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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2015 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

2015 (December 8, 2014)—elect 3

WS WAR Name-Pos 
430 63.3 Gary Sheffield-RF
326 89.6 Randy Johnson-P
289 65.3 John Smoltz-P
256 73.5 Pedro Martinez-P
303 44.2 Carlos Delgado-1B
287 42.7 Brian Giles-RF/LF
219 42.6 Nomar Garciaparra-SS
191 27.3 Cliff Floyd-LF
161 27.8 Darin Erstad-1B/CF
189 16.8 Mark Loretta-2B/SS
177 18.5 Rich Aurilia-SS
175 17.6 Jermaine Dye-RF
114 26.1 Jarrod Washburn-P
125 18.0 Troy Percival-RP
138 11.1 Kevin Millar-1B
128 11.8 Tony Clark-1B

Required disclosures (top 10 returnees): Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Sammy Sosa, Kenny Lofton, Jeff Kent, Luis Tiant, Bobby Bonds, Buddy Bell, Phil Rizzuto, Ben Taylor


DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:27 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4638846)
2015 Prelim

1) Randy Johnson - top 30 player all time, 10th on my list of pitchers; 3rd best LHP ever (Grove, Spahn). Randy Johnson versus Warren Spahn is very, very close.
2) Pedro Martinez - top 50 player all time, ranked just ahead of Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson and Bob Feller
3) John Smoltz - Top 60 player all time. Slots in between Bert Blyleven and Tom Glavine.
4) Curt Schilling - drops to 23rd among pitchers. Ignoring early pitchers he's behind Blyleven, Smoltz, Glavine and Roberts but ahead of Carl Hubbell, Gaylord Perry and Dazzy Vance. Top 75 player in baseball history.
5) Mike Mussina - top 100 player - around even with Gaylord Perry for 30th among pitchers
6) Gary Sheffield - Equivalent to Enos Slaughter, Larry Walker and Roberto Clemente among RF
7) Tommy Bridges - Have been supporting Bridges since the 1970 ballot. Still think he's great.
8) Urban Shocker - gets WWI credit
9) Phil Rizzuto - WWII credit
10) Bus Clarkson - NGL and Mexican league credit
11) Gavy Cravath - minor league credit
12) Luis Tiant
13) Bob Johnson - on every ballot since I started voting in 1968
14) Ben Taylor - how do we induct Palmeiro and Beckley but not Ben Taylor? Taylor has the advantage of being the best 1B in the league and they don't. Great fielder during an era where it mattered quite a bit.
15) Bert Campaneris

16-20) Tony Mullane, Bucky Walters, Dave Bancroft, Hilton Smith, Norm Cash
21-25) Johnny Pesky, Jeff Kent, Dick Redding, Wally Schang, Sammy Sosa
26-30) Don Newcombe, Dave Concepcion, Babe Adams, Tommy Leach, Dizzy Dean

36) Kenny Lofton - I'm not as impressed with CF as the HoM voters are in general. About as good as Andre Dawson and Jim Wynn but they're not PHoM either. Behind Larry Doby and Earl Averill and they're the bottom of my PHoM CF.
53) Bobby Bonds - compares to Kiki Cuyler
58) Buddy Bell - BBREF is wrong, those WAR should be going to SS, not 3B. About even with Ron Cey and Robin Ventura.
   2. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4638863)
Brian Giles - actually slides in around Sammy Sosa
Carlos Delgado - a modern day Boog Powell
Nomar Garciaparra - around 150
   3. rudygamble Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4638994)
What is the source for the WAR? It doesn't line up with B-Ref or FanGraphs. Is it Dan R's?

Looks like this one will be Randy, Pedro and a dogfight for 3rd place b/w Smoltz, Schilling, and Mussina....
   4. jdennis Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4639019)
My top 5 will be pitchers, interesting. We'll probably vote in an all-pitcher class.

Randy and Pedro are both top ten pitchers all-time by my metric. Schilling, Mussina in the top 30, Smoltz easily clears my PHOM bar.

Rounding out Delgado, Sheffield, Giles, Nomar, Sosa, Lofton, Kent, Tiant, Cravath, Newcombe sounds like a pretty reasonable estimate. But I'll probably deviate from that heavily.
   5. Chris Fluit Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4639067)
I looked at Smoltz last year when I ran the numbers on Schilling and Mussina. I thought Glavine, Schilling and Mussina were tightly bunched together but Smoltz snuck into the middle of the group anyway. I'll have the three of them Schilling/Smoltz/Mussina. Maybe Schilling will finally get elected this year after being a bridesmaid the last two.

I'm still not sure where Sheffield will place.
   6. OCF Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4639092)
Here's what I have on the pitchers by RA+ equivalent record:

Schilling: 227-135, big years bonus score of 50
Mussina: 236-147, big years bonus score of 34
Smoltz: 234-152. big years bonus score of 16

But then Smoltz has the mixed record. That's 211-143 as a starter (and all of those "big years" were as a starter) and 23-9 as a reliever. The system doesn't really apply to relievers; of course his RA+ was way better than the average of all pitchers, but it's not so gaudy when compared to other closers. That's what happens when you pitch one inning at a time. But then closers get some leverage credit.

My overall take: I have Schilling ahead of Mussina, mostly for peak, and I have Smoltz cleanly behind Mussina, and there's probably room to put several non-pitchers in between Smoltz and Mussina.

Ahead of them:

Johnson: 275-192, big years score of 98
Martinez: 218-96, big years score of 91
(For contrast: Koufax: 163-95, big years score of 63)

They're 1-2 on my ballot, probably Johnson 1 and Martinez 2 because I'm kind of a career-leaning voter. But if some of the rest of you put Martinez first, I'll totally understand. I don't expect this to be unanimous.

