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

Monday, December 19, 2016

2018 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion

Vladimir Guerrero (267), Sammy Sosa (255), Luis Tiant (189), Jeff Kent (179), Vic Willis (161), Kenny Lofton (151), Bobby Bonds (133), Ben Taylor (130), Buddy Bell (130) and Tommy Bridges (106) will be the top 10 returnees for 2018.

Jorge Posada (95), Bob Johnson (86), Urban Shocker (80), Dick Redding (79), Phil Rizzuto (79), Wally Schang (79) and Sal Bando (68) rounded out the top 20.

2018 - (December 4 - 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 19, 2016 at 09:12 PM | 250 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   201. Rob_Wood Posted: April 28, 2017 at 04:47 PM (#5444517)
There is no way you are going to get me to swallow that Tommy Bond (with 5 decent seasons) is more valuable than Barry Bonds because he was able to take the mound and not walk anyone.

My position on this matter is clear. I have voted in each and every Hall of Merit election. Our first election was 1898 and our latest was 2017, making a grand total of 120 separate elections. In each election a voter votes for his top 15 players. 120 * 15 = 1,800. So since this project began, I have listed 1,800 names on my collective body of Hall of Merit election ballots.

In none of my 1,800 ballot slots have I ever listed the name of Tommy Bond. And I will not be including the name of Tommy Bond on any subsequent future ballot regardless of the information I posted above.

I don't know how I can make it any clearer. WAR is a problematic stat for 19th century pitchers. I will repeat it a thousand times if need be. As CPASR is 100% hitched to WAR, CPASR is a problematic stat for 19th century pitchers. I included them in the above lists for completeness purposes only. If you'd like to do what I do, you can mentally cross out any 19th century pitcher you see on the list and pretend that you never saw those names or figures.

Please don't throw the CPASR stat into the dustbin simply because you believe that WAR for 19th century pitchers are silly.
   202. Rob_Wood Posted: April 30, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5445149)
I have calculated the CPASR for the additional players that Bleed the Freak suggested.

Bobby Mathews       2.175 (19th century pitcher, ignore?)
Charlie Buffinton   1.410 (19th century pitcher, ignore?)
John Clapp          0.706
Dave Orr            0.630
Jack Rowe           0.622
Orator Shafer       0.589
Abner Dalrymple     0.488
Mickey Tettleton    0.428
Del Crandall        0.408
Darren Daulton      0.379
Brian McCann*       0.360
Tug McGraw          0.323
Doug Jones          0.320

   203. Bleed the Freak Posted: April 30, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5445302)
Nice turnaround time Rob!, 11 others I have with solid ratings in Baseball-Reference WAR:
Davy Force
Paul Goldschmidt
Tip O'Neill
John Morrill
Fred Pfeffer
Whit Wyatt
Levi Meyerle
Gary Peters

3 others:
Tony Pena - catcher
Sparky Lyle - reliever
Manny Machado - active guy
   204. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:10 PM (#5447321)
Thanks for all of this, Rob! I really like the concept of a sliding replacement value. I definitely like the idea that in-season replacement level is lower than "offseason" (?) replacement level. I also like the concept of pennants added. I need to sit down with your formulas and see if I can figure out a way to make it work with my Player won-lost records. But very interesting food for thought.
   205. Rob_Wood Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:43 PM (#5447338)
Thanks for the nice comment Kiko. It goes without saying that I am a big fan of all of your stuff. (Ditto for Bleed the Freak.)

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Hall of Merit has been all the great research associated with the project (coming from many great researchers). I don't want to name names for fear that I will overlook somebody, but there has been a heck of a lot of great research. Research on minor-league equivalents, negro-league players, 19th century, scarcity/replacement-levels, pennants-added, and many other key elements of baseball.

