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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

2018 Hall of Merit Ballot

Welcome to the 2018 Hall of Merit Ballot thread. Balloting is open from now (December 5) through December 18 27, 2016 at 8 p.m. EST.

I’ve posted this the last several of years, but as a reminder:

“This has been an issue in the past, so I’ll repeat it now for clarification . . . the posting of the ballot to the discussion thread for new voters is not just a formality. With the posting of the ballot you are expected to post a summary of what you take into account - basically, how did you come up with this list? This does not mean that you need to have invented the Holy Grail of uber-stats. You don’t need a numerical rating down to the hundredth decimal point.

You do need to treat all eras of baseball history fairly. You do need to stick to what happened on the field (or your best estimate of what would have happened if wars and strikes and such hadn’t gotten in the way). You may be challenged and ask to defend your position, if someone notices internal inconsistencies, flaws in your logic, etc.. This is all a part of the learning process.

It isn’t an easy thing to submit a ballot, but that’s by design. Not because we don’t want to grow our numbers (though we’ve done just fine there, started with 29 voters in 1898, and passed 50 eventually), not because we want to shut out other voices. It’s because we want informed voters making informed decisions on the entire electorate, not just the players they remember.”

So if you are up for this, we’d love to have you! Even if you aren’t up to voting, we’d still appreciate your thoughts in the discussion. Some of our greatest contributors haven’t or have only rarely voted.

Chris Fluit posted this last year, also relevant and well said.

First of all, yes, we welcome new voters. If you have never voted in a HoM election before, you are invited to participate in this year’s vote. You’re asked to post a preliminary ballot in this thread and then defend your ballot. That last part sounds rough, but it doesn’t have to be. We don’t expect (or even desire) unanimity. But we do want your ballot to be internally consistent. We also figure that most members om this site will have at least a passing familiarity with sabrmetrics but that’s not written into any by-laws.

Second, new, newer and even some long-time voters may be wondering about the one-year boycott by-law. Basically, the founders of the Hall of Merit didn’t want a Hall of Fame style character clause that would leave some candidates in unofficial and perpetual purgatory. The Hall of Merit is about on-the-field contributions, period. However, the HoM recognizes that voters may sometimes have difficulty voting for players whose conduct was detrimental to the game in some way. The HoM therefore allows for a one-year boycott for first-year candidates.

To date, voters have exercised the one-year boycott for six candidates: Cap Anson, for his role in developing the color line in professional baseball; Shoeless Joe Jackson, for his role in the Black Sox scandal; Pete Rose, for betting on baseball; Mark McGwire, for his confessed use of performance enhancing drugs; and Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez for failing a test for performance enhancing drugs. In some cases, the boycotts meant that the player was inducted with a lower percentage than would have otherwise occurred. In other cases, the boycotts delayed the candidate’s induction by one year. It should be acknowledged that voters with a strong stance against steroids dropped out of this project after McGwire and Palmeiro were inducted over their objections. That’s why additional PED users and suspected users, like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, were not boycotted.

However, it was their decision to leave and not one forced upon them by other voters. You are welcome to participate in this project even with strong reservations about PED users as long as you abide by our by-laws.

To get specific: Yes, you may boycott someone for failing PED tests in his first year on the ballot if you so choose. And, yes, you may even boycott a player for being a suspected PED user (although many observers would draw a line between those two categories), in his first year. However, you must indicate on your ballot that you are doing so. In addition, if such a candidate fails to be elected this year, you may not boycott him in his second year of eligibility. You may not boycott any other holdover candidates. It’s a first-year boycott only.


Voters should name 15 players, in order. Thanks!

Don’t forget to comment on each of last year’s top ten returnees. As a reminder those guys are:

Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Luis Tiant, Jeff Kent, Vic Willis, Kenny Lofton, Bobby Bonds, Ben Taylor, Buddy Bell, and Tommy Bridges.

Jorge Posada, Bob Johnson, Urban Shocker, Dick Redding, Phil Rizzuto and Wally Schang were right there with the back end of this group also.

Newcomers on the 2018 ballot.

2018 - (December 5 - December 18, 2017) - elect 4

Name               HOFm HOFs Yrs WAR  WAR7 JAWS
Chipper Jones       180  70   19 85.0 46.6 65.8
Jim Thome           156  57   22 72.9 41.5 57.2
Scott Rolen          99  40   17 70.0 43.5 56.8
Andruw Jones        109  34   17 62.8 46.4 54.6
Johan Santana        82  35   12 51.4 44.8 48.1
Johnny Damon         90  45   18 56.0 32.8 44.4
Jamie Moyer          56  39   25 50.4 33.2 41.8
Carlos Zambrano      30  23   12 44.6 39.0 41.8
Omar Vizquel        120  42   24 45.3 26.6 36.0
Chris Carpenter      70  26   15 34.5 29.6 32.0
Livan Hernandez      41  16   17 31.1 27.8 29.4
Orlando Hudson       20  18   11 30.9 27.2 29.1
Kevin Millwood       34  20   16 29.4 24.8 27.1
Kerry Wood           24  14   14 27.7 25.0 26.4
Carlos Lee           78  35   14 28.2 23.4 25.8
Ben Sheets           19  11   10 23.4 22.3 22.8
Jack Wilson          12  16   12 23.5 20.9 22.2
Hideki Matsui        36  21   10 21.3 21.2 21.3
Aubrey Huff          30  20   13 20.2 22.5 21.3
Adam Kennedy         12  16   14 21.0 20.4 20.7
Jeff Suppan          11   9   17 17.4 18.3 17.8
Carl Pavano          16   6   14 16.9 18.5 17.7
Francisco Cordero    77   9   14 17.2 14.6 15.9
Miguel Batista       10   3   18 12.7 15.9 14.3
Jason Isringhausen   71   7   16 13.2 12.2 12.7
Brian Fuentes        48   9   12 10.7 11.3 11.0
Brad Lidge           48  10   11  8.2 12.4 10.3
Scott Podsednik      15  15   11  6.9  7.8  7.4
Guillermo Mota       13   7   14  6.3  7.6  7.0
JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 05, 2017 at 12:46 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:18 PM (#5586484)
Just a reminder, try to keep this thread as clean as possible, i.e. only ballots and some extremely relevant things relative to the ballots (not the candidates, if that makes sense), etc.

Will the usual ballot counters be back? OCF, rwagman and Ron Wargo? Also Ron - the formatting you sent last year, if I'm reading my email correctly was essentially perfect and probably saved me an hour of work getting it that way. Is that something that is easy to replicate? If so, please do that again!

Thanks guys, and to everyone else who helps out.
   2. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 05, 2017 at 01:30 PM (#5586495)
I also sent an email to the Yahoo group. If you haven't joined and would like to, send an email to: hallofmerit-subscribe AT Thanks!
   3. DL from MN Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:03 PM (#5586779)
2018 Ballot

1) Chipper Jones - Is he as good as Mathews? Postseason bonus for Jones puts them very, very close. PHOM
2) Scott Rolen - My evaluation of Rolen has him ahead of Home Run Baker and Jud Wilson but behind Brett and Boggs. PHOM
3) Jim Thome - Thome ends up between Buck Leonard and Frank Thomas among 1B. PHOM
4) Tommy Bridges - have been a supporter since 1970. He's a required disclosure now
5) Johan Santana - Not really a surprise if I like Tommy Bridges so much. PWAA total is outstanding. PHOM
6) Phil Rizzuto - WWII credit is a must, especially due to malaria contracted during the service. Was once our top backlog but now isn't even a required disclosure due to the shifting electors.
7) Gavy Cravath - minor league credit
8) Urban Shocker - gets WWI credit
9) Tommy John - I was overdebiting his hitting in previous seasons.
10) Bus Clarkson - NGL and Mexican league credit
11) Bucky Walters - another one who moves up due to pitcher hitting revamp
12) Hilton Smith - moves up due to Chaleeko revisions, especially affected my assumed offense contribution
13) Bob Johnson - on every ballot since I started voting in 1968
14) Bert Campaneris - Gets the spot others are giving to Buddy Bell, Dan R's WAR is giving more credit to SS and less to 3B.
15) Luis Tiant - strong candidate from the 1970s

16) 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.

17-20) Dave Bancroft, Brian Giles, Wally Schang, Norm Cash
21-25) Kevin Appier, Don Newcombe, Jorge Posada, Johnny Pesky, Jeff Kent

In general I think we have underrepresented pitchers and my PHoM reflects that with at least 6 more pitchers than the HoM. My number of PHoM CF is 4 fewer mainly for this reason.

Schang versus Posada is an interesting comparison. Posada needs that full season worth of playoff playing time to get this high on the ballot. Even though Schang played some outfield he still stays ahead as the top unelected C.

Jeff Kent is my top unelected 2B by a large margin. Worthy of electing but right at the borderline.

27) Sammy Sosa - before 1993 he is not a contributor. 1993-1997 contributes with the glove. 1998-2003 contributes with the bat. 2004-2005 not a contributor. 11 good years but behind people with a better resume.
35) 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.
39) Vladimir Guerrero - Mediocre fielder. Less WAR, WAA, Batting WAA, Fielding WAA than Bob Johnson. Not as good as Sosa or Giles among contemporary corner outfielders.
61) Bobby Bonds - compares to Kiki Cuyler and Chuck Klein
64) Buddy Bell - BBREF is wrong, those WAR should be apportioned to SS, not 3B. About even with Ron Cey and Robin Ventura. I like Leach, Williamson and Traynor better among 3B.
71) Vic Willis - 4000 innings but not that far above average

81) Andruw Jones - Dom DiMaggio ranks higher. If he isn't the best CF of all time defensively by a large margin he's not worthy. I have a hard time believing he's that much of an outlier. Regress his stats to a contribution like Mays or Paul Blair and he falls to here.

Moyer and Vizquel are not in the top 100. Vizquel isn't even in the top 200.
   4. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 05, 2017 at 05:15 PM (#5586793)
Schang versus Posada is an interesting comparison. Posada needs that full season worth of playoff playing time to get this high on the ballot. Even though Schang played some outfield he still stays ahead as the top unelected C.

Posada's downside risks are:
An all-time worst -.97 championship added post season rating (per baseball gauge), so he has a season of playoff time, but does it benefit his case?
The pitch framing/game calling metrics have him at the bottom of the barrel.
His RE24/clutch scores are a few wins below average.
   5. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 05, 2017 at 06:59 PM (#5586863)
I base my system in BBREF's WAR. For fielding, I used a mix of ⅔ DRA and ⅓ Rfield, with some small adjustments here and there, including using Rof for outfielders rather than DRA's arm rating (which is inaccurate). Catchers are special biscuits, however. I use a 50/50 mix for them, I add Max Marchi's pitcher handling figures (at 50% strength), and a I give a catcher bonus based on historical usage patterns. For pitchers, I adjust usage up or down depending on a comparison of the usage norms of an individual's time versus the year 2000 usage. There's lots more I do, but it's not exactly fun reading. Finally, I combine JAWS and Hall Score into a single indexed value that I call CHEWS+ (CHalek's Equivalent War System). It measures a player's best nonconsecutive seasons and his career value against the median at his position. That median is based on a theoretically balance of positions which is defined as
HITTERS: #HOMers * 0.70 / 8
PITCHERS: #HOMers * 0.30

Applied to the HOM these would currently work out to about 23 hitters per position and 79 pitchers. (Note: I am using the Hall's total of 220 not the 263 figure for reasons of my own, but for those that play along at home, or HOM, that's the math.) So I pull the top 46 hitters and top 158 pitchers and find the median of those groups at each position and overall (treating hitters and pitchers separately). Then I compare each player's 7 and career values against the median at this position and overall, smoosh those into one number, and provide a bonus from 1 to 10 points for those players whose career WAR/PA or WAR/IP rates are most impressive.

All that said, I don't just use the numbers spit out by the formula. I weigh other considerations as well. After all, there were fewer PAs per game to go around in the deadball era, and more in the live ball era, so we have to make mental allowances. Also, it's important to look at how well a player did in relation to his times, and whether I'm being fair to all eras and positions. And now, the envelope, please....

1) Chipper Jones: A clear number one for me, and basically a no-brainer. A top-10 guy at the hot corner.
2) Scott Rolen: A top-dozen third baseman all-time, and an under appreciated performer.
3) Jim Thome: A top-15 first baseman, solidly in the HOM thanks to knocks and walks.
4) Andruw Jones: A glovely candidate who was essentially cooked by age 30, or else, he'd have climbed well beyond the 20th or so rank I have him at in CF all-time.
5) Buddy Bell: Just outside the top 15 at 3B, and playing in an era that haven't fully embraced. He's the Brooks Robinson of his time, though with a little more bat and a little less glove. While I acknowledge that the 1970s were packed with great third basemen, I find Bell and Nettles virtually indistinguishable as candidates despite their different on-field profiles. In my system, they fall within a single WAR or two at the career level and the best-7 level. Darrell Evans is the third in this clump, by the way.
6) Thurman Munson: Similar to Bell in that his era produced a lot of great players at that same position. Munson wasn't the best of his time, but he was a very valuable player whose career is kinda like what Joe Mauer's would be if the Twin retired right now.
7) Art Fletcher: Fielding genius of the 1910s. He's the guy everyone back then though Rabbit Maranville was.
8) Tommy Leach: Another fielding genius of the deadball era, most impressively being amazing at two diametrically different positions. Every system out there agrees that Leach was an outstanding, top of the charts fielder. Those that begin at the team level (DRA and Win Shares) love him more than Rfield does. Offensively, he was a good player delivering good OBPs and speed. Some day when we have base running PBP from his time, Leach is likely to be among the best baserunners of his time (IMO).
9) Luis Tiant: Just enough more career than the next guy to tip the balance in his favor. Somehow the VC keeps whiffing on him.
10) Urban Shocker: Him, Tiant, Saberhagen, Willis, and Stieb all cluster together in my rankings. They're essentially all within a win or so on peak and five wins on career. If you'd like to pick them out of a hat, be my guest. I don't have enough confidence in any system to be confident that I have them in the correct order, so I'm just going with the number I have.
11) Wally Schang: You knew that was coming, right?
12) Joe Tinker: Another great defender of the deadball era.
13) Bobby Veach: He's basically the same guy as Jimmy Sheckard, though an ever so slightly lesser version. He hauled in a lot of fly balls, and back in his day, the distribution of flyball outs skewed heavily toward LF, in some seasons, in fact, skewing so far that league wide putouts in LF equalled or bettered those in CF. Veach had great range, and he could hit too. He was sadly overshadowed twice in his own outfield. Actually three times.
14) Kenny Lofton: It's somewhat shocking to me that his case hasn't floated up higher. I've got him on par with Duke Snider, just ahead of Jimmy Wynn. And that's despite the fact that DRA prefers him less than Rfield does. Lofton's legs run up a lot of value.
15) Johan Santana: I'm glad to be able to find a space on my ballot for him. Santana is the Sandy Koufax of his generation. Just an outstanding pitcher who for little while was at the top of the heap between the demise of Pedro and the rise of Kid K.

There's lots of guys I wish I had more room for. Next year with Halladay, Mo, Pettite, and Helton reaching eligibility, I'll be hard pressed to find room for the back loggers once again. But once we hit 2020, things open up a lot. We'll be on backlog patrol for many years at that point.

Vic Willis: I took Santana's peak over Willis this time around. Coulda flipped it the other way too.
Vladimir Guerrero: He's right on the borderline in RF for me. I've got too many fellows ahead of him.
Sammy Sosa: Ditto
Bobby Bonds: Ditto
Jeff Kent: Ditto at second base
Ben Taylor: I'm coming around on him. I was close to pulling the lever for him.
Tommy Bridges: Not so much. I don't personally see all the love he's getting. I rank him in the midst of Javier Vazquez, Brad Radke, Larry Jackson, and Sudden Sam. All pitchers I would love to have on the Phillies this year (but not at their current ages, of course). All pitchers who I wouldn't have in my HOM. Though I would probably have them in my home if they were nice guys.
   6. Mike Webber Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:17 PM (#5586928)
BBRef WAR heavy ballot, with emphasis on career, where a player ranks among his era peers, with big seasons as a boosting factor.

1) CHIPPER JONES 85.2 BBref-WAR, 416 Win Shares - one of the inner circle third basemen.
2) JIM THOME 72.9 BBref-WAR, 383 Win Shares - well above in/out line.
3) SCOTT ROLEN 70 BBref-WAR, 304 Win Shares - his big seasons put him comfortably ahead of Kent.
4) JEFF KENT – 55.2 BBref-WAR, 339 Win Shares one MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. We share the exact same birth date, so bonus points for that. 20th round draft choice with the misfortune of being in the same organization as Robbie Alomar, who was exactly the same age. Never drew more than 31 walks in a season until he was 29, which limited him to being a solid player rather than an all-star.
5) VLAD GUERRERO – 59.3 BBref-WAR, 322 Win Shares – 6 times in the top 10 of the league MVP voting, 3 29 Win Share seasons, 10 20+ Win Share seasons.
6) SAL BANDO – 61.6 BBref-WAR, 283 Win Shares, two MVP type seasons, 9 seasons 20+ Win Shares. I believe he was better than Ken Boyer, but his home parks helped disguise it.
7) SAMMY SOSA – 58.4 BBref-WAR, 322 Win Shares – three 30+ Win Share seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Value wise very similar to Bobby Bonds.
8) LUIS TIANT – 66.1 BBref-WAR, 256 Win Shares – poor timing of his big years, but big years push him to top of pitchers currently on ballot. One spot behind Smoltz on the career WAR list for pitchers.
9) TOMMY LEACH – 46.8 BBref-WAR, 328 Win Shares, only one MVP type season, 8 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Good peak, excellent defensive player at third and in centerfield.
10) FRANK CHANCE45.6 WAR 237 Win Shares - I’m a career guy, but this is the peakiest of peak guys.
11) JOHAN SANTANA 51.4 BBref-WAR, 171 Win Shares – Cy Young Awards, 2 3rds, 1 5th, 1 7th. 45th in WAR among pitchers in the past 50 years. 32nd in the past 40. 26th in the past 30. He is really hard to rank, ahead of Appier, who is the top modern pitcher off the ballot.
12) ANDRUW JONES 62.8 BBref-WAR, 276 Win Shares – 1 MVP type season, 7 additional 20-win share seasons.
13) KENNY LOFTON 68.2 BBref - 281 Win Shares – The reason I have him lower than others is I believe his Defensive WAR is overstated. Couple that with his lack of MVP type season’s and I have him lower than many others voters. 7 20-win share seasons.
14) PHIL RIZZUTO – 40.6 BBref-WAR, 231 Win Shares, one MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. With a conservative 60 or so win shares or 9 WAR during World War II, I move him to the top of the middle infielder group. Same arguments as Nellie Fox, only with a 3-year hole in his career at ages 25 to 27, plus a bad return to MLB in 1946. (No extra credit for 1946 – just noting it).
15) JOHN OLERUDE– 58 BBref-WAR, 302 Win Shares - 2 MVP type seasons, but only 5 other 20+ win share seasons. Also hurt by the large number of first basemen in his era that were clearly better.

Next group of guys off the ballot grouped by position:
Dick Redding, Kevin Appier, Tommy John, Vic Willis, Gene Tenace, Jorge Posada, Wally Schang, Fred McGriff, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Evers, Larry Doyle, Buddy Bell, Bob Elliot, Ron Cey, Joe Tinker, Luis Aparicio, Dave Bancroft, Fregosi, Stephens, Bobby Bonds, Ken Williams, Bernie Williams, Bob Johnson, Sam Rice, Luis Gonzalez.

New Players not on ballot:
JOHNNY DAMON 56 BBref-WAR, 307 Win Shares. No MVP type seasons, 7 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Never in the top 10 of the league MVP voting.

Omar Vizquel – 45.3 BBref-WAR, 282 Win Shares – 4 seasons 20+ Win Shares. Only received votes for the MVP once in his career, and finished 16th. We’d have to induct a lot of infielders before he would make the consideration set.

Other required notes:

Bobby Bonds and Buddy Bell were the bottom of my ballot last year, pushed off by the five newcomers.

Vic Willis is in the just off the ballot group, but probably behind Redding and Appier.

Ben Taylor is behind the group of Olerude, Delgado, McGriff, Cash and Cepeda.

Tommy Bridges – 225 Win Shares – tied for 85th in career WAR for pitchers – pitched well in an era that was tough for pitchers, but others have stronger arguments. From 1925 to 1951 – five years on either end of his career – he was 7th in WAR. The 6 ahead of him are in the HOM – of the true overlaps I don’t think any are in. He is the in/out line for that era.

Gavy Cravath – Retrosheet now has home road splits for Gavvy for his entire career!
1908-20 G AB  HR RBI  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
Home 616 1898 93 331 .304 .398 .545 .943 
Away 610 2057 26 247 .273 .366 .419 .785 

That home 943 OPS would be fourth behind Ruth, Cobb and Hornsby for the period, just ahead of Speaker and Shoeless Joe.

The 785 OPS as a road player? Tied for 23rd for the period with Sam Rice, which is still very good. Nestled in between Zach Wheat, Jack Tobin, Braggo Roth and Steve Evans.

As always the truth is somewhere in the middle, but I’d bet he’s closer to Zach Wheat than Shoeless Joe. If he’s “only” Zach Wheat his lack of bulk probably means he is not a HOM candidate for me.
   7. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5586946)
Great crop of newbies. Chipper Jones and Jim Thome a clear 1-2, in that order – Jones being a 3B though Thome a slightly better hitter. Rolen is solidly mid-table, among other quality infielders and catchers. Andruw Jones near bottom of consideration set, Damon just off it. Santana super quality though short career, around the bottom of those selected, will slide up in weaker years. Moyer not quite good enough; only 52PP so off bottom of consideration set. My system is now old-fashioned, but I keep it for consistency with past years.

1. Chipper Jones. 2726 hits @141, plus he was a 3B. TB+BB/PA .590, TB+BB/Outs .941. Clerly the class of this field.

2. Jim Thome 2328 hits at 147, TB+BB/PA .621, TB+BB/Outs 1.009. Not quite as good as Manny, better hitter than Chipper, but an outfielder not a 3B. But clearly in this year.

3. Addie Joss. I’m now even more convinced I missed him earlier, and that adjusting innings down for dead ball pitchers is illegitimate. 2327 IP at an ERA+ of 142. 160-97 by age 30. If you assume the rest of his career would have been 1800 IP, 120-90 with an ERA+ of 110 (somewhat conservative, assuming you boost his last sick season, though pitchers didn’t last as long as they did later) then 50% credit would put him at 3227IP, 220-142, with ERA+ of 130. 25% credit puts him at 2777 IP, 190-120, with ERA+ of 136. Substantially better than Koufax. OPS+20. Electorate needs to take him more seriously. 121PP.

4. Vladimir Guerrero 2590 hits @140 ranks him pretty high. TB+BB/PA .579, TB+BB/Outs .874. Pretty similar career to Sheffield, a notch or two below Manny.

5. Eddie Cicotte. Only 208-149 and an ERA+ of 123, but 3223 IP, more than Waddell and should get about 25% of the bonus for the 300-win career he should have had (he was, after all, a knuckleballer, who tend to peak late.) Much better than the 20s glut – only loses to Welch on longevity – Newhouser a close comp, but Cicotte had a longer career. Successfully cursed Red Sox AND White Sox for over 8 decades! 106PP

6. Jeff Kent 2461 hits @123, but he was a 2B. Hence just ahead of Ernie Lombardi. TB+BB/PA .529 TB+BB/Outs .784.

7. Ernie Lombardi. Up a bit more; we’re forgetting him. Berra closely comparable. 2137 hits, normalized to a 130 game season, and an OPS+ of 125 makes him a little better than Schang, but some of it was during the war years and he fielded badly. TB+BB/PA .492, TB+BB/Outs .719., the ratio between the two very low because of strikeouts, I assume. Plus a great nickname!

8. Nomar Garciaparra Only 1747 hits, but at 124OPS+ and he was a shortstop mostly. TB+BB/PA .541, TB+BB/Outs .814. Statistically just ahead of Stephens, and will hopefully slip into the HOM in a quiet year.

9. Scott Rolen 2077 hits at 122, plus bonus for being a 3B. TB+BB/PA .591, TB+BB/Outs .897. He’s a longer career than Posada and Stephens, but not as good a hitter (adjusted for position) as Kent or Lombardi. Mid-table, probably won’t hang around long enough to move up.

10. Jorge Posada 1774 hits, normalized to a 130-game season, with OPS+ of 121. TB+BB/PA .535 TB+BB/Outs .817. Short career, even after normalization, so he’s just below Nomar and ahead of Stephens (Catcher and SS both worth about 25 points of OPS+ in my system.)

11. Vern Stephens. Short career – only 1859 hits, but comparing him to Reese he was much better, and not far short of Doerr. TB+BB/PA .508, TB+BB/Outs .756. OPS+ 119 Best season 1944, however.

12. Fred McGriff 2497 hits @134. TB+BB/PA .566 TB+BB/Outs .873 Slightly better than I had expected, and fully ballot-worthy, halfway up as we’ve cleared out the stronger backloggers.

13. Wally Schang. When you normalize his career to 130 game seasons for the first 18 years, as I do for catchers, he gets to 1941 hits, more than Groh at an OPS+ of 117, very similar. Furthermore, TB+BB/PA=.455, TB+BB/Outs=.728, also significantly better than Groh, over very close to the same period. And he was a catcher, more difficult than 3B.

14. Mickey Welch. UER were 43.37% of total runs allowed for Mickey, compared to about 40% with all his HOM contemporaries except Galvin (who started earlier, anyway.) Hence his ERA+, his weakness anyway, overstates his value; in spite of 307-210 he was primarily an innings-eater. 4802IP. Will now be on and off ballot. 115PP, which elevates him a bit

15. Tommy Bridges “Top-10” rule caused me to look at him again. 194-138, 2826IP, but at a very high 126 OPS+. 102PP, above John, Leever and Mays, so slots in here.

   8. karlmagnus Posted: December 05, 2017 at 09:54 PM (#5586947)
16. Tommy John 288-231, 4710IP@111. Infinitesimally below Sutton, better than Kaat. 99PP

17 Johan Santana 139-78. Only 2025IP but at 136 ERA+ Very short career but top quality 93PP slots him here

18. Sam Leever. Pity he wasn’t able to start at the normal time; 2 more years would have made him a NB. Only 2660 innings at an ERA+ of 123, but was blocked till 27 by the one-league 1890s and having a steady job as a schoolteacher. Believe he needs to be looked at seriously by others, and included in pitcher analysis. Mild plus for high level of moral probity. Only 88PP, which drops him a bit

19. Carl Mays Had slipped down too far. 3021 innings at 119, 207-126 and 83 OPS+ Others should look at him more closely. 88PP

20. Elmer Smith Deduct 10% from Elmer's Western League 1890 and 1891 batting and slugging percentages we get 301/461 and 284/431 respectively. Comparing against the PL of 1890 gives an OPS+ of about 130, against the NL of 1891 gives an OPS+ of about 139. That gives him 14 years of full-time play; adjust those to 130 game seasons (which I did for 19th century players) gives him about 2140 hits at an OPS+ of 128-129 plus a pitching record of about 1400IP at an ERA+ of 113 and a W/L of about 96-72. Elmer baby, you're on my ballot, albeit towards the bottom of it. Only 97 years late.

21. Sammy Sosa 2408 hits @128OPS+. Not as good a hitter as Piazza, and without the catcher bonus. Doesn't have Elmer Smith's pitching, but a longer career than Frank Howard (though not as good) so goes here, though this may be a few places too high. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .830.

