November 04, 2021 at 01:21 PM (#6051253)
Looking at JAWS, Posey is ranked #14 among catchers, just behind Tenace. In WAR7 he's #9, tied with Cochrane, just behind Munson.

He has the hardware and the narrative, I think the BBWAA elects him pretty quickly, especially with the weak ballots coming up. I think many voters will mentally adjust his career totals upward since he left the game voluntarily, not because he couldn't play anymore.

BB-Ref's goofy similarity scores have Victor Martinez as Posey's closest comp thru their age 34 season; nobody else is close. Since defense isn't considered, Victor's offensive stats in his prime are, indeed, very similar to Posey's.

From 2004-14 VMart's slash line is 307/374/479, a 128 OPS+ in 5918 PA. Posey is 302/372/460, a 129 OPS+ in 5607 PA.
   56. The Duke Posted: November 04, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6051256)
There really aren’t that many hall of famers in the pipeline for Posey’s window.


Pujols, Cabrera, verlander, Molina, kershaw, scherzer, and Votto. I’d consider these guys no-doubters. Maybe others would hedge on Molina and Votto. Greinke is borderline.

So it will be posey in 2026, then Pujols and Molina in 2027 (maybe Cabrera), then Cabrera and votto, then at some point verlander/scherzer/kershaw although any of those three could be earlier (or later). That’s it for a five year window. The three wild cards are greinke, Chapman and kimbrel

After that it’s trout, Stanton, Goldschmidt, Freeman, sale, arenado

I dropped Cruz and cano due to PEDs


So it seems to me like Posey will have a clear path in year 1, and then you have both he and Molina. I thought Molina might be inner circle but now it looks like posey may hurt him. People might want to put Molina in first - who knows. I’d like to see them both go in the same year. So many World Series between them.
   57. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 04, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6051259)
but that was never justification for not electing Ryne Sandberg, Craig Biggio or Edgar Martinez.


Of course not. I'm doubtful about Posey getting elected. Whether he deserves to get elected is another matter.
   58. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2021 at 02:33 PM (#6051270)
there is no difference in how catchers catch these days, is there?


3-1/2 hours in a squat versus 2-1/2 hours. Have you tried to squat for 3-1/2 hours?
   59. DL from MN Posted: November 04, 2021 at 02:38 PM (#6051272)
I think Beltran is going to hang around on the ballot for a while. Evan Longoria may have also revived his HoF case this season.
   60. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 02:50 PM (#6051274)
Evan Longoria may have also revived his HoF case this season.

It will be interesting if Longoria does any better than Nettles, Boyer, Bando, and Bell. The HoF seems to have real problems electing 3B.
   61. and Posted: November 04, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#6051276)
The HoF seems to have real problems electing 3B.

Yes. And C. I can't see any reason to have dramatically different numbers from each position (and now that I say that, I haven't done an exhaustive study, maybe the numbers from each position are similar but that isn't my impression). I think the voters elect too many slugging 1B and OF and not enough 3B and C.
   62. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 04, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6051278)
I can't see any reason to have dramatically different numbers from each position
Assuming C continues its evolution into essentially a part-time job sharing arrangement, I think that would be a good reason to have dramatically fewer of them in the Hall.
   63. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6051288)
#60/61 -

I think the voters have done fine electing the best modern 3B. Nettles, Bell, Bando, and Boyer aren't in the HOF cuz their numbers just don't look very HOFey, and they had direct contemporaries at the same position who were clearly better. Admit it; until all encompassing stats like WAR came out, no one here thought of those guys as HOFers either, right?

The HOF is short on 3B because there were simply very few HOF caliber 3B for a half century from 1900-1950 or so. How many top 20 alltime 3B played during that span? Probably only Baker, right? The amount of 3B elected who played from 1950-present seems to be about on par with the other positions; Mathews, Robinson, Santo, Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Molitor (if you consider him a 3B), Edgar (ditto), Chipper. Rolen and Beltre will be getting in soon. ARod would be joining then if not for PED's. Arenado and Machado seem like decent bets amongst active players (maybe Jose Ramirez).

We don't need to balance out the dearth of 3B talent from the first half of the 20th century by overrepresenting the latter half and inducting twice as many.

   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6051291)
We don't need to balance out the dearth of talent from the first half of the 20th century by inducting twice as many 3B from the latter half.

Why not, if they clear the bar?

