The debate for the best catcher in the American League pretty much comes down to Jorge Posada and Victor Martinez. Not to take anything away from Pudge Rodriguez, Kenji Johjima or Gerald Laird, but Posada and Martinez are on a level above the others. Their stats are relatively similar, with Posada 24 points ahead in batting average, 26 points higher in on base percentage and 3 more runs scored, versus Martinez’s lead of 4 more home runs and 14 more RBI. I would argue that the additional RBIs are a result of Posada batting behind Alex Rodriguez, who leads the Major Leagues in RBI, but I don’t have to go there.
They are nearly identical defensively, with Martinez playing a couple of games at first in addition to catcher. This in no way should get him additional votes for playing behind the plate. If it does, then I’ll note that Posada has had to catch for (by my last count) 13 different starting pitchers this year. That can’t be easy on a catcher.
A close call I think, but Posada’s third best average in the American League should make the difference.
HIP HIP JORGE!