22. Carlos Delgado 2038 hits@138 OPS+ TB+BB/PA.587 TB+BB/Outs.925. With a longer career he's Sheffield or McGriff.

23. Frank Howard Very slightly better than Kiner – significantly longer career. Underrated by history, but down a little when I look at Belle. OPS+ 142 for 1774 hits. TB+BB/PA .546, TB+BB/Outs .805 in a pitchers’ park and era.

24. Hugh Duffy. We don’t have enough Beaneaters! However he’s not quite as good as Elmer Smith.

25. Rusty Staub. 2716 hits at OPS+124. TB+BB/PA .484, TB+BB/Outs .724. Not quite as good as Beckley, for not quite as long.

26. George van Haltren. Had slipped too far at #44; we need more 90s stars, but he was significantly below Elmer Smith, either as hitter or pitcher.

27. Fred Lynn. Underrated, considerably better than Rice or Hernandez. 1960 hits at 130, but bonus for playing CF. TB+BB/PA .531, TB+BB/Outs .791. Lovely player to watch, and absolutely top-drawer at his best.

28. Bernie Williams 2336 hits @125. Needs either a bit more quality or a bit more length. Just a smidgen less than Fred Lynn, who was also a CF (and who I’d MUCH rather see in!) TB+BB/PA .533 TB+BB/Outs .815, in a harder hitting era than Lynn.

29. Albert Belle 1726 hits @143. Short career, not quite Frank Howard but Frank was a little high. TB+BB/PA .597 TB+BB/Outs .896

30. Luis Tiant 229-172. 3486 IP at 114. ERA+ a little low, but W/L good. He’s not top tier, but just a little better than Pierce. Big psychic plus for Red Sox affiliation. Looking at Reuschel, a little overplaced so have slipped him down. 84PP

31. Vic Willis Had slipped too far, but not better than those above him.

32. Gavvy Cravath 1134 hits@150. Add 50% to career and deduct 5 points for more years in early career makes him 1699 hits @145, still a very short career, but comparable to Hack. TB+BB/PA .527, TB+BB/Outs .835.

33. Hack Wilson. TB+BB/PA = .588, TB+BB/Outs = .954, OPS+ 144. (he does appear to have known about BB, unlike some others.) Very short career, but quality too good to ignore.

34. Chuck Klein. Shortish career but very good one. Similar player to Beckwith, beats Hack on career length, but Hack was better. TB+BB/PA .575, TB+BB/Outs .909, but only 2076 hits. OPS+137.

35. Indian Bob Johnson. Very similar career to Klein but infinitesimally less good. TB+BB/PA .569, TB+BB/Outs .890., only 2051 hits. OPS+138

36. Brian Downing. 2099 hits at 122 plus he caught about 1/3 of his games. TB+BB/PA.487 TB+BB/Outs.741

37. Julio Franco. Better hitter than I had remembered and long career, mostly SS/2B. 2586 hits @111 OPS+ TB+BB/PA .466, TB+BB/Outs .686. Just a smidgen better than Perez, I think.

38. Tony Perez. Close to Staub but below him. 2732 hits at 122. TB+BB/PA .502, TB+BB/Outs .731.
39. Bill Madlock.
40. Toby Harrah
41. Ben Taylor. Not all that far below Beckley and better than Van Haltren.
42. Jim Kaat 77PP
43. Orlando Cepeda
44. Norm Cash
45. Jim Rice
46. (N/A-12-12-14-N/A) Tony Lazzeri
47. Cesar Cedeno
48. Sam Rice
49. John Olerud With 2239 hits@128 playing 1B he’s somewhere about here.
50. Lou Brock
51. Mickey Vernon
52. Thurmon Munson
53. Sal Maglie.
54. Burleigh Grimes.
55. Heinie Manush
56. Mike Tiernan
57. Bob Elliott
58. Levi Meyerle.
59. Chuck Finley Obscure and slightly mediocre 200-173, but 3197 IP @115. Just below Reuschel and Tiant. Down a bit – I think 120ERA+ has got easier since ’90. 80PP
60. Jack Clark. As good as Reggie Smith but not for as long. 1826 hits@137OPS+, TB+BB .529, TB+BB/Outs .845
61. Harry Wright.
62. Harold Baines 2866 hits @120. TB+BB/PA .511 TB+BB/Outs .757. Lower than Staub and Perez.
63. Dennis Martinez 3999IP@106, 245-193. A lesser Kaat.
64. Jimmy Key
65. Dave Parker.
66. Jimmy Ryan
67. Gene Tenace
68. Kiki Cuyler
69. Deacon McGuire
70. Jerry Koosman.
71. Boog Powell
72. Ken Singleton.
73. Bucky Walters 198-160, 3104IP at 115 certainly doesn’t make the ballot, but should be on the consideration set, so here he is. Less than Tiant or Reuschel. 78PP
74. Sal Bando. 1790 hits at 119 Very short career, so even with 3B bonus he doesn't make it.
75. Jim Fregosi.
76. Jack Quinn
77. Juan Gonzalez
78. Tony Mullane
79. Ron Cey
80. Jose Canseco.
81. Pie Traynor
82. Jim McCormick
83. Dick Redding. My punt is 3200 innings at 114 ERA+ for a record of 207-159, i.e. same quality as Chris but a little shorter. About here looks right – a little below Grimes (longer career) and Maglie (better quality.)
84. Joe Judge
85. Andruw Jones 1933 hits at 111, not enough quality even though he was a CF (and I don’t buy the “best ever” metrics.) TB+BB/PA.528 TB+BB/Outs .764, low ratings in juiced years.
86. Spotswood Poles.
87. Buddy Bell. Nowhere near a good enough hitter
88. Larry Doyle
89. Kirby Puckett
90. Tony Fernandez. Turn him into an outfielder and he’s Kirby, so here he is. 2276 hits @101, TB+BB/PA .438 TB+BB/Outs .634
91. Ellis Burks 2107 hits @126; TB+BB/PA .548 TB+BB/Outs .820. Just within consideration set, rather than just outside it. Not that it matters.
92. Curt Simmons
93. Waite Hoyt.
94. Harry Hooper.
95. Vada Pinson
96. Gil Hodges
97. Jules Thomas.
98. Rico Carty.
99. Wilbur Cooper
100. Bruce Petway.
101. Jack Clements
102. Frank Tanana
103. Don Mattingley.
104. Orel Hershiser 204-150, 3130 IP@112. Not quite enough 69PP
105. Bill Monroe
106. Herb Pennock
107. Chief Bender
108. Ed Konetchy
109. Al Oliver
110. Darryl Strawberry.
111. Jesse Tannehill
112. Bobby Veach
113. Chet Lemon.
114. Lave Cross
115. Tommy Leach. Inferior to Childs, even if he’d played 3B his whole career, which he didn’t. Overall, Cross was better, too (2645@100 translates to 2645@ almost 120 with position bonus.) 2143 hits @109, which translates to at most 119 when you add say 50% of a 1900 3B bonus of 20. Not close.
116. Tom York

OFF: Phil Rizzuto. Not close—hugely overrated. OPS+ of 93, and not a particularly long career, even with war credit.

Lee Smith 71-92 +478 saves. 1289IP @132. Only 54PP so drops off consideration set.

Lofton just off the bottom of consideration set (even with a modest CF bonus, not quite there.)

Bobby Bonds very short career, at a level that keeps him just off my consideration set, though he could be ranked as high as #80 or so, but nowhere near top 15.

   9. Jaack Posted: December 06, 2017 at 01:56 AM (#5587019)
First time voter. I've been working on this on and off for a few years, but it’s started to come together over the past year, and I’m pretty happy with what I have, although I am working to simplify some of my evaluations. I primarily prefer players with strong primes, although I do also reward durability, especially for pitchers. Probably the biggest difference bewteen me an most voters if I make heavy use of FIP-WAR as my primary pitching metric, and at the current time I do not use bWAR at all for pitchers.

1. Chipper Jones – Top 5 third baseman all time, easy choice.
2. Scott Rolen – Surprisingly close to topping my ballot, and easily a top 10 third baseman.
3. Tommy John – There is real, identifiable peak stretch in there amongst all the career padding. Comes in directly above Pud Galvin in my pitcher rankings which is a decently interesting cross-era comp.
4. Kenny Lofton – Another cross-era comparison I like is Lofton to Max Carey. They are about equivalent by my system in basically every metric.
5. Jim Thome – I don’t think there is any more accurate player to compare Thome to than Harmon Killebrew in terms of skills, production, and demeanor.
6. Mickey Lolich – I’m definitely his best friend, but I really do think he’s a great choice. He pitched a ton of high quality innings and was excellent in the postseason. I think of him as the player Murray Chass pretends that Jack Morris was.
7. Jeff Kent – The problem with Kent isn’t his glove, which was adequate until he went to Houston. The problem is that he didn’t find his bat until half his career was over. Still, by far the most qualified second baseman remaining and better than a few already in.
8. Babe Adams – If there is anyone deserving of minor league credit, I think it’s this guy, but I think he’s worthy without it anyway. I think he was as good, if not better than Three Finger Brown or Stan Coveleski.
9. Kiki Cuyler – Spent a decade as an elite, well rounded player with a pair of MVP-ish seasons in 1925 and 1930.
10. Bert Campaneris – There is a HoMer between him and Sal Bando. I lean toward Campaneris due to positional scarcity. Bando is at best the fourth best third baseman of his era while Campaneris is at worst the second best shortstop.
11. Ben Taylor – Seems like he’s in the Eddie Murray/ Rafael Palmeiro style, except with an all-time glove.
12. Robin Ventura – An upper-middleclass man’s Scott Rolen.
13. Willie Davis – Lot’s of defense and baserunning, and enough offense to put him over the line.
14. Hack Wilson – I’ve overrated him in the past. He’s not a slam dunk candidate, but I do think his 1926-30 stretch is a HoM worthy peak.
15. Bob Johnson – For a while I had rated Johnson as the most borderline possible candidate although he’s fared well in my most recent evaluations.
16. Vladimir Guerrero – If he were even an average baserunner, he’d be sixth. As is, he regretfully misses my ballot.
17. Jim Kaat – It feels overly obvious to say he's just a worse version of Tommy John. But when it comes right down to it, he really is just a worse version of Tommy John.
18. Bobby Bonds – Similar to Cuyler although a smidgen worse.
19. Dwight Gooden – Obviously, the peak is a huge part of the case here, but I have Gooden as a good starter for about a eight years
20. Trevor Hoffman – I’ve thought long and hard about what to do with relievers. The way I see it, there’s no clean way to be fair to modern pitchers, and mildly supporting Hoffman and Wagner is the least messy solution.
21. Dolph Camilli – One of the best hitters in the game for a stretch, and a solid glove makes him a viable candidate for me.
22. Joe Tinker – Probably has the most room to move up. He was about a league average hitter, and clearly a superior glove man. The only question is how superior.
23. Paul Derringer – I kind of see him as a bug in my system, but I’m coming around to him as a real candidate. If I trusted my system outright, he’d be in ballot territory, but I think my more FIP oriented system ignores his problems with hard hit balls.
24. Billy Wagner – Hoffman is slightly better, but the difference is so negligible. Very noticeable difference between him and the next bunch of relievers (Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, and the soon to be eligible Joe Nathan)
25. Hugh Duffy – I can’t decide if Duffy is a really solid candidate or just a product of weaker leagues. That lands him here in purgatory.
26. John Olerud – Super borderline, but I like him better than contemporary first basemen Palmeiro and Clark.
27. Tommy Bridges – Even more borderline than Olerud, although I’m pretty conservative with War Credit for him.
28. Jerry Koosman – I have the next three pitchers in a virtual tie.
29. Frank Tanana – There’s probably one HoMer among these three.
30. Luis Tiant – More likely to make it than Tanana or Koosman, but I have more reservations about him as a possible HoMer than them.
31. Buddy Bell – Not an awful choice, but I think Ventura is a better, more well-rounded choice.
32. Johan Santana – I’m not as enamored with his peak as many here; I much prefer Cliff Lee.
33. Tommy Leach – DRA loves the glove, but I’m pretty hesitant to put him even this high based on that alone.
34. Andruw Jones – I’m skeptical of the defense being as incredible as the metrics make it out to be. I think he could have been stealing some pop-ups from infielders, and I think the Braves pitching staff in his prime provided more easy outs than most other centerfielders get. If his defense is just great and not otherworldly, he’s only a little better than Jesse Barfield. If it was otherworldly, he could threaten my ballot.
35. Sammy Sosa – He could hit home runs. I’m not sure that alone makes him worthy.
36. Ron Guidry
37. Larry Jackson
38. Norm Cash
39. Javier Vazquez
40. Tony Lazzeri

Required Disclosures:
Vic Willis – FIP is not a fan of Willis, even more than it’s not a fan of other pre-live ball pitchers. I rank him 38th among eligible pitchers. Wouldn’t be the worst HoM pitcher, but I think it’s better if he’s not in.

All the rest are in my top 40.

Otherwise Unmentioned Newcomers
Johnny Damon – I don’t see him as that far off from HoMer Edd Roush. But I consider Roush to be an enormous mistake.
Jamie Moyer, Chris Carpenter, Kevin Millwood – Top 200 eligibles
   10. bachslunch Posted: December 06, 2017 at 07:28 AM (#5587034)
Second time voting. Have changed my ballot ordering a little since the discussion thread -- am pushing Jeff Kent up, and am adding Mickey Welch to the 15-25 group.

Disclosures: am going with Seamheads for Negro Leaguers. Preference for BBRef WAR with some influence of OPS+ and ERA+ for the rest. Am valuing hitting prowess at C, SS, 2B, CF a bit extra. Being best available candidate at your position helps also. Still trying to sort out peak vs. longevity, but often favoring the latter. Fine with giving Negro League credit, not presently giving credit or debit for war, injury, illness, postseason play, or minor league service. Am currently treating 19th century pitchers pretty much equally as post-1900, but for now tending to discount AA, NA, and UA stats as possibly suspect. Not taken with giving relievers a lot of emphasis. Will dock 1st year candidates who bet on games, threw games, impeded players of color, were caught using PEDs post-2005 (Manny, ARod), and likely used pre-2005 if it looks like they'll get an immediate free pass by BBWAA HoF voters (IRod, Ortiz, Pettitte).

1. Chipper Jones. Best WAR of anyone, and at a relatively premium position.
2. Scott Rolen. Third best WAR but not far off Thome, also at a relatively premium position.
3. Jim Thome. Second best WAR of everyone, though not at a premium position.
4. Jim McCormick. Best WAR for starters not in by a mile. Short career, but played in NL except for one UA season.
5. Luis Tiant. Best WAR for non-19th century starters.
6. Buddy Bell. Best WAR at 3B until this year. Currently inclined to trust the metric for him.
7. Andruw Jones. Best CF WAR. Close between him and Bell for me.
8. Jeff Kent. Best WAR at a middle infield position and hit well, can't in good conscience rank him below Vlad, Sosa, or Johnson.
9. Vladimir Guerrero. Better WAR than I remember, thought he'd go lower.
10. Sammy Sosa. Again, better WAR than I remembered. Happy to give him some benefit of the doubt given his treatment by the BBWAA.
11. Bob Johnson. Best WAR among available LFs.
12. Wally Schang. Among best C WAR, also hit well.
13. Vic Willis. Good WAR.
14. Ben Taylor. Best NGL position player per Seamheads.
15. Dick Redding. Best NGL pitcher per Seamheads.

16-25: Vern Stephens, Kenny Lofton, Tommy John, Sal Bando, Mickey Welch, Urban Shocker, Thurman Munson, Tommy Bridges, Jim Fregosi, Bert Campaneris.

Required comments for those outside my 25. John Olerud, Bobby Bonds, Fred McGriff, and Bob Elliott drop off last year's top 25, too much competition; have also pushed Olerud behind Fregosi and Campaneris for position adjustment reasons. Johnny Damon has much better WAR than I remember, but is helped a lot by a long career, also has OPS+ just above league average; can't really rank him above Bonds. Johan Santana has decent war, but is all peak, and tend to prefer career for pitchers; might reconsider him, though. Gavvy Cravath has an amazing OPS+ but less taken with his career brevity, might be swayed to move him up. Phil Rizzuto doesn't do much for me (low OPS+, low WAR, short career) -- and prefer him to Omar Vizquel. Bucky Walters also doesn't sufficiently impress me (good but not top of the line WAR or career ERA+). Bad defense and play calling keeps Jorge Posada out of top 25 for me, though has good WAR numbers relative to position.

Have added Mickey Welch to my 16-25 list. Had thought he was in for some reason, and if I'm going to not penalize 19th century pitchers, I need to include him. Between John (long career) and Shocker for pitchers seems about right.
   11. Patrick W Posted: December 06, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5587606)
Compared to the electorate as a whole, I have to be considered a career voter. However, my vote does include an additional 5-year credit for a weighted average of peak seasons (3-Yr, 5-Yr, etc.). Ranking system is based off Davenport WARP components, with modified adjustments in the conversion from W1 to W3. I also review BB-Ref as a check but don’t use those numbers systematically.

I am up to 1073 players total included in my current ranking assessment, including 571 players under consideration for this ballot (less the 263 HOM members and actives / too-recently retired). I’m still not fully satisfied with the current weightings, based on some P-Hall players who would be left short in a revisionist P-Hall history, so I do expect more tinkering to come.

--- Top 10% of HOM Line ---
1. Chipper Jones (n/a), Atl. (N) 3B / LF (’95-’12) (2018) – WARP thinks Chipper is like Eddie Mathews, but with worse defense. A comparison to Mike Piazza also appears apt. I’ve got Jones as the third best 3B of all time.

--- Top 25% of HOM Line ---
2. Jeff Kent (2), S.F. – L.A. (N), 2B (’92-’08) (2016) – Looks to rank comfortably ahead of Sandberg, and close to – but behind – Biggio, Gehringer, and Grich. Really surprised Houston wasn’t the second team listed here, but the DT’s love his 2005 season in Dodgertown.

3. Scott Rolen (n/a), St.L. – Phila. (N) 3B (’97-’12) (2018) – Not dissimilar to Ryne Sandberg in my estimation: very good bat, really good glove, would like to see 2-3 more seasons on the resume to put him into ‘no doubt’ territory. Even without that, this seems like a player right up our alley – ranking about 10th on the all-time 3B list at the time of his first eligibility.

4. Jorge Posada (4), N.Y. (A), C (’97-’11) (2017) – As with all players of this era, Posada gets a boost because of a more-difficult American League environment. This elevates him above the Ted Simmons class. The nicely sustained peak from 2000-2007 also raises his value in my book, into the lower reaches of the Fisk/Cochrane class. Pretty impressive resume despite the relatively low AB total.

5. Jim Thome (n/a), Clev. – Chic. (A) 1B / DH (’93-’12) (2018) – Starts out ahead of Rolen & Posada, falls behind after positional adjustments are taken into account. Fortunately it’s a pick-4 year, so it shouldn’t matter too much. Killebrew seems like a good comp, except Thome benefits from both the league quality adjustment and the extended use of the DH.

--- Top 50% of HOM Line ---
--. Jim Edmonds, St.L. (N) – Calif. (A) CF (’94-’10) (2018)

--. Curt Schilling, Phila. – Ariz. (N), SP (’90-’07)

6. Sammy Sosa (6), Chic. (N), RF (’90-’07) – These latest adjustments have put McGwire 160th on my list and Sosa 161st; that just seems appropriate to have these two together on the all-time list. Both worthy of election, just a fluke of timing that Sammy has to wait awhile for election.

7. Vladimir Guerrero (7), Mont. (N) – L.A. (A), RF / DH (’97-’11) – Early versions of the numbers suggested Vlad might struggle to reach my ballot; I’m happy to see revisions that raise him above much of the backlog. Sosa bests Guerrero on defense according to my rankings, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see other rankings come to other conclusions.

--. Sandy Koufax, L.A. (N) SP (’56-’66)

8. Orel Hershiser (8), L.A. (N) SP (’84-’99) – I swear, these adjustments have overall reduced pitchers in my rankings. A very odd combination, I think, of a peak player (I show Orel as having a top 50% HOM peak score) who would be extremely hurt by a switch to a PRAA system over PRAR.

9. Luis Gonzalez (9), Ariz. – Hou. (N), LF (’91-’07) – A career candidate with a tent pole 2001 season that elevates all his peak scores. I don’t recall thinking of the ’91 Astros as a great collection of talent when I saw them in person at Wrigley, but quite a few of ‘em made careers for themselves, no?

--. Charley Jones, Cinc. (AA/NL) LF / CF (1875-1887) – My adjustments to be fair to all eras (a.k.a. adjustments to keep Lenny Dykstra & Jack Clark in the HOVG) have resulted in significantly tampering out earlier league adjustments between AA & NL. Thus Charley looks more like his 0.320 EQA1 and less like his 0.293 EQA2.

10. Bucky Walters (10), Cinc. – Phila. (N) SP (’35-’47) (1961) – Despite my dropping of pitchers in the overall rankings, I still think the HOM has collectively elected too few pitchers. I believe 30% pitching is an appropriate level to honor in the HOM – about 4 pitchers for every 9.5 players – and the HOM is about 6.5 pitchers short of that mark.

11. Ron Cey (11), L.A. (N), 3B (’73-’87) (2010) – I have found it necessary to give a 10 percent boost to third basemen scores, to keep their representation in the pHOM roughly equal to that of 2B & SS. A 10 percent reduction has been given to shortstops and 7 percent reduction to first basemen in my rankings for the same reason. Previously, only catchers had been the beneficiaries of a positional adjustment. These positional adjustments would have me electing a number of infielders to the pHOM equivalent to the group’s HOM choices (though not necessarily the same people); I am currently about 5 IF’s too light in my selections.

12. Frank Tanana (12), Cal. – Detr. (A) SP (’73-’93) (2000) – No longer seen as having a Koufax peak, but it is still one of the top 175 peaks of all time. Plus the ever- present 10 additional years of average / below avg.

--. Cupid Childs, Clev. (N) 2B (1890-1901)

--. John McGraw, Balt. (N) 3B / SS (1891-1902)

13. Luis Tiant (13), Bost. – Clev. (A) SP (’64-’80) (1988) – The league adjustments having been reduced, Tiant looks a lot better in the rankings.

14. Johan Santana (n/a), Minn. (A) – N.Y. (N) SP (’00-’12) – Koufax-lite, which is both a tremendous compliment and - unfortunately - damning with faint praise on this ballot (note: I would have elected Sandy in the mid-80s if the current ranking iteration was in place then, and I look forward to c. 2024 when I can remedy that discrepancy). I foresee Johan spending a long while in my backlog, but I suspect the modern HOM baseline is higher than this.

15. Brian Giles (14), Pitts. – S.D. (N) RF / LF (’96-’09) – The peak score and fielding regression adjustments slot Giles in ahead of Reggie Smith and Bob Johnson in the pecking order.

--- I have 41 players ranked among the top 263 of all time who are eligible for this election, and an additional 11 previously elected HOM players awaiting induction for the pHOM. ---

Vic Willis – Mixed amongst a group of pitchers that I currently consider as just below the HOM line, although a number of this group are elected to the P-Hall. But with my placing a larger emphasis on peak over prime than before, Willis is barely ranked within the top 30 of eligible pitchers in my estimation. Besides those listed on the ballot above, I would suggest others consider Tommy John, Dutch Leonard, Jack Quinn, and Chuck Finley first.

Kenny Lofton – Really has no strong argument to speak in his favor, as far as my system can tell. An above average bat, but not elite. A slightly below average glove. His ’93-’94 peak is so short, he’s not really a peak candidate, and his career is not so long to accumulate value that way. Even if I needed to boost CF above the other OF positions, he’s pretty far behind Bernie Williams, Brett Butler, Kirby Puckett, Chet Lemon, and others. In the 40s just amongst ballot-eligible 1B/OF’s.

Bobby Bonds (1987) – An arguable case as one of the best 260 eligible players of all time; as I have it right now he is just barely outside that range, atop the very borderline of in/out in my system. But of course there are HOMers ranked below Bonds from earlier generations, so the in/out line for the current generation is actually higher than just making the top 260. In the P-Hall, and I’m always in favor of seeing those guys elected, but right now he’s in the 40s on my ballot.

Ben Taylor (1938) – Just a little behind Bo.Bonds in my rankings, ranked in the low 40s on this ballot. I have him essentially tied with Tony Perez and slightly behind Orlando Cepeda among first basemen.

Buddy Bell (2009) – Has dropped below my pHOM line, primarily due to a regression of the fielding numbers. Bell ranks roughly in the 60s on this ballot.

Tommy Bridges – A quick search of the database has Bridges as the 18th best pitcher eligible between 1939 and 1959. He seems to match the career value of Bucky Walters (1961), Dutch Leonard (1972), and Eppy Rixey, but falls pretty far back once peak is weighed in. My ranking includes a 17% career bump for lost time due to the war.

Willis, Lofton, Bonds, Taylor, Bell, and Bridges were in last year’s top thirteen, but not in my top 15 this year.
   12. ronw Posted: December 08, 2017 at 10:59 AM (#5588718)
Yup, I'll count and can send the same format, Joe.
   13. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 08, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5588995)
2018 Ballot (2015-16-17 placement in parentheses)

1. Chipper Jones (new) - 25th all-time in Runs Created; more walks than strikeouts. Below-average, but not awful, defense at third base and left field. An easy #1.

2. Scott Rolen (new) - Has Ken Boyer's career with the bat. Superior to Boyer (great, as opposed to merely above average) on defense, placing him well clear of the backlog.

3. Jim Thome (new) - Basically the same player as McCovey or Killebrew adjusted for offensive context. Like Harmon, he played some third base and had a quiet, workmanlike demeanor.

4. Wally Schang (7-5-4) - A glaring Hall of Merit omission that we can still correct! Durability? 3rd all-time in games caught at his retirement (and still in the top 40 today). Career on-base percentage of .393, higher than Sheffield and Rod Carew - for a catcher who played half his career in the dead-ball era! Defense? Above the AL average in caught-stealing %, at a time when everyone ran.

5. Adolfo Luque (6-7-5) - It's uncertain whether his major league career was held back by racism (as I once believed unequivocally, even to the point of ranking him #1) or he was simply a late bloomer. His record in Cuban play is excellent, though a notch below that of Jose Mendez.

6. Vladimir Guerrero (debuted at #6) - Above the cutoff for Hall of Merit corner outfielders. He wasn't a great percentage player (few walks, a lot of outfield errors), but he did the big things well. Compares to Billy Williams, Larry Walker, and a hypothetical clean-and-sober Dave Parker.

7. Hilton Smith (10-10-7) - Recent Negro Leagues research has confirmed my high opinion of Smith. Excellent peak value and a good hitter too. I see his white contemporary Bucky Walters as the low end of his range. See post #88 in the 2016 discussion thread for more info.

8. Ben Taylor (8-8-9) - Looks similar to John Olerud on paper: smooth glove, consistent line-drive bat, long career. The difference between them is in 1B's relative defensive value in their eras, which puts Taylor here and Olerud at about #30 or so.

9. Jorge Posada (debuted at #10) - An offensive profile similar to Gary Carter and Ernie Lombardi among catchers. His defense wasn't as wretched as Lombardi's, and I take pitch framing statistics with a grain of salt, but it's a long way from Carter's.

10. Sammy Sosa (9-9-8) - On hitting alone, he's a dead ringer for Chuck Klein, whom we're in no hurry to induct. Klein was a butcher in the field, so Sosa's candidacy depends on how much positive defensive value he provided as a young player.

11. Johan Santana (new) - Slots in here. He has Koufax's peak, but spread out into one more season; in a Pennants Added sense, that's an advantage for Koufax. Koufax has more bulk, even era-adjusted. Santana is too close in my rankings to other short-career, high-peak pitchers (Dizzy Dean, Nap Rucker, Andy Cooper) to justify a higher place.