Nettles certainly looked like a HoFer if you compared him to Brooks Robinson. Better hitter, slightly worse glove. Robinsons's WAR advantage comes solely from the fact his elite D lasted longer.
   65. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 03:48 PM (#6051293)
#64 - I'm fine with Nettles. The other 3 are "no's", IMO (borderline-ish, but on the wrong side it).

   66. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6051295)
By JAWS, Nettles is #12, Boyer #14, Bell #15, Bando #16. At a glance, that sounds like a good argument for all of them...but like I said, Baker (#13) is the only pre-1950's 3B in the top 20. Being the 12th to 16th best 3B over all of baseball history sounds pretty HOFey, but does being the 12th to 16th best 3B from just the latter half of baseball history still sound HOFey? Eh. Not as much. I doubt the 12th to 16th best players from 1950-2020 are HOFers at lots of positions. Those guys played in eras that were stacked with good 3B. That's not a reason to snub obvious candidates, but I do believe it's proper justification for giving borderliners less consideration than they'd normally deserve. Likewise, 1B was packed in the 1990's and while I think it would be silly to ignore any of Thomas, Bagwell, Thome, or (non PED versions of) McGwire and Palmeiro, it doesn't bother me at all that Will Clark (57 WAR) and John Olerud (58 WAR) weren't given the time of day.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:10 PM (#6051298)
By JAWS, Nettles is #12, Boyer #14, Bell #15, Bando #16. At a glance, that sounds like a good argument for all of them...but like I said, Baker (#13) is the only pre-1950's 3B in the top 20. Being the 12th to 16th best 3B over all of baseball history sounds pretty HOFey, but does being the 12th to 16th best 3B from 1950-2020 still sound HOFey? Eh. Not as much. They played in eras that were stacked with good 3B.

So, positions where talent was more uniformly distributed across history should have more representation than positions where it's clustered? I don't think I agree with that.

If 3B generated a higher percentage of great careers in the 1950s-1980s, and SS fewer they should be relatively over represented in the HoF. Putting the 3-best at each position from each generation is going to result in a weaker HoF. i.e. if there were 8 60+ WAR 3B between 1950 and 1980, and 2 50+ WAR SS, the HoF election should be heavily skewed to #B.
   68. Walt Davis Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6051299)
If one wants to say Mauer was a better player, or had a more HOF worthy career, I can easily accept that view. I just have a hard time lumping him with the catchers when barely 50% of his PA came while behind the plate.

Your last sentence is silly. Neither Mauer nor Posey is a "catcher" by the standards of a HoF catcher. Mauer started just 885 games but Posey's 1063 starts is not a lot of starts either. Your 50% criterion simply counts Mauer's ability to hang on as a 1B against him. IF Players 1 and 2 spend about the same amount of time at position A but Player 1 goes on to play Position B while Player 2 doesn't is not an argument in favor of Player 2.

It is perfectly rational to say that Mauer's mere 885 starts at C should not make him a "catcher" to compare unthinkingly with, say, Ted Simmons who started 1687 ... but Posey's 1063 starts also shouldn't be equated to Simmons 1687. Posey's career AS A CATCHER is similar to Mauer's career AS A CATCHER. Neither of them have a career AS A CATCHER similar to Simmons.
   69. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:19 PM (#6051300)
Regardless of their statistical cases, Posey and Longoria are on opposite ends of the "feels like a HOFer" spectrum.
   70. Adam Starblind Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:20 PM (#6051301)
Greinke is borderline.


?
   71. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6051302)
Why not, if they clear the bar?


If they clear the bar, then sure. And it wouldn't surprise me if a vet's committee puts Boyer or somebody in eventually.

Anyways, Booey's point was that positions don't need to be balanced. And pointing out that the last half of the 20th century had lots of good 3B doesn't speak to that point. That the first half of the 20th century had few good 3B isn't a reason to induct more from the second half. But if a disproportionate number of guys from the second half deserve induction, well, that's another matter. (One about which we can argue.)

Edit: er, well, some of what Booey says in 66 seems to tell against what he was saying in 63. Anyways, I like the points in 63 more.
   72. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6051304)
#67 - Picking between various imperfect options:

A) Induct the best (albeit sub-HOF caliber) 3B from 1900-1950 to balance out the number of HOFers at each position.

B) Induct twice as many 3B from the latter half of the 20th century compared to other positions to make up for the discrepancy. They're all statistically defensible (though not clear snubs), but aren't the kind of players most fans probably see as HOFers.

C) Continue inducting modern 3B at the same rate as other positions and just live with the fact that 3B basically sucked for half of MLB history, so the amount of inductees may always be imbalanced because of that.

