With the quiet lull in place before the burst of energy that marks opening day, its a good time to have one of my favorite baseball discussions. Who makes the Hall of Fame? Let’s supposed that these players retired today, without playing a day in the 2012 season or beyond. Who is in? Active players only.
- In, no discussion: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Pudge Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Ichiro Suzuki, Roy Halladay, Vlad Guerrero
- Jorge Posada – Count me as on the Posada wagon. The Hall of Fame undervalues catching. Posada put together 44 bWAR over a successful career, despite the limited playing that comes with his position, the physical rigor, and the reduced credit for defensive WAR that catchers get. You can count the number of players during his era that were clearly better than Posada on one hand – Pudge Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, and Joe Mauer. Even Mauer is showing how rare it is that a guy like Posada plays a long, dominant career at catcher.
- Scott Rolen - Rolen put together a mighty impressive 66 WAR over his career. A lot of that value comes from his stellar defensive play, but Rolen was no slouch at the plate either, hitting .282/.366/.494. The biggest knock against him is that he was constantly injured over his long career, preventing him from wracking up tons of counting statistics. In my book, he should be a no-brainer.
- Andy Pettitte – Andy is an active player again! Pettitte is tied with Tim Hudson for 3rd place overall in active pitcher WAR, behind Halladay and Rivera, with 49.9 bWAR. To me, 49.9 bWAR, even for a starting pitcher, is borderline. I’d argue that Hudson falls on the “almost, but not quite” side of that borderline, and Andy just makes it in. Pettitte’s world-beating 263 postseason innings, and five rings, put him solidly over the top.