It's not obvious what I'll do with Sheffield, and he falls outside the scope of some of my older methods.
   7. DL from MN Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4639165)
WAR comes from the eligibles by thread and probably pre-dates the great replacement level reconciliation.

I give Smoltz substantial credit for his excellent 200 postseason innings.
   8. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4639689)
1. Randy Johnson (Mathewson/Seaver)
2. Pedro Martinez (Feller/Spahn)
3/4/5 quite tight:
3. Curt Schilling - leads by regular season, best post season performer, though not the bulk of Smoltz.
4. Mike Mussina - not quite the post season of Smoltz, but better regular season/how much should his gold gloves count?
5. John Smoltz (Ryan/Walsh/Glavine)
6. Gary Sheffield - as high as #3 if you believe his defense was good/adequate or closer to #6 if you put faith in his subpar DRA defensive value.
7. Sammy Sosa - as Dan R mentioned - awesome 2001 season contributes to huge portion of value - above average/all-star level for 7 other seasons, either from early career defensive/baserunning value or later career slugging.
8. Brian Giles - mid-log candidate according to Dan R/DRA, borderline with baseball-reference, outside consideration set by chone WAR... Background from Dan R on the 2012 ballot discussion thread.
9. Buddy Bell - takes the #7 hole as he shows up as either highly impressive or worthy by Dan R, Chone WAR, BBRef WAR, and Baseball Gauge WAR using DRA.
10. Phil Rizzuto - similar to Bell if you give full credit for the WAR and a nudge for the malaria season.
11. Kenny Lofton - slum dunk by BBREF, borderline with DRA, but easily in with Dan R research.
12. Hilton Smith - Alex Smith's take, along with the strong support from seamheads, baseball-fever, and contemporary opinion place him as the most intriguing hurler backlogger.
13. Bert Campaneris - see Dan R research/comments
14. Don Newcombe - Hits the Top 70 in each of my criteria, even arguable as a Top 50 SP by Baseball Gauge and Fangraphs.
15. Tommy Leach - conservative placement as he has outstanding DRA measures, but putrid BBREF, and borderline/but worthy Dan R levels.

Carlos Delgado - reminds me of Fred McGriff - excellent power, middling BB/K rates, limited/zero value from defense/baserunning - Dan S ran ZIPS MLEs and had Delgado as being blocked by the Jays during the championship tenure - if given this value, could he vault to ballot/consideration status for many - I have him on the fringes of the consideration set.

Nomar Garciaparra - felt like a no doubt hall of famer in 2002...he could never overcome injuries after his trade from the Red Sox...sad that a 6x 6 WAR type player falls short...I wonder how he will show up with peak voters (Hello Mark Donelson?)
   9. Bleed the Freak Posted: January 15, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4639691)
Posts 10 and 16

Comparing against Chone Smith WAR:

The first big discrepancy regards Giles's offensive value in San Diego. After converting wins to runs and adjusting for the DH where necessary, I have Giles at 242 batting runs above average through 2002, while Sean has him at 230--close enough. From 2003-08, however, I have him at 171 runs above average, while Sean only gives him 141. The fact that a big gap starts opening up right in 2003 suggests that maybe we are using different park factors? I use the multi-year ones from baseball-reference. Another would be if the Padres consistently scored fewer runs than their offensive stats would suggest over that time, since Sean works backwards from team runs whereas I use the same run values for each event across all teams in the same league-season. Here's a breakdown of his 2005, to use one example, in case anyone can catch a flaw in my work:

103 singles * 0.5 + 38 doubles * .72 + 8 triples * 1.04 + 15 home runs * 1.44 + 112 unintentional walks plus hit by pitches * .33 + 9 intentional walks * .25 + 8 sacrifice flies * .37 + + 317 fielded outs * -.106 + 64 strikeouts * -.115 + -3.3 net double plays * -.37 = 111.2 eXtrapolated Runs. Divide by a .92 park factor to get 120.9 XR. He made 317 + 64 + 8 - 3.3 = 385.7 outs. The average NL team that year made 4,143 batting outs, so on an average team, his teammates would have had 3,757.3 batting outs. The league scored .174 runs per batting out, so his teammates would produce 653.8 runs, plus his 120.9 makes 774.7. The average NL team scored 721 runs that year. 774.7 RS and 721 RA gives a Pythagenpat exponent of 1.88 and a winning percentage of .5337. .0337 * 162 games gives 5.5 wins above average, as can be seen in the BWAA1 column above.

The second big discrepancy has to do with fielding. I have him as an average fielder for his career; Sean has him with a poor -48 through 2008. Once again, our numbers line up through the Pittsburgh years, and diverge sharply in San Diego. I show Giles as a +8 fielder from 2004-08; Sean has him at -44. Here the play-by-play stats clearly back me up: Dewan's Plus/Minus puts him at +15 and UZR shows -7. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Fangraphs WAR has Giles at 57.8 for his career, a very close match for my score.

16. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: February 08, 2011 at 12:58 AM (#3745577)
I neglected to address the minor league credit issue for Giles. I would argue that 1995 was his "make-good" year in the minors (a Szymborski MLE of .369 OBP and .452 SLG), and therefore that he starts deserving minor league credit in 1996. His 1996 Symborski MLE of .378/.533, with corresponding playing time at corner outfield using his 1997-98 fielding rate regressed, say, 1/3 to the mean, comes out as:

0.52 1.3 0.0 0.5 -0.9 2.7 0.941 1.2 0.0 0.5 -0.9 2.5

I also need to credit him for going 5-for-9 with a homer in 1995, which comes out as follows:

0.01 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3 0.961 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3

However, this takes no account of the time Giles spent rotting on the Indians' bench. He clearly was good enough to start full-time from 1996-98, but was only used as a platoon player over that time. So here's how I'd fill in the "missing" PA:

1. Take his 1999-2008 SFrac per year as a measure of his "true" durability. That gives 0.95 a season.

2. Credit him with 0.95 SFrac for each 1.00 SFrac he did not play while on major league rosters from 1996-98. This gives a "missing" SFrac of .24 in 1996, .34 in 1997, and .17 in 1998, which translates to 170 "missing" PA in 1996, 236 in 1997 and 118 in 1998.