12. Jeff Kent (off-11-11) - A great hitter for his position, and actually an average defensive 2B with the Mets and Giants. His "sieve" phase didn't begin until his move to Houston (and, of course, his late career is freshest in the electorate's mind).

13. Tommy John (8-12-12) - His statistics through his age-39 season are superficially similar to the careers of Rick Reuschel and Jim Bunning (and, of course, he pitched deep into his 40s), but he has virtually no peak value. I like his case less than I once did.

14. Luke Easter (off-off-14) - Yes, we have a lot of first basemen in the HoM, but I really believe Easter has been overlooked. His three full-time MLB seasons at ages 34-36 look a lot like "Fred McGriff the Devil Ray" (also in his age 34-36 years), despite dealing with chronic foot injuries and the pressures of integration.

15. Johnny Evers (off-off-15) - I've been inspired to take up his case by Bill James, who believes Evers was a worthy Hall of Fame choice. Very comparable to Willie Randolph, whom we inducted; take Evers's whole career against Randolph's through his last good season (in 1987).

16-20: Nomar Garciaparra (was #13), Luis Tiant, Buddy Bell, Kenny Lofton, Dick Redding.

21-25: Thurman Munson, Vic Willis, Fred McGriff, Trevor Hoffman, Andruw Jones.

Other required disclosures/players of interest:

Bobby Bonds is in the #26-30 range. He's made my ballot in leaner years.

Tommy Bridges is in my #40's. He wouldn't be a gigantic mistake, but I have two issues with him:

1) His best bulk seasons and best rate seasons don't match up. His highest single-season finish in American League pitching WAR was 4th.
2) He played before integration when the Negro Leagues had a high quality of play. Schang and Evers are the only white pre-1948 players on my ballot.

Omar Vizquel gave away so much offensive value that he'd have to be the greatest defensive shortstop ever; he wasn't. Both Luis Aparicio and Rabbit Maranville have stronger Hall of Merit cases.

Andruw Jones is too similar to Chet Lemon to make it into my top 15. They had similar batting value in vastly different offensive contexts. Both were outstanding defensive CFs who fell off a cliff after age 30. Jones had more peak value than Lemon, but fell harder. Dale Murphy and Fred Lynn - not quite as superlative at CF defense, but better hitters - are close as well.

Jamie Moyer is a nice story, but not Hall of Merit worthy. Among long-career lefties, he's about even with Jerry Koosman, behind both Tanana and Kaat.
   14. bjhanke Posted: December 09, 2017 at 12:04 AM (#5589150)
I feel like a dolt, but can someone tell me what HOFm and HOFs mean in the header? Thanks in advance.

As for commentary, I do have one. Dr. Chaleeko calls his #7, Art Fletcher, "Fielding genius of the 1910s. He's the guy everyone back then thought Rabbit Maranville was." Technically, this, as stated, is true. However, it comes with a few caveats. First, Fletcher played the entire decade of the 1910s, being a rookie in 1909. Maranville was a rookie in 1912, and not the starter immediately, so his career doesn't cover the entire 1910s. Second, While Fletcher, according to Win Shares, is the best SS in the NL four times in the 1910s, as opposed to Maranville's one, Maranville picked up three more right at the beginning of the 1920s to add to his historic 1914; Fletcher retired after 1922 because his play had slipped. Rabbit would have had another such season except that his team at the time, the Pirates, came up with Glenn Wright in 1924. Wright could really hit, really field, and had a cannon for an arm, but had one problem - the cannon was wild. Confronted with the two best defensive SS in the game at the time, the Pirates moved Rabbit over to 2B, where he would not throw double-play balls away. Maranville promptly became the best defensive second baseman in the game in 1924. Third, Maranville picked up another best defensive SS season in the early 1930s; he played until 1935. So, Rabbit was the best glove at a double-play spot for 6 years; Fletcher for 4. Fourth, if you take those seasons where they were the best SS gloves in the game, Rabbit's Win Shares are higher. His 1914 season was the highest defensive Win Shares year until Orlando Cabrera in 2000. Fletcher has one really great year, but it's not as good as Rabbit's 1914. Rabbit's 2nd and 3rd best seasons are also better than Fletcher's #2 and #3. Fletcher's #4 is higher than Rabbit's, but overall, Rabbit has the higher rankings, and more of them. So, yes, it is true that Art Fletcher was the best SS glove in the 1910s, but Rabbit was the best SS glove of the 1920s. And, if you compare their top years, Rabbit has more of them and his are higher. And Rabbit played far, far more innings than Fletcher. I don't see how you can rank Fletcher higher. Maranville is not in the Hall of Merit yet, although I vote for him. The good Doctor, who is a good analyst, has Fletcher at #7 on his ballot, and Maranville not at all. This is wrong, although the comment he makes about the 1910s is right. - Brock Hanke
   15. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 09, 2017 at 08:12 AM (#5589162)
Brock - as to not clog up the ballot thread with non-ballots (as per Joe’s request) I posted a response at least explaining some of my rationale for having Fletcher higher than Maranville in post #307 of the discussion thread.
   16. theorioleway Posted: December 09, 2017 at 09:31 AM (#5589190)
Hall of Fame Monitor and Hall of Fame Standards (Bill James creations tweaked by Baseball Reference).
   17. bjhanke Posted: December 10, 2017 at 01:31 AM (#5589480)
Thanks to orioleway and Michael Brinkley for into and for sending me to the discussion thread. - Brock
   18. Chris Fluit Posted: December 10, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5589756)
2017 Ballot, Easy as 1-2-3

1. Chipper Jones, 3B (new): 141 OPS+ in 10,614 Pa, -23 fielding

2. Scott Rolen, 3B (new): 122 OPS+ in 8518 PA with an all-time great +175 fielding

3. Jim Thome, 1B (new): 147 OPS+ 10313 with -45 fielding, not including time spent at DH

4. Ben Taylor, 1B: (3): Imagine a player with Carlos Delgado’s bat and Mark Grace’s glove. That’s what Taylor’s estimates look like (138 OPS+ in 9091 compared to 138 in 8647 for Delgado and 76.5 fielding runs compared to 77 for Grace).

5. Vladimir Guerrero, RF (4): 140 OPS+ in 9059 attempts. A cannon for an arm but only +7 fielding due to some “creative” routes to the baseball.

6. “Cannonball” Dick Redding, P (5): Most career WAR and Win Shares Above Bench of Negro League players not in the Hall of Fame. #1 pitcher in 1914/15 (Cuban League), ‘17 and ’19. #1 player in 1917 (25.9 Win Shares). Top three in ‘12/’13, 1915, and ‘15/’16. Top ten in ’12, ’16 and ’21. Great peak, sufficient prime.

7. Sammy Sosa, RF (6): 128 OPS+ in 9896 plate attempts. Five seasons of 150 or better. +86 fielding runs thanks to a great glove when he was a young.

8. Jeff Kent, 2B (8): 123 OPS+ in 9537 plate attempts, with 1 season over 160, 3 over 140 and 5 over 130. Minus 42 fielding runs keep him from being an Inner Circle guy.

9. Sal Bando, 3B (9): The best third baseman available. 119 OPS+ at the plate and +36 fielding runs at the hot corner.

10. Vic Willis, P (10): Best pitcher in the National League in 1899 (1st in ERA+, pitching wins and WAR for pitchers). Second-best in ‘01, ’02, and ’06. Packed a huge career (3996 innings) into only 13 seasons.

11. Don Newcombe, P (11): Minor league credit during integration, military credit during the Korean War and 9.0 WAR at the plate on top of an already very good pitching career.

12. Kenny Lofton, CF (12): 107 OPS+ in 9235 plate attempts. +112 fielding runs.

13. Tommy Bridges, P (13): Top ten in ERA+ 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in innings pitched 5 straight seasons from 1933 to 1937.

14. Bob Johnson, LF (14): 13 seasons with OPS+ over 125, top ten 10 times in 12 seasons. Top ten in Runs Created 9 times.

15. Luis Aparicio, SS (15): +123 base-running (including reaching base w/o a hit) and +149 fielding. Does everything that doesn’t show up in OPS and WAR notices- his 49.9 beats Bert (45.3) and crushes Concepcion (33.6).

Just Off-Ballot:
16. Andruw Jones, CF (new) only a medium length career and not enough bat to crack the ballot, even with an all-time great glove

Required Disclosures:
Tiant has been a top-20 guy for me in the past, still in the top 25 with the current glut. Will probably make my ballot by the time we get around to electing him.
The Senior Bonds is about 27th for me at the moment, the best corner outfielder not on my ballot.
I'm not a big Buddy Bell supporter. I'll take Bando's bat ahead of Bell as well as some of the older guys like Traynor and Williamson.
Santana will likely be a required disclosure next time around but I'm more of a prime/career voter than a peak guy so he won't be making my ballot any time soon.
   19. ronw Posted: December 11, 2017 at 02:22 PM (#5590260)
Using an average of modified bbref and bgauge stats (WAR, WAA, WAG) to rank players without any negative seasons. It gets easier and easier each year with the newer tools being invented.

The numbers in parentheses are the averaged and modified WAR, WAA and WAG for each player.

1. 3B: Chipper Jones (84.9, 51.9, 31.2) - #4 all-time 3B, just ahead of Boggs, just behind Brett, clearly behind Schmidt and Mathews.

2. 1B: Jim Thome (74.7, 40.7, 27.8) - #12 all-time 1B. Very comparable to Harmon Killebrew.

3. 3B: Scott Rolen (68.7, 42.2, 27.7) - #10 all-time 3B. I have him just below Santo, just ahead of Baker.

4. 1B: Ben Taylor (72.6, 33.9, N/A) - Possibly #10-15 all-time 1B. Based on the Seamheads data and now the HoME data, I really think we missed him. Solid comparable to Palmeiro, Murray. Was probably only behind Anson, Brouther, Connor at his retirement, later surpassed by Gehrig, Foxx, Leonard, Mize, Greenberg pre-integration, but not really anyone else. Was possibly better than electee Suttles.

5. SP: Dick Redding - I'm really interested in seeing the HoME translations. Based on the Seamheads data so far, I think Redding belongs.

6. SP: Johan Santana (49.6, 31.3, 22.7) - #58 all-time SP. I was shocked to see Santana so high among pitchers. I have him behind Sandy Koufax, but not by much, and that is his closest comparison. He would have the lowest career WAR of any pitcher but Bob Lemon.

7. SP: Luis Tiant (58.4, 29.0, 15.6) - #59 all-time SP. Not really different from Stan Coveleski.

8. SS: Joe Tinker (64.6, 40.7, 28.9) - #15 all-time SS. All fielding, and from an underrepresented era. Just ahead of partial contemporary Fletcher, who just missed the ballot. If fielding numbers are correct, he is Ozzie Smith, but Ozzie had a clearly better bat.

9. CF: Andruw Jones (63.6, 38.3, 24.9) - #10 all-time CF. We have passed on all other glove-first CF but Jones is off the charts defensively, easily the best all-time outfielder. Less of a bat than I thought when numbers are placed into context, but enough of one to elect him. The fielding rep puts him above Lofton, but not by much.

10. 3B: Buddy Bell (66.4, 33.6, 22.4) - #15 all-time 3B. Another glove-first player. Much of the backlog are players whose WAR/WAA/WAG numbers are enhanced by fielding. Bell would be the worst hitter we have elected as a modern 3B, but he wasn't a liability at the bat. In fact, he is probably a later version of Jimmy Collins.

11. RF: Bobby Bonds (61.4, 34.5, 23.1) - #16 all-time RF. Just below Reggie Smith. Frankly, he pencils as a better player than partial contemporary Dwight Evans, who sailed in easily.

12. CF: Kenny Lofton (61.1, 30.8, 18.3) - #17 all-time CF. Lofton was a better hitter than Andruw Jones, even at peak numbers (WAG). He is a slightly worse fielder, but he should be elected. Very similar to Richie Ashburn.

13. C: Thurman Munson (47.3, 25.0, 17.8) - #14 all-time C - Numbers rank slightly behind Gene Tenace with overall numbers, but Munson of couse played nothing but catcher so I have him above his contemporary.

14. C: Wally Schang (46.9, 23.3, 17.1) - #16 all-time C - comparable with Munson, also Schang was clearly the best catcher of his generation.

15. SS: Art Fletcher (57.1, 37.4, 29.0) - #18 all-time SS. Only slightly lower than Tinker, they both have more fielding than hitting value.

required comment RF: Sammy Sosa (60.6, 33.8, 21.3) - 115.7 - #17 all-time RF. Just below Bonds, deserves to be elected some day.

required comment RF: Vladimir Guerrero (57.0, 29.7, 17.9) - #20 all-time RF. Vlad wouldn't be a horrible choice, but I think he is clearly behind Bonds and Sosa on all metrics.

required comment 2B: Jeff Kent (57.1, 29.8, 15.7) - #18 all-time 2B. Stats are slightly better than Billy Herman and Bobby Doerr, but they each get a bit of war credit. Kent would be fine for the HOM once the backlog goes down.

required comment SP: Vic Willis (59.2, 27.4, 11.9) - #67 all-time SP. I've been up and down on Willis. He is better than contemporary electees Joe McGinnity and Mordecai Brown, but worse than Waddell. Very similar to partial contemporary Griffith. He is close to the ballot and probably should be elected based on the McGinnity/Brown selections.

required comment SP: Tommy Bridges (50.2, 24.2, 11.7) - #100 all-time SP. Never been a fan of Bridges, but I am much less sour on him. There is nothing separating him and Billy Pierce (51.0, 24.6, 11.0), and Bridges gets war credit. Better pitching numbers than contemporary electees Wes Ferrell or Red Ruffing, their outstanding hitting vault them ahead. I used to think Bucky Walters (45.8, 20.4, 5.0) was a better choice than Bridges, but I have revised that thinking. Of course, Dizzy Dean (42.2, 26.0, 13.0) may be a better choice for peak lovers. The period for pitchers is clearly underrepresented, Bridges would not be a bad selection.

   20. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2017 at 06:02 PM (#5591187)
2018 ballot - our (and my) 121st since we began this version of the journey in 2003 (real time) with an "1898" ballot. Honored to be "The First Voter."

props to any other remaining "voting Ripkens" as well (I think there are a couple left).

I had 2017 electees I-Rod-Manny-Edmonds 1-2-3 on my ballot (can't remember that happening before!)

The annual fine print:

Overall, I think there is a bit too much slavish devotion in some quarters re WAR, WAA and an ever-increasing number of acronyms, which are intriguing tools but which still may not yet be sufficiently mature (though they continue to improve).

So my fondness (but not blind allegiance by any means, especially where durability is an issue) for ERA+ and OPS+ helps, I think, as a reality check even as fielding issues are quite significant for pitchers/team defenses - and especially for hitters, of course.

I tend to be mostly prime-oriented with hitters, and prime and career with pitchers. But a huge peak sometimes catches my eye, and a remarkably long, effective hitting career also works for me. I voted for Joe Jackson on his first try, and Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire - and that pattern will continue re any new steroid/PED accusees.

Finally, my list of OPS+s by best to worst in full seasons for top new candidates are listed on the Discussion Thread.

1. CHIPPER JONES - Played all but 3 seasons at 3B and outhit my top holdover Vlad anyway (153/137/116 in OF, btw). So only Thome outhit him, and only 147-141 in similar PAs and head-to-head feels even closer. So even a modest defensive lift carries the day for Chipper, making this an easy one. We tell ourselves he was fragile - yes, eventually. he averaged 680 PA a year from 1996-2003, however, and had another 600 PA and 596 PA left in him. had a .864 postseason OPS in 417 PA that is a bit below his standard - but still was effective.

2. JIM THOME - Had the uber-monster season that Vlad lacked, and a 147-140 OPS+ lead in 1250 more PA (or two full seasons). Thome was the better hitter. WAR has Thome, 72.9 to 59.3. Vlad didn't help himself enough on baserunning and fielding, that's for sure. Had 9 seasons at 1B, 4 at DH, 3 at 1B. 1599 games in the field, 818 at DH. granted that defense doesn't help much, but sometimes fans seem to think he was a DH and nothing else.

3. SCOTT ROLEN - Having 10 seasons of 120 OPS+ is a very nice long prime FOR AN EXCELLENT DEFENSIVE THIRD BASEMAN. I kind of wanted Vlad here, but Rolen's defense was tremendous by any measure. Won 8 Gold Gloves, is 48th all-time in defensive WAR. 8500 career PA may cause some to ding him, which can be argued. Did just enough by my measures.

4. VLADIMIR GUERRERO - Having 10 seasons of 130 OPS+ is a very nice long prime. 1608 games in field, 508 at DH. compare to Thome - not as different as some think. The poor baserunning and outfield errors plus the DH time practically make him an "all-bat" candidate.

5. JEFF KENT - Quiet start in his first six seasons - OPS+s between 101 and 111 each time, so he reaches age 30 with nary an All-Star Game selection. And then - 142-125-162 (MVP)-131-147-119-123-133-119-123 - with pretty good durability to boot in a "who saw that coming" decade of INF mashing. His defense didn't help his team win games - directly. But his offensive output crushed most of the opposition thru the prime, allowing his team either to have a turbocharged offense or to be able to carry a great glove elsewhere and still have a competitive offense. That gets overlooked.

6. FRED MCGRIFF – Liked him by a nose four years ago over Palmeiro, who has a weaker peak but a longer prime. McGriff 134 OPS+ in 10174 PA to Palmeiro’s 132 in 12046 PA to Sheffield's 140 in 10947 PA - and now Vlad's 140 in 9055. I really like the 157-166-153-147-166-143-157 peak from 1998-94, all in 600+ PA or equivalent. Underrated.

7. ANDRUW JONES - Is 20th all-time in defensive WAR, with four "titles." Throw in 434 HR, and how is he not higher? He's a big star when he reaches 100 OPS+ - which he only did seven times. Plus only two more every-day seasons at all. 7599 PA is not a lot. Career WAR has him tied with Ken Boyer, which amazingly feels right. Needs to maintain his status defensively as his career is further microscoped to stay this high.

8. BOB JOHNSON - I like this sort of consistency over a long span, though I'd hardly say he's a 'must-elect,' ever. Sort of the Joe Gordon of OFs in career shape, or a slightly longer and flatter version of Ralph Kiner. Or McGriff without the tail, offensively. I am concerned by 1944 being his highest OPS+; seems like he took advantage of the weak competition. But has more than a decade's worth of excellent hitting, for a prime that I like better than, say, most holdovers have.

9. BOB ELLIOTT - Good to see him at least occasionally mentioned in discussions starting about 10 'years' back, at least. Six seasons of at least 134 OPS+, ALL of them as a 3B (Ventura never had any that high, Bell had only one higher). Wish he'd played all 3B and not much OF, but c'est le vie - Sewell seemed to get treated as a full SS by some back in the day. Beats out HOMer Boyer and compares remarkably well with HOMer Santo as a hitter. Better than HOMer Hack as well, and better than HOMer DaEvans (see those guys' threads for details).

10. SAMMY SOSA - Here the big prime is 5 yrs, and it's more obvious because there wasn't a ton before or after. This is his case: Very durable with OPS+s then of 160-151-161-203-160. Enough to rank, thanks to the 203.

11. KENNY LOFTON - Up 4 slots this year upon reconsideration.145 OPS in star-crossed 1994 made him an incredibly great player, and anytime he put up 120+ it also would be pretty true. But he never did - outside of a 121. He's a very good player in all 10 of these 100 to 119 OPS+ seasons due to defense, and it's difficult to say how many pts he can give up there and still be a better player than a slugger.

12. JORGE POSADA - I know about the defense.I also know about OPS+s of 153-144-139-131-125 and career 121. Either the Yankees would have won 115 games a year (at least) if Posada and Jeter could field, or we may be overrating the cost of Posada's defensive shortcomings. This guy had eight straight seasons of 540+ PA, which is amazing. Like Kent, in some respects.

13. VIC WILLIS - I concluded he's just ahead of Grimes and Walters many 'years' ago, with slightly more career than Walters and better peak than Grimes. It's close, but I'll stick with Vic for yet another year.

14. BUCKY WALTERS - Only the 2nd pitcher on my ballot - more may join once the offensive backlog lessens. Seemed to get Palmer-like defensive support, without enough super-stats to make that irrelevant. Proved his mettle outside of 'war years.' Bob Lemon-esque, though I wasn't a big fan there.

15. TOMMY BRIDGES - Bounced back on ballot last year due to reconsideration. Eight ERA+s in the 1930s and 1940s, which is solid even though there's no blockbuster season. Only top 7 in IP three times, which is low for that, well, era.



LUIS TIANT - Looks like he has the peak at first glance, but notice that the IP just aren't quite there. Plenty good when he did pitch, but with that lack of innings you have to be even more dominant. Best season IP finishes are just 6-7-8. Maybe he winds up as the era's last P electee - but probably not. Still, he is 16th for me so he'll sneak onto my ballot eventually I suspect.

BOBBY BONDS - 8090 PA, and best OPS+ is 151. A 130 to 143 six other times, which is nice but the strong is just not long enough for an OF. Compare to Posada.

BEN TAYLOR - His exit is only partly on 'era issues' - he also was going to be my 12th batter, and that's a little too much for me even though I love none of those pitchers. Long career, excellent fielder, consistent player. I'm not 100 pct sold on the hitting MLEs, but very good reputation and for sure a quality player. Will give him another look next year.

BUDDY BELL - One of a number of 3B guys from this era, and I prefer Sal Bando (heck, I once preferred Ron Cey). Solid all-around player and 1980-84 peak is a very strong offense-defense case. I just don't see enough beyond that, but I appreciate why he gets some love. Arrival of Rolen no help to Buddy at all.



TREVOR HOFFMAN - He dropped off my ballot this year - under 1100 IP, and table constantly set for 1-inning success. A weird player no matter what your system, as are almost all of the modern closers. Consistency is a real plus, but what was he doing? Mainly allowing the Padres to avoid the part-season hiccups that rivals had when a closer spit the bit - costing those teams a couple of extra games sometimes. Rivera has the insane postseason stats; no such luck here.

BILLY WAGNER - Claim to fame is utter dominance - but of what? Instead of saving the vast majority of attempts with fewer Ks and the greater likelihood of a runner, he blew you away. But guess what, if you're down 1-2-3 runs against a well-rested good pitcher, you're usually dead either way. So longevity and consistency of Hoffman easily trumps Wagner's fewer key opportunities. Open to reconsideration on him in future years. Also had those postseason hiccups.

DAVE CONCEPCION - Peak is as good or better than Nellie Fox's; not quite as consistent, but a slick fielder and a very useful offensive weapon many times. Not fully buying the "other teams were stupid enough to play ciphers at the position, so give Davey bonus points" argument; that helped the Reds win pennants, but Concepcion can't get full credit for that stupidity. But he needs the modest credit in that regard to outlast Rizzuto on my list, as he does.

PHIL RIZZUTO - Have him in my top 25 still. I'll grant a lot of war credit and stipulate to the great, great fielding. But even 3 war credit years gets him only to 13 main years, and the fielding made him above-average overall but not excellent in most seasons. Yet at closer look, similar case to Concepcion when you cancel out the irrelevant parts.

DON NEWCOMBE – A passionate, detailed Newcombe backer might also get me there someday. I think he had the skills, but he didn’t quite actually produce quite enough. Prove me wrong next year.

BERNIE WILLIAMS - Didn't quite like him enough over this or even last top 15, but a serious low-ballot candidate and might tab him in the future. Feel like he had corner-OF D and CF-star stats, but overrated as a fielder. Lofton seems to -block him.

KEN SINGLETON - Bob Johnson-like, but not quite as good for quite as long. Equally underappreciated in his time.

DALE MURPHY - His modest fan club will be saddened that he fell off my ballot in recent years. A different peak-primieness than polar opposite personality Albert Belle - and a different fade as well.

OMAR VIZQUEL - Ah, Omar the Outmaker (7th-most all-time). Had a 50 OPS+ in his first and last seasons, remarkably. An 82 for his career. His defense was stellar enough to maybe the worst hitter in the Hall of the Very Good. Someone has to be, I suppose.
   21. DL from MN Posted: December 12, 2017 at 07:08 PM (#5591221)
Howie - what do you think of Johan Santana?
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2017 at 07:46 PM (#5591230)
I'll reply on the Discussion Thread, DL, as per instruction above
   23. bjhanke Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:31 AM (#5591455)
Hi. This is Brock Hanke's preliminary ballot, short on comments. There's a reason for this. The BTF site has started acting up on me again. When it does that, it will let me log in, but not post anything. At all, on any thread. It won't even let me log out. This can go on for days, and the deadline is coming up on the election here. So, I'm filing a prelim, just in case I can't post anything on the 17th or 18th. There's no commentary because I'm not done with that yet. This is just an act of fear that the site won't let me post up my final ballot. Please only count this one if I don't post a later one. Thanks - Brock Hanke

1. Chipper Jones
2. Bobby Bonds
3. Jim Thome
4. Lou Brock
5. Babe Adams
6. Scott Rolen
7. Hugh Duffy
8. Sammy Sosa
9. Tommy Bridges
10. Hilton Smith
11. Don Newcombe
12. Big Jim McCormick
13. Luis Tiant
14. Ben Taylor
15. Kenny Lofton

Required Disclosures:

Jeff Kent - The New Historical Abstract's comment is "One of the best RBI men ever to play second base." I think that about covers it.

Buddy Bell - Sort of Ken Boyer lite. He has 19 more career Win Shares, but his peak, his prime, and his Win Shares per 162 games are lower than Ken's. I'm a Ken Boyer fan, and think Ken's a good bit stronger than the weakest of the HoMers. Bell is really close to the in/out line.

Vic Willis – I’ve commented on Vic before. He’s one of the pitchers I call the Pittsburgh Six, because they passed through the Pirate rotation right about the turn of 1900, when Frank Selee was revolutionizing pitcher usage. I prefer Deacon Phillippe (and Sam Leever) to Vic because Vic didn’t pitch much as an ace, while Deacon and Sam did (in different years). So his level of competition isn’t as strong as theirs were. But he did have a longer career.

Vladimir Guerrero - I just don't see him as a dominant player in his own era. His credentials are what they are. But if you start looking for black ink, there isn't much there. He does much better on grey ink and the Monitor and Standards, but that may be just a product of the era in which he played. In his favor is something that is causing me to start thinking about ranking Lou Brock even higher than I already do - he made a LOT of errors. Like Michael Humphries, I don't think that errors should be counted at all if you have Range Factors. Which we do. I am currently trying to figure out some way to at least estimate the size of the adjustment that would happen if you ignored errors in defensive rankings. I'm doing this about Lou Brock. When I get something I have at least some trust in, I'll apply it to Vlad.
   24. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 13, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5592001)
1) C. Jones (53.2 WAA): Inner circle
2) Rolen (43.9 WAA): Not quite inner circle, but more than deserving
3) Lofton (38.2 WAA): Best leadoff man of his generation
4) Thome (37.5 WAA): One of the best pure power hitters in history
5) A. Jones (36.0 WAA): Best defensive CFer that I've ever seen in his prime
6) Tiant (34.5 WAA): One of the better pitchers not in the HOF/HOM


7) Bando (32.5 WAA): Peak compensates for short career
8) Bell (32.4 WAA): Maybe one of these days, one of the better 3B not in the HOF
9) Santana (32.3 WAA): HOF peak, but falls short on career value
10) Bo. Bonds (31.8 WAA)): Ibid
11) Appier (30.7 WAA): Better pitcher than most give him credit for
12) Guerrero (29.4 WAA): Very steep decline for what appeared to be a surefire HOFer at the start of his career
13) Sosa (28.0 WAA): Obviously worthy peak, hurt by years of mediocrity on both ends of his career
14) Olerud (27.3 WAA): Underrated 1B
15) Kent (26.3 WAA): Relatively late start and the 1994-5 strike hurt him

EDIT: @Brock: I was having the same problem. Try bookmarking the thread and then clicking on the post total to advance to the most recent page of the thread. That should allow you to comment.
   25. OCF Posted: December 13, 2017 at 08:54 PM (#5592213)
I'll admit to spending far less time on this than I used to. And I'm disinclined to do much changing of the order of players I've already ranked. Yes, I know about all of the disclosure; I know who is on the ballots.