Honestly, yeah, between those 3 options I think I'd pick #3. Both choice A and choice B would swell the Hall with non essential members that a lot of fans would question, just to hit an arbitrary quota.
   73. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6051308)
Looking at the numbers again, I could probably be talked into Boyer. His career was short-ish for a HOFer, but he was pretty damn good at his peak.

Bell and Bando though, that's a hard sell. Bell especially seems very much like a "cuz WAR says so" candidate to me.
   74. tshipman Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6051309)
Posey's career AS A CATCHER is similar to Mauer's career AS A CATCHER.


Only if you completely ignore pitch framing.
   75. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:04 PM (#6051310)
Greinke seems like a lock at this point. Votto is borderline today, but after 2021 I think he'll eventually get there.
   76. Walt Davis Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6051312)
#66: Same argument for C. The HoF standards (and durability) shifted dramatically after WW2 and especially in the 60s-70s -- see earlier posts about C WAR and the HoF. By bWAR (not the definitive HoF standard obviously), Posey's in a muddle with Munson, Freehan, Simmons, Mauer, Tenace, Posada and maybe a few others, behind the top tier.

Regular catchers don't catch as many games as they used to, so similar to starting pitchers, the voters are going to have to make adjustments to their standards or no catchers are going to be elected anymore.

Maybe, yet Molina has passed 2000 games and Perez is already over 1000 despite missing all of 2019 and the shortened 2020. (Perez started 160 games in 2021, 40 of them at DH.)

And it may be true that the voters should adjust their C criteria but will they "need" to? They've never shown any particular penchant for electing Cs and have only elected the no-doubters to this point. Electing no Cs is not like electing no SPs -- no pitchers would be very noticeable, the under-representation of Cs to this point hasn't been much of a controversy. My poking through HoF history has also suggested (to me at least) that players caught in the transition period between usage patterns often get overlooked, probably because it takes voters a while to realize they need new standards. The 10-year limit won't help there.

Anyway, some numbers ... C with at least 120 games, expansion era

16 1993
15 2001, 1977
14 2011, 2006
13 2004, 1996, 1984, 1982
12 2007, 2005, 2003, 2002, 1985, 1983, 1979, 1978, 1974 (that's 9 seasons ... 24-30 teams)
11 1987, 1973
10 2008, 2000, 1998, 1987, 1986, 1975, 1971, 1964

(If somebody wants to take the time to convert those to %age of teams playing, that would be great)

Indeed almost no seasons in the 2010s but also almost no seasons in the 1960s (fewer teams of course). The first shift seems to have been 2013 to 2016 with 7 in each season then another shift in 2017 with only 3-4 per year since then. But it's not very different from the 1960s -- 1961, 63, 65, 67, 68 were in the range of 4-7 (only 20 teams but still no better than 1/3).

So rare for more than half of the teams to have that kind of C. The 90s also didn't have a lot of them. But without question we're at least in a lull and maybe are witnessing the near-extinction of the heavily-used/abused C. But for Posey it remains that the limited usage doesn't seem to have extended his career or allowed him to take a lot of starts elsehwere. He's still at just 5600 PA total and probably only 4500 or so at C. His WAR7 is fine but borderline -- a bit ahead of Campy and Simmons, tied with Munson ... 2.4 WAR7 behind Mauer (not a big deal) but only 2.9 WAR7 ahead of Freehan (not a big deal).

We might try to say Posey's WAR7 is hurt by limited C usage ... and maybe so but Munson had only 5900 PA (and Tenace fewer than Posey). Posey 23-34 (no 2020) is 5600 PA; Freehan's 22-32 is 5800 PA -- that's 11 seasons for both and the only difference is nearly all of Freehan's time is behind the plate. Posey wins that comparison by a few WAR, WAR Freehan got back by playing decently in a few more partial seasons (about 1000 additional PA). Freehan, Munson, Posey, Simmons, Mauer are a very tight bunch. By quality (peak), Freehan is probably the worst, Mauer the best but by durability, Freehan is 2nd only to Simmons. I don't normally include Tenace because he had fewer than 800 career starts at C and only once even 100 in a season but if we're considering Mauer and Posey, he should be in this mix too I suppose. He probably ends up last as he only had 7 qualified seasons despite being only a half-time C, doesn't really deserve any sort of C adjustment.
   77. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6051314)


The difference between fWAR and bWAR is all in the fielding component for Posey -- 155 vs. 40 fielding runs above average, so a difference of 115. Fangraphs WAR includes pitch framing and if I'm reading it correctly, Posey gets 73 there, so that's most but not all of the difference.


