Giullermo Santuci - Cobb Times Herald
Spring is the time when many young players show their stuff to prove they have what it takes to make it in the bigs. The established stars merely train to get in game shape, while many vets give it one last go before calling it quits. And when the big stars call it a day, the Hall of Fame beckons. Today we are taking a look at which Cobb World catchers have the potential to make it to Cooperstown when the day comes that they hang up their cleats for the last time.
Vernon Jones - Sioux Falls Corn Cleats
Qualifications: 5 All Star appearances, 1 ROY, 4 Silver Sluggers, 1 Home Run Derby Championship, 283 HR's, 4.15 ERA
HoF or Not: HoF - Duh, this guy's a lock. Barring a catastrophic injury he will post the best numbers of any catcher in the history of Cobb World, and he's only 26 years old. By the time he retires he could be the career leader in HR's, RBI's, and many other categories.
Vitas Newman - Louisville Tysons
Qualifications: 5 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, 246 HR's, 1.055 OPS
Detriments: 4.58 ERA
HoF or Not: HoF - Newman is about as close as a lock for the HoF as you can get at the catcher position. He has been one of the most feared hitters in the league, which offsets his average catching skills.
Fausto Pena - Omaha Sluggers
Qualifications: 1 All Star appearance, .305 BA, 1176 Hits, 4.17 ERA
Detriments: Light power numbers
HoF or Not: HoF - Pena has been one of the best defensive catchers in the game for a long time, which overshadows his fading as he ages. A good hitter too, Pena will be remembered for his ability to call a very good game.
Patrick Stanton - Vancouver Grizzlies
Qualifications: 2 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, 264 HR's, 4.10 ERA
Detriments: .269 BA, 22% Caught Stealing
HoF or Not: NOT - Stanton has all the potential in the world, but has underperformed to the point where he is a borderline candidate for the Hall. He is still young enough to turn it around though, and his power numbers are very hard to ignore.
Editor's Note - On second opinion the Cobb Times Herald staff thinks that Stanton is an HoF player, after further review of his defensive stats, it is obvious that Stanton is HoF material.
Eddie Helms - Anaheim Sharks
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1 Silver Slugger, .322 BA, .962 OPS, 4.22 ERA,
Detriments: Light power numbers.
HoF or Not: HoF - Helms is still young for a catcher and the future looks good as long as he doesn't get hurt.
Lonnie Boyd - Jackson Pollocks
Qualifications: 1 All Star appearance, .318 BA, 4.36 ERA, .999 OPS
Detriments: 75% SB against success rate, Small career totals in hits and power numbers.
HoF or Not: NOT - 1 All Star appearance isn't enough, and his stats are good but not as dominant as his contemporaries.
Benjamin Christianson - Nashville Rebel Riders
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 3 Silver Sluggers, 188 HR's, .926 OPS
Detriments: ERA of 5.46, 80% success rate for SB attempts, only 544 games played at age 29.
HoF or Not: NOT - Not yet anyways, if he can keep up his production for another few years this will probably change into HoF territory. He would help his cause by calling a better game, but in his defense he hasn't had the best rotations to work with.
Pedro Fernandez - Seattle Seacows (Minors)
Qualifications: 3 All Star appearances, 1 Gold Glove, 1080 hits, .307 BA
Detriments: Career ERA of 5.40
HoF or Not: HoF - Fernandez was elite for the first 5 seasons of Cobb World, and we can only imagine what his career totals would have been if he had 5 more seasons in his prime on his record.
Bobby Griffin - Retired
Qualifications: 1 All Star appearance, 1 Silver Slugger, .334 BA
Detriments: Career ERA of 6.60, only 772 hits.
HoF or Not: NOT - Griffin was good but not great, and although his ERA is inflated due to catching for Honolulu in season 2, he still wasn't quite good enough on the defensive end.