Numbers with the pitchers are RA+ equivalent record with a big years bonus in brackets.

1. Chipper Jones Yeah, he could play.

2. Scott Rolen My system (which is a bit of a toy) has him roughly equal to Santo, albeit in a different career shape, and clearly ahead of Bell/Bando/Evans

3. Jim Thome Slightly behind Bagwell and Thomas, but only slightly. Ahead of Palmiero. Could play some 3B early in his career, but mostly here as a hitter.

4. Sammy Sosa A peak candidate. Was a wild swinger in the early part of his career, and he declined quickly once his peak was over. But that peak is enough to get him here.

5. Kenny Lofton OK, I've got a system for aggregating WAR with peak bonuses, and it likes Lofton better than it likes Edmonds. So what's going on? A significant part of it is that Lofton's peak lands right on the 1994-1995 strike seasons, and the system is projecting full seasons for Lofton for those - in particular a monster 1994 for him. The comparison for this ballot is with Andruw Jones, and that's not easy. For now, I'm taking Lofton ahead of Andruw.

6. Johan Santana 146-79 [38]. Compare Koufax at 163-95 [63], Cone at 190-132 [19], Key at 171-117 [17]. A high-peak pitcher in the modern era, which means far fewer innings per season than in Koufax's time; still managed to accumulate almost the same value as Koufax. Tiant has more career, but I'll go with Santana's peak.

7. Andruw Jones Jones looks very good on WAR, and would rank higher if I fully took that at face value. But I have a hard time swallowing defensive value that extreme.

8. Luis Tiant 224-164 [35] Was #1 on my 2012 ballot.

9. Vic Willis 248-196 [44]

10. Jamie Moyer 241-211 [13]. I've got a way of valuing records that puts Moyer essentially tied with Santana. Of course, it's a totally different career path. Clearly ahead of Jack Morris 226-199 [9]. A decent comparison might be Jerry Koosman 233-193 [21].

11. Frank Chance Betraying my career voter leanings. Didn't play much, but awfully good when he did play, and the best 1B of his own time. My new system gives him as much value above average as Palmiero.

12. Sal Bando

13. Buddy Bell

14. John Olerud

15. Bobby Bonds

Johnny Damon: Long career, not too far away from the ballot. I'd probably take him over Murphy or Cedeno.

Omar Vizquel: Comparable to Maranville or Aparicio. It's not enough.

I pushed Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Bob Elliot off; they were on my 2017 ballot.

Others close to the ballot.

C: Gene Tenace
1B: Fred McGriff, Norm Cash, Orlando Cepeda (Note: for many previous years, I have not particularly seen the case for Ben Taylor. And the best 1B of the teens is still probably Sisler.)
2B: Jeff Kent, Larry Doyle
3B: Bob Elliot, Robin Ventura
SS: Phil Rizzuto
Corner OF: Rusty Staub, Jack Clark, Frank Howard, Ken Singleton.
CF: Dale Murphy, Cesar Cedeno, Hugh Duffy, George Van Haltren, Jimmy Ryan. I've supported the 1890's guys (particularly Van Haltren) for a long time, but I'm not all that sure any more that I'd take any of them over Cedeno and Murphy.
P: Lefty Gomez, Bucky Walters, Kevin Appier, Lon Warnecki, Jerry Koosman, Tommy Bridges, Ed Cicotte, Wilbur Cooper, Tommy John, Urban Shocker.
   26. OCF Posted: December 13, 2017 at 11:35 PM (#5592296)
Amendment: I was working under the mistaken impression that Vlad Guerrero had been elected last year. Apparently that is not so - we elected 3 last year, not 4, right? That gives me another chance to look at the very bottom of my ballot, and I want to switch the order between Olerud and Bonds. Putting Guerrero in at #14 then drops Olerud off the ballot. Revised ballot:

1. C. Jones
2. S. Rolen
3. J. Thome
4. S. Sosa
5. K. Lofton
6. J. Santana
7. A. Jones
8. L. Tiant
9. V. Willis
10. J. Moyer
11. F. Chance
12. S. Bando
13. B. Bell
14. V. Guerrero
15. Bo. Bonds
   27. DL from MN Posted: December 14, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5592336)
Aspring OTP Dancing Monkey (6 - 4 - 3) - you need to mention your consideration of the required disclosures (top 10 finishers from last season)
   28. Rob_Wood Posted: December 14, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5592675)
My 2018 HOM ballot. Mainly use BB-Ref WAA and WAR; I have also considered a myriad of other eval schemes this time around and have moved more towards the "peak" side of the peak vs career debate (per CPASR).

1. Chipper Jones. One of the best 3B ever; deserving first-ballot Hall of Famer.
2. Jim Thome. Very valuable slugger, career 147 OPS+.
3. Scott Rolen. Even if some air is taken out of his defensive value from BB-Ref, he is still fully deserving.
4. Jeff Kent. Big drop-off here. Good slugging second baseman.
5. Luis Tiant. Moved up high on this ballot from eval of his pennants-added (CPASR).

6. Kenny Lofton. To echo a comment from above, even if some air is taken out of his defensive value from BB-Ref, he is still deserving of a mid-ballot slot.
7. Ben Taylor. Negro League first baseman. Good hitter and excellent fielder (when that was especially valuable). I am late to this party. Please take another look at Taylor.
8. Vlad Guerrero. Very good slugger with career 140 OPS+.
9. Johan Santana. Difficult to slot, I think here is about right. Very peaky candidate. Koufax-lite.
10. Sammy Sosa. Very similar value profile to Vlad. Not broad enough shoulders to merit a higher slot.

11. Tommy Bridges. I have long voted for and advocated for Bridges. I move him down a few slots due to analysis 1941-1943 seasons recently released by Retrosheet.
12. Buddy Bell. Long time gold glove 3B with a decent bat.
13. Urban Shocker. Very good pitcher during the 1920's including the 1927 Yankees (tragically died the following season). Deserves "credit" for missing about half of 1918 season due to being drafted mid-season in WWI.
14. Andruw Jones. I am being conservative here since players never lose eligibility for HOM. His defensive stats (per BB-Ref) are off the chart and suggest he should be higher on the ballot. I await further info on Andruw.
15. Sal Bando. Very good slugging 3B for the 1970's Swinging A's.

16-20. Bob Johnson, Bus Clarkson, Bobby Bonds, Bucky Walters, Phil Rizzuto.

Other top 10 returnees not mentioned above:

Vic Willis -- around 50th.
   29. Howie Menckel Posted: December 14, 2017 at 05:16 PM (#5592882)
deadline is Monday, ladies and germs - so there goes your weekend!
   30. bjhanke Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:17 AM (#5593072)
Hi. This is Brock Hanke's final ballot ballot, complete with comments. I finally had to quit beating myself over the head trying to figure out how to deal with Lou Brock’s errors.

1. Chipper Jones
I imagine that I don’t need to post a comment on this one.

2. Bobby Bonds
Bobby has a short career for a HoMer (14 years; a “normal” career for an average HoMer is probably about 17) but the ones he seems to have not played apparently were going to be his young ramp-up seasons and the last of his decline phase. Those seasons don't do a lot for you. And those seasons he does have are really impressive. (I have written this comment before; and it seems to be the standard comment on Bobby now, by pretty much everybody. Voters place him where they do. This is how it’s supposed to work.)

3. Lou Brock
Lou Brock has almost as many oddities in his career as Don Newcombe. Lou played in one of the worst hitting environments since the Dead Ball Era – possibly the worst ever if you factor in unearned runs. He also played in a ballpark that savagely suppressed homers, concealing that Lou actually had decent power, and would have hit 20 homers in at least a few seasons under normal conditions. He was also very durable. From 1964-1974 inclusive, he had one of the ten highest numbers of PA in the league and led it twice (granted that he was a leadoff man). And he played forever, without ever being reduced to DH (granted that, during his last few years, the Cards had no DH and Keith Hernandez at 1B). Even given the caveats, I don’t think anyone is going to ignore his career length and durability.

About stolen bases: Lou played at a time where the break-even point for stolen bases was very low. When scoring in general goes down, the value of one base gains ground on the loss of one out. I want to be clear about this. It’s actually possible that the value of a stolen base, expressed in runs, was low during low-scoring times, because there’s not much hitting coming up behind you to drive you in from second or third (Lou Brock stole a lot of third bases). But the WIN value; that’s a different question. It took very few runs to win a game in the late 1960s. Stealing bases is a one-run strategy.

Fielding systems, almost all of which double-count errors, hit him unfairly hard in his weakest point. He wasn’t a good outfielder, but he was so fast that he could lead the league in OF errors and still have a grey ink Fielding Percentage, because he got to so many balls that other OF could not reach.

Consider 1967. Lou led the league in Errors at LF, with 13. But he also led the league in LF Putouts, with 276, and in was second in Assists, with 12. Thirteen errors: 12 Assists. Thirteen errors against 276 POs. His Range Factor and Fielding Percentage were both 4th among LF. That’s right. He led the league in LF errors, but was still 4th in Fielding Percentage, because he got to so many balls with his speed.

The error thing is what I’ve spent so much time on the last month. What I’m trying to do is quantify what would happen to Lou Brock’s (and other people’s) rankings if you just ignored errors altogether, because they are just “plays not made” in Range Factor, so you’ve counted them already. This is proving hard. It’s not the math; I can handle that. It’s the complications. In Win Shares, which I’m relying on because all the formulas for all the methods are right there in the book, there are four separate stages of calculation that you would have to make to back errors out of outfield fielding. Some are easy: When assigning claim percentages to positions, instead of players, there’s a 100-point scale, of which errors are 10 points, or 1/10. So, in that stage, you can just ignore the error factor and multiply all the others by 10/9. Easy. But the next step, assigning claim points to individual players, is not. The formula is PO + 4A – 5E + 2RBP, where A is assists and RBP is Range Bonus Points, which are designed to identify the center fielder. Looks easy enough, but you have to do it for everyone on the team that played any defensive time in the outfield, even if it’s your regular 3B, and he played a couple of defensive games in RF when some outfielders got hurt. You’ve got to separate out defense in the outfield from defense everywhere else. Earlier stages, where you’re assigning weights to fielding as opposed to pitching, or defense as opposed to offense, involve team stats and league stats. It’s just a mess of time-consuming detail.

Confronting this, and aware that I was not going to get all those stages quantified before the deadline, I just looked at what I had and tried to get a good estimate. Going over to BB-Ref, I found two things. First, Lou Brock led his league’s LF in errors a huge number of seasons. In other words, Lou really does have an unusual portion of his defensive negative numbers driven by errors. And second, his career Defensive WAR are negative 17.6, which is a huge defensive minus. And it seems likely that it’s almost all due to errors; apart from those, Lou seems to have been about an average LF. So, I made an estimate. I estimated that Lou lost about ten WAR on defense, from errors alone. Aside from errors, his DWAR would be about -7.6. Still under replacement rate, but not a horror.

Is ten WAR a reasonable number? Well, Lou played 19 seasons, only a few of which were partial, because he was durable. So, 10 WAR is about half a WAR per season. Or 5 runs per year. I think that, if you ask a linear weights man, he would say that 10-15 errors a season, isolated from Range Factor, should let in about 5 runs, or half a win. Half a WAR per season, over 19 seasons, is about ten WAR. So, this seems like a good estimate.

I checked by going to Play Index and just running a list of everyone in MLB history, by WAR. Lou’s career WAR are borderline, seen that way. Then, I added ten WAR to Lou’s total and scrolled up to where that number is. It’s in the middle of a bunch of HoMers, along with other strong candidates. In other words, if you add ten WAR to Lou Brock’s career total, he’s a HoMer. And I think that the ten WAR is very reasonable. It's also true that, if you add half a WAR, or 1.5 Win Shares, to all full Lou Brock seasons, his peak and prime will go up, since you're adding onto those seasons, too. That would move him up in any reasonable career / peak / prime / rate ranking system, of which the only one I know is the 17-year-old New Historical Baseball abstract. WAR and JAWS just don't cut it.

If you look at BB-Ref for players comparable to Lou Brock, you start out with Tim Raines, and about half the list is HoFers. In the seasonal comparables, Lou is comparable to Tim Raines for the last third of his career, every year. Most people think that Lou is not comparable to Tim Raines, but much worse. That does not seem to be the case. Hence, this high ranking of Lou on my ballot here.

4. Babe Adams
I've been voting for Babe here for a long time. He pitched forever, with many seasons of high quality, and has an identifiable prime and peak, despite having had one big gap in the middle of his career, and he pitched very well in the World Series.

5. Jim Thome
I was expecting to rank Jim higher. I think that, of all the homers and walks guys of the 1990s and 200s, he may be the most underrated. But, when it comes down to it, he has almost no offensive black ink. I expect more than that out of a slugger with poor defense. So, I dropped him from #2 to here.

6. Scott Rolen
Another disappointing surprise. I’m a Rolen fan. I live in St. Louis. But he has no black ink, and, overall, a poor postseason record, although there are two series where he hit well. I was expecting more. He was, by acclaim, a very good glove, but I’m not sure how to quantify that. Systems seem to disagree.

7. Hugh Duffy
A great hitter, although you have to make some adjustments for the offensive context of the 1890s. An outstanding defensive CF, according to all accounts I've seen.

8. Sammy Sosa
Has about the same compiler value as Bobby Bonds, but took more years to pile it up. I give Sammy a minus for that, compared to Bobby Bonds. After all, if you have a 17-year time period, and Sosa has to play all of it to match Bonds’ 14 years, then Bonds’ team gets three years of someone else to add on. Those three years have to be worth something. I would probably rank Sammy even lower, but I make a subjective adjustment for his having started out in Old Comiskey Park, which was a horror for homer hitters. That was Sammy’s main strength, and it took him a decade, and a move to Wrigley, for him to get himself righted. I may have him overrated.

   31. bjhanke Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:18 AM (#5593073)
Brock Hanke's ballot, part 2 (I ran over the site character limit):

9. Tommy Bridges
I still think the chart in this comment is very convincing. For all I know, I have Tommy underrated, even among this group. Although I try to balance everyone’s methods, I’ve started looking at pitchers by 1) taking their career endpoints, 2) adding ten years to the front end and the back end, which will include everyone who can at all be considered the player’s contemporary, and 3) running sorts at BB-Ref, starting with just plain old WAR. What I’m looking for is a BB-Ref sort that mirrors HoM/HoF voting for the time period. Not one that favors or doesn’t favor my own preconceptions, but something that mirrors previous votes. This is just to give me a starting point. I don’t quit analyzing there, but it does give me context, and also points out if I’ve just missed on someone else who ranks higher.

With Tommy Bridges, I struck gold. Here are the first 13 entries on his WAR list, covering from 1920-1956:

Rk Player WAR From To IP ERA+
1 Lefty Grove 98.3 1925 1941 3940.2 148
2 Bob Feller 66.0 1936 1956 3827.0 122
3 Carl Hubbell 64.4 1928 1943 3590.1 130
4 Warren Spahn 61.2 1942 1956 2960.0 127
5 Ted Lyons 58.8 1923 1946 4161.0 118
6 Dazzy Vance 57.1 1922 1935 2933.2 126
7 Hal Newhouser 56.3 1939 1955 2993.0 130
8 Red Ruffing 53.6 1924 1947 4344.0 110
9 Robin Roberts 52.5 1948 1956 2608.1 123
10 Tommy Bridges 50.7 1930 1946 2826.1 126
11 Bobo Newsom 45.9 1929 1953 3759.1 107
12 Waite Hoyt 45.9 1920 1938 3656.0 113
13 Dutch Leonard 45.6 1933 1953 3218.1 119

Out of this list, Roberts has no overlap at all with Bridges’ actual career, so I discarded him as not really a “contemporary.” That leaves Bridges at #9, behind a bunch of Hall guys and ahead, basically, of guys who are not in halls. That is, the sort basically mirrors hall voting.

The big deal here, to me, is the large gap between Bridges’ WAR of 50.7 and the next guy down, Bobo Newsom, at 45.9. That’s rare. It’s also the largest gap on the list except for that between Lefty Grove and everyone else. It’s not rare to find a guy on a WAR list between Hall guys and non-Hall. I mean, those are the guys we’re supposed to look at, right? Those who are on the border. The trick is to decide who is the worst of the “ins” and who is the best of the “outs.” In Tommy’s case, the WAR gap between Tommy and Bobo strongly indicates that Tommy’s the “worst of the ins.” And Tommy is not just an accumulator, with many more IP than the closest guys on the list. His IP are, if anything, a bit low. In short, he is certainly the “worst of the ins.” And there’s a serious WAR drop before the best of the outs.

Extras don’t hurt. He pitched very well in the World Series, and is due somewhere between 1 and 2 years of WWII credit, although they are near the end of his career, so there is doubt as to how much they would help. But overall, I’m left with what strikes me as a discovery and a large one. So I put him here. Thanks to those who have been voting for Tommy for years now. I would not have looked at him except that he kept getting votes. (This is the same comment I wrote last year.)

10. Hilton Smith
Remains where he is because I still think that he has the best contemporary reputation of any remaining Negro League player, pitcher or position. I am now thoroughly convinced that he was a better pitcher than Dick Redding was.

11. Don Newcombe
I've run the same comment for a couple of years now, and can't improve on it: In fact, I don't think I will ever improve on it. So, here it is: I don't have a standard formula to rank players with. Instead, I try to balance among the various ranking methods. What to various WAR systems say? How about IP and ERA+? Win Shares? Where does he rank among his contemporaries? Does he have an identifiable peak and prime? Black and grey ink? And then there are the "extras" that I constantly mention. What are "extras?" Don Newcombe's career. That's what extras are.

12. Big Jim McCormick
There seems to be a lot of interest in Big Jim this year. The problem, of course, is dealing with pitcher numbers from the 1880s. I have a method. I break up the career into chunks of 34 starts (assuming 9 IP per start, because that’s true in the 1880s), except for the beginning and end, where the pitcher may have been a late-season rookie or playing out the string. Then I divide up the Win Shares or WAR according to these chunks. Obviously, dividing the career into chunks like this will mean things like having a holdover of ten starts from, say, 1882, and having to add 24 starts from 1883 to that, leaving a holdover for 1884. I prorate the Win Shares according to the starts of the season. In other words, if Jim has 40 starts in 1883 and a holdover of ten starts from 1882, when he had 46 starts, then his WS or WAR will be calculated as 10/46 of the 1882 WS or WAR, plus 24/46 of the WS or WAR from the 1883, with 22/46 of the 1883’s WS or WAR as a holdover for 1884. (I made all those numbers up; they are not Jim’s actual numbers from those years.)

What this does is make the career look like a more modern one, without discarding any value except for the huge single season WS or WAR from year when he was pitching 46 starts of 9 IP each. To some extent, this treats his peak and prime in a sort of regression process, but it does make it much easier to compare a 12-year career of 4500 IP in the 1880s to a 17 year career also with 4500 IP in the 1920s. I don’t know if this helps anyone else or not, but it works for me.

13. Luis Tiant
Is there anybody here who does NOT have a value in place for Luis? He’s been around these ballots forever.

14. Ben Taylor
Probably somewhere between Wes Parker and Keith Hernandez. It all depends on league strength, and we’re short on hard numbers to make that comparison.

15. Kenny Lofton
Another recent player who is so well known that a comment almost seems superfluous. Everyone knows hwo he is, and everyone has placed him in their lists. Here’s where I have him.

Required Disclosures:

Jeff Kent - The New Historical Abstract's comment is "One of the best RBI men ever to play second base." I think that about covers it.

Buddy Bell - Sort of Ken Boyer lite. He has 19 more career Win Shares, but his peak, his prime, and his Win Shares per 162 games are lower than Ken's. I'm a Ken Boyer fan, and think Ken's a good bit stronger than the weakest of the HoMers. Bell is really close to the in/out line.

Vic Willis – I’ve commented on Vic before. He’s one of the pitchers I call the Pittsburgh Six, because they passed through the Pirate rotation right about the turn of 1900, when Frank Selee was revolutionizing pitcher usage. I prefer Deacon Phillippe (and Sam Leever) to Vic because Vic didn’t pitch much as an ace, while Deacon and Sam did (in different years). So his level of competition isn’t as strong as theirs were. But he did have a longer career.

Vladimir Guerrero - I just don't see him as a dominant player in his own era. His credentials are what they are. But if you start looking for black ink, there isn't much there. He does much better on grey ink and the Monitor and Standards, but that may be just a product of the era in which he played. In his favor is something that is causing me to start thinking about ranking Lou Brock even higher than I already do - he made a LOT of errors. Like Michael Humphries, I don't think that errors should be counted at all if you have Range Factors. Which we do. I am currently trying to figure out some way to at least estimate the size of the adjustment that would happen if you ignored errors in defensive rankings. I'm doing this about Lou Brock. When I get something I have at least some trust in, I'll apply it to Vlad.
   32. bjhanke Posted: December 15, 2017 at 02:21 AM (#5593074)
Brock Hanke's final ballot, part 3 - Just a list of who I ranked where, for ease of tabulation.

1. Chipper Jones
2. Bobby Bonds
3. Lou Brock
4. Babe Adams
5. Jim Thome
6. Scott Rolen
7. Hugh Duffy
8. Sammy Sosa
9. Tommy Bridges
10. Hilton Smith
11. Don Newcombe
12. Big Jim McCormick
13. Luis Tiant
14. Ben Taylor
15. Kenny Lofton
   33. Carl Goetz Posted: December 15, 2017 at 10:27 AM (#5593147)
Ok, this will be my final ballot for the 2018 election. Caveat is I'm working on changing my methodology so the list of returnees could look different come 2019. There's a couple small adjustments from the ballot I posted on the discussion thread last week. Namely, Kent is now on the back end of my ballot.

1 Jones, Chipper - Pretty clear number 1 after making adjustments for DRA on defense.
2 Rolen, Scott - Also no-brainer in my mind. Much closer to Chipper than I realized back in the day.
3 Thome, Jim - Great bat; behind Rolen because of defense and positional adjustment.
4 Bell, Buddy - Still a big Buddy Bell fan and I feel he is the best returnee. We are light on 3B, so I see no reason to adjust at this time.
5 Redding, Dick - Appears to be the best pitcher on the ballot based on Doc's MLEs.
6 Appier, Kevin - Best pitcher I have all MLBstats for. Love the 19.2 career WAG as a pitcher. Bigger peak than I expected going in.
7 Jones, Andruw - He may take a hit with my coming adjustments. Still working out the kinks on the defensive side, but it is likely I will regress defensive WAR some. I believe he is the first player on a HoM ballot (of mine anyway) who is younger than me. Ugh!
8 Bonds, Bobby - He'll probably take a bit of a hit with my fielding regression.
9 Dandridge, Ray - Nice career guy. at 100% face value, he belongs up a couple slots. I'm being a little conservative since there is some uncertainty to his fielding prowess.
10 Munson, Thurman Best Catcher available, but I do like Wally Schang as well.
11 Leach, Tommy - Love the defense even though I adjusted it down a tad. Probably more adjustment coming.
12 Taylor, Ben - Another nice career guy.
13 Santana, Johan - 2004-08 peak was very nice. And he added a few solid years around that.
14 Tiant, Luis - Looks like a guy who will benefit from my lesser focus on FIP.
15 Kent, Jeff - I gave him a best player at an under-elected position bump, but can't get higher than this at this time. 56.2 WAR/ 26.1 WAA / 16.6 WAG isn't good enough for me right now. He should move up when I regress defense as well.

17 Sosa, Sammy - Nice 1998-02 peak, but I need more around it.
26 Lofton, Kenny I like him, but I like 7 OFs more, even after adjusting for DRA issues.
28 Bridges, Tommy - I'm warming to Tommy, but not to the point where he's on my ballot. Not giving a huge WWII credit right now due to what I believe to be inflated 1943 numbers (Not discounting those yet either). Not sure I'm in on PCL credit after the war either. He's definitely on my radar though and I'm doing a deeper dive.
NR Willis, Vic - Definitely harmed by my focus on FIP. Will certainly move up next year, but not certain it will be to a ballot-worthy slot.
NR Guerrero, Vladimir - I need more than 52.0 career WAR, 24.6 WAA, and 14.0 WAG from a corner OF. He's currently around #15 on my OF list. That said, at first blush he appears to be someone who will benefit from my methodology changes. I suspect he will rank higher next year, but a ballot slot is not certain.

I believe I've covered everyone I was supposed to. Please let me know if I missed someone.
   34. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5593711)
(6 - 4 - 3) - you need to mention your consideration of the required disclosures (top 10 finishers from last season)

Sorry for the oversight.

Included in my Top 15: Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Luis Tiant, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Bobby Bonds, and Buddy Bell.

Vic Willis:
Included on my preliminary ballot, discussion over how advanced metrics are ill-equipped for measuring 19th and early 20th century performance and that Willis wasn't among the best of his error convinced me to exclude him. Still evolving on the issue and not quite sure where the dividing line between reliable and unreliable is precisely (e.g., before 1900 or before 1920?), so may re-evaluate in the future.

Ben Taylor:
It's difficult to evaluate his candidacy in the absence of stats for most of his career as well as uncertainty regarding the relative level of play in the Negro Leagues during his career. My overall impression is that he was a very good player who was an excellent coach/manager and it's the latter that was the primary basis for his inclusion in the HOF. I don't see convincing evidence for including him on my ballot ahead of the 15 included, or frankly a number of other players for whom quality statistical evidence is available. Would reconsider with stronger evidence that he was in fact a star of his era and that the leagues that he played in were comparable in talent to MLB.

Tommy Bridges:
Well-below average peak and not enough career value. Falls short by WAA and one of his best seasons occurred in 1943, when the level of competition was impacted by WWII. Without that season, he's really not on the radar screen for consideration. Unlikely to re-evaluate or ever include on a future ballot given that dozens of players rate better than him, in my estimation.

I've been asked to resubmit my ballot:

1) C. Jones (53.2 WAA): Inner circle
2) Rolen (43.9 WAA): Not quite inner circle, but more than deserving
3) Lofton (38.2 WAA): Best leadoff man of his generation
4) Thome (37.5 WAA): One of the best pure power hitters in history
5) A. Jones (36.0 WAA): Best defensive CFer that I've ever seen in his prime
6) Tiant (34.5 WAA): One of the better pitchers not in the HOF/HOM
7) Bando (32.5 WAA): Peak compensates for short career
8) Bell (32.4 WAA): Maybe one of these days, one of the better 3B not in the HOF
9) Santana (32.3 WAA): HOF peak, but falls short on career value
10) Bo. Bonds (31.8 WAA): Ibid
11) Tinker (30.5 WAA): Relatively short career, but always above average
12) Appier (30.7 WAA): Better pitcher than most give him credit for
13) Guerrero (29.4 WAA): Very steep decline for what appeared to be a surefire HOFer at the start of his career
14) Shocker (29.0 WAA): Too short a career without enough of a peak to compensate
15) Chance (28.3 WAA): Not quite enough of a peak to compensate for lackluster career value
   35. OCF Posted: December 16, 2017 at 05:54 PM (#5593837)
Included in my Top 15: Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Luis Tiant, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Bobby Bonds, and Buddy Bell.

Well, if you want to get technical about it, after you revised the ballot, Sosa and Kent are no longer in your top 15. (It's OK, you've obviously considered them.)