Looked a bit more into how Fangraphs calculates catcher WAR. I think they use FRM, not rSZ, as the catcher framing number that feeds into fWAR, so Posey gets 129 runs there rather than 73. That more than makes up the difference between fWAR and bWAR.

Mauer only gets 28 FRM but the stat is not available for his first 4 seasons (about 3 years worth of games). So his career number is probably more like 40-60.
   78. Ron J Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:39 PM (#6051316)
#53 Posey is missing a key attribute of the cases for a lot of the guys you mentioned. He wasn't a friend of Frankie Frisch.
   79. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: November 04, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6051317)
The three wild cards are greinke, Chapman and kimbrel


One of these is not like the others.

Greinke will get elected by the writers. He's got a great analytical case and he's got funky narrative to go along with it. Plus he hits ok and is a great fielder. Lots of good stuff there.

The other 2 are just relievers. Not of the all time best or invented a new pitch or did the hybrid starter/reliever thing effectively, they are just guys who were pretty good relievers. Dan Quisenberry was lights out for 5 years. 5 top 5 Cy young finishes, the very definition of the awesome modern closer and one of the best of his time...and he didn't get a sniff.

However I have made my position known regarding relievers in the HOF in that any more then 1 is 1 too many.

As for Posey, what I posted above, HOF talent, HOF play, just a really, really short career. I'm on the fence personally, but I think the writers will put him in within 5-7 years.
   80. Jaack Posted: November 04, 2021 at 06:05 PM (#6051321)
I don't normally include Tenace because he had fewer than 800 career starts at C and only once even 100 in a season but if we're considering Mauer and Posey, he should be in this mix too I suppose. He probably ends up last as he only had 7 qualified seasons despite being only a half-time C, doesn't really deserve any sort of C adjustment.


I dont see how Posey is a half time catcher - he played 82% of his games at the position. That's way higher than Gene Tenace. That's higher than Johnny Bench!
   81. Walt Davis Posted: November 04, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6051322)
Why has C usage changed? Well it sorta coincides with framing so possibly teams have gone more with offense/defense platoons, possibly even starting the hitter with pitchers who need less help stealing strikes. Possibly the stat nerds discovered that C offense declines dramatically after 3 straight starts or is horrible when starting a day game after starting a night game. Unfortunately Stathead's team splits search doesn't provide tOPS+ but I don't see any noticeable change over the last 20 years in C raw OPS -- but if anything it's gone down.

C may be a position where players are actually getting older. Looking at the number of Cs with at least 60 games and aged 30+, 2017-21 have high totals of 21-22 ... 4 of the top 10 years, the other 6 are in the 2000s. The early-mid 80s were similar by %age. Conversely, if you look at Cs 25 and under with 60+ games, the last 4 full years have low totals -- 4 of the bottom 12 of the expansion era and you can add 2016. So it's possible that (a) teams develop Cs longer, possibly because of an increased emphasis on defense/framing; (b) this leads to a greater reliance on older Cs; (c) older Cs usually can't handle more than 60-100 starts a year.

I wonder if we also see a somewhat similar churn with backup Cs as we see with fungible relievers. There's some evidence here although again we need to control for number of teams. Still for number of players with at least 10 games at C, 2018 and 2019 are #1 and #2, 2017 is tied for 4th and 2021 is 11th. In fact, the last 11 full seasons are all in the top 15. That's more a symptom than a cause presumably. Not that it's a dramatic number or anything, averages just under 3 per team for the 2010s -- earlier eras look similar enough, just a small peak in the last few years. I wonder if IL use among "starting" Cs has gone up -- whether legit or to give them a 10-day midseason break to reset.

   82. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 06:20 PM (#6051326)
Posey it remains that the limited usage doesn't seem to have extended his career or allowed him to take a lot of starts elsehwere.


It seems that whether it would have extended his career is kind of up in the air. He's going out on his own, as a 3.5 WAR player, not like most guys where the game decides they're done.

   83. sunday silence (again) Posted: November 04, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6051330)

The HOF is short on 3B because there were simply very few HOF caliber 3B for a half century from 1900-1950 or so.


this is a tautology.
   84. Jack Sommers Posted: November 04, 2021 at 07:44 PM (#6051344)
Really ?