3. Compare his % of PA vs. RHP from 1996-98 to the rest of his career. In 1996 he had 118 PA vs. RHP and 25 vs. LHP; in 1997 he had 371 vs. RHP and 80 vs. LHP; and in 1998 he had 370 vs. RHP and 60 vs. LHP. For the rest of his career he had 4756 vs. RHP and 2055 vs. LHP, which is 69.8% RHP. So to get him to the same 69.8% ratio for 1996-98, we have to add 100 PA vs. RHP and 70 vs. LHP in 1996; 107 PA vs. RHP and 126 vs. LHP in 1997; and 12 vs. RHP and 106 vs. LHP in 1998.

4. Determine his true platoon split. Using Tangotiger's method, I get Giles' regressed career OBP vs. LHP at 89.33% of his OBP vs. RHP, and his regressed career eXtrapolated Runs/out vs. LHP at 71.65% of his XR/out vs. RHP. (The unregressed ratios are 87.7% and 65.77%).

5. Take his rate of offensive production for the time he did play in 1995-98, which was an OBP of .390 and .262 XR/out while facing 83.9% RHP, and separate it out into platoon splits. At the above ratios, that comes out to a .398 OBP and .275 XR/out vs. RHP, and a .356 OBP and .197 XR/out vs. LHP.

6. Normalize these splits to the corresponding league-seasons. The AL averages for OBP and XR/out from 1996-98 were .350, .340, .340 and .208, .191, and .194. Weighted for Giles's playing time, the overall averages for that period were .341 and .195. So for 1996 we get .398*.35/.341 = a .409 OBP and .275*.208/.195 = .293 XR/out vs. RHP, and a .356*.35/.341 = .365 OBP and .197*.208/.195 = .210 XR/out vs. LHP. Repeating the process, the figures are a .397 OBP and .269 XR/out vs RHP and a .355 OBP and .193 XR/out vs LHP for 1997, and a .397 OBP and .274 XR/out vs RHP and a .355 OBP and .196 XR/out vs LHP in 1998.

7. Fill in the blanks. In 1996 we're adding 100 PA of .409 OBP and .293 XR/out and 70 PA of .365 OBP and .210 XR/out. In 1997 we're adding 107 PA of .397 OBP and .269 XR/Out, and 126 PA of .355 OBP and .193 XR/out. And in 1998 we're adding 12 PA of .397 OBP and .274 XR/out and 106 PA of .355 OBP and .196 XR/out. In total, that's 104 extra outs and 26.7 extra XR in 1996, 146 and 33.0 in 1997, and 76 and 15.4 in 1998.

8. Put him in corner outfield using his 1997-98 fielding rate regressed 1/3 to the mean. Here's what the credit looks like:

1996 0.24 0.4 0.0 0.2 -0.4 1.1 0.941 0.4 0.0 0.2 -0.4 1.0
1997 0.34 0.5 0.0 0.3 -0.6 1.4 0.976 0.5 0.0 0.3 -0.5 1.3
1998 0.17 0.0 0.0 0.2 -0.3 0.5 0.984 0.0 0.0 0.2 -0.3 0.5 add it all up, and what do you get??

Brian Giles

Year SFrac BWAA1 BRWAA1 FWAA1 Rep1 WARP1 LgAdj BWAA2 BRWAA2 FWAA2 Rep2 WARP2 PennAdd Salary
1995 0.01 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3 0.961 0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.0 0.3 0.003 $577,180
1996 0.96 2.8 0.0 0.8 -1.5 5.1 0.941 2.6 0.0 0.8 -1.4 4.8 0.064 $12,999,528
1997 0.98 1.5 0.0 1.0 -1.6 4.1 0.976 1.5 0.0 1.0 -1.6 4.0 0.052 $9,980,000
1998 0.79 1.4 -0.2 1.3 -1.2 3.7 0.984 1.4 -0.2 1.3 -1.2 3.6 0.046 $8,576,624
1999 0.90 4.9 0.2 0.0 -1.4 6.5 0.901 4.5 0.1 0.0 -1.3 5.9 0.081 $17,402,137
2000 0.99 5.9 0.3 0.6 -1.3 8.1 0.918 5.4 0.3 0.5 -1.2 7.4 0.107 $24,609,944
2001 0.99 4.8 0.0 -0.9 -1.2 5.1 0.943 4.6 0.0 -0.9 -1.1 4.8 0.064 $13,132,441
2002 0.94 7.1 -0.1 -1.6 -1.0 6.3 0.938 6.7 -0.1 -1.5 -0.9 5.9 0.082 $17,731,134
2003 0.89 4.5 -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 4.6 0.952 4.3 -0.2 -0.6 -0.9 4.4 0.057 $11,377,237
2004 1.03 4.2 0.4 1.0 -1.0 6.6 0.950 4.0 0.4 0.9 -0.9 6.2 0.087 $19,014,571
2005 0.99 5.5 -0.2 0.8 -1.0 7.0 0.979 5.4 -0.2 0.8 -1.0 6.9 0.098 $22,132,947
2006 1.04 1.6 -0.1 0.4 -1.0 2.9 0.979 1.6 -0.1 0.4 -1.0 2.8 0.035 $6,095,233
2007 0.80 1.2 0.5 -1.1 -0.8 1.3 0.979 1.1 0.4 -1.1 -0.7 1.2 0.014 $2,036,785
2008 0.95 3.9 0.2 -0.3 -0.9 4.7 0.979 3.9 0.1 -0.3 -0.9 4.6 0.061 $12,274,036
TOTL 12.26 49.6 0.8 1.4 -14.8 66.3 0.947 47.3 0.5 1.3 -14.1 62.8 0.851 $177,939,797

Well, that's certainly a Hall of Famer. It's somewhere between Zack Wheat and Al Simmons.
   10. DanG Posted: January 15, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4639707)
What is the source for the WAR? It doesn't line up with B-Ref or FanGraphs.