Just to be clear for the counters: post #34 is operative and post #24 has been replaced. Right?
   36. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:46 AM (#5593965)
Posted this on the discussion page, I'll post here for visibility, but if you can reply on the discussion thread that'd be great. Only 16 ballots so far (17 once I vote) ... are there a bunch more coming in? One voter emailed me asking for an extension ... what do you guys think does it make sense to extend it?
   37. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 17, 2017 at 02:17 PM (#5594024)
Here's my ballot. Same as my preliminary ballot at #346-7 of the Discussion Thread, which has somewhat more elaborate comments on a few people.

1. Chipper Jones - Best player eligible and it's not particularly close
2. Jim Thome - Second-best eligible player and it's not particularly close.
3. Tommy John - if you've read anything that I've written at the Hall of Merit you'll know that my system LOVES Tommy John.
4. Vern Stephens - My system loves power hitters at fielding-first positions who can hold their own defensively. The big question for Stephens is how much to discount his 1944-45 peak. Per Player won-lost records, his best season was actually 1949.
5. Jorge Posada - I'm skeptical of pitch framing data. A catcher with an OPS+ of 121, wRC+ of 123. Yes, please.
6. Wally Schang - Very similar to Posada.
7. Orel Hershiser - Excellent peak as perhaps the best pitcher in baseball, but not quite enough career bulk to be a slam-dunk HOF/HOMer.
8. Dwight Gooden - Same basic case as Hershiser. Career length separates these two from the next two on my ballot.
9. Johan Santana - Longer/better peak than Hershiser and Gooden, but a much shorter career.
10. Dizzy Dean - Same basic case as Hershiser, Gooden, and Santana.
11. Scott Rolen - Don't be fooled by the low ranking. He's definitely a deserving Hall-of-Meriter.
12. Jeff Kent - Similar case to Stephens.
13. Ben Taylor - I don't have a good feel for him at all, but this feels rightish.
14. Gil Hodges - He really was the best first baseman in baseball in the 1950's when Musial wasn't playing there.
15. Luis Tiant - My system has warmed up to him. Close battle for the last ballot slot; Tiant gets it in part in a nod to consensus.

First seven off-ballot (I had trouble narrowing it to five): Dave Concepcion, Toby Harrah, Dale Murphy, Vic Willis, Urban Shocker, Tommy Henrich, Cannonball Dick Redding

Required disclosures not mentioned above.

Sammy Sosa, Vlad Guerrero, and Indian Bob Johnson rate similarly, falling generally in my top 50. All three would be reasonable HOF/HOMers. They mostly rate behind guys who my system thinks the HOM has missed on and a very strong freshman class (4 on my ballot, at least 5 worthy of strong consideration).

Bobby Bonds is a tick below those guys because my system doesn't think as much of his fielding (~ -0.5 win for his career) as BB-Ref (+48 fielding runs).

Kenny Lofton is probably around 80th or so in my system.

Buddy Bell does not do well at all in my system. Very good defense, but not nearly as good as the all-time best. Only a mediocre hitter; Bell's lack of power hurts him.

Tommy Bridges looks worse than several contemporaries in my system. I discussed this somewhat in the Discussion Thread.

Re: Joe D's question about the extension. I have no problem with it. Obviously, it won't make a difference for my vote, but if it'll increase the electorate, that seems like a good thing.
   38. Bleed the Freak Posted: December 17, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5594038)
See ballot discussion 348 for notes, on mobile, so just posting ballot, minor tweaks from preliminary:

1. Chipper jones
2. Jim those
3. Scott rolen
4. Urban shocker
5. Bobby veach
6. Bert campaneris
7. Art fletcher
8. Johan santana
9. Tommy bond
10. Bob Johnson
11. Andruw jones
12. Joe tinker
13. Luis Tiant
14. Ben Taylor
15. Wally schang

If it gets more participation, leave the ballots open, im good either way.
   39. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 17, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5594135)
I ideally would like an extension as well. I'm trying to finish my ballot tonight, but if I can't, Monday is just too busy for me to submit it by then. I would probably be able to finish it by Tuesday, but if others need more time, that works for me as well.
   40. theorioleway Posted: December 17, 2017 at 09:59 PM (#5594162)
This is my seventh year voting for the HOM, and I thank you for letting me take part in this amazing project. I start with the Wins Above Replacement metrics from Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, and Baseball Gauge. I start with the JAWS calculations Jay Jaffe made famous at Baseball Prospectus (career WAR + seven best seasonal WAR divided by 2). I then make adjustments based on timeframe, position, playoff performance, and any other important circumstances involving the player, including factors laid out for the HOM by Dan R and Kiko. I give war credit and minor league credit when I think it is appropriate, and appreciate all the prior work and current work being done with Negro League players. Onto my ballot:

1. Chipper Jones: in a tier by himself on this ballot
2. Scott Rolen
3. Jim Thome: I have Rolen and Thome pretty similarly valued, and completely understand other voters having the order reversed. While I appreciate the discussion regarding the proper valuation and measurement of defense, in this instance I'll take Rolen's possibly over-valued defense over Thome's accrual of value by playing DH.
4. Andruw Jones: By the numbers he's in the same tier as Rolen and Thome, but due to the discussion on defensive value, I knock him down a tier. That being said, I'm not comfortable enough to knock him down lower than any of the backlog. He is clearly the greatest defensive CF I've ever seen, and 434 HR aren't nothing.
5. Don Newcombe (5th last year): Once you add up his MLB pitching career, his hitting prowess, war credit, and credit for the delayed start/stress of his career, I believe he really is a hidden gem of baseball history.
6. Sammy Sosa (6th last year)
7. Kenny Lofton (7th last year): Sosa ranks slightly ahead due to his power, his great peak, and the impact he had on baseball with the HR chase.
8. Luis Tiant (4th last year): The new Baseball Gauge numbers ding him slightly, but the drop on the ballot looks larger than it really is. I have 5-11 as being so close that I could understand people ordering them in any order.
9. Bobby Bonds (8th last year): A great all-around player in an era (the 70s) that we could use a few more players for.
10. Buddy Bell (9th last year): This ranking factors in that 3B of the 60s and 70s might be getting too much positional credit in the WAR framework, but I still think he's a slightly lesser Nettles: Nettles has a career 111 wRC+ in 10,226 PA with excellent defense, while Bell has a career 108 wRC+ in 10,009 PA with superb defense.
11. Thurman Munson (10th last year): Even though he played in an era of great catchers, he totally belongs in the HOM. I hadn't realized until last year how great his postseason play was.
12. Vladimir Guerrero: (12th last year): My favorite player on the ballot (and one of my favorite all-time). But for this ballot, the inconsistent defense and baserunning limit his value so that I can't place him any higher.
13. Ben Taylor (14th last year): I would probably rate Taylor higher than this if I solely used the good Doctor's MLE, but while also incorporating the other estimations of him, he ranks here.
14. Hilton Smith (15th last year): The good Doctor's MLE didn't really move the needle for me with regards to Smith. Interestingly, the new MLE has him with less of a peak but more career than I was originally thinking. Ultimately, between his pitching and his hitting, I feel comfortable placing him here.
15. Vic Willis (11th last year): Like Tiant, down a bit due to lower Baseball Gauge numbers, but still HOM worthy. The degree of separation between 12-15 (and many just off ballot) is very small.

Other disclosures:
Bert Campaneris: fell off my ballot from last year; worthy HOM player, but I realized this year I'd overvalued him.
Jeff Kent: Best 2B not in the HOM, and is one of many close to the 12-15 range of the ballot.
Tommy Bridges: Even with his playoff success, I don't think he did enough to be HOM-worthy.
Johan Santana: I understand voters having him in their top 15, especially if they focus on peak; for me, he was like Kent in that he was close to the 12-15 range, but didn't quite make the ballot.
   41. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:04 PM (#5594163)
I use BBRef WAR as my metric of choice. I lean peak, particularly the five consecutive year variety, though players who exhibit a consistent level of greatness, without too many "hanging on" seasons get their just due in my system as well.

1. Chipper Jones - Fantastic switch hitter. Excellent for very long, and that makes him an easy number one.
2. Andruw Jones - I'm a peak guy, and his was beastly, even if you regress the defense.
3. Jim Thome - Surprised he fared well in my system, but happy he did. More of a career guy thank peak/prime.
4. Buddy Bell - Monster peak. I know there are some questions about the replacement level for 3B during his time, but even discounting a bit, he is comfortably here.
5. Kenny Lofton - Not as peaky as Edmonds, but more than enough consistent value throughout the career.
6. Scott Rolen - Weaker peak slots him here. Fantastic career candidate, though.
7. Sal Bando - Great peak. Probably hung around too long, but he certainly belongs in. We really need a couple more third basemen.
8. Sammy Sosa - Slow start to his career hurts his case, as did the tail end. There really isn't too much more to Sosa other than the peak.
9. Vladimir Guerrero - Surprised by the relatively low placement here. Not much to the career outside the prime.
10. Vic Willis - His down year in 1900 hurts him in my system. If 1900 were say a 3.5 WAR year, he'd move up to #5.
11. Bobby Bonds - Has a bonafide case for selection. Not nearly as good as his son, obviously. Great player in the beginning of his career, before the booze and injuries took their toll.
12. Kevin Appier - Tremendous in Kansas City. Seemed to beat the Yankees anytime I saw him pitch in the Bronx growing up. Hurt a bit by the malaise at the tail end.
13. Luis Tiant - Very close to Appier in my system. Were he a bit more consistent year-to-year, he would fare better.
14. John Olerud - Just a consistent hitter who provided excellent defense at first base. Didn't have tremendous home-run power, but something of a Keith Hernandez-lite. Something of a late peak guy, which didn't jive with my memory.
15. Thurman Munson - We also need more catchers. Catchers require an adjustment in my system, and I might even be a bit conservative with it.

Jeff Kent - Excellent hitter, regardless of position. His peak preceded the defensive decline, which helps his cause.
Ben Taylor - The seamheads data does him no favors. On reputation, right with Olerud. I'm choosing to split the difference, as he is still in my top 25.
Tommy Bridges - Not enough peak for my system's tastes. In my top 30.
Phil Rizzuto - Deserving of war and malaria credit, but you need to be awfully aggressive with applying it to consider him worthy.
Gavy Cravath - Certainly deserving of credit, but even moreso than Rizzuto, you need to be really generous to make him a HOM'er.
Bucky Walters - Even with due hitting credit, he's short of Bridges.
Jorge Posada - Catcher adjustment doesn't account for the hit from framing data. In the top 40, but needs some new positive defensive findings to move up.
   42. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 17, 2017 at 10:16 PM (#5594169)
The consensus seems to be for an extension so let’s do that, voting will remain open until December 27.
   43. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 18, 2017 at 06:45 AM (#5594209)
The consensus seems to be for an extension so let’s do that, voting will remain open until December 27.

Thank God! I totally forgot about it. I would have got something together, but it would have been a major pain in the butt. Thanks Mr. D!
   44. homerwannabee Posted: December 20, 2017 at 08:21 AM (#5595436)
1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Chipper Jones
3. Jim Thome
4. Curt Shilling
5. Scott Rolen
6. Fred McGriff
7. Luis Tiant
8. Omar Vizquel
9. Bobby Bonds
10. Hideki Matsui (If we can count Japan Stats, I see no reason why not to vote for him)
11. Billy Wagner
12. Jamie Moyer
13. Sal Bando
14. Kenny Lofton
15 Fred McGriff
   45. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5595524)
Don’t forget to comment on each of last year’s top ten returnees. As a reminder those guys are:

Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, Luis Tiant, Jeff Kent, Vic Willis, Kenny Lofton, Bobby Bonds, Ben Taylor, Buddy Bell, and Tommy Bridges.

homerwannabee - Curt Schilling is not eligible for this election, he was already elected in 2013.
   46. homerwannabee Posted: December 20, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5595599)
Thanks for that. Then I vote for Thurman Munson instead.

1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Chipper Jones
3. Jim Thome
4. Thurman Munson
5. Scott Rolen
6. Fred McGriff
7. Luis Tiant
8. Omar Vizquel
9. Bobby Bonds
10. Hideki Matsui (If we can count Japan Stats, I see no reason why not to vote for him)
11. Billy Wagner
12. Jamie Moyer
13. Sal Bando
14. Kenny Lofton
15 Fred McGriff
   47. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2017 at 12:06 PM (#5595618)
That is nonsensical. If Thurman Munson rated above Scott Rolen before he should have been 5th and Rolen 6th. The rank order matters for scoring. 1st place is worth more points than 15th place.
   48. homerwannabee Posted: December 20, 2017 at 01:38 PM (#5595735)
Ahh, OK, new to this. Wow, OK will do this again. Had Fred McGriff twice so I made a spot for Bert.

1. Vladimir Guerrero
2. Chipper Jones
3. Jim Thome
4. Scott Rolen
5. Fred McGriff
6. Luis Tiant
7. Kenny Lofton
8. Bobby Bonds
9. Sal Bando
10. Billy Wagner
11. Omar Vizquel
12. Jamie Moyer
13. Hideki Matsui
14. Thurman Munson
15. Bert Campaneris
   49. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5595870)
homer - please re-read the rules at the top
   50. kcgard2 Posted: December 20, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5595936)
I haven't voted (or participated in HOM discussions) before, but I am ready to try my hand. My criteria is a combination of bWAR/fWAR for pitchers, lean more towards fWAR for hitters, giving more weight to peak than longevity, but not super heavy, I think longevity is good too as long as there is *some* meat to speak of. I suppose it's similar to what is teased out by WAA, or Adam Darowski's weighted WAR concept, which I really like, and which he invented specifically for HOF discussions/comparisons, I believe. I am being conservative with the all time ranks for WAA and wWAR below because I don't have the newest data (and because I am calculating wWAR for some of the newer players based on fWAR rather than bWAR and I doubt the scales are exactly the same). I have the historical leaderboard as of 2012, so some current players may have moved the listed players down several spots.

I also believe in slightly stronger position adjustments than WAR makes. I make a small mental adjustment to 1B/corner OF/DH in the negative direction (about -2 for modern players), a small adjustment to 2B/SS in the positive direction (+1 or +2), and grade catchers on a different curve because of the demands of the position. I'm conflicted on CF, and tend to think I should also give them a -1.

I do also believe in timelining, but according to the rules of the HOM voting, I don't believe I am allowed to incorporate that, so I guess in a way that makes the job of cross-era voting a bit easier, actually :)

1. Chipper Jones - .300/.400/.500 (141 wRC+) for over 10K PAs, mostly at 3B with almost average defense there. 85 fWAR (#32 all time), 50 WAA (top 40 all time), 217 wWAR. A no-doubter.
2. Scott Rolen - 120 wRC+ with excellent defense at 3B, but shorter career because of numerous injuries. 70 fWAR (#58), 40 WAA (top 50), 160 wWAR. If not for having only 8500 PAs he might be considered inner circle.
3. Jim Thome - 145 wRC+ in over 10K PAs, there's no doubt Thome is an all-time masher. 69 fWAR (#64) before my mental adjustments for so much 1B/DH time, 36 WAA (top 100), 152 wWAR. Another easy call IMO.
4. Andruw Jones - 111 wRC+ in only 8600 PAs don't stand out. However, the numbers say he laps the field in OF defense, and I am inclined to believe them. I legitimately think he is probably the greatest OF defender of all time (who also hit 434 HRs). 67 fWAR (#75), 35 WAA (top 100), 173wWAR.
5. Kenny Lofton - I have to start out by saying I am surprised by this ranking for Lofton, but his consistent above-averageness scores a lot of points by these metrics. Only one season of great hitting (strike shortened '94), and only 108 wRC+ in 9200 PAs just doesn't seem like it should get you here. Never had a huge peak but was steadily a 4-7 WAR guy year after year after year which really adds up apparently. 62 fWAR (#104), 37 WAA (top 100), 142 wWAR.
6. Sal Bando - Jack of all trades 3B (the position that isn't premium but also requires real skills to play). 56 WAR (#138), 35 WAA (~100), 132 wWAR is quite good and bumps him to this ranking. More impressive given only 8300 PAs.
7. Vladimir Guerrero - Fun player to watch, and could do everything to help a team win in his early career. Admit I am giving a bit of extra credit here for the purported toll of astroturf on his legs. 54 WAR (#157), 33 WAA (top 120ish), 130 wWAR.
8. Kevin Appier - One of my go-to examples of the most underrated players any of us might remember watching. Run prevention 17% better than avg, FIP 14% better than avg, 2700 IP. 31 WAA and 118 wWAR. 51 fWAR, 55bWAR. Six 5-fWAR seasons beats Willis, Bridges, Tiant, Santana, and Shocker.
9. Tommy John - I think he might actually be underrated because he played so long. His peak wasn't huge with only one seaosn notably better than 5 WAR, but a handful of 5 WAR seasons with a bunch of 3 WAR seasons is still quality. 4700 IP is a ton. 79 fWAR (wow), 62 bWAR and 140 wWAR. The compiler label comes from 22 WAA which admittedly is not impressive.
10. Luis Tiant - I'm just not as impressed as others. Run prevention 13% better than avg is good, 3500 IP is good, FIP 8% better than avg is OK. 55 fWAR (#65), 66 bWAR is quite good, 35 WAA, 120 wWAR. The peak isn't much to speak of, IMO. Tiant is very very close to my personal in/out line.
11. Bob Johnson - 57 WAR (#134), 32 WAA (top 130ish), 127 wWAR in only 8000 PAs is impressive. Nearly .300/.400/.500 career (though he played in a wonderful offensive environment/era) good for 133 wRC+. Poor defender by the numbers.
12. Vic Willis - Similar candidate to Luis Tiant. Run prevention also 13% better than avg, FIP 6% better, 4000 IP is a ton to pack into only 13 seasons. 49 fWAR (#98), 67 bWAR. 125 wWAR. 35 WAA. RA WAR obviously likes him FAR better than FIP WAR.
13. Joe Tinker - Fantastic defender by the stats, packed 55 fWAR into 7100 PAs despite 93 wRC+. That means 33 WAA (just outside top 100) and 99 wWAR isn't great but to pack into barely 7000 PAs is very good. A small mental boost to all of these for playing SS gets him mid-ballot for me.
14. Jeff Kent - Not a player I'm thrilled to vote for due to lack of great seasons (only 2), but the numbers put him around this spot. 56 fWAR (#141), 32 WAA (top 120ish), 117 wWAR are down-ballot type results.
15. Sammy Sosa - 60 WAR (#120), 124 wRC+ seems underwhelming, though almost 10K PAs is good. I don't really wanna vote for him but the numbers say he should go about here. Only 30 WAA. But 138 wWAR thanks to those monster seasons in his peak.

16. Buddy Bell - 62 WAR (#109), but something of a compiler with 108 wRC+ in 10K PAs. Thus only 31 WAA. But 131 wWAR is solid. Arguments that much of his defensive value (which really is prodigious) should go to his SSs. If I adhered to that thought he'd be well farther down.
17. Bobby Bonds - 57 fWAR (#132), very good hitter with 130 wRC+ in 8000 PAs (definitely on the low side). 33 WAA (top 120ish), 130 wWAR. It seems that the offensive players the HOM is picking over are all very tightly bunched in these ranges.
18. Jorge Posada - Same fWAR as Tenace (45: #18 all time among catchers), 123 wRC+ very good for a catcher, 7100 PAs not too few for a catcher, but what makes me choose Posada over Munson, Tenace, and Schang is 100 wWAR. Munson and Tenace in the 80s.
19. Robin Ventura - 57 fWAR (#136), 29 WAA (right on the cusp), but 123 wWAR is what ultimately makes this case. Ventura is a good pick for one of the more underrated players of his generation. I do wish the candidate list wasn't so 3B heavy!
20. Johan Santana - shoter career than...just about anyone who might be considered for HOM. 2000 IP. But 2000 excellent IP: run prevention 26%(!) better than avg, FIP 19% better. 32 WAA and 115 wWAR in that few innings is impressive. 45 fWAR and 51 bWAR quite low because of the innings total.

Required mentions:
Ben Taylor - I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do when the statistical record is incomplete, when a full season is 200 PAs and it's hard to judge the level of competition. If I voted for Taylor, it would just be because other people seem to think he should rate highly. As far as I am aware, the statistical record amounts to 300 games. I don't know what his case is.
Tommy Bridges - shoter career than Tiant or Willis, but better quality. 20% better than average run prevention, 10% better than avg FIP. 2800 IP. 27 WAA and 95 wWAR falls too far short. A clear step behind the pitchers listed above, as well as Cicotte and Shocker and others.
   51. kcgard2 Posted: December 20, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5595938)
Others of note:
Ron Cey - I feel like the ballot is too heavy with 3B. Cey is right there with Buddy Bell and Sal Bando. 120 wWAR is good but 26 WAA is just not quite enough.
Fred Mcgriff - WAA isn't kind to McGriff at all (not top 200), WAR does not make him a standout (#135), though 120 wWAR is pretty solid. Still, if I give a penalty ot 1B that bumps him back down.
John Olerud - WAA not great, WAR (#130) not great, though 124 wWAR. Very, very comparable career to McGriff (slightly better in my estimation), though the shape is different.
Wally Schang - WAA puts him almost identical to Jorge Posada (22, just outside top 200, but catchers should have a more lenient cutoff), but wWAR absolutely hates him (67). If your best season is 4 WAR, and your typical season is essentially 2 WAR...I suppose I am missing something that others are seeing here.
Tommy Leach - The combination of offense and defense just isn't quite good enough for me. Superficially a very similar case to Lofton on offense, but Lofton has 10 more WAR in the same PAs. Leach therefore doesn't do nearly as well on WAA or wWAR either.
Thurman Munson - 116 wRC+ but in less than 6000 PAs. The impressive thing about Munson is that he outperforms Posada and Schang in WAA despite the PAs. Of course, he also didn't have a decline phase, which will often substract WAA. He nearly matches Posada on wWAR, which is impressive because of the playing time difference.
Gene Tenace - The best of the catchers on WAA (30, which is a shorthand for HO(X) consideration IMO, though again catchers require more leniency, but Tenace makes it even as a catcher). wWAR not quite as strong as Munson or Posada. Fantastic bat for a catcher at 140 wRC+, but also very low on PAs at 5500. fWAR is very borderline at 45.
Bob Elliot - Not enough bulk or enough quality.
Jim Fregosi - A good player but again just not enough bulk. With his defense, the offense would be enough for me if he had more playing time (7400 PAs) without a dropoff in rate production.
Luis Aparicio - not particularly close to my ballot, the offense is just not good enough, even his fantastic defense can't make up the difference.
Vern Stephens - above Aparicio, about on par with Fregosi. Good players, but guys in this range, even with small positional adjustments beyond WAR I can't see cracking my ballot unless new info comes to light or something.
Bert Campaneris - if he were the undisputed greatest SS of all time, I might consider him at the end of the ballot, but maybe not even then. 45 WAR, 19 WAA (ouch), and 91 wWAR would need extreme narrative credit or something else to crack the ballot I think.
Norm Cash - close to the ballot. 139 wRC+ in almost 8K PAs, but a bad defender in corner OF which I ding a little bit extra. WAR/wWAR have him close to the ballot (55/113), but WAA is a weak spot (26).
Bernie Williams - not close to the ballot, but a personal favorite so he gets a mention. Carlos Lee was also a personal favorite but won't even get a mention ;)
Fred Lynn - somewhat better than Bernie Williams, but not especially close to the ballot either.
Kiki Cuyler - one small notch above Lynn.
Hack Wilson - About the same or maybe one notch above Cuyler, but short, short, short career. Impressive peak jammed in there, but so hard to accumulate the value in only 5500 PAs.

Eddie Cicotte - Still pitching quite well when his career ended, I am *very* close to finding room on my ballot for Cicotte. Great run prevention (18% better than avg league/park adjusted), and very good FIP (12% better than avg) in 3200 IP. If I were to give credit for years missed due to scandal, he'd be mid ballot probably.
Urban Shocker - almost 2700 IP, with very good run prevention 19% better than avg, FIP 10% better. A case where FIP and RA WAR are very far apart. 55 bWAR vs 40 fWAR, 29 WAA and 100 wWAR.
Bucky Walters - some legitimately great years, and added solid value with the bat. FIP was dead league average, leaving a lot of that run prevention (13% better than avg) to his fielders. 3100 IP is OK, netting 37 fWAR and 46 bWAR. Not great and 20 WAA also not great. His hitting bump gets him somewhat near the ballot.
Addie Joss - has the Koufax/Santana profile. Extremely dominant for not very long (8.5 seasons, 2300 IP). Run prevention 30% better than avg (holy wow), FIP also 13% in a time when there was perhaps less room for differentiation on FIP. Not quite enough bulk for me, though.
Mikcey Lolich - nice long, solid career, but if your run prevention is average, I can't vote for you. His very best season in run prevention is what a lot of other guys' *careers* were in run prevention.
Babe Adams - 3000 IP with 14% better than avg run prevention, 17% better than avg FIP which is quite impressive in that era. 50 WAR in both systems, 27 WAA, 110 wWAR is a bit behind several other pitching candidates. FWIW there's almost no black ink here.
Frank Tanana - long career, but not much peak. 4200 IP but run prevention only 6% better than avg, FIP 4%. Decent WAR (59 and 58), solid 120 wWAR, but only 20 WAA because of the shallow peak.
   52. DL from MN Posted: December 20, 2017 at 04:51 PM (#5595956)
Nice first ballot kcgard
   53. kcgard2 Posted: December 20, 2017 at 08:49 PM (#5596055)
Thank you, DL, sorry the formatting could have been better on the first post.

I was a bit worried that my ballot might skew too recent. OTOH, I feel like the older candidates have had more time to have their stats/narratives/etc. pored over, and that most of the truly good candidates from before the 50s or 60s or so have either made it in, or haven't made it in because the record just doesn't indicate it. So they remain the backlog in perpetuity because they are the definition of the borderline guys.

Also, dang this took a long chunk of time to put together a really thorough and thoughtful ballot. But I learned about a few players that I was only very vaguely aware of before, so that's probably part of the point.
   54. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5596161)
kcgard - as a new voter you are supposed to post on the discussion thread also
   55. kcgard2 Posted: December 21, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5596293)
Sorry, I can't even find the 2018 discussion thread. Would I post the same info there? I feel kinda dumb.
   56. Rob_Wood Posted: December 21, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5596319)
There are several ways to get to the "Hall of Merit" section of the website (actually you should be there given that this thread is part of the Hall of Merit section of the website).