15 third basement, (45% of PT at 3b) in HOF

7 concluded their career before 1947

1, George Kell, Straddled, 1943-1957

7 whose career started after 1947, beginning with Eddie Mathews in 1952

REPORT LINK

What am I missing here ?

Edit: Of course Rolen should be in already, and still has good chance, and Beltre will make it in
   85. Howie Menckel Posted: November 04, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6051345)
Michael Wilbon on ESPN tonight said that Posey is a first-ballot HOFer because he hit .300 for his career, so I guess that settles it.
   86. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 08:10 PM (#6051346)
And it may be true that the voters should adjust their C criteria but will they "need" to? They've never shown any particular penchant for electing Cs and have only elected the no-doubters to this point


True, but they haven't had to give much consideration to borderline catchers before since there's been a slow but steady stream of no-doubters to elect instead. Since 1969, the writers have elected Campy (1969), Berra (1972), Bench (1989), Fisk (2000), Carter (2003), Piazza (2016), and Rodriguez (2017). No active catcher looks like they have any shot at being on that level, so they're going to have to start looking closely at the borderline guys who may not have made it in past eras.

Michael Wilbon on ESPN tonight said that Posey is a first-ballot HOFer because he hit .300 for his career, so I guess that settles it.


No, but with batting averages plummeting, career .300 averages really do look like they're going to be pretty damn rare going forward. With Posey retired, Cabrera looks like he may be the last career .300 hitter for a long time. I wouldn't bet on any other active player doing it (obviously way too early to tell for the really young guys like Soto).
   87. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 08:41 PM (#6051348)
Also another point that has been brought up before, there really is a major drought of HOF caliber talent from Posey's era compared to most others. If the writers aren't going to elect the borderline catchers (Posey, Mauer, Molina), who are they going to elect instead? Every era has their burnouts and injury cases, but it seems a disproportionate amount of the top players to debut in the 2000's stalled out around 50 WAR (Pedroia, Wright, Tulo, Santana, Braun, King Felix, McCutchen, etc).

60 WAR players, by debut decade:

1950's - 15
1960's - 23
1970's - 21
1980's - 22
1990's - 20
2000's - 11-13*

* Currently 11, but Longoria (57.4) should make it, and Hamels (59.3) is right there and hasn't officially retired yet (though he's pitched only 3 innings in the past 2 seasons)

And that's with a solid showing by pitchers; the five 60 WAR pitchers from the 2000's - and Hamels and Buehrle (59.1) just missed - are more than we saw debut in the 1950's (2), 1970's (3), and 1990's (4). The number of HOF caliber position players from the 2000's really stands out as being deficient.

60 WAR position players, by debut decade:

1950's - 13
1960's - 12
1970's - 18
1980's - 14
1990's - 16
2000's - 6-7 (currently 6, plus Longoria. No one else has a chance)

Continuing, here's 70 WAR position players by debut decade:

1950's - 8 (7 over 90 WAR!)
1960's - 7
1970's - 10
1980's - 7
1990's - 9
2000's - 1**

** Yep, just Pujols, although Cano (69.6) is right there and should do it if he ever plays again. Cabrera was also right on the cusp in 2016 (69.8), but has put up -1.1 WAR in 5 seasons since. Votto (63.3) could do it, but I wouldn't bet on it. No one else has a shot.

Any way you look at it, the writers are going to have some lean ballots when the stars who debuted in the 2000's start showing up on it.
   88. Hombre Brotani Posted: November 04, 2021 at 09:37 PM (#6051351)
** Yep, just Pujols
You're forgetting one Michael Nelson Trout.
   89. SoSH U at work Posted: November 04, 2021 at 09:46 PM (#6051354)
He meant 2000-09, not the entire century to date.
   90. cardsfanboy Posted: November 04, 2021 at 09:53 PM (#6051356)
I think Posey easily makes it into the hof. I don't even think that is a debate. The historical voters aren't the current voters, and his career is just too strong to ignore. First ballot? probably not, but I honestly think that he might pass Alomar for the biggest swing on the second ballot. (note: I'm going from memory not looking it up)

I think the voters of today are much more aware of the historical failure of previous catchers.

To me personally, my definition of a hofer is what he did in ten years... Everything beyond that is about his ranking on the all time list, but for the hof it's ultimately about how he scores on his best ten years. Posey easily makes it by that criteria when you consider position. Posey isn't going to pass Mauer or others, but he's a plus defensive catcher, an elite offensive catcher over 10 plus seasons, he's clearly worthy. I don't even think there is a discussion of merit that can keep him out of the hof.