WAR comes from the eligibles by thread and probably pre-dates the great replacement level reconciliation.
DL is correct. I posted that list on Feb. 3, 2012, a couple months before the change, IIRC. I'll try to get the 2017 eligible list together soon.
   11. theorioleway Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4640721)
Don't know how much this is worth, but interesting that Hilton Smith was picked 4th(!) out of this entire group:
   12. DL from MN Posted: January 17, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4640880)
Look at the results of the fake season - Hilton Smith is only on one leaderboard and it's for avoiding walks.
   13. Ardo Posted: January 21, 2014 at 02:26 AM (#4642983)
A very quick look for 2015 (last 3 years in parentheses) -

1) Randy Johnson (new)
2) Pedro Martinez (new)

Pedro, at his peak, may have been the best pitcher in the history of organized baseball. Johnson has a slightly less transcendent peak and far more shoulder value. It pains me not to put Pedro #1, but this is the Hall of Merit.

3) Curt Schilling (NA-5-4)
4) Mike Mussina (NA-NA-5)
5) John Smoltz (new)

Smoltz's relief pitching is extraordinary. He's only a whisker behind Schilling and Mussina in my book.

6) Gary Sheffield (new)

Would be #3 had he been average on defense, but I believe (having seen it firsthand!) that his defense really was as wretched as most metrics indicate.

7) Adolfo "Dolf" Luque (1-6-6)
8) Wally Schang (2-7-7)
9) Sammy Sosa (NA-9-12) - I'm now convinced he was a plus defender. Barely behind Sheffield.
10) Tommy John (3-8-8)
11) Ben Taylor (off-off-9)
12) Nomar Garciaparra (new)

The peak stands out that wide: six 6+ WAR seasons at shortstop in seven years. He doesn't need any more value. Comparable, but superior to, Lou Boudreau once Boudreau's 1943-45 are discounted for the war.

13) Hilton Smith (4-10-10)
14) Buddy Bell (7-11-11) - reappraised and slightly demoted
15) Jeff Kent (NA-NA-off)

Belongs on the ballot; not only does he have a reverse career arc, but he was actually an OK/average 2B defender in SF. His "sieve" phase didn't begin until his move to Houston (and, of course, his late career is freshest in the electorate's mind).

Brian Giles is a dead ringer for Bob Johnson; Giles was a slightly worse defender with a slightly higher hitting peak. I'm not much for the "extra credit" arguments for Johnson, and I doubt I will be for Giles.

Carlos Delgado comes out in a tie with Norm Cash, with more offensive value (about 1000 extra PA & equivalent rate stats) but less defensive value. Both are behind Fred McGriff.

It looks as if Luis Tiant, Lee Smith, and Kenny Lofton will all fall off.
   14. Chris Fluit Posted: January 26, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4646574)
Thanks for getting this started, DL. Are there any plans to create individual threads for the top newcomers? If so, it would be a good idea to launch them before pitchers and catchers report.
   15. DL from MN Posted: January 26, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4646599)
Thanks for reminding me. Will do soon.
   16. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4647485)
Reminder - we're alternating "elect 3" and "elect 4" years for the near future

2016, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2032, 2034, 2036-37, 2039, 2041 are elect 4

If I make the 2041 election I'll be thrilled since I'll probably be retired. The MMP project should go until 2021, possibly 2024 if we want to add 1870-1900. Then we can try the manager/executive project unless someone has a better idea.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4647512)
So, if I want to submit a ballot, how formal must my ranking system be?

Can I just rate the guys mentioned in the intro, or do I have to go deeper into the backlog?

What's the deadline?

   18. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4647528)
I just listed my "above the line" votes for 2013, Snapper.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4647536)
I just listed my "above the line" votes for 2013, Snapper.

Thanks. I don't see your votes in this thread? Is there another?
   20. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4647545)
I think a new voter should look at the top 50 returning players plus the top 7 from this year. I have >150 players ranked now but I didn't the first time I voted. What really matters is determing what "merit" means to you - if that's career, peak, prime, etc.

Deadline is Thanksgiving 2014.
   21. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4647547)
IF you click on the "Hall of Merit" banner at the top it will take you to the index page for all previous HOM discussions. I jumped into the conversation here...
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4647550)
I think a new voter should look at the top 50 returning players plus the top 7 from this year. I have >150 players ranked but I didn't the first time I voted.

Deadline is Thanksgiving 2014.

