In the spirit of the HOF ballot, I wanted to take a moment to examine the careers of Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte. During this World Series run a lot was once again made of whether or not these two should be considered among the game's best of all time (and some of the other players who've inexplicably found their way into Cooperstown).
To make this assessment I'll rely on two tools Baseball Reference provides. The main one is the list of comparable players they have. If Andy and Jorge are considered similar to enough players in the Hall of Fame, or players who will probably one day be in the Hall of Fame, then it stands to reason that they too have a strong case for the Hall. The second tool is a Bill James statistic, Hall of Fame Monitor. The monitor awards points to players for career milestones, such as an All-Star appearance or hitting .300 in a season. 100 points or more is considered the minimum threshold for Cooperstown.
Interestingly, the two players cut in different directions according to these criteria. Pettitte already has a HOF Monitor above 100 (Jorge does not) while Posada compares favorably thus far in his career to players already in Cooperstown.
Jorge seems to have the better case between the two. Hall of Fame Monitor won't automatically go up each year - only for milestones - but with a score of 98 Jorge should pass 100 next season. In addition, the three players whom he compares most favorably to, in order, are Javy Lopez, Gabby Hartnett and Roy Campanella. Through age 37 he also compares favorably to Carlton Fisk. Lopez is not a HOFer, and its ridiculous to compare Jorge to Campanella since the latter might have been the greatest catcher ever had his career not been tragically shortened, but Hartnett and Fisk do have similar numbers to Jorge and both are in the Hall of Fame.
Playing catcher helps. There are only 13 backstops in Cooperstown. Of them, only Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Cartlon Fisk and Gary Carter have hit more home runs than Jorge has right now. If Jorge has 3 more seasons similar to 2009 in him then he'll surpass 300 career homers. That, in turn, would make it difficult to keep him out of Cooperstown, all other things being equal. Although it is improbable for a catcher to play to such an advanced age, there is precedent. Carlton Fisk didn't become an everyday player until he was 24, and then freakishly played until the age of 45.
Andy Pettitte may have the bumpier road. He compares most favorably to Kevin Brown, Bob Welch, and Dwight Gooden. None of them is a HOFer. Andy seems to fall into the category of the Hall of Very Good. That Bill James' statistic currently projects him as a Hall of Famer seems to reflect his regular and postseason record. The knock against him is that he's never been particularly dominant.
Jack Morris has a similar record, ERA, and postseason resume to Pettitte's. He's not in the Hall, and he didn't make the list of players ESPN argued for this past week. Like Pettitte he was an excellent pitcher, who put up many strong seasons (both were in the top five in Cy Young balloting at least four times), but falls short because without 300 wins pitchers need to be visibly dominant (think Pedro Martinez or Bob Gibson) to be elected.
Andy and Jorge aren't done playing. They have at least the 2010 season to strengthen their candidacies (assuming the PED thing blows over for Pettitte). I don't believe either will be elected the first few times on the ballot, but both will have strong resumes if they can stay healthy and productive for 3 more seasons. Of the two, I believe that Jorge will eventually make it in, while Pettitte will not. Jorge seems to have the drive to stick around for a while longer, and will likely wind up with 300 home runs. Pettitte, on the other hand, has toyed with retirement for years, and will not win 300 games. The Yankees, however, as far as I'm concerned, should retire both their numbers.