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Javy A Nice Life
2007-03-12 19:16
by Mike Carminati

It looks like Javy Lopez's career might have reached an end today with his release from the Rockies spring training camp. Lopez, 36, would prefer to remain behind the plate instead of moving back to the AL to DH. Either way, it is highly doubtful that he'll be able to catch on with a major-league ballclub at this stage of the game

So, I thought it would be an appropriate time to find his place in catching history. Lopez has had a pretty good career behind the plate, but could he possibly be Hall-worthy? And what of his great 2003 season (43 HR, 109 RBI, .328 batting average, and 1.065 OPS), where does it fall in the list of great years by a catcher? Let's see…

Here are the best players whose primary position was behind the plate ranked by career Win Shares, including all current Hall-of-Fame catchers:

NameWin Shares#YrsFinal Year1st EligLast EligInductedVoted byGradeHRRBIBAOBPSLUGOPS
Yogi Berra375191965197119851972BBWAAB3581430.285.348.482.830
Carlton Fisk368241993199920132000BBWAAB3761330.269.341.457.797
Johnny Bench356171983198920031989BBWAAB3891376.267.342.476.817
Gary Carter337191992199820122003BBWAAB3241225.262.335.439.773
Gabby Hartnett325201941194119621955BBWAAB2361179.297.370.489.858
Mike Piazza32215200620122026 B4191291.309.379.551.931
Joe Torre31518197719831997 B2521185.297.365.452.817
Ted Simmons31521198819942008 B2481389.285.348.437.785
Bill Dickey314171946194719661954BBWAAB2021209.313.382.486.868
Ivan Rodriguez29816200620122026 C2771119.304.342.483.826
Mickey Cochrane275131937193719621947BBWAAC119832.320.419.478.897
Bill Freehan26715197619821996 C200758.262.340.412.752
Lance Parrish24819199520012015 C3241070.252.313.440.753
Wally Schang24519193119361961 C59710.284.393.401.794
Buck Ewing241181897193619451939Old TimersC71883.303.351.456.807
Gene Tenace23115198319892003 C201674.241.388.429.817
Roger Bresnahan231171915193619451945Old TimersC26530.279.386.377.764
Darrell Porter22217198719932007 D188826.247.354.409.763
Ernie Lombardi218171947194819671986VeteransD190990.306.358.460.818
Bob Boone21019199019962010 D105826.254.315.346.661
Sherm Lollar20918196319691983 D155808.264.357.402.759
Roy Campanella207101957196219771969BBWAAD242856.276.360.500.860
Rick Ferrell206181947194819671984VeteransD28734.281.378.363.741
Thurman Munson20611197919851999 D113701.292.346.410.756
Tim McCarver20421198019862000 D97645.271.337.388.725
Elston Howard20314196819741988 D167762.274.322.427.749
Jason Kendall20211200620122026 D68574.301.381.400.781
Jim Sundberg20016198919952009 D95624.248.327.348.674
Jorge Posada19612200620122026 D198771.270.375.472.847
Javy Lopez19315200620122026 D260864.287.337.491.828
Ray Schalk191181929193619591955VeteransD11594.253.340.316.656

Note that Piazza and Pudge are not yet eligible and are pretty close to locks. Torre will go in as a manager whenever he decides to hang 'em up. Even Jorge Posada, who should have a few more years to improve his case, is already ahead of Lopez along with thirteen others who are not in the Hall. Consider that there are just thirteen catchers

Long story short, Lopez has almost no shot at the Hall, especially given that his best asset was his offense during the steroid era. But before he fades in our memories, let's take a quick at his peak to see if that makes his case:

Mike Piazza1997393222840124.362.431.6381.070
Johnny Bench1972373562440125.270.379.541.920
Bill Freehan196835267262584.263.366.454.819
Johnny Bench1970343562245148.293.345.587.932
Johnny Bench1974343562633129.280.363.507.870
Yogi Berra1954343752922125.307.367.488.855
Bill Dickey1937333143029133.332.417.570.987
Carlton Fisk197233368242261.293.370.538.909
Gary Carter1985333373132100.281.365.488.853
Mike Piazza1996333222736105.336.422.563.985
Mike Piazza1998333222932111.328.390.570.960
Roy Campanella1951332072933108.325.393.590.983
Roy Campanella1953332073141142.312.395.6111.006
Elston Howard196432203351584.313.371.455.825
Gene Tenace197532231282987.255.395.464.859
Yogi Berra1950323752528124.322.383.533.915
Carlton Fisk197831368302088.284.366.475.841
Darrell Porter1979312222720112.291.421.484.905
Darren Daulton1992311593027109.270.385.524.908
Gary Carter198231337282997.293.381.510.890
Joe Mauer20063160231384.347.429.507.936
Mickey Cochrane193031275271085.357.424.526.949
Mike Piazza1993313222435112.318.370.561.932
Yogi Berra195131375262788.294.350.492.842
Yogi Berra1956313753130105.298.378.534.911
Bill Freehan196730267252074.282.389.447.835
Carlton Fisk1977303682926102.315.402.521.922
Gary Carter1980303372629101.264.331.486.818
Gary Carter1984303373027106.294.366.487.853
Javy Lopez2003301933243109.328.378.6871.065
Johnny Bench1975303562728110.283.359.519.878
Mickey Cochrane1932302752923112.293.412.510.921
Ted Simmons197830315282280.287.377.512.889
Tim McCarver196730204251469.295.369.452.822

OK, let's wish Javy a nice retirement and hope that he hasn't booked the flight to Cooperstown in six years, unless he wants to listen to Jeff Bagwell's induction speech in person.

2007-03-13 12:06:21
1.   rbj
Surely someone could pick him up as a backup catcher, but would he want that.

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