You mean 10 months from now? Well, that gives me some time.
   23. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4647557)
Yes, this is a once-a-year vote now. I should say not only do I have ~200 players ranked among the eligibles but I have rankings for all the HoM players who have been elected. This took quite a while and is helpful but not necessary to contribute. About 80 players were mentioned on at least one ballot last year. If you get all of those ranked you're doing great.
   24. John DiFool2 Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4647572)
15) Bert Campaneris

Nomar Garciaparra - around 150

I realize that Campy has become fashionable around these parts of late, and perhaps for good reason, but I am pretty shocked at the gap here. I mean there are plenty of people, SS's included, in the Hall who never had anything close to Nomar's peak. You essentially trade a lot of MVP-quality seasons for a lot of 3.5 seasons in choosing the latter over the former.
   25. DL from MN Posted: January 28, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4647584)
I am a career voter.
   26. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 30, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4648502)
Hmm, I'm like Snapper. I'd like to contribute, but in the past the backlog has seemed overwhelming when it comes to creating a ballot. Maybe I'll do what Sam did. I'd like to vote, especially if I can come up with a way to justify Pedro over Johnson (which would make me a peak voter, but then I already knew I'd be one of those).
   27. Ardo Posted: September 17, 2014 at 02:53 AM (#4793308)
Some comments as we get closer to election time. I've re-read some of the old discussion threads.

- My top six are set.
Randy over Pedro. Johnson's 1993-2004 prime is 2550 innings at ERA+ 166(!!). Putting Pedro #1 is sloppy analysis, implying that Johnson's 1988-92 and 2005-09 have zero value.

Schilling/Mussina/Smoltz, though they're so tightly bunched that any order is defensible.

Sheffield #6.

Luque down. In the Grimes/Luque thread, there's vigorous debate over whether Luque was held back by racism or was just a late bloomer. His Cuban League record, while strong, is pretty clearly inferior to Jose Mendez.

Garciaparra down. I still believe he's comparable to Lou Boudreau and Dobie Moore, but his career is so short that it's tough to keep him on-ballot.

Sosa down. On hitting alone, he's a dead ringer for Chuck Klein, whom we're in no hurry to induct. It's entirely a question of whether his gaudy defensive WAR totals through 1997 accurately reflect his value.

Schang and Taylor (both clear Hall of Merit members in my mind) holding.

Spots #7-15 now look like:
Hilton Smith
Lee Smith
Buddy Bell
(Nomar #16)

I took another look at Hugh Duffy, but he's essentially done at age 31. His career shape looks an awful lot like Dale Murphy's.
   28. Ardo Posted: September 18, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4794122)
Quick edit: Bell #14, Lee Smith #15.

#16-20: Nomar, Tiant, Lofton, Rizzuto, Bonds pere.
   29. Tiboreau Posted: October 09, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4812113)
Was wondering what the various members of the electorate think of George Uhle's candidacy? Both Baseball-Reference & Fangraphs seem to like Uhle's combination of pitching & offense (86 OPS+). Adjusting for WWI & the 154 game schedule, Baseball Reference* accords Uhle with 59.1 WAR over his career & 37 WAR over his best 5 non-consecutive seasons, which seems to compare well with more popular backlog candidates--and fellow contemporaries--Burleigh Grimes (56.8; 35.2) & Urban Shocker (63.1; 37).

I ask because until looking at BR's career leaderboards I don't recall ever considering Uhle before; in fact, I'm not sure I had heard of George Uhle (yes, reading up on him, now). So, I was just curious if some of you had him among your consideration set & where--or if not, why not?

* Didn't include Fangraphs comparison 'cause it doesn't seem to like Shocker.
   30. DL from MN Posted: October 09, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4812132)
George Uhle is 70th on my list right near Nap Rucker, Chuck Finley, Lon Warneke, Vic Willis and Orel Hershiser. Good but not quite enough.
   31. theorioleway Posted: October 12, 2014 at 11:57 PM (#4815436)
Anyone have any thoughts regarding Orlando Hernandez's worthiness? El Duque's MLB career looks very similar to Reuschel's age-32 and later plus good postseason numbers. But what I don't know is if anyone has tried to project his pre-MLB numbers. I figure he's a borderline candidate at best but I'm intrigued.
   32. bjhanke Posted: October 13, 2014 at 02:52 AM (#4815466)
DL - Could you do me a favor and explain what the "great replacement level reconciliation" is? My guess is that it's all the guys who actually work up WAR systems agreeing on just where the Replacement Rate is for WAR purposes, but I don't know even that, much less what the eventual number turned out to be. Thanks in advance, Brock Hanke
   33. DL from MN Posted: October 13, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4815534)
Brock - click through the link
   34. Yardape Posted: November 06, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4837362)
My prelim ballot for 2015. I'm pitcher-heavy, and I'm not sure what that says about me, the HoM, the candidates or anything else. They were all really good pitchers though.

1. Randy Johnson I grew up an Expos fan, so Pedro was a personal favourite, but Randy is a pretty easy call at #1. His peak is almost as dominant as Pedro's and he has a lot more prime value. Second-most Cy Youngs ever, with 5, plus two runners-up to Clemens, I believe. I missed too much of the original HoM project to accurately rank him among all-time pitchers right now, but I think he's safely in the top 10.

2. Pedro Martinez From '97-'02 he was just so dominant. It doesn't really matter what else he did, that stretch was enough to get him into my PHOM (and probably the regular HoM). Just not quite enough longevity/durability to match Randy.

3. Mike Mussina
4. Curt Schilling
A virtual tie. Schilling's best seasons look a little better to me, Mussina's got more consistency. Mussina had some good postseason performances, Schilling's 2001 was maybe the most valuable playoff performance ever. Tough to parse out, but Mussina's sustained excellence just lifts him over Schilling. I think both are eventually worthy, though.

5. (N)Ed Williamson Long overlooked. Forget the big and dubious home-run season; Williamson was consistently among the top infielders in baseball in his era. Hopefully it's not too late for him.

6. Gary Sheffield Best of the new hitting candidates, but in my mind a definite step below the pitchers. Great hitter, but the era and his fielding bring him back toward the pack.

7. Ben Taylor Still a measure of uncertainty about Taylor for me. Do I have him too high? Too low? Could be either, but I'm more and more convinced that he was one of the best at his position for his time, and that will generate consideration from me, even if it's due to a talent drought.

