Monday, January 9, 2012

Jorge Posada vs. Ted Simmons

Jorge Posada hit 275
career home runs.
The word during the weekend was that Jorge Posada has decided to retire rather that try to extend his career with some team other than the New York Yankees.

Which raises the immediate question with a (minimum) five-year wait for an answer: Should he go into the Hall of Fame?

My immediate answer is yes. He had a 17-year career as a key component of a great team. I think the 1996-2001 Yankees have be best claim of any squad as the greatest dynasty in baseball history. It deserves more plaques in the Hall that "just" Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

And then I thought of Ted Simmons.

Simba and Posada strike me as similar players. They weren't great defensive catchers, but they were good enough to stick behind the plate, and at the dish they were definite pluses for their lineups. Both were switch hitters; neither was reckoned the best catcher in his era, but Simmons was a contemporary of Johnny Bench, and Posada's career overlapped with Ivan Rodriguez and Joe Mauer.

Ted Simmons hit 248
career home runs.
Simmons made nine all-star teams in his 21-year career and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting three times; Posada made five all-star teams and had two top-10 MVP years. Posada's career slash stats look better than Simmons', but the 1970s (Simmons' era) was a much tougher time for hitters.

Posada's career OPS+ --on-base plus slugging, adjusted for park effects and compared to his league -- is 121, meaning that he was 21 percent above league average. Simmons' OPS+ is 117.

Simmons appeared on just one Hall of Fame ballot, in 1994, and got just 3.7 percent of the vote. That's not necessarily the biggest travesty of recent balloting, but it's up there.

Posada will be a worthy inductee when his time comes. I don't know that he's all that much more worthy than Simmons.


  1. According to Fangraphs: Simmon's WAR = 61, Posada, 47.

    Mauer: 35.7 (Looks similar to Simmon's early career... needs several more good years though)
    Pudge: 73.4 (he's been linked to steroids I believe) but he should be a first ballot type of player.

    Mauer's peak already compares favorably to each of these guys. If he returns to form, his end results will be HOF discussion worthy.

  2. Simmons' comps are impressive. It's unfortunate he did not garner more consideration. By the time I started paying attention to baseball is around the time of that Topps 1987 baseball card. He was a part time player by then.