You can always click on Home at the top left part of any page on the website to return you to the Home page.
Then select "Hall of Merit" from the "Other Blogs" dropdown menu just below "Updated Blogs" at the top left of the Home page.
The "2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion" thread should be the second thread listed, right below this official ballot thread (at times it could be first listed depending upon where the latest post was posted).
For me, it is also listed at the far right part of the page under "Hot Topics" at that point too, but I am not sure if that is sitewide.
   57. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2017 at 02:38 PM (#5596378)
2018 Ballot - AMENDED

1) Chipper Jones
2) Scott Rolen
3) Jim Thome
4) Tommy Bridges
5) Luis Tiant - took a closer look and noticed I had deleted his relief innings from my spreadsheet inadvertently. Makes a noticeable difference.
6) Johan Santana
7) Phil Rizzuto
8) Gavy Cravath
9) Urban Shocker
10) Tommy John
11) Bus Clarkson
12) Bucky Walters
13) Bob Johnson
14) Bert Campaneris
15) Hilton Smith - another small error
   58. Carl Goetz Posted: December 21, 2017 at 07:56 PM (#5596623)
Please disregard my ballot in Post#33. The extension gave me the time I needed to make some of my adjustments. This will be my final ballot. My current method is to use BBRef WAR for hitting and pitching (decided FIP isn't appropriate for analyzing past performance, particular for the old timers) and a mix of DRA/TZ for fielding prior to 2003 (no regression currently) and DRS for 2003 to present (with 25% regression). I'll be looking at pitchers on a case by case basis who did really well by FIP (Lolich for example), but I have not had time to do that.
1 Chipper Jones - Pretty clear number 1 after making adjustments for DRA on defense.
2 Scott Rolen - Also no-brainer in my mind. Much closer to Chipper than I realized back in the day.
3 Jim Thome - Great bat; behind Rolen because of defense and positional adjustment.
4 Buddy Bell - Strong defender by both TZ and DRA. Very good offensive player as well.
5 Ray Dandridge - Used the Hall of Miller and Eric MLEs. Compares well with the others 2-4, but there is some question over the accuracy of the defensive numbers so I bumped him back.
6 Ben Taylor - Used the Hall of Miller and Eric MLEs. More uncertainly than Dandridge and a less premium position knocked him back a little.
7 Luis Tiant - Really helped by my move away from FIP. He's top pitcher on my board now.
8 Kenny Lofton - Helped by my BBref for offensive WAR as well as the blending of DRA and TZ. Nice offensive package with just enough defense.
9 Thurman Munson - Still best catcher on the board, but Schang is close. Thurman was a good blend of offense and defense at a premium position. I doubt he had much more left in the tank if he didn't die young as his decline was well underway. My guess is maybe 5-6 for WAR if he lived and not a lot of extra peak value.
10 Vic Willis - The other pitcher helped alot by my move away from FIP. I was also giving him too much of a knock for playing in the dead ball era. I was knocking him as though he was a 19th century guy and I don't believe that was fair.
11 Wally Schang - Very close to Thurman. They are the 2 eligible catchers who I am 100% comfortable with their eventual elections. Mostly an offensive case, but he makes a good one.
12 Orel Hershiser -
13 Jeff Kent - Definitely coming around to the Kent argument. He's clearly the best 2B thus far unelected (and eligible anyway). I'm sold on him as a HoMer, but several are ahead of him in the pecking order.
14 Sammy Sosa - Really nice extended run from 93-02. Obviously a peak, offense case, but he makes a good one.
15 Andruw Jones - Hurt a lot by my defensive adjustments, but still a good story. He's in my bubble area and I'm definitely ok discussing his case for a few years.
Off ballot
17 Bobby Bonds - Can't say there's a huge difference between Sosa, Jones, Bonds, and Bob Johnson(20) in my mind. Just a cluster of OFs that I can't rank too high when I have a hard time ranking them with respect to each other.
21 Vlad Guerrero - In the next cluster with Roy White, Tommy Leach and Jose Cruz. Better than my initially estimate, but still on the out side of my line.
NR Tommy Bridges - Moved a bit down on my list. I still haven't been convinced to give PCL credit after the war. If I do, he could move up my list several spots.
Phil Rizzuto, Dick Redding and Urban Shocker are also just off my list. Jorge Posada is the 3rd catcher on my list after Munson and Schang, but he is definitely below my out line.

   59. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 22, 2017 at 08:30 AM (#5596716)
120th consecutive ballot since our inaugural election of 1898 for me.

I use Win Shares as the base for my ranking system, though I am now using a modified version (any negative values are converted into zeroes) of BRAR, FRAR and PRAR for the NA.

I am integrating the conclusions made by DERA with Win Shares for all pitchers.

I do place (to a certain degree) domination at one's position during the player's era. That doesn't mean that domination-by-default will necessarily help you though (Gil Hodges may have been the best first baseman of his era, but he wont make my ballot).

1) Chipper Jones-3B (n/a) The gold standard for this election. Not as good as Schmidt or Mathews, but #3? It's arguable, at any rate.

2) Jim Thome-1B/DH/3B (n/a): A no-brainer, but I'm glad he reached some important career markers for that other hall. ;-)

3) Jeff Kent-2B (4): Kind of a jerk and not the best fielder in the world, but he could really mash the ball at a key defensive position.

4) Scott Rolen (n/a): Half of Mike Schmidt still can get you some HoM love around here.

5) Vladimir Guerrero-RF/DH (n/a): His offense can not be denied.

6) Bus Clarkson-SS/3B (7): Looks like the best shortstop of the Forties, which is surprising to me. IMO, Eric would have to be totally off with his projections for Clarkson not to be near the top of everybody's ballot. Shave off 50 WS from his MLE and he still comfortably belongs.

7) Lee Smith-RP (9): Having his career occur during a major rethinking of his position really distorts his true value, IMO. All things equal, Gossage was better, but not that much better. Never the best for any one season, but consistently among the best for many a year.

8) Billy Wagner-RP (9): Funny, but I thought I would have Hoffman here instead (and higher than Smith). Yet... that dominance more than makes up for the number of career innings.

9) Johan Santana-P (n/a): Yes, I believe he wasn't as good as Wagner (but it's close). Not as good as the rate stats imply (since it's easier to attain higher numbers in recent years), but his peak can still be compared favorably with almost any other pitcher you can name.

10) Bucky Walters-P (9): The guy had a nice peak, fairly long career, and could hit. Even with a defense adjustment, he stands out. Best ML pitcher of 1939 (extremely close in 1940). Best NL pitcher of 1940 and 1944.

11) Mickey Welch-P (10): Like the hurlers of the 1970s, the generation from the 1880s was rich in talent. On that note, Welch deserves a HoM nod. Best major league pitcher for 1885.

12) Vic Willis-P (11): Willis pitched a ton of innings at an above-average rate for a long enough time for his era. Best major league pitcher for 1899. Best NL pitcher for 1901.

13) Gavvy Cravath-RF (12): I'm giving him MLE credit for 1908-11 (not full credit for '08, since he did play some in the majors that year). Possibly would have been the best ML right fielder for 1910. Best NL right fielder for 1913 and 1914. Best ML right fielder for 1915, 1916, and 1917.

14) Bob Elliott-3B/RF (13): Best third baseman of the Forties. The bridge between the Jimmy Collins-Pie Traynor types and the later ones that didn't have the same defensive responsibilities. He could hit, field, and didn't have a short career when compared to other third basemen throughout history. Best ML third baseman for 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, and close in 1950. Best NL third baseman for 1949 and 1950.

15) Hugh Duffy-CF/LF/RF (14): Been on my ballot forever and haven't regretted it. "Only" the third best center fielder of the '90s, but that position was very strong for that decade. Best major league right fielder for 1890 and 1891. Best major league center fielder for 1892, 1893 and 1894.

As for the other newbies, none of them are HoMers, IMO.

Sammy, Lofton (Andruw Jones' twin in career value?), Tiant, Bell, Bridges, Bonds, and Taylor weren't that far away from making my ballot.
   60. Al Peterson Posted: December 22, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5596837)
2018 ballot thread listing. Four new eligible go balloting. Minor movements elsewhere.

Methodology in brief: The system used for my ranking entails a little bit of everything including WS, WAR, OPS+/ERA+. Ratings include positional adjustments, additions to one’s playing record for minor league service, war, and NeL credit and for our real oldtimers some contemporary opinion thrown in. The results of this work tend to favor prime/peak players over career types but that is not 100% tried and true. Last year’s placement is in parenthesis.

1. Chipper Jones (-).
Hit .303 career with 468 HR’s as (mostly) a 3rd basemen with good defensive skills. Yeah I think he qualifies, even shoots to the top of the ballot. Won his World Series at age 23, never again despite almost yearly chances.

2. Jim Thome (-). Slight edge over Rolen, I’m not going to fight those who have another 3rd sacker in line. Those high socks and arms, he was what Paul Bunyan would have looked like if he played baseball.

3. Scott Rolen (-). Good glove on the hot corner, could hit well. Dropped below Thome for durability issues and being Chipper Jones contemporary. Did not like the playoffs at the NLDS level - .158/.273/.228 over 5 of them.

4. Dick Redding (3). Career was long – decent peak along the way. Outstanding fastball in his day according to James/Neyer book. So he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame; maybe the information collected by HOF committee wasn’t pertinent to Redding’s prime years. He deserves some WWI credit, thus patching up a bald spot in his prime years as 1918 and 1919 were affected. The last NeL pitcher I’d deem as worthy of induction.

5. Vladimir Guerrero (6). Doesn’t surprise me too much Vlad comes in this high. The long prime candidate tends to do well in my system. Again an adventure in the field and the bases – those things along with the free-swinging ways made him a fan favorite.

6. Tommy Leach (5).
Combination hot corner/centerfielder could field a little, hit a little. Second all-time in inside-the-park home runs to Wahoo Sam Crawford. Someone else stated he was uniquely valuable in his particular era and I agree he meant more in the particular era he performed in. Useless trivia: Still holds World Series record with 4 triples in a single series.

7. Phil Rizzuto (7).
I’ve done my minor league & WWII absence calibration so Scooter scoots to ballot position. Glove first but the offense during prime years was nothing to sneeze at either. Holy Cow!

8. Bobby Bonds (4). Even with the constant trades, drinking problem and whatnot his combination of speed/power made him a very valuable player. He wasn’t the next Mays, or as good as his son, but we’re talking about a RF who could steal bases and field his position. All five tools on display. Dropped a little this time, needs to trail Vlad I feel.

9. Tony Mullane (8). Old time pitcher who threw plenty well, a good hitter to boot. Had some playing time issues since he missed seasons due to being blacklisted. He’s amongst the best of his era when accounting for the time outside of baseball due to conflicts with different leagues. Goes on the all-Nickname team as well.

10. Kenny Lofton (9).
I’ve come around on Lofton some from earlier ballots. The defense and baserunning do add up over a long career and offset batting numbers that looks more mid-ranged. A well-traveled player who helped teams win.

11. Andruw Jones (-). Locked down Gold Gloves for a decade. A great what if with him: Age 28 he’s 2nd in MVP, leading NL in HR’s and RBI’s. By age 31 hitting .158 in sunny LA.

12. Sammy Sosa (10). Peak power that was enough to make people start walking him. This increased his value as it upped his OBP skills, doubling the value added. Early in his career he had base stealing and defense as assets.

13. Mickey Welch (11).
300 game winner in the house. Was it due to luck, run support, bad opponents? Still a feat to accomplish, sometimes I need to remind myself that and not totally overlook Smilin’ Mickey. Seemed to pitch well against the other front line starters of his day.

14. Buddy Bell (13). The bat was sufficient but it was defense where he shone. Not overly praised in his time due to being on non-playoff teams. Sort of a Rick Reuschel type in that his build made you question ability to play. His reflexes were superior when it came to picking it at 3B.

15. Bob Johnson (14).
Always a bit underrated in Win Shares due to quality of teams he played on. His career has war years that need discount. But also a couple years at the beginning of his career were in the PCL where he was more than major league quality. The tail of his career is nonexistent since the 1946 avalanche of returning War players pushed him back to the minors.

Next up, but off ballot:
16. Luis Tiant (15). Just off ballot, good new crop of candidates. Like the cigar smoking Cuban.
17. Jeff Kent. Highest 2nd basemen I’ve got, the glove holds him back just enough to be on the cusp of ballot.
18. Ben Taylor. Growing on me, little more analysis and finally dropped Norm Cash in relation to this NeL star.
19. Vic Willis. A lot like Tiant. Has seen my ballot before, could again. Always the era question with pitchers from this timeframe.
20. Bus Clarkson
21. Sal Bando
22. Fred McGriff
23. Urban Shocker
24. Frank Chance
25. Tommy John

Johan Santana: Kevin Appier anyone? Got them pegged about the same. This is about 33-50 ballot spot range…
Omar Vizquel: Just kidding. Love me some flashy SS but long career, end of story.

Top 10
Tommy Bridges: Still considering, probably slightly above Appier/Santana. In a similar place that houses the next group of pitchers. Is he much different from Willis/Shocker/John? Splitting hairs but that is what we do…
   61. Bill Simon Posted: December 23, 2017 at 03:45 PM (#5597131)
I am back for my second year voting for the Hall of Merit. I attempted a statistical analysis that relied heavily on JAWs and included other HOF metrics (most dubiously black ink and grey ink) last year, with the result being the ballot that was most outside of the mainstream of the other voters. In fact, my ballot was referred to as eccentric due to the high concentration of 1880's Starting Pitchers.

Hopefully I have learned something from last years debacle and have a more reasonable ballot this time around. I am a huge fan of JAWS in that it embraces WAR (which seems to be the favored metric of many voters), but also values both peak and career WAR. I was thrilled to add Jay Jaffe's Cooperstown Casebook to my extensive baseball library since last year's vote.

Comparing JAWS to some of the other ballots, I do think that it does a pretty good job, with the exception of the previously noted 1880s Starting Pitchers and also Relief Pitchers. That being said, it is tough to determine how much to discount the inflated JAWS numbers of the 1880s pitchers, but I do believe that perhaps there is room in the HOM for a few more of these pitchers over time. Last year I was one of two voters who placed Jim McCormick at the top of my ballot. While there is no question that it was a ridiculous notion considering the likes of the three players who were elected last year, I still have a hard time ignoring his gaudy 72 JAWS score, and still have him at what I hope is a more reasonable #7 on this year's ballot.

In addition to my overabundance of 1880s pitchers, my ballot also drew ire due to the fact that I did not sufficiently find a replacement for JAWS in the case of the deserving Negro League players on the ballot. This year I believe I have corrected that error by using's excellent database and using their career WAR list. With that, Ben Taylor and Cannonball Dick Redding, who are both in the top 10 in career WAR among all Negro League players according to Seamhead's, check in at #5 & #6 on my ballot for this year.

I welcome any feedback on my second ballot, and hope that it is better received than last years!

My Ballot:

Name JAWS POS POS Rank Notes

1 Chipper Jones 65.8 3B 6 Easily my top pick, also #50 on ESPN top 100 list
2 Jim Thome 57.2 1B 10 Top ten 1st baseman, 612 career homeruns
3 Scott Rolen 56.8 3B 10 Top ten 3rd baseman, ROY and 8 gold gloves
4 Sammy Sosa 51.0 RF 18 3 60+ HR seasons, an MVP and 609 homeruns
5 Ben Taylor* 35.8 1B 1 #10 Career WAR among all Negro Leaguers, HOF
6 Dick Redding* 37.3 SP 2 #9 Career WAR among all Negro Leaguers
7 Jim McCormick 72.0 SP 19 Overvalued by JAWS but great in his era
8 Mickey Welch 58.8 SP 36 307 wins for this Hall of Famer
9 Kenny Lofton 55.7 CF 9 Top ten CF, 622 SB and 4 gold gloves
10 Vlad Guerrero 50.2 RF 21 ROY, MVP, 6 silver slugger awards
11 Vic Willis 56.5 SP 47 Great JAWS for this Hall of Famer
12 Luis Tiant 55.7 SP 51 Cuban hero made HOF ballot for golden era
13 Trevor Hoffman 24.0 RP 21 601 saves 2nd all-time, not a fan of JAWS for RP
14 Buddy Bell 53.2 3B 15 6 gold gloves to go with his excellent JAWS
15 Bobby Bonds 49.4 RF 22 5 tool player. 332 HRS, 462 SB, 3 gold gloves

* Seamheads Negro League Career WAR / Position Rank instead of JAWS

Required Disclosures:

Jeff Kent 45.4 2B 20 #1 eligible 2B, just outside top 15
Tommy Bridges 43.0 SP 122 Deserving, but not in my top 10 SP to be elected

   62. dan b Posted: December 23, 2017 at 09:25 PM (#5597224)
I was here in 1898 when I was the only voter to pass on Ross Barnes and have missed once. I start with a half peak/half career WS system with tendency to favor peak. I have also been influenced by NHBA rankings and would like to see BJ do an update. Whereas James looked at 3 best years and 5 consecutive years, I also look at 8 best years and 10 consecutive years. I look for hitters who would be above the median of already enshrined HoMers and pitchers with strong peaks.

PHoM 2018 – C. Jones, Santana, Thome, Edmonds

1. Jones, Chipper PHoM 2018. Second best Braves 3B ever. Not Schmidt, Mathews or Brett, but in the argument for #4 3B ever.
2. Santana PHoM 2018. That’s the kind of peak I am looking for in a pitcher. I was Koufax’s best friend here and see Santana at least Sandy’s equal. By WS each led their league 3 times. Over the 3 years he led his league, Santana had 14% more WS than the league runner up. Koufax had just 9% more.
3. Thome PHoM 2018. One of top 10 1B ever.
4. Posada PHoM 2017. Important player on a great team. Compare with HoM catcher Bill Freehan.
5. Walters PHoM 1968. Nice peak – 3 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. One more big year than Dean.
6. Rolen It was a tossup v. Edmonds for my PHoM selection.
7. Cravath PHoM 1967. With mle credit Gavvy is above the HoM median using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons.
8. Duffy PHoM 1912. Compared with the median level of already enshrined HoMers using WS, Duffy would be in the top half using 5 consecutive seasons, 10 consecutive seasons, 3 best and 8 best seasons. If WS overrate him, then so do I.
9. Guerrero Above the median for 10 year run.
10. Dean PHoM 1976. 1975 reevaluation of great pitching peaks put him on my ballot for the first time. 2 WS Cy Youngs, 1 runner up. NHBA #25 pitcher - James may have overrated him.
11. Newcombe PHoM 1998.
12. Tiant PHoM 2012. NHBA #52.
13. Sosa It was quite a peak with just enough more to put him ahead of guys like Albert Belle, Al Rosen and Dale Murphy.
14. Murphy PHoM 2002. 4 consecutive seasons with 30+ WS. Above the HoM median for 5 consecutive years.
15. Rizzuto PHoM 1995. 1993 reevaluation moved him up. NHBA #16.

Of the top ten returnees from last year, Guerrero, Sosa and Tiant (PHoM 2012) are on my ballot. Willis (PHoM 1941), Kent and Bonds (PHoM 2012) would be on a 20 player ballot. Lofton, Bell, Bridges and Taylor don’t have the peak I am looking for.

   63. rawagman Posted: December 23, 2017 at 10:31 PM (#5597234)
2018 Ballot

*Disclaimer* - A number of these comments are sorely out of date as I no longer have the free time to deal with all of the minutiae of this project.

For position players, 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 flavor 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 have more of an affinity for multiple season peaks among pitchers.

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.

Thoughts on the 2018 newcomers. Chipper Jones tops the ballot. Jim Thome is not far behind, although I prefer Guerrero for his better peak. Rolen should be high up all lists, too, and if not for niggling injuries, his value could have been much higher. Omar Vizquel was good, but not great. Think his fielding was overblown. Very sure-handed, good arm, but not the rangiest. Not on my ballot, but way down the consideration set, near to Luis Aparicio and Rabbit Marrinville. Would not be as bad a Hall of Famer as, say, Jack Morris, but not in the HOM. I don't include Hideki Matsui in my consideration set but am open to an argument that his career, with Japanese league included, put him near Luis Gonzalez. That wouldn't put him near the ballot, so I am not sweating it. As I like Dale Murphy, it only makes sense that Andruw Jones, with a similar career shape, would also be liked. Below Murphy for me, but near the tail end of ballot seems about right. Johnny Damon had a very long career and was near average for the length of it. I'll never forget the one-man double steal, but this note is as close as he gets to my ballot. I like Lefty Gomez and Johan Santana had a career in a similar mold, but likely better. All peak pitcher voters should be balloting him. Would his career have been longer without the no-hitter? Don't know. Jamie Moyer and Carlos Zambrano were nice players, but only around 50 among all eligible starting pitchers.

Entering my PHOM are Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez, who I gave a one-year boycott to in light of his late-era PED suspensions, Jim Thome, and Scott Rolen.

1) Chipper Jones - Basically Jim Thome as a third baseman. No Hooters penalty. (PHOM)
2) Vladimir Guerrero - the type of player that can create a fan base. (PHOM)
((2a) Manny Ramirez)) (PHOM)
3) Jim Thome - Defensive value was iffy, and the long prime without the clear standout peak limit how high he can be ranked in my system, but this is still pretty high. There is a lot of value in such a long career. Not too dissimilar (per MLEs) to Ben Taylor. (PHOM)
4) Hugh Duffy - Super peak, wonderful prime. Amazing bat, marvelous glove. The epitomy of reliability. (PHOM)
5) Scott Rolen - Injury issues held back his accumulation of value, but a fantastic all-around 3B. Without the near-constant injuries, would he be looked at similarly to Adrian Beltre? Worthy here and Cooperstown. (PHOM)
6) Tommy Bridges - He was really very good. A summary of a reevaluation of some of our unelected pitchers in my high backlog (Bridges, Gomez, Redding, Walters) Of those four, the white guys were all regulars for 10-11 seasons. Bucky and Lefty both had immense peaks, but I think that Lefty's non-peak years hold up better than Bucky's. Also, Lefty does not get any war discount. Dick Redding seems more similar to Walters in that his non-peak was not so impressive. His peak was still enough to leave in him solid backlog country. (I even put him in my PHOM back when I joined the project.) But Tommy Bridges wins out. He had much greater consistency. He is to pitchers what Bob Johnson was to hitters, but more of a winner (No - I'm not giving him extra credit for that). A deserving recipient of WWII credit. We have been especially splintered as to the backlog pitchers, and I urge everyone to give Tommy Bridges a closer look. (PHOM)
7) Ben Taylor - Can't find the peak, but a better prime (through the roof), career and glove than Beckley. I think he may be the player most underrated by the electorate. (PHOM)
8) Sammy Sosa - Overrated by the money stats. Even so, a word-class peak. (PHOM)
9) Trevor Hoffman - One of the greatest relief pitchers in history. That qualifier in front of the word "pitcher" is a black mark. He is best remembered as a soft tosser (outside of Nolan Ryan/Randy Johnson, how many pitchers who pitched into their 40s were still fireballing?), he had great strikeout numbers in his early years.
10) Kirby Puckett - I have read that some HOM voters consider Puckett to be a mistake of the BBWAA. I see where that sentiment may be emanating from, but I do believe that his election was earned. A wonderful ballplayer. (PHOM)
11) Johan Santana - Fits the supremely high peak mold I prefer to see in starting pitchers. Best Rule 5 pick of all time?
12) Dale Murphy - A player that my system loves. At his best he dominated. That refers to the years between 1979-1988. That's a 10 year prime with a very high peak. Also demonstrated very good fielding ability. Could easily move up my ballot. (PHOM)
((12a) Gary Sheffield))
13) Jeff Kent - Moved up two spots since I posted my preliminary ballot. I can only hope that the BBWAA doesn't "one-and-done" him.
14) Carlos Delgado - A fantastic hitter who probably falls on the all-time in/out line for inclusion here and in Cooperstown.
15) Lefty Gomez - looking at him in any single way hurts him. Looking at him kaleidoscopically has him as the one of the best available pitchers in my eyes (PHOM)

The Next 15
16) Billy Wagner - Dominant, but short lived career. Fully in the "3-out save guy" category. Hard to accrue enough value under that usage pattern.
17) Dick Redding - One of the toughest for me to accurately place. I now think his teens peak was all he needed. I want to be sure I am adequately valuating pitching, so Redding has moved up a few spots in my ballot. (PHOM)
18) Vern Stephens - Will we look at Nomar down the road like we look at Vern now? (look down two slots. This questions, asked in the "1970s" was answered for "2015".) Great bat, good glove. (PHOM)
19) Andruw Jones - Even with the long, uninspiring tail to his career, his early career value was so high that he needs to be at least close to the ballot.
20) Bus Clarkson - A new defensive readjustment moves to the cusp. (PHOM)
21) Nomar Garciaparra - One more healthy year would probably bump him up 6-12 spots, but he didn't have it. Such a shame.
22) Fred McGriff - He did not dominate as a bat to the extent of an Edgar Martinez, but consistent above-average performance and fielding that was moderate (I know that not everyone agrees), place the Crime Dog in the heart of my ballot. A better version of Jake Beckley. Here's hoping that it doesn't take McGriff quite as long to receive his dues. Recently dinged through new look at fielding. (PHOM)
23) Jorge Posada - A great hitter for any position, he is held back by a) very poor fielding reputation and measurables as well as a relatively brief career.
24) Magglio Ordonez - Pure hitter. Two more full seasons would have likely placed him on the ballot. Alas.
25) Gavvy Cravath - No longer the worst fielder in my top 120 candidates (Frank Howard). Probably still the most dominant hitter (as compared to his peers), though. (PHOM)
26) Bob Johnson - I don't know why it took me this long. Great all-round LF. Very durable. (PHOM)
27) Tony Oliva - Career not as short as I thought. Had solid durability for the seasons he was around for. A world class hitter. (PHOM)
28) Dizzy Dean - Diet Sandy Koufax. 0 calories (career), no sugar (prime).
((28a)Andre Dawson))
29) Orlando Cepeda - Going with my numbers. I support him, but the strength of many of the new guys as well as the recently dregded up arguments for others drops him off ballot.(PHOM)
30) Bobby Veach - He did it all well. As complete a LF as is available today. (PHOM)
   64. rawagman Posted: December 23, 2017 at 10:33 PM (#5597235)
They Also Played

31) Al Oliver - I was surprised by the similarities between Oliver and Reggie Smith. Very convincing peak and a glove that scores quite well. Career length is nice as well.
32) Don Mattingly - In the interest of my belief in a big hall for Cooperstown, I support Mattingly's induction. That said, for this project, he looks to be just the wrong side of the door. New look at fielding raises him up a few spots.
33) Albert Belle - Fits in rather nicely with the next three on this list.
34) Rocky Colavito - Good defensive showing moves him way up. I didn't expect that either.
35) Bobby Bonds - I may have been mildly underrating him before (very little gap between 25-150 by this point), but I don't see what truly separates him from a player of the ilk of a Colavito.
36) Jack Clark - Marvelous hitter who had his uses in the field as well.
37) Jim Rice - This is, more or less, where the in-out line can be found for the slightly bigger hall that I dream of.
38) Wally Berger - super-underrated
39) Ernie Lombardi - defense was below average, but not quite horrible
((39a) Jimmy Wynn))
40) Ron Guidry - I love a dominant pitcher. I don't think it's necessarily correct to view pitchers and hitters in the same light and I value a strong peak (I mean really strong) for pitchers more than for hitters (prefer a steady, all round type there). Similar to, but not quite the equal of, Lefty Gomez, one of my inner circle of best friends.
41) Luis Tiant - Undoubtedly a wonderful pitcher, but of the type who don't do that well in my system. I wasn't Billy Pierce's biggest fan, and I consider Tiant to be of a similar mold, so he slots in over here. With relatively few big inning seasons (only three top ten finishes), my system can only give him so much love. I prefer the shorter career with the higher peak in this type of case. (see Guidry, Dean, Gomez)
42) Al Rosen - One more season of prime, and he is top 10
((42a) Jim Bunning))
((42b) Billy Pierce))
((42c) Graig Nettles))

43) Luis Gonzalez - Outside of his mid-career explosion (I do not suspect, nor particularly care about the PED question), Gonzalez' case for the HOM is as a long career, low peak corner outfielder. I may be overrating him.
44) Lee Smith - He didn't have the stellar peak of the closers around him, but his prime outlasted them both. And his peak is really not that far below Sutter's, at least.
45) Lance Parrish - Solid all round catcher. Proud member of the HoVG. Not quite the HOM though.
46) Buddy Bell - Fits in rather nicely in this run of HOVG 3B. New look at his defense gives him big boost.
47) Norm Cash - Too much in one year - and that was not the best year for an everlasting peak, for a number of reasons. Excellent fielder, though.
48) Dan Quisenberry - I suppose I've decided that I value peak in a reliever over career totals. Mind you, if the guy has both...
49) John Franco - What can I say? All those LOOGY-moments...they added up. Not enough to get him in, but to at least be in the discussion.
50) Tony Fernandez - Mr. Blue Jay. Compares favorably to Rizzuto.
51) Bert Campaneris - Stupid me - I had somehow left him off my consideration set for years.
((51a) Dobie Moore))
52) Addie Joss - ERA/+ and WHIP are great, but why so little black ink?
((52a) Cupid Childs))
((52b) Roger Bresnahan))
((52c) Rollie Fingers))