8. Sammy Sosa
9. Bobby Bonds
Another close one, similar players decades apart. Sosa has a couple of MVP-type years which I like. Both sit pretty close to the borderline as far as I'm concerned.

10. John Smoltz Doesn't look as good as the rest of his pitching cohort on this ballot. I'm not a reliever booster, so his years closing don't do much for me, although it is nice that he was in a productive role during that time period.

11. Dagoberto CampanerisDan R's arguments got me on his case. I'm still not sure how strongly I feel about Campaneris, but comparing him to other shortstops from his era he does look better than raw numbers suggest.

12. Gavvy Cravath No minor-league credit, though for a mostly prime voter I'm not sure that it matters much. Maybe he'd move up a couple of spots and join the Sosa-Bonds club.

13. Vic Willis Not the best of his time, and maybe a product of his defence. Still, very good for quite awhile outdistances the other ballot contenders.

14. Hugh Duffy Some great years, but I don't see that he's all that far ahead of van Haltren or Ryan, all of whom are trying to break out of HOVG status.

15. Sal Bando I used to be a big Bando booster, but the Dan R's Campaneris discussion has led me to re-evaluate. I still believe he's worthy of consideration, and may climb my ballot again someday, but for now he takes a back seat to the pitchers and his shortstop.

Kenny Lofton: An underappreciated career, but not enough truly standout seasons for a peak/prime voter. Around 25th.
Jeff Kent: A couple of very good years, but not quite enough bulk in the prime to match Bando or Campaneris. Just off ballot (about 17, I think - I didn't rank order below my ballot).
Luis Tiant: I just don't see enough peak there for Tiant to really challenge my ballot. Between 25 and 30.
Buddy Bell: Same story as above. Good for a very long time, but just not enough great seasons to crack my prime-heavy ballot. 25-30 range.
Phil Rizzuto: I'm stingier with war credit than other voters, which hurts Rizzuto. Even so, I don't see enough in the years he did play - he was clearly overshadowed by other shortstops of the time. He's just a slight cut above Bell for me.
   35. Ardo Posted: November 10, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4839951)
Shouldn't we have enough data for players who have competed in both the Cuban League and MLB to run some quick-and-dirty translations?
   36. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 12, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4841396)
Hey guys, I guess it's time to schedule this thing ...

I guess the options would be to vote November 24 - December 8, or to vote from December 1-15.

Does ending on a Monday work? I think last year we ended on a Wednesday, but I cannot remember if that was because of my schedule or one of the counters. I should be able to accommodate whatever works for the ballot counters.

Any other issues I should be aware of? Once we set the dates, I'll send an email out to the Yahoo group.

   37. Chris Fluit Posted: November 12, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4841544)
I suggest the earlier date out of your two options. We can always grant an extension if requested/necessary.
   38. DL from MN Posted: November 12, 2014 at 11:55 PM (#4841550)
2014 MMP will wrap up on 12/3.
   39. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 13, 2014 at 12:08 AM (#4841562)
Figured a prelim is in order since we're closing in on the election.

Anyway, this formerly dedicated Win Shares voter now has a system that spits out docWAR:
• Based in BBREF WAR
• Includes DRA (2/3 strength) + rfield (1/3 strength) except for catchers where it’s 50/50 or anyone before 1893
• Adjusts for schedule, usage patterns for catchers, STDEV of league (WAA/PA or WAA/IP), usage patterns for pitchers, relief appearances pre-PBP, relief value during PBP era (via WPA integration), OF arms (which DRA doesn’t handle as well as BBREF does IMO), fielding in Coors, Old Yankee left field, and Fenway left field, and probably other stuff I’m forgetting, yadda yadda yadda

Thanks to including Glavine, Mussina, Maddux, Thomas last time, my consensus score was somewhere in the somewhat normal range. Perhaps this year I’ll make a return to the bottom of the list. Though I doubt I'll ever be of Yestian or Magnusian calibre.

I’ve taken a cursory look at the HOM’s balance across eras and positions. It appears that that we could use a couple more guys whose careers centered in the deadball era, whose careers started in the 1940s, and who got under way in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition, we are a tad shy on catchers, in need of third basemen, and lacking a few starting pitchers. This is not information that makes my decisions, but if needed, I’ll find it useful as a guide.

I don’t really care whether there’s a whole mess of 1970s third basemen and no 1970s shortstops, just as I don’t mind that there were a mess of shortstops in the 1890s and 1900s…and almost no third basemen. Sometimes an era just tilts toward or away from a position.

With that said…, here’s my 2014 prelim. Which we could call the Got Pitchers? ballot

1. Randy Johnson: I’ve got him as a top-10 pitcher ever. That plays.
2. Pedro Martinez: In the top 12-15 ever. That’s also pretty good.
3. Curt Schilling: Roughly the same career value as Mussina but a significant advantage in peak/prime value, which I like.
4. Mike Mussina: He and Schilling are this close. Both are top 25 pitchers ever.
5. John Smoltz: We got a lot of good pitchers in the pipeline. Smoltz wasn’t consistently dominant like the guys above him. His relief work gets some help from my WPA-reliever adjustments, and he could hit a little to boot. But more of a career-oriented guy.
6. Buddy Bell: Very similar career though not hitting style as HOMer Graig Nettles. Easily the best 3B not in the HOM.
7. Thurman Munson: Brings the D, has a bat, hangs tough with the other 1970s catchers. I like him a bit more than HOMer Brenshan and significantly more than HOMer Freehan.
8. Wally Schang: Not much in the peak department, but tons of career value for a catcher.
9. Kenny Lofton: A top-fifteenish CF. DRA actually dislikes him more than rfield, so this is more conservative than a straight WAR vote would deliver.
10. Bobby Veach: New to my ballot. He’s the Jimmy Sheckard of the 1910s AL—a fantastic fielder in a time when LF was a much more important defensive position (more balls hit there, like a second CF in the sense that 3Bs were like second shortstops, see Wizardry for more on this), and his bat is strong as well. A top-15 or so player in LF for me.
11. Luis Tiant: Same exact peak/prime value as Reuschel but with less career value. He and Shocker are pretty close together, both just inside the top 3/4s of pitchers.
12. Urban Shocker: Marichal with less peak…or Saberhagen with a little more.
13. Tommy Leach: DRA loves this guy at both 3B and CF. In fact, all systems rate him as very good to outstanding. At 3B he’d be a top-15 among eligibles, nearly so in centerfield.
14. Vic Willis: Easily within the 3/4s of all pitchers, which makes him an easy vote for me.
15. Art Fletcher: DRA just loves this guy, which gets him into the voteable range.

