Ivan Rodriguez – Hall Bound?
There are currently 13 catchers in major league baseball’s Hall of Fame. Of these 13 players, five have a career batting average north of .295 and four have hit more than 300 home runs. No player has accomplished both. Let me rephrase that. No player in the Hall of Fame has done both, not Fisk, not Bench, not even Berra. The only player who has is Ivan Rodriguez and unless he goes hitless in his next 127 at-bats he will retire with both a .295 batting average and 300 plus home runs.
Ivan Rodriguez, a 14-time all-star, 13-time gold glove winner, and 7-time silver slugger winner has hit over .300 ten times in his career and ranks #1 all-time by catchers in runs, hits, doubles and total bases. He ranks 7th in home runs, 6th in runs batted in 6th in stolen bases. In the 2003 playoffs Rodriguez hit .313/.390/.522 with 21 hits, five doubles, three home runs, ten runs and 17 runs batted in in 17 games.
He is the only catcher in the history of baseball to have 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases in the same season. In fact, no other catcher has a 20/20 season on his resume. He and Mike Piazza are the only two catchers who have hit 20 or more home runs with a .300 batting average or better in 5 five or more seasons.
Arguably the best defensive catcher in major league baseball history, Ivan Rodriguez has a Hall of Fame Monitor score of 224, while a likely hall of famer has a 100 and a Hall of Fame Standards score of 56 while the average hall of famer averages a 50. The list of 10 most comparable players include 5 current hall of fame players, 4 that are not yet eligible and Ted Simmons who when comparing to current hall of fame catchers ranks 1st in hits and doubles, 2nd in runs batted in, 4th in home runs, 5th in runs scored, and 6th in batting average.