When you look at the struggles of Piazza, it was because of a poor interpretation of his defensive value, something that Posey won't have to deal with. And yes, I fully acknowledge that Carter and others struggled, but I think that was more an issue in the past that has been fixed.
   91. cardsfanboy Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6051359)
I mean seriously what is the difference between him and Kirby Puckett? Once you adjust for the catchers playing time penalty.
   92. Booey Posted: November 04, 2021 at 10:34 PM (#6051360)
#89 - Correct. Trout is far and away the leader of the players who debuted in the 2010's.

Edit: At least until Ohtani, Soto, Tatis, Acuna, and Vlad Jr start racking up 10 WAR seasons like clock work. :-D
   93. TomH Posted: November 05, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6051374)
Per Bill James' Hall of Fame Monitor, viewable on bb-ref, Posey is at 79, nowhere near the 100-or-more that could make him HOF-"likely". He is twenty-ninth among not-yet-eligible players. Below B McCann and AJ Pierzinski (!) among others. The HOF Monitor tool give Posey lots of credit for catching for WS winning teams, as well as a career .300 AVG, BTW.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/hof_monitor.shtml

It does not give him pitch-framing credit, but... my guess is Posey will be nowhere near first ballot; many voters will look at 1500 career hits and shrug. Let's say, a surge to make it on the 9th ballot, in 2036.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 05, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6051377)
I think Posey easily makes it into the hof. I don't even think that is a debate. The historical voters aren't the current voters, and his career is just too strong to ignore.

He's about as good as Charlie Keller, if you give Keller zero WW2 credit; Posey trails him if you give war credit. That doesn't scream "too strong to ignore".
   95. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 05, 2021 at 09:47 AM (#6051378)
Also another point that has been brought up before, there really is a major drought of HOF caliber talent from Posey's era compared to most others. If the writers aren't going to elect the borderline catchers (Posey, Mauer, Molina), who are they going to elect instead?

My preference would be nobody. Or better yet, bring in Whitaker and Grich, and Dewey Evans, and Nettles and Boyer and Munson, and all the guys they missed from the 60's and 70's.
   96. kcgard2 Posted: November 05, 2021 at 10:26 AM (#6051382)
Does fWAR count pitch framing, and how far does that go back?

@31: Yes, fWAR counts pitch framing, and bWAR does not. fWAR pitch framing goes back to 2010.

I agree with this statement, but why is this the case?

@51: As mentioned already, games that go 3 hours 20 minutes are a lot harder on catchers than games that go 2 hours 20 minutes. Actually, I think the wear and tear from this perspective is going way too much under the radar. that's a huge difference in the toll a catcher will take over a season.
   97. DL from MN Posted: November 05, 2021 at 10:29 AM (#6051383)
The Hall of Fame would look a lot better for early 3rd basemen if it had elected Stan Hack, Heinie Groh and John Beckwith
   98. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 05, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6051386)
60 WAR position players, by debut decade:

1950's - 13
1960's - 12
1970's - 18
1980's - 14
1990's - 16
2000's - 6-7 (currently 6, plus Longoria. No one else has a chance)


I suspect this is just a fluke of timing rather than a long-term trend. For players who debuted in 2010 or later, we already have one above 60 (Trout), two above 50 (Goldschmidt and Betts), and seven above 40 (Machado, Donaldson, Arenado, Stanton, Freeman, Altuve, Harper, plus Sale and deGrom for pitchers). We're going to be in double digits for players who debuted in the 2010s even before we get to the Sotos and Acunas of the world.
   99. sunday silence (again) Posted: November 05, 2021 at 11:06 AM (#6051387)
. Or better yet, bring in Whitaker and Grich, and Dewey Evans, and Nettles and Boyer and Munson, and all the guys they missed from the 60's and 70's.


Posey is at 45 WAR (bref) and Munson at 46. So I dont quite get your pt.

When we last discussed catchers a few months ago, it seemed that Munson was the most deserving candidate not in. Its hard to find any quantifiable difference in value between Posey and Munson.
   100. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 05, 2021 at 11:13 AM (#6051388)
Jay Jaffe is quite confident that Posey will make it (his analysis leans on framing to some extent but not entirely).

"As to where Posey’s retirement leaves him with regards to the Hall of Fame, to these eyes, he’s checked every box except sticking around long enough to satisfy every last random crank on social media or sports talk radio."

So I believe he's saying that there are some random cranks here.
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