Sammy Sosa and Bobby Bonds: He and Bobby Bonds are extremely close in value and shape. I like Sosa’s peakiness a little more than Bonds’ steadiness. They stack up right on the borderline for me and could go either way, but they are currently behind these other guys in my pecking order.

Jeff Kent: Not as strong as I’d thought he’d be. Defense has something to do with that, but also he was rarely great. I’ve got two fringe-MVP years, 1 All-Star year, and one very-nearly-All-Star year then lots of 3 and 4 win seasons.
   40. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 13, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4842281)
I forgot Sheffield on my prelim. So here's the new scoop:

1. Randy Johnson
2. Pedro Martinez
3. Curt Schilling
4. Mike Mussina
5. John Smoltz
6. Buddy Bell
7. Gary Sheffield: Absolutely awful defender. Shoulda been a 1B all the way. Great bat, though!
8. Thurman Munson
9. Wally Schang
10. Kenny Lofton
11. Bobby Veach
12. Luis Tiant
13. Urban Shocker
14. Tommy Leach
15. Vic Willis

Art Fletcher: Wish I had the room!
   41. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4842298)
Any comments on the required disclosures?
   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 13, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4842393)
Hey DL ... don't want to interfere with the MMP. So what dates work best for that? Would you want more eyeballs on that election by having the Hall of Merit election run concurrently? Or would you rather us push to the later date to make it easier?
   43. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 13, 2014 at 10:56 PM (#4842435)
DL, please see #39. I was just reshuffling because I forgot Sheffield.
   44. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2014 at 10:59 PM (#4842438)
Would rather have you push later but either way works.
   45. DL from MN Posted: November 13, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4842440)
Required disclosures (top 10 returnees): Phil Rizzuto, Ben Taylor
   46. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: November 14, 2014 at 02:11 AM (#4842519)
Preliminary 2015 Ballot - Position Players Only

Ballot system
1. I use DRA for fielding value.
2. For catchers in the Retrosheet era, I include Max Marchi's estimated game calling runs. For pre-Retrosheet catchers, I include the average estimated game calling runs for all catchers with at least the same career length in the Marchi dataset.
3. I adjust for season length by prorating from the number of scheduled games to half the difference between that number and 162.
4. For overall player value, I use the Hall of Stats method of calculating a Hall Rating: WAR + WAA * 1.79 for all seasons with positive WAA. Hall Rating is adjusted so the worst player in the HOM scores at 100.
5. To account for competition adjustments over time, I fit a curve to the Hall Rating of white players based on their mid-career seasons, as they are the one constant talent pool available throughout history. (Michael Humphreys uses this method for DRA in Wizardry.) This curve most negatively affects players whose careers were centered between 1912 and 1948, which is consistent with an artificially watered down talent pool due to segregation.
6. My preliminary ballot does not yet have positional adjustments, though I am calculating those.

Information listed after player's name includes Hall Rating, percentile rank in my personal Hall of Merit, and the players above and below him at his position.

1. Gary Sheffield - 147 (65) - Kaline/Rose
2. Ben Taylor - 132 (52) - McGwire/Start
3. Bernie Williams - 128 (46) - Hamilton/R. Smith
4. Brian Giles - 128 (45) - Waner/V. Guerrero
5. Tony Phillips - 127 (44) - Cano/Utley
6. Jose Cruz - 125 (42) - Berkman/White
7. John Olerud - 125 (41) - Start/W. Clark
8. Javier Lopez - 124 (40) - McCann/Bennett
9. Sammy Sosa - 123 (40) - Suzuki/Gwynn
10. Buddy Bell - 122 (39) - Wilson/Santo
11. Fred Dunlap - 122 (38) - Utley/Kent
12. Kenny Lofton - 121 (37) - R. Smith/Gore
13. Luke Easter - 121 (36) - W. Clark/Suttles
14. Roy White - 121 (34) - Cruz/Simmons
15. Jeff Kent - 119 (31) - Dunlap/Biggio

Required disclosures
Phil Rizzuto has a Hall Score of 80, which places him about #300 all time for position players near several shortstops: Jim Fregosi, Germany Smith, Johnny Pesky, Dave Bancroft, and Tony Fernandez. This is with Rizzuto getting war credit.
   47. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 14, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4842956)
Thanks, DL.

I am applying war credit at the player's career average by season. Rizzuto ranks between Vern Stephens and Roger Peckinpaugh for me, which puts him below the line.

I have never voted for Taylor even way back when. Just doesn't have enough peak for my tastes, though I respect his career length.
   48. rawagman Posted: November 17, 2014 at 01:15 AM (#4844012)
When do we vote?

Also, here's my 2015 preliminary vote.