53) Phil Rizzuto - Moves up a few spots with another look at his peak. Not as bad as I once considered.
54) Fred Dunlap - Very short career. Very good, too.
55) Tom Henke - Not a long career, but the Terminator was one of the best closers in the game at his peak. New DERA calculations boost him.
56) Tommy John - I think I like his overall picture just a smidgen more than Sutton's.
((56a) Don Sutton))
57) Don Newcombe - big beneficiary of pitcher's fielding analysis. Further slight bump this year this another look at his extra credit seasons.
58) John Olerud - Olerud playing first base with his batting helmet on was an iconic Blue Jays image in my youth.
((58a) Rick Reuschel))
59) Vic Willis - As a top ten holdover, I re-examined his case and saw fit to move him up over 35 spots. That said, his profile lacks the extended prime I like to see and I would be very surprised if Willis ever makes my top 15.
60) Bucky Walters - Very similar to Pierce in overall picture - but built differently.
61) Kevin Appier - Just ahead of Finley. I prefer the better rate to the longer career, but very, very close.
62) Chuck Finley - I remember being surprised when he didn`t come back for another season. I wonder what one more season of slightly above average performance would have done to his final ranking.
63) Mickey Welch
64) Bruce Sutter - Shorter career than the other modern closer candidates, but when he was at his best, he was the best. That works for me - to a point.
65) Fred Carroll - I give him around 1.5 seasons prime MiL credit. Better than Tenace. And maybe better than Bresnahan given the proper credit.
66) Larry Doyle - If only the glove were just a little better.
67) Cecil Travis - A very worthy extra credit case.
((67a) Jake Beckley))
68) Jimmy Ryan
69) Fred Lynn - Very similar to Duffy and Roush. Loses a lot of ground due to in-season durability concerns for an otherwise very strong candidate. Should be appealing to Browning/Chance/McGraw supporters who overlook that sort of thing.
((69a) Charlie Keller))
70) Bernie Williams - will ballot higher just for being a critical part of a dynasty. Had Williams spent his entire career with nearly any other team in the majors, he would not have made nearly the impact on the national stage.
71) Cy Williams
72) Brett Butler - Some are calling him an equivalent to Kirby. I'm not seeing it. At Kirby's best, he was the best. At Butler's best, he was very good. My system will always take the guy who was the best for a stretch.
73) Amos Otis - The end of the centrefield run.
74) Dolph Camilli - I give him a year of war credit, but he's still two more prime years away from making some noise. An underappreciated stud.
75) Kenny Lofton - I truly thought that he would have ranked higher than this, but with so much of his value tied to his baserunning and defense, I have a hard time putting him above players with similar overall value but more weighted to the offensive side. Hall of Very Good.
76) Fielder Jones - I was missing on him a bit. A very apt first name. Solid bat as well.
((76a) Pete Browning))
77) Mark Grace - It's always fun when a player's name can fit with his on-field ability/persona. A Graceful first-baseman, with the stick and with the glove. Splitting hairs betwen him and Garvey. I think Garvey stuck out just that much more among his 1B peers.
78) Tony Perez - No appreciable peak. As far as 1B go, I have Cepeda up higher because of his very nice peak and his not too short career as a regular. Ben Taylor suffers from a lack of documented stats, but the stats we do have show that he could flat out mash the ball by dead-ball standards. Contemporaries say his glove was the best they had ever seen at 1B. How much was a scoop worth? I think it's worth alot. I maintain that while a below average defensive 1B can cause little measurable harm, an above average glove at 1B will provide a hefty bonus to the team lucky enough to employ one.
79) Steve Garvey
80) Luke Easter
81) Jim Bottomley
82) Frank McCormick
83) Bob Elliott
84) Robin Ventura
85) Sal Bando
86) Ron Cey
87) Pie Traynor
88) Ed Williamson
89) Johnny Evers
90) Elston Howard
91) Joe Wood
92) Bill Mazeroski
93) Tony Lazerri
94) Tommy Leach
95) Thurmon Munson
96) Jason Varitek
97) Walker Cooper
98) Johnny Pesky
99) Hippo Vaughn
100) Dave Concepcion
101) Sparky Lyle
102) George Kell
103) Cesar Cedeno
104) Chet Lemon
105) Vada Pinson
106) Luis Aparicio
107) Omar Vizquel
108) Tip O'Neill
109) Chuck Klein
110) Denny Lyons
((110a) John McGraw))
111) George Van Haltren
112) Rabbit Maranville
113) Matt Williams
114)Ellis Burks
   65. Chris Fluit Posted: December 25, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5597340)
Test. This is only a test post. If this was a real post, you would read something insightful and interesting. Instead, this is only a test.
   66. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 26, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5597512)
“If we could reduce this entire excercise to one absolute exumenical equation considering every possible factor in evaluating each player(egs. parks, timelines, leagues, position, peak value, teammates, career value etc.) this project would be much less interesting.

That doesn't mean we should ever stop trying to create such statistical mechanisms for our own use.”

After lurking around the HoM since around “1930,” and not voting due to never being perfectly happy with whatever analysis system I was tinkering around with at the time, I discovered the above quote by Brian H. in the archives of the 1910 Ballot Discussion thread. Realizing that I would probably end up changing my system every year (and observing that behavior in a number of well-respected long-time voters), I finally decided to vote starting in 2012.

For this reason, I also encourage any other lurkers who have considered voting but have so far refrained from doing so to give it a shot, even if you have differing opinions. Such opinions are always welcomed, as long as they are well-reasoned.

On to my ideology/methodology:

I am a peak voter at heart. I believe that a HoF/HoM should be a Hall of Greatness, not a strict Hall of Value. But, nearly all of my bases for rankings involve career numbers, although most do have a peak emphasis.

I start by averaging bWAR, fWAR, and gWAR for all players (pitchers and position players). I regress the defensive numbers for gWAR by 1/3 because 1)TZ is already regressed for most years for bWAR and fWAR; and 2)the standard deviations for DRA are so extreme compared to TZ/DRS/UZR. I also factor in Max Marchi/BP catcher framing runs, regressing those numbers by 1/3 as well.

I adjust these resulting WAR for each position player by a rolling nine-year median deviation from overall average, similar to Dan Rosenheck’s adjustment to replacement level in his WARP system. Thus, shortstops almost throughout history get a boost due to the “feast or famine” nature of the position, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. DH’s also get a boost because never in their existence has the median DH for a year had a WAA at or above 0. However, I do force-adjust so that DH is never “easier” than 1b, 2b within .2 of SS, and corner OF within .4 of CF.

For pitchers, I make a slight historical adjustment based upon average innings pitched by #1 starters.

I then adjust these War numbers by each league’s historical batting or pitching standard deviations, based upon the work of Dr. Chaleeko.

I then plug each player’s mWAR (the “m” standing for “my,” “Michael,”, “Mengel” (my real last name), “mean,” “median-adjusted,” or whatever other word starting with “m” you feel like that applies through 4 different peak-weighted metrics: 1)a JAWS-type system, although not divided by 2; 2)WAA*3; 3)a peak-rate (based upon playing time) salary estimator/$1M; and 4)Pennents Added. I give catchers a 1/3 bonus to these metrics for the time they spent playing catcher. A true borderline HoMer should be at an average of 1.00 for each of these metrics, so the sum for a borderliner should be around 4.00. I then add one peak-only component: (WAR/750 PA or 275 IP*2)/10-.5. This should also yield a borderline value of around 1.00, resulting in a total borderline value of 5.00.

The reason I uses so many inputs/analysis methods is basically the” wisdom of crowds” reasoning – while any single input/analysis might be better than the best, the amalgamation of all of them is most likely to be better than any single one chosen at random. Also, it tends to balance things out to make things “fair-to-all-eras.” If I used just the salary estimator, almost all 1880s pitchers would be deemed meritorious. If I didn’t include peak rate, it would be much harder for modern pitchers to get in based upon less usage compared to historical norms.

Although not fully incorporated into my numbers yet, I am also planning on giving “bonus points” based upon MMP finishes and league-best position players and pitcher awards. The other bonus that is already incorporated is I add in a player’s cWPA to yield the final number.

Therefore, a 5.00 score is a borderline HoMer. 5.50 should be a fairly generally recognized candidiate, 6.00 is a clear-cut, even small-hall HoMer. 7.00 is a perennial all-star type player. 8.00 is my inner-circle line. 10.00 are the immortals, etc.
   67. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: December 26, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5597515)
On to the ballot:
1. Chipper Jones (6.57) – Not an inner-circle guy (the defense drags him down a bit), but a top-10 all-time 3b, and an obvious HoMer.

2. Jim Thome (6.38) – a lot of voters have compared him to Killebrew, but I have him as clearly above Killer (5.25 in my system).

3. Luke Easter (6.01) - An “integration squeeze” guy. He was the cleanup hitter for a factory team that had other NeL stars on it and was better than the actual NeL team that was located in St. Louis. He lost his war years working in military industry. And by then he was too old to be considered for the start of integration. When he did get his chance, all he did was produce despite injuries throughout almost all of his actual ML career. And his defense didn’t really grade out as worse than average, despite the fact that his knees were shot. Then he spent another few years still mashing in the minors well into his 40’s. At worst I see him as a Murray/Palmeiro type, at best a Greenberg-type. This is where I have him most-likely slotted.

4. Hilton Smith (5.79) - I know that Dr. Chaleeko has cautioned against using his new MLE’s at face-value yet, but as of now, they’re the best projection we’ve got for them. And at this point in the project, with the obvious HoMers of the past already inducted, the main differences in ballots result from methods differences (WAR vs. WS, OPS+/ERA+, etc.), positional valuation (Dan R preference for SS, some voters think Pitchers are underrepresented, etc.), or new information on NeL players. Based upon that info, this is where he slots.

5. Scott Rolen (5.70) – Only had the one really great season (2004), but consistent excellent defense coupled with a good bat make him an almost assured 2018 HoM inductee.

6. Andy Cooper (5.60) – See Hilton Smith.

7. Ben Taylor (5.47) – See Hilton Smith

8. Gavvy Cravath (5.39) -As our founder has stated, he’s the type of player this project was designed to find. He had a 151 OPS+ in his time in the majors. Yes, the NL lacked hitting other hitting stars in that era, but it was also a low standard deviation era for hitters. Yes, he took advantage of his stadium, but so did a lot of players (looking at you, Boggs). I’m not going to penalize him because others didn’t do the same. Needs minor league credit to place here, but he’s deserving of it in my view.

9. Ray Dandridge (5.34) – See Hilton Smith.

10. Thurman Munson (5.34) - Munson gets overshadowed by his more deserving 1970’s catching counterparts (Bench, Fisk), but he’s clearly a deserving HoMer. He was a good hitter and had above average defense (both conventional and framing) and excelled in the postseason.

11. Babe Adams (5.34) – Has good, although not consecutive, peak. Looks better with minor league credit, and helped in my system by good rates rather than just gaudy raw totals.

12. Urban Shocker (5.34) -Pitched in an extremely low standard deviation era for pitchers, so his number appear worse than they actually were in context. Despite the low std dev, he still had a career 124 ERA+, which exceeds a number of our inductees.

13. Bert Campaneris (5.32) – Dan R is right. He provided a ton of value in an era when SS for the most part stunk to high heaven. Got extra value from all the little things (defense, baserunning, postseason, etc).

14. Frank Chance (5.32) – The Pearless Leader didn’t have a long career, but he was legitimately great at his peak.

15. Art Fletcher (5.31) – Helped by gaudy DRA numbers at SS, he’s the highest ranked of my pHoM unelected early-20th C. SS (Bancroft and Tinker as well).

16-25. (bolded are required disclosures/new candidiates which would be above my PHoM line) – Wally Schang, Sammy Sosa, Dave Bancroft, Dizzy Dean, Kenny Lofton, Buddy Bell, Eddie Cicotte, Dwight Gooden, Andruw Jones, Don Newcombe.

Other required disclosures:

Vladimir Guerrero (4.74) – High-level HoVG, but just not dominant enough for someone without a long career.

Luis Tiant (5.04) – Over my line, so no problem with his election.

Jeff Kent (4.86) – Once I figure out MMP points, he might be really close to my in/out line, but he’s close enough for me to not oppose his election.

Vic Willis (4.69) – An outstanding year (1899), but not enough bulk outside of that or a high enough rate.

Bobby Bonds (4.68) – Put up decent counting totals due to durability, but lacking long career and not outstanding rates.

Tommy Bridges (4.97) – First guy outside of line. Helped by good rates and outstanding postseason play. Might sneak in with MMP points.

Johan Santana (4.89) – Once I factor in MMP points and Award points, he’ll definitely be over the line and possibly on ballot next year.
   68. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 04:16 PM (#5597889)
As far as what I consider . . . I try to look at it all. I'm a career voter mostly - not because I have any bias towards it, but just because the numbers (and every study I've ever seen) tell me that peaks are overrated and 5+5 is only about 10-15% less valuable than 10+0. Check out “The Problem with Peak” article in the 2002 Baseball Prospectus, page 470 if you are interested in all the mathy type stuffs.

I give full war credit, and I think it's a major mistake not to when comparing players across eras. My biggest regret on this project is that we didn't require all voters to give war credit like we did with Negro League credit. I see no difference, both were a circumstance of the player's birthday that was beyond his control.

I've systematically worked this in for anyone that is a reasonable candidate, all the way down to guys like Tommy Henrich, Mickey Vernon and Dom DiMaggio. If you want a copy of my Rosenheck access database with these guys added, please let me know.

I think it's a cop out to say we don't know so it's a zero. If a guy was a 25 WS a year player before and after the war, a zero is a much bigger mistake than giving him three 25s. As far as injury risk, you just credit a guy based on his playing time before and after the war. There's no reason to assume he would have been any more (or less) injury prone during those years.

I also follow similar philosophy on strikes. I just prorate the season, since a pennant is a pennant.

I give catchers a 50% career bonus, above and beyond what Pennants Added they accumulate. If you don’t do this, Johnny Bench ends up in the neighborhood of Jimmy Sheckard, Dick Allen, Brooks Robinson and Home Run Baker. If you do give the bonus he ends up with Arky Vaughan, Luke Appling, Eddie Mathews and Jimmy Foxx. Which grouping seems more reasonable?

I'll give minor league credit for players trapped, or players that played in the old PCL and other AAAA leagues before cross-continental travel was relatively easy - once they've had a 'here I am, let me play!' season. There are surprisingly few of these guys after about 1920.

I've been much more hands on in rating the pitchers than the position players, for which I rely on DanR's WARP, though I weigh them based on Pennants Added, not his salary estimator. I'm very confident in my pitcher rankings, and I make a manual adjustment for the extended career length that started in the 1960s (not shown below). My position player rankings are based largely on DanR's numbers. I haven’t updated this in the last couple of years because the new pitchers hitting the ballot have been pretty easy to slot and it’s a lot of work.

After the player I’ll list his Pennants Added and the player above and below him at his position on the lists for the guys I have run the numbers for. I’ll give me educated estimate of similar careers between for the newbies. My general guideline is below .80 PA I consider a mistake election. From .80 to .87, I won’t lose any sleep even though it’s below my line. From .88 up are guys I actively support electing. If you are over about .93 I think it’s a pretty blatant mistake if you aren’t in. .88 is 15 years of 4.0 WAR … but it’s just luck that that’s where the line lands. I didn’t draw it there on purpose. That’s just where the bell curve starts to widen quickly. It’s also 12 years of 4.85 WAR or 10 years of 5.7 WAR. Note that the 15 year scenario adds to 60 WAR. The 12 year adds to 58.2 WAR and the 10 year 57 WAR. So you can see peak value creeping in and that’s about how important I think it is in the grand scheme of things. It’s a little bit more than a tiebreaker, but not much more.

I tried to proof all of the comments - if something seems inconsistent, that’s a carry over from last year (or 5 years ago) that I missed. That means I didn’t try hard enough I guess :-)

1. Chipper Jones 3B (n/e) - 1.33 PA, (Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs). A very easy number one this year. An all-time great. Nothing much to add.

2. Scott Rolen 3B (n/e) - 1.14 PA, (George Brett, Ron Santo). Criminally underrated. I was not sure how much I would like him before digging in but here he lands. And it’s not just B-R WAR overrating him … Dan Rosenheck’s WAR actually likes him better through 2005 (where it ends) than B-R does. He’s definitely better than Santo, Molitor, Dick Allen, and those are middle of the pack Hall of Merit 3B. He’s better than Brooks Robinson. I have him as the #7 3B of all time, behind Schmidt, Mathews, Chipper, Boggs, Brett and Beltre. He needs to become the analytical community’s next Tim Raines in terms of Hall of Fame advocation.

3. Jim Thome 1B (n/e) - 1.12 PA, (Eddie Murray). Another solid HoMer. He’s better than Eddie Murray or Rafael Palmeiro, but not as good as Bagwell. Thome is interesting, in that he’s going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer (justifiably so), but was not as good as Gary Sheffield, another big power hitter, who isn’t going to get in for a long time, and I think it’s about more than the performance enhancing thing with Sheffield. I think people just don’t get how good Sheffield was.

4. Phil Rizzuto SS (3) - 1.02 PA, (Ernie Banks, Bert Campaneris). Now that I've given him systematic war credit and adjusted his 1946, during which he was recovering from malaria (which also impact his projections for 1943-45, if you use 1946 in those), he shows up as the best holdover position player by a substantial margin.

5. Jack Quinn SP (4) - 1.10 PA, (Eppa Rixey, Whitey Ford). I'm giving him credit for 1916-18 where he was pitching (quite well) in the PCL after the Federal League went belly-up. He gets a big leverage bonus for his nearly 800 IP of relief work at a LI of 1.26. Without any PCL credit I still have him between Bridges and Grimes.

6. Jorge Posada C (5) - .63 PA (Roger Bresnahan, Bill Freehan). The catcher bonus gets him up to .95 which puts him in as pretty easily electable IMO. I’ve got him a little bit ahead of Bill Freehan, who is the catcher that is just over the in/out line. Comparing the two, Posada played about half a season more, with a career 121 OPS+, including a .374 OBP, he is one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time. Freehan posted a 112 OPS+. Of course Freehan closes the gap with better defense. DanR’s WAR likes Posada a little better than Freehan, but they are very similar. I cannot see anyway that one should be in while the other is out.

7. Bert Campaneris SS (7) - .93 PA, (Phil Rizzuto, Joe Sewell). .470 OWP, in an era where the average SS was at .372. Long (9625 PA) career as well, and a good fielder (62 FRAA). System says to rank him ahead of Concepcion pretty clearly.

8. Urban Shocker SP (8) - .94 PA, (Tommy Bridges, Billy Pierce). Vaulted in 1981, with 1918 war credit (he was having a great year), and an adjustment for the AL being much better than the NL during his time. He was a great pitcher, peak guys should really look closer at him. He'd be a no brainer without his illness, which should not impact a peak vote.

9. Sammy Sosa RF (9) - .92 PA (Willie Stargell, Goose Goslin). Sosa has an enormous peak - his 2001 is overshadowed by Bonds, but it was an incredible season - a 203 OPS+. But his peak was short, basically 1998-2002 as his only period as a great player. DanR's WARP is tough on corner outfielders, but not inappropriately so. He deserves to make the Hall of Merit, but he's not a slam dunk like the top 4 on this ballot.

10. Vladimir Guerrero RF (10) - .85 PA (Reggie Smith, Joe Medwick). He’s not as high as I would have thought. This is probably a slightly generous ranking. DanR’s WAR isn’t as high on Vlad as BB-ref WAR is. But the further we get from 2005, where Dan’s WAR ends, the more error we add by extrapolating the differences.

11. Brian Giles RF (11) - .92 PA (Will Clark, Sherry Magee, Willie Stargell). Dan R's WAR loves Giles. Through 2005, it has him with .77 Pennants Added, .88 is roughly my in/out line. If you use BB-Ref WAR for 2006-2008 (his 2009 is below replacement level, so I zero it), I get Giles at about .917 Pennants Added.

For perspective, Giles' BB-Ref WAR is 50.9, 52.8 if you zero out his 2009. Carlos Delgado is at 45.7 if you zero out his 1994-95. So Giles has a 16% edge in BB-Ref WAR.

But in Dan R's WAR, converted to Pennants Added, Giles has a much bigger edge, .917 to .675 - that's a 36% edge.

Dan gives Giles 49.9 WAR through 2005, compared with 43.3 for BB-Ref.

Dan gives Delgado 40.6 WAR through 2005, compared with 40.9 for BB-Ref (again zeroing out 1994-95). Just an example to show that Dan doesn't always differ by a lot.

So if anything, it looks to me like BB-Ref WAR may be underrating Giles, not overrating him.

It seems like Giles defense, especially for 2004-05 is where DanR likes Giles better.

12. Gavy Cravath RF (12) - .90 PA, (Andre Dawson, Goose Goslin). Either he was a freak of nature, or there's a lot missing. I vote for the latter. Check out his thread for deeper discussion of the specifics, including a great analysis from Gadfly. He's the kind of guy we were hoping to catch when we started this project. I'm much more comfortable moving him this high after seeing his latest translations.

13. Ben Taylor 1B (13) - Negro Leaguer, Chris Cobb's MLE from 8/25/2004 suggests 325 WS. Consider me convinced that he was really was a great hitter. The Hall of Fame's Negro League Committee had access to a lot of data, and they chose to include him, in a group that we generally agreed with. That counts for something with me. I would have much preferred his election to that of Oms. The Hall of Miller and Eric has updated Negro League MLEs that show 69.9 WAR. I am comfortable leaving him here.

14. Tommy John SP (14) - 1.00 PA, (Bret Saberhagen, Wes Ferrell). Tons of career value. I would probably be sick to my stomach if Jim Kaat (who did very well in the Veteran's Committee balloting) got in and John did not. On the surface (career W-L) they appear similar, but when you adjust for everything, they aren't close. I have John as similar to, but better than Burleigh Grimes - about 800 more translated IP, at a 106 rate instead of a 104 rate. That's more than enough to offset Grimes peak edge. I get John somewhere between Eppa Rixey/Red Faber and Grimes on the continuum. He's over the in/out line for me. I also give no extra credit for his pioneering the surgery - someone had to be first.

15. Dave Concepcion SS (16) - .88 PA, (Joe Sewell, Dave Bancroft). Better than I realized, and was really hurt by the 1981 strike, which occurred during his best season (and a season where the Reds had the best record in baseball, but missed the playoffs). Still no Trammell or Ozzie, but a very good player indeed. We could do worse than induct him.
   69. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5597891)
16. Tommy Leach 3B/CF (17) - .88 PA (Stan Hack, Buddy Bell; Andre Dawson, Jim Wynn). I was a big fan of his awhile back, then he faded. He's back now, in no small part because of Dan R's work.

17. Bucky Walters SP (18) - .90 PA (Burleigh Grimes, Dwight Gooden). Johnny Pesky, Rabbit Maranville (with credit for a full 1918), Dave Bancroft, Don Newcombe, Burleigh Grimes, Edgar Martinez, Orel Hershister and Kevin Appier were top contenders for the last couple of spots in my top 20. Walters combination of big years, hitting, and playing in what I consider a very tough era (the late 30s, right before war depleted the ranks and after nearly 40 years without expansion) won him my final 6 points.

18. Luis Tiant SP (not ranked) - .88 PA. Comparing him with Reuschel . . . I've got Tiant 54th amongst post-1893 SPs eligible. I give him credit for 3362.3 tIP, at the equivalent of a 112 ERA+, and he was +5 runs as a hitter. Reuschel I get at 3745.3 tIP, a 115 rate, and the same +5 BRAR.

Looking at their seven best seasons in terms of WARP, I see Reuschel at 8.7, 6.5, 5.3, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.8; Tiant at 7.7, 6.4, 5.2, 5.1, 4.9, 4.6, 4.5. Reuschel's top 3 consecutive were 18.8; Tiant's 16.4.

Using a Bill James NHBA peaky type system, with my wins, I get Reuschel at #55, Tiant at #100. Using a JAWS type system, I get Reuschel #39, Tiant #60.

I like Tiant. He’s closish to my ballot. I wouldn’t be bothered if we put him in. I just like the guys ahead of him here more.

19. Bernie Williams CF (19) - .82 PA (Jim Wynn, Brett Butler). This number puts him a little below Dave Bancroft and Buddy Bell in the .85 range. He is right there with HoMers like John McGraw, Billy Herman and Hughie Jennings. Some of the guys in this range are in, some aren't. He's clearly in the gray area. I am a Yankee fan. Questions about his defense - I don't think it was quite as bad as the advanced metrics say - keep his value low. I'd love to do more digging on this - but I do feel like there are all sorts of goofy things with the fielding numbers for those Yankee teams. That being said, I'll err on the side of caution still.

Perpetual eligibility helps here - I don't have to worry about him falling off the ballot. But any bump in Williams' defensive ratings would move him into the low, but clear HoMer range. Based on Mike Emeigh's comments , I think this is reasonable and could bump Bernie next year. This evaluation gives him credit only as the numbers stand now.

20. Buddy Bell 3B (not ranked) .85 PA (Tommy Leach, Robin Ventura) - A little below Tommy Leach. A little above Ventura. At .85 PA he’s in the big crowd below about .88 PA which is where my typical in/out line seems to have formed. He’s close. It wouldn’t kill me if he got in. He’s getting close.

Jason Kendall C (20) - .55 PA - .84 with the catcher bonus (Bill Freehan, Thurman Munson). That’s a really good career. He’s probably ahead of Munson as the best catcher not in the Hall of Merit. Anyone else realize Kendall is 5th all time in games caught? And this is no Bob Boone, he’s got a 95 career OPS+, that is OBP heavy. Any else realize he’s also 5th all-time in HBP? I didn’t know that either. He also stole 189 bases in his career, and from 1996-99 he stole 71 bases and was caught just 16 times. From 1996-2000 he had a 124 OPS+. For his career he walked more than he struck out. This guy was one heckuva player. I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep if he were elected one day.

Wally Schang C - .55 PA -.80 with the catcher bonus. Seeing Kendall made me take another look at Schang.

Thurman Munson C - .52 PA - .79 with the catcher bonus. He was discussed during the 2010 election a bit, and is close, but about a full season behind Bill Freehan. I have Freehan at .87. I draw the line at Freehan in, Munson, Kendall, as well as Schang out, but I can definitely see support for Munson (or Kendall, who was probably a little better) as a candidate. Leaving them here for now.

Darrell Porter C - .52 PA - .78 with the catcher bonus. Basically in this group of four too. I think they should be the first four out. Seeing them bunched together here makes me more confident in that.

Prominent Newcomers:

Johan Santana - .79 PA - I can’t run him through my old system, it’s just too out of date at this point. Some I’m comparing him using B-R WAR with some others on the ballot … I think he comes up just a bit short. But I’m not dismissing him out of hand. There is a Koufax type argument here.

Koufax Santana
  10.7   8.6
  10.3   7.5
   8.1   7.2
   7.4   7.1 
   5.7   5.0
   4.4   4.6
   2.1   4.2
   1.5   3.3
   1.3   2.6
   1.1   0.3
   0.9   0.2
  -0.3   0.1

Zeroing out Koufax’s 1956, leaves them at 53.5 and 50.7. Translates to .865 Pennants Added for Koufax and .792 for Santana. Koufax had 2.8 more adjusted WAR, but his extra Pennants added of .073 is the equivalent an extra 4.85 WAR season in terms of pennant impact, that seems about right. And that’s the difference between a borderline Hall of Famer that gets bumped higher than he should be at first glance because of the massive peak and the crazy post-season record (he gave up 10 runs in 7 World Series starts), and a near Hall of Famer who was one season short from being in the serious discussion.

