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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

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, 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 | 17 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 yahoogroups.com. 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....

DOC C'S 2018 BALLOT, PRESENTED BY YOUR FAVORITE CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER
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.

REQUIRED MENTIONS
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)
OFF BALLOT
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

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