I use a sort of prime>peak>career number with measurements including relative league standing by playing time with a strong preference for players who had good in-season durability (non-exclusive). Combined with rate stats and an admittedly subjective glove measurement, I feel this gives me both context for what the player actually achieved versus what the league around him was able to do. My general baseball philosophy may help in clarifying my rankings. I don't believe in the single stat theory of baseball, meaning I don't use WS or any flavour of WAR in my rankings, although I do lean towards the statistical bent of the BP catalog. Essentially, I follow this concept as I think a significant percentage of what contributes to winning baseball is not necessarily counted in box scores. This includes things like manager's prerogative (elective actions - steal signs, pinch hitters, batting order, pitching changes, etc.), and actions that would require a historical PBP analysis that is currently unavailable.

I also prefer what I consider "total ballplayers", guys who can do it all. I believe in positional representation and abhor the thought process that says that relievers were all failed starters and 2B are all failed SS, etc... A team cannot win without a 2B (Also not an easy position for longevity), nor without someone in LF. When I look at a player's career, I try to ask myself how I would feel about him as his manager/general manager - would his presence require special tactics to protect him, or is he completely reliable? I hope it can be seen by my rankings that the "reliable" players generally rise above the ones with clear holes in their games. There are always exceptions, but this is what I have. The stats I look at to get here tend to be traditional and rate, both offensive and defensive. Contemporary opinion also helps. I find comprehensive ranking systems to be exclusive of much of what I see on the field of play - that is, the narrative of the game. The stats for me represent measurements of aspects of the game, but beyond that, the narrative has to fill out the gaps. i.e. - Why was this number lower than expected and that number higher? Combining the stats with the narrative gives me a baseball world-view that I am happy with and feel qualified to discuss.

I fully credit military and Negro League time, but am very reluctant to provide minor league credit for anyone past the advent of the Live Ball era.

1) Randy Johnson
2) Pedro Martinez
3) Curt Schilling
4) John Smoltz
5) Mike Mussina
((5a) Tom Glavine ))
((5b) Craig Biggio))
6) Hugh Duffy
7) Tommy Bridges
8) Ben Taylor
9) Sammy Sosa
10) Kirby Puckett
11) Dale Murphy
12) Gary Sheffield
13) Jeff Kent
14) Carlos Delgado
15) Lefty Gomez
16) Dick Redding
17) Vern Stephens
18) Bus Clarkson
19) Nomar Garciaparra
20) Fred McGriff
21) Gavvy Cravath
22) Bob Johnson
23) Tony Oliva
24) Dizzy Dean
((24a)Andre Dawson))
25) Orlando Cepeda
26) Bobby Veach
27) Al Oliver
28) Don Mattingly
29) Albert Belle
30) Rocky Colavito

Disclosures: Lofton (70), Tiant (outside of top 100, 11th among eligible SPs), Bonds (not in top 100, 9th among eligible RFs), Bell (41), Rizzuto (48)
   49. rawagman Posted: November 17, 2014 at 01:18 AM (#4844014)
Correction, Tiant is 36. Misread my spreadsheet.
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 18, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4845429)
OK, based on DL's comments, I think running the election December 1-15 works. Does that work for the ballot counters?
   51. OCF Posted: November 19, 2014 at 12:04 AM (#4845536)
I'm OK with that.
   52. Ardo Posted: November 20, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4846634)
I can help count the ballots if need be.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 26, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4850128)
Has someone been compiling the number of Hall of Merit and/or Fame IP/PA (or AB) for each season, or even better, as a percentage of league IP/PA (or AB)? If so, I would love a way to get those numbers ... thanks in advance!

   54. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 26, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4850129)
OCF and Ardo - thanks!
   55. Chris Cobb Posted: November 26, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4850259)
Hi, All!

First Preliminary Ballot places the newcomers. I haven't reviewed the backlog yet. I hope to do a bit more than cut-and-paste from last year, but we'll see . . .

1. Randy Johnson. Easy #1.
2. Pedro Martinez. At his best, he was the best ever. If Johnson hadn't been nearly as good and hugely durable, Pedro would be a deserving number one.
3. Curt Schilling. Not close to Pedro. Ever so slightly ahead of Mussina. BBWAA has no clue what makes a great pitcher.
4. Mike Mussina. Very evidently deserving. See Schilling comment.
5. John Smoltz. Trails Mussina by the equivalent of two-all star seasons, so the gap between 4 & 5 is substantial. But Smoltz is still clearly deserving.
6. Gary Sheffield. What a hitter! The key question is just how bad his fielding was, and the metrics disagree by up to 13 fielding wins. If someone could convince me which one was right, he would move up or down. This placement is basically an average of the alternatives.
7. Buddy Bell. No disagreement about the fact that he was a great fielder.
8. Sammy Sosa. Great peak, just enough career.
9. Bert Campaneris. The best of the 60s-70s shortstops.
10. Kenny Lofton. Underrated.
11. Jim McCormick. Has the view of 1880s pitchers shifted dramatically again in the last 12 months? Inquiring minds want to know!
12. Bobby Bonds. Solid prime.
13. Luis Tiant. Last deserving 1960s-70s pitcher.
14. Urban Shocker. Had he lived and pitched two more years, there'd be no doubt.
15. Phil Rizzuto. I'm convinced on the quality of his defense. If I gave malaria credit as well as war credit, he'd be around the middle of the ballot, probably.

Next 15

16. Kevin Appier
17. Vic Willis
18. Ted Breitenstein
19. Robin Ventura
20. Gavvy Cravath
21. Jeff Kent
22. Ben Taylor
23. Fred Dunlap
24. Norm Cash
25. Sal Bando
26. Bernie Williams
27. Chet Lemon
28. Orel Hershiser
29. Bob Johnson
30. Ned Williamson

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