Hideki Matsui 22.6 WAR age 29+. That’s not nothing. A World Series MVP at the end of his career too. He could get 7-9 years of Japan credit. There are 59 players between 21.4 and 24 WAR from age 29-37. Some aren’t similar and get tossed right away, guys like Roy Campanella, Lou Boudreau, etc.

Matsui likely would have been in the majors part-way through his age 21 season. He was a star in Japan from age 22-28, his game took a big leap forward at age 22.

Jim Wynn is one who sort of fits the profile. He finally established himself by age 23 after half-seasons at 21-22. Even if we give Matsui Jimmy Wynn’s career from age 21-28, he ends up with 56.3 WAR. That’s Wynn as a CF, not a RF. Matsui did play 46 games in CF for the Yankees his first season, and he wasn’t terrible there. Perhaps he could have played CF when he was young.

What about Jack Clark? A guy that was athletic as a young player and a 1B/DH by the end. Clark had 30.6 WAR before age 29. At age 19-20 he broke in and was a regular at age 21. He had a couple of great years, especially 1978, where as a 22 year old he was 5th in the MVP voting. That still only gets Matsui into the low 50s.

While we are on the Clark’s, how about Will Clark? A HoMer! He hit the ground running at age 22. 34.0 WAR from age 22-28. Some big years in there. He should have probably been the 1989 NL MVP. That would put Matsui, near Hall of Fame territory, especially if you count that peak. He did win 3 Japan Central League MVPs.

So I think you need to give Matsui Will Clark level Japan credit to make him a member of the Hall of Merit. I’m not necessarily opposed, but I think the burden of proof is on those who want to advocate for him here.

But that’s top end methinks.

Johnny Damon .77 PA (Brett Butler, Amos Otis). Damon was a really good player. And he played for 16 years. There’s a lot of value there. I think he’s just as good as Kenny Lofton. But unfortunately for both of their candidacies, I see them as both a little below the line.

Jamie Moyer .77 PA. Moyer gets the reputation as an accumulator, but he was a lot more than that. He was outstanding 1998-99, 2002-2003. He was very good in 1988, 1997, 2001. He was above average in 1994, 1996, 2005, 2006 and 2008. That’s a nice 13-year career all by itself (48.6 WAR, 181-108! That’ Ron Guidry, strike adjusted, with an extra 6-15, -1.0 WAR season, for perspective), plus the replacement level filler (another 88-101). When the Mariners were falling apart in the 2001 postseason, he made 3 starts and gave up 4 runs, was 3-0. It wasn’t his fault. His last good season in 2008 helped the Phillies to a World Championship. The Hall of Merit wouldn’t have to be that much bigger to find a place for Moyer.

Andruw Jones - .69 PA (Earl Averill, Willie Davis). I am not feeling this one. I think B-R is overrating his defense in a big way, like with Lofton. I think B-R overstates the importance of CF for some reason. Dan R credits Jones with 37.7 WAR through 2005, but B-R has 52.3. For Chipper, 58.1-56.6; Thome 55.0, 57.1; Rolen 51.6-47.4. For Lofton, DanR has 51.1, B-R, 64.8. Bernie Williams, a ‘bad’ defender - DanR 46.3, B-R 49.8. So it’s not just that all CF are being overrated. I think there’s something fishy specifically with the ‘good’ CFers having their value overstated. Earl Averill and Willie Davis were very good players. Averill is quite possibly the worst player we elected, and I don’t think we should make that mistake again.

Omar Vizquel - .64 PA (Buddy Myer, Maury Wills). There is just not enough there there. He was a good player. It is sad that he has to be maligned by the analytical community, but he’s just not good enough. From 1995-2006, he was an excellent player. Many teams would have loved to have had him. But that’s not a Hall of Famer.

He’s been compared with Aparicio, but Aparicio, while not in the Hall of Merit (I don’t support him either), is pretty close. He’s .81 PA, which is in my grey area. He could conceivably make my ballot at some point. Vizquel isn’t close to that. Just by a quick count (I could be missing someone), you’ve got Fregosi, Stephens, Maranville, Fernandez, Bartell, Fletcher, Tinker, Franco, Bell, Petrocelli, Bush and Myer between the two. Not to mention non HoMers who should be, Rizzuto, Campaneris and Concepcion ahead of that whole pack, as well as Bancroft also ahead of Aparacio (borderline but not in HoMer IMO).
   70. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5597892)
Not great candidates IMO, but worth some commentary:

Billy Wagner and Trevor Hoffman - Here’s my thought on these guys … I would have no problem if they were elected. I’m a big (actual size) Hall guy, and I think there is room for the best relief pitchers ever in there. Even if they only throw one inning a game 60-70x a season.

But here’s the list of RPs with 23 or more WAR, zeroing out negative seasons, according to B-R WAR (I could have missed someone):

56.6   56.6 Mariano Rivera
50.7   50.1 Hoyt Wilhelm 
44.5   41.8 Goose Gossage
31.5   31.2 John Hiller
31.5   28.7 Lindy McDaniel
29.8   29.4 Lee Smith
28.9   28.0 Trevor Hoffman
28.5   27.3 Stu Miller (93 GS)
27.9   27.7 Billy Wagner
27.4   25.0 Rollie Fingers
27.1   26.2 Kent Tekulve
26.6   26.1 Joe Nathan
26.5   24.9 Dan Quisenberry
25.7   24.5 Bruce Sutter
25.7   23.8 Bob Stanley (85 GS)
25.5   22.9 Jesse Orosco
25.4   22.7 Don McMahon
25.2   23.7 John Franco
24.3   21.4 Dave Righetti (89 GS)
24.3   21.0 Tug McGraw
24.1   23.9 Francisco Rodriguez
24.1   22.9 Sparky Lyle
23.7   23.7 Jonathan Papelbon
23.7   23.1 Tom Henke
23.6   21.3 Doug Jones
23.0   21.3 Roy Face

Where do you draw that line? I mean, I could see Wagner and Hoffman in - and you could say it’s a different era, but Rivera shows a true great can still put up a reasonable Hall of Fame type total even in the modern era of closers. Personally I think we should give John Hiller a much longer look, especially with his off the charts 1973 season. For now Wagner and Hoffman sit out, but I’m open to considering them down the line. Should we give Hiller, Smith and McDaniel a better look if we think Wagner and Hoffman deserve to be in? Was Fingers a mistake? I don't have all of the answers, but I think they are important questions.

Other (including mandatory) comments:

Tommy Bridges SP (15) - .94 PA, (Stan Coveleski, Urban Shocker). Unspectacular peak (although he would have won the 1936 AL Cy Young Award if it had been invented), but a lot of career value. War credit helps nudge him above Trout and Leonard. He could obviously still pitch when he left for the war, and was still good when he returned for a short time. I give him 2 years of credit at his 1941-43 level.

That was my previous comment. Upon further review, he really wasn’t any good when he came back and he was 38 years old. I was giving him way too much credit for 1944-45. Scaling that back drops him off the ballot. Note to self for 2019, I have not updated the .94 yet.

Bobby Bonds - I see him as comparable to Joe Medwick or Kiki Cuyler, I’ve got Bonds with .82 PA. I wasn’t a big fan of Medwick’s selection. He’s just below my in out line, but it gets crowded just below. Which is why the line is a little above that crowd.

David Wells - I kind of think of him as the Bobo Newsom of the 1985-2005 period. Bounced around and pitched pretty well wherever he went. I am a big fan of long career very good pitchers. I did not have time to run him through my system, but looking at his BB-ref WAR, his ERA+, IP and comparing him with others who I have run through, I think he's most comparable to Newsom and Newcombe.

Kenny Lofton CF - .80 PA (Dom DiMaggio, Larry Doby). As mentioned in the Andruw Jones comment, DanR's WAR does not like Lofton nearly as much as BB-ref's. Big year in 1994 and a nice run from 1992-96, but he seems to me like a very good, not great player. The big difference here is defense. If I could be convinced his defense was better than DanR thinks, I could move him up a bit.

Jeff Kent Lands around .80 PA . . . this puts him very much in the HOVG for me. There are some HoMers here - Ken Boyer is probably the best comp. Nellie Fox, Bill Terry and Ken Boyer are examples of HoM players from down here, but non-HoMers are far more common. Between Boyer and Fox you have Fregosi, Cey, Bob Johnson, Jose Cruz Sr., Tony Fernandez, Chuck Klein, Harry Hooper, George Sisler, Ralph Kiner, Amos Otis, Chet Lemon, and Bobby Veach. I think Kent is in nice company there. Just not really close to getting on my ballot company.

Luis Gonzalez Similar to Kent, a hair behind at .79 PA. Was surprised that Dan R’s WAR likes him nearly as much as Kent.

Hugh Duffy - .72 WAR. Pretty cool that perpetual eligibility keeps guys like Duffy around. rWAR has him with .4625 from 1893 on, so I need to come up with some estimates for 1888-1892.

What I did was run a regression on Pennants Added using Dan’s WAR against Chone’s WAR. Then I used the resulting function to convert Chone’s WAR to PA for the missing years. The reason I did it this way was because I like Dan’s WAR better and if there were any differences between the two in terms of how they treat Duffy, I wanted to lean towards Dan’s method.

Amongst players that finished their career before 1920, the .72 PA number puts Duffy in the company of guys like Roy Thomas and Fielder Jones. He’s just not good enough for me.

Julio Franco 2B/SS - .68 PA (Joe Tinker, Jay Bell). This does not include any credit for 1998-2001. Even if I gave him credit for 1.0 WAR per year (his age 39-42 seasons) we are talking about him bumping up to the Art Fletcher/Dick Bartell class. He was an all-star caliber player from 1984-1991, but never an MVP candidate or anything like that. But he was a really good player, and a neat story playing as long as he did.

Dick Redding - He was good, but I think we are overrating him. I can't see how he's better than Grimes, who just misses my ballot.

Vic Willis - My system does not love Willis. He is not worse than the worst HoM pitchers we've elected (Bob Lemon and Joe McGinnity), but I have 20-25 pitchers ahead of him, ranging from those on my ballot, down through modern guys like Hershiser, Appier, Gooden, Denny Martinez, older guys like Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Bob Shawkey. This is a short career. This is not a knock, I just think he's in the middle of this glut. He was also a terrible hitter for a pitcher in his era, which costs him 28 runs compared with an average hitting pitcher for his time. Give him those runs back and I'd have him around even with Tiant.

Sal Bando - .67 PA. Using DanR's WAR he winds up in a cohort that includes Harlond Clift, Larry Gardner, Ken Caminiti, Art Devlin. I am not feeling this one at all. It's basically 11 years of very good. He's not close for me.

Non-Mandatory comments:

Robin Ventura is a tier below with .83 PA (yes, there are that many players at this level - which is one thing that suggests HoVG for both Edgar and Ventura). Norm Cash and Bobby Bonds are also here. Buddy Bell is right there, a little actually, at .85 PA.

Bob Johnson - .80 PA. He's in the mix - but slides down when you deflate his numbers from WWII. I see him in a group with Fregosi, Cey, Cruz and Schang. I don’t think Edgar Martinez was all that better than Bob Johnson.

John Olerud - .75 PA (George Sisler, Fred McGriff). Olerud was a really good player with a very nice split peak (1993/1998). rWAR shows him as deserving the 1993 MVP that most statheads think should have gone to Frank Thomas. But he only had 7 years with 3 or more rWAR. It wouldn’t kill me to see him elected. He was a more valuable player than Fred McGriff, Kirby Puckett, Jake Beckley or Charlie Keller, for example. But he’s doesn’t have quite enough to make my ballot at this point.

Fred McGriff is down there with guys like Roy White, Jack Clark, Dale Murphy and George Burns at .73 PA. Defense and base running count.

Kirby Puckett - .69 PA. Loved to watch him play, but there's just not enough there. DanR's numbers show him similar to Rizzuto - before giving any war credit. I've got him in a group with Ken Singleton, Bob Elliott, Fielder Jones, Joe Tinker, Harlond Clift, etc.. Very good player. A solid all-star in his day. But not a HoMer.
   71. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: December 27, 2017 at 06:10 PM (#5597916)
Not a lot of changes this year. I need to get a copy of Kiko/Tom’s book and I’d like to see more MLEs for the candidates on the ballot. But a strong crop of new candidates makes things simpler.

My ranking system isn’t that specific. It’s based more on BB-ref’s WAR than anything else, but I still have WS and old WARP totals on my spreadsheet. I use Humphrey’s DAR in some cases, but I can’t say I’ve applied it systematically.

I also try to include both peak and career candidates, but tend to lean more towards the career when push comes to shove. When I talk about WS or WAR rate, that’s per PA.

Larry, Thome, Rolen and Guerrero make my PHoM this year.

1. Larry Jones (new) A more impressive hitter relative to his position than Thome, and his fielding is not a demerit. Clearly qualified, and as a Mets fan, I intend to never say anything nice about him again. Makes my PHoM this year.

2. Jim Thome (new) Obviously worthy of induction. Can’t think of anything else necessary to say. Makes my PHoM this year.

3. Scott Rolen (new) Overlooked by a lot of people (including me) during his career, but an outstanding fielder who can hit like there is worthy of induction. Hopefully doesn’t fall off the HoF ballot. Makes my PHoM this year.

4. Bobby Bonds (5) While Edmonds is clearly better, especially in the field, I think they are pretty comparable over all. More of a prime candidate than anything else, but his peak and career values aren’t bad either. Even with Smith’s election, I still think 1970’s OF are a bit underrepresented. Made my PHoM in 2008.

5. Bus Clarkson (4) Dr. C’s recent evaluation tempers his defensive value a tad, but his offense is still impressive. Parallels Elliot’s career, but with war credit he comes out ahead, and he presumably had more defensive value. If the old MLEs are accurate, he’s worthy of a high ballot placement. Made my PHoM in 1997.

6. Luis Tiant (6) He had some outstanding years, and contributed long enough to build up a decent career value. There were a lot of great pitchers in his era, but that happens sometimes. Ahead of Redding because they’re very close, and I can’t ignore the argument that MLB info is more certain. Made my PHoM in 2005.

7. Ben Taylor (9) A solid candidate who might have been overlooked. 3rd-best 1B in the Negro Leagues, a good hitter with an outstanding defensive rep. I think the most recent MLEs validate this ranking, so I’m basically keeping him steady. I have him as the best overall 1B of his era – Sisler was better at his best, but that just didn’t last long enough. Made my PHoM in 2009.

8. Dick Redding (8) Seems to have a pretty good peak, and also has somewhat of a career argument. I still tend to think he’s close enough to Mendez that they both should be in or out. Made my PHoM in 1973.

9. Vladimir Guerrero (7) He looks pretty similar to Bonds and Johnson to me. He played a bit longer, but their rates are a little better. Certainly a good candidate, and a highly entertaining player. Makes my PHoM this year. (Not 100% sure about that, but none of the other candidates excite me either.)

10. Phil Rizzuto (10) Accounting for the malaria as an effect of the war helped him move up a couple of spots. With war credit, it’s pretty clear he’d have more career value than Stephens. Peak is a different issue, but he’s not that far behind Stephens, and he did have a few excellent seasons. Might deserve Minor League credit for 1940 (I’m not counting it at the moment.) Made my PHoM in 1997.

11. Kenny Lofton (11) This is mostly because of his total WAR, but he does generally look better than the other CF candidates. I found it interesting that if you rank their seasonal WAR scores, Lofton beats Edmonds for Years 1-3, then Edmonds is in front for 4-10, and Lofton for the rest. I’d like to get some clarity about his defense.

12. Bob Johnson (12) I'm impressed by his consistency, he was an above-average player every year for 13 seasons, plus he got started very late in the bigs, so I will give him at least 1 year of minor league credit. I think the era considerations have been a little overblown, and I still don’t think Joe Medwick was any better than Bob. Made my PHoM in 1992.

13. Tommy Leach (14) Doesn’t do great by WAR, although a lot of the other 3B candidates are in the hard-to-differentiate 70s clump. Excellent fielder at important positions, OK hitter. One of the most complete players on the ballot. Made my PHoM in 1940.

14. Andruw Jones (new) Very comparable to Lofton, comes in just a bit behind him because the defensive numbers are vital to his argument, and at least somewhat overinflated.

15. Tommy Bridges (15) Very hard to differentiate between Bridges and Cone. Like Johnson, extremely consistent, which I feel is a strength. I am giving him war credit, but not minor-league credit. Honestly, moved him ahead of Cash because I wanted more than 2 pitchers on the ballot.

16. Norm Cash (13) A lot of good years, but I really think he's the Beckley of the 60s, with a shorter career (although that's not really much of a criticism), and the fluke year. Even if you take 1961 out, he’s still clearly ahead of Cepeda and Perez in WS and WARP rate. He really does look pretty similar to Hernandez, and for some reason has 6 Win Shares Gold Gloves to Keith's 1. Made my PHoM in 2003.

17. Gavvy Cravath (16) With the basic 07, 09-11 additions, this is where I have him. A better peak than Johnson, but less consistent. WAR isn't quite as fond of him as WS, but he compares well to Kiner & Keller. Made my PHoM in 1987.

(17A David Cone)

18. John Olerud (17) I understand the comment that McGriff looked more like a Hall of Famer, but Olerud was just perpetually overlooked. He clearly had significantly more defensive value than McGriff, and the offensive difference is not huge (OPS+ 134-128). Putting him ahead of Sosa may be pushing it, but maybe not.

19. Thurman Munson (23) On the one hand, yeah, I probably have been underrating catchers, but when I look at the individual candidates, they still don’t seem ballot-worthy. Didn’t hit quite as well as Bresnahan, but Roger also
accumulated a fair amount of hanging-around value, even by WAR.

20. Don Newcombe (20) Basically the only pitcher candidate left from the 50s, and he has an interesting argument – see the discussion in the Belle thread about alcoholism. And he gets less attention from the HoF people than Gil Hodges or Allie Reynolds. Read about the Yankees and Dodgers in the 50s, and tell me who people thought was a better pitcher.

But I have to admit that even with all the extra credit, there isn’t quite enough to keep him ahead of Cone and Bridges.

21. Bill Monroe (18) Has dropped, partly because of new guys, but also because those 1912-14 numbers don’t look good. A good player at an important defensive position, with a great reputation for his fielding. People like to promote the 1890s as underrepresented, but that doesn't mean the 00s and 10s are overrepresented. (Well, maybe on my ballot, but not in the HoM.) Made my PHoM in 1939.

(21A Ralph Kiner, 21B John McGraw)

22. Sammy Sosa (19) The more I look at him, the more “meh” I feel. The most recent version of WAR were kinder to Bonds and Johnson, who were more consistently good. Has a slightly higher peak, but he was also allowed to hang around longer. 609 homers are impressive, but a 128 OPS+ is not.

23. Jeff Kent (21) A little lower than I thought he’d be, but he didn’t have that many great years. Seems pretty similar to Lazzeri to me. Kent & Olerud missed out on being a left side with both the Blue Jays & the Mets.

24. Cesar Cedeno (25) Outside of the big total WAR difference, I don’t see a lot differentiating him in value from Lofton & Jones. (Yeah, that’s a pretty big ‘outside of’)

25. Johan Santana (new) Comparable to Dean but just a bit more of a peak, but I don’t think he’s quite up to Newcombe with applicable credit. I do think it’ll take more time to evaluate how to value 21st century starters, so this could change.

26. Vern Stephens (22) Close to Rizzuto, but with the wartime discount and the sudden dropoff after 1950, not quite there.

(26A Andre Dawson)

27. Dizzy Dean (24) Does have a really good peak argument by some metrics, but he stands out less by WAR than he did by the other ones.

(27A Sam Thompson, 27B Roger Bresnahan)

28. Tony Lazzeri (27) He was the best backlog MLB candidate at his position until Kent showed up. Compare him to Larry Doyle, who some people vote for. Their career lengths are similar, Doyle was a better hitter, but not much, and Lazzeri was a much better fielder.

(28A George Sisler)

29. Urban Shocker (28) He is a good candidate, but his career is a bit too short, even with the ½ year war credit.

30. Wally Schang (31) Yes, I was absolutely overlooking him. But I still don’t think he’s ahead of Bresnahan, and I don’t have Roger in either. The OPB is truly impressive, but a lot of it was accumulated in the ‘20s, not the ‘10s.

31. Hilton Smith (N/A) For some reason, I’d actually taken him out of my consideration set. Not yet sure what his MLE really means, so this is sort of a placeholder ranking.

32. Bernie Williams (29) A really good player when he was at his best, but everything says the defense was so bad in the second half of his career that it keeps him away from the ballot.

(32A Hughie Jennings, 32B Charley Jones)

33. Bucky Walters (33) Would be higher, but when you consider a wartime discount, his 115 ERA+ really isn’t impressive.

34. Bob Elliott (32) I’m comfortable putting him ahead of the 70s group now. He’s got a case for being the best 3B in baseball in the late 40s, those guys simply don’t.

(34A Rollie Fingers)

35. Jack Clark (30) An overlooked quality player.

(35A Graig Nettles)

36. Kevin Appier (35)
37. Fred McGriff (26) I beat up on him a bit in the Olerud comment, but he still did have a long, consistent career.
38. Eddie Cicotte (39)

(38A Pete Browning, 38B Nellie Fox)

39. Jose Cruz (36)
40. Vic Willis (40) I think he’s pretty comparable to Cicotte – he’s more of a prime/career guy, but the total is about the same. If we’re looking for pitchers, the 20s & 30s (Bridges/Dean) are the underrepresented eras. Willis isn’t a bad candidate, but I don’t see anything special about him.

Not in Top 40 (All I got to this year again):

George Van Haltren (39 Last Year): Wins the “Wait, why did I have this guy so high?” award. I don’t reject all peak arguments, but I’d take his consistency over Duffy’s big years. Made my PHoM in 1972.

Elston Howard: WAR absolutely hates him, giving him almost no value outside of his 4-year peak. Even with credit for military service, the slow pace of integration & being stuck behind Yogi, you can’t get that record into a HoM-worthy career. Other metrics are not so harsh, but I can’t just ignore something so striking.

Made my PHoM in 2004. Have to admit I probably made a mistake here. Looking at my voting history, this probably would have wound up with Ralph Kiner in my PHoM.

Buddy Bell: Like I’ve said, I definitely have a lower opinion of the gang of 70s third basemen than a good portion of the electorate. There’s already several enshrined, and then you’ve got Bando, Cey and Bell all at the same time. And even within that, I don’t see any particular reason to pick out Bell.

   72. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 07:54 PM (#5597933)
29 ballots so far if I counted correctly. That would be our most since 2015, which is great!
   73. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 27, 2017 at 08:03 PM (#5597934)
Somebody named Chadwick posted a preliminary ballot in the Discussion Thread (#434) which seemed fine to me - he described his system (mostly WAA), mentioned the top 10 returnees. Is there some protocol for accepting such a ballot if he doesn't post here (which he hasn't as I type this)?
   74. bachslunch Posted: December 27, 2017 at 08:22 PM (#5597938)
@73: nobody asked me, but if they did I’d offer that I’m fine with counting it. It’s possible Chadwick thought posting a ballot in the discussion thread was sufficient, but can’t say for sure. Not sure how strict the protocol has been in past, though.
   75. rawagman Posted: December 27, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5597939)
I assume we accepted the ballot of kcgard2, but not that of homerwannabee?
   76. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 08:25 PM (#5597940)
I would think it would be reasonable to accept it at first glance. It wasn't posted here, but he asked for help and we didn't explicitly tell him to make sure he posts it over here. I'd be fine with counting it. It won't impact the final tally. We could post it over here for him.
   77. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 08:26 PM (#5597941)
Correct rawagman
   78. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 08:28 PM (#5597943)
434. Chadwick Posted: December 25, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5597390)
First of all, merry Christmas, gentlemen.

That said, please let me know if I am not doing this right. My ballot, with thoughts...

1) Chipper Jones - easily the best player not already enshrined and a top-5 guy all-time at his position (the only player on this ballot you can say that about)
2) Scott Rolen - on a per-game basis, he was basically Mike Schmidt; injuries relegated him to top 10 all-time which is a no-brainer for the HoM
3) Jim Thome - a better version of Harmon Killebrew IMO; still underrated by many
4) Kenny Lofton - in his prime, I always thought he was a better all-around player than Junior if you could overlook the lack of power; easier to quantify that now
5) Luis Tiant - the best pitcher outside the HoM and the 2nd-highest scoring one by my system (highest from 1893-present)
6) Andruw Jones - one case where the gold gloves were mostly deserved (unlike another newcomer to this ballot); slightly less overall value as Lofton with less staying power
7) Johan Santana - his generation's "Sandy Koufax" as has been pointed out repeatedly; if Sandy's good enough, so is this two-time Cy winner
8) Sammy Sosa - I'm a big prime guy and that pushes Sosa past the similar value career guys he's lumped with
9) Bobby Bonds - the original power/speed showcase; forgotten star who deserves to keep the HoM in the family
10) Vladimir Guerrero - no denying what a great hitter he was; great arm early offset by poor defense as career progressed
11) Sal Bando - preponderance of his value comes from hitting (plus) and peak (double plus) making me more confident in him over Bell as the best 3B outside the HoM
12) Bob Johnson - perhaps the most overlooked hitter of the Lively Ball Era; I have Indian Bob right there with Bonds/Sosa/Vlad, but this era is already overrepresented
13) Jeff Kent - if not in value, at least as an archetype, Kent seems to me the Larry Doyle of his day; career HR record is trivia, his consistently good performance is not; best 2B outside the HoM
14) Vic Willis - tough call between him and #15, but the late 90s are slightly underrepresented and Willis was a little better - he did, in fact, have a good prime
15) Urban Shocker - very close to Willis in terms of overall value; pitched for better teams

Thoughts on Additional Candidates
Ben Taylor - I'm inclined to rank Taylor as the 2nd or 3rd best player at his position outside the HoM for reasons stated in others' posts (LQ, similarity to other 1B of his general era, etc.). The line starts at the Peerless Leader for me.
Buddy Bell - one of the better 3B left on the board, but he was never remotely the best player at his position in his league (unlike Bando) and his case rests entirely on defense, which is somewhat less reliable while simultaneously not overwhelming
Tommy Bridges - I like Bridges, but he's not even in my top 10 pitchers outside the HoM; nothing to separate him from similarly ranked pitchers to push him up my queue

Omar Vizquel - not sure how many of the 1st-timers I have to comment on and nothing should NEED to be said about Vizquel, but he's essentially a poor man's Rabbit Maranville and I don't see Maranville as within shooting distance of the HoM

Upcoming pitchers that I'll have to sort through include Babe Adams, Kevin Appier, Tommy Bond, Dwight Gooden, Orel Hershiser, Jim McCormick and Tony Mullane. I'm not at all sure how to sort through those 19th century guys. Guess I'll need to read through some of the old threads to see what others have to say. Could use some input for 2019.

My system is essentially a modified version of Wins Above Average, weeding out negative WAA seasons as I am looking to identify GREATNESS. I am a heavy peak voter so this works quite well for me as it appears to me that 95% of the Hall of Merit selections fall #1 thru X at their position in my rankings (absent ineligible players). I found this quite satisfactory in helping me determine who the best players at each position outside the HoM are. Gave me a great starting place as I went through each position.

Please let me know if this doesn't conform to the rules or if I can make it better in any way.
   79. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: December 27, 2017 at 09:02 PM (#5597953)
Hey guys, the posting of results might be delayed, as adding this ballot requires running the spreadsheet again, but the macros won't work on my desktop. I believe the RWargo and rawagman's tallies match. So once I get the updated spreadsheet I'll post the results.

Big thanks to them both for taking the time to add up the votes.

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