Anyway, here is the latest batch of new CPASR for the additional players Bleed the Freak listed just above.
Davy Force        0.667
Levi Meyerle      0.577
Tip O'Neill       0.552
John Morrill      0.492
Paul Goldschmidt* 0.479
Gary Peters       0.424
Whit Wyatt        0.419
Manny Machado*    0.405
Fred Pfeffer      0.367
Sparky Lyle       0.337
Tony Pena         0.295
Of course, any and all questions about the entire body of CPASR results or the methodology are more than welcome.

   206. Bleed the Freak Posted: May 03, 2017 at 04:20 PM (#5447882)
Thanks Rob, if you decide to expand into Kiko's W-L or Baseball Gauge DRA WAR, I have some additional suggested candidates (although they don't fair so well with Baseball Reference WAR:

Kiko: Mike Hampton, Bret Boone, Dick Donovan, Greg Luzinski, Vic Raschi, John Wetteland, Dave Righetti, Jayson Werth, Fritz Peterson, Bob Forsch, Shane Reynolds, Edwin Encarnacion.

Gauge: Mike Marshall, Bob Stanley, Jason Varitek, John Roseboro, Shin Soo-Choo, Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, Hank Sauer, Burt Shotton, Dutch Ruether, Happy Felsch, Giancarlo Stanton.
   207. Bleed the Freak Posted: May 05, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5449481)
Hey Kiko, he's long been elected, but Willie Mays fairs quite poorly in your component 5 measure, hits versus outs on balls in play.
He shows as 19th worst in component 5 fielding wins:;=&y2;=&l=&a=c&n=99&s=c5
Is he really that bad, did he have less chances with the pitching staffs in his career, some mix or otherwise?

And it's a small thing, but an error is coming up when you click on component fielding links:

The links are broke in the fielding article for the components:
Incorrect link:
Correct link:
   208. Bleed the Freak Posted: May 07, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5450412)
Recent discussion on a fine Negro Leaguer with no thread: Rev Cannady:
   209. Bleed the Freak Posted: May 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5453478)
84. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 09, 2017 at 11:29 PM (#5380804)
Finally, shameless self-promotion: coming in June from McFarland, Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context

Hello Kiko, what website do you receive the most $ from, I see a number of different avenues to purchase this?

   210. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 11, 2017 at 08:27 PM (#5453868)
Hello Kiko, what website do you receive the most $ from, I see a number of different avenues to purchase this?


To be perfectly honest, I don't know. If I had to guess, I would guess going through McFarland, but I don't know. By all means, go with whatever makes the most sense for you (i.e., is cheapest?). I'm not really in it for the money: I'm fairly sure the market for this book won't allow me to retire and live off the royalties (now, my second book - kidding).
   211. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 11, 2017 at 08:42 PM (#5453880)
Hey Kiko, he's long been elected, but Willie Mays fairs quite poorly in your component 5 measure, hits versus outs on balls in play.

Comments #209-#210 segue nicely into my answer here. I actually wrote a bit about this very topic in the book. Short answer: it's entirely possible that I'm wrong and the honest answer is that I don't know exactly why Mays fares so poorly. Longer answer / attempt to defend my ratings: buy the book - okay, summary: Mays was very good at Component 5 when he was very young (through 1956, age 25); it's possible that he lost a step or two as he aged and people either didn't notice or didn't care because, you know, he's Willie Freaking Mays out there.
   212. Bleed the Freak Posted: July 02, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5486884)
Kiko, looks like the publication date has been pushed back for your book, do you know when I can anticipate this being available?
Hoping to have for my birthday ! :)
   213. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 17, 2017 at 09:16 AM (#5494532)
Kiko, looks like the publication date has been pushed back for your book, do you know when I can anticipate this being available?
Hoping to have for my birthday ! :)

Sorry it's taken me two weeks to respond to this. I don't know. I talked to my editor and he said that he has several books that seem to be moving more slowly through production than he expected. I think he's still hoping for some time this summer. He told me I should expect proofs in a week or two. But (a) I don't know how likely that is if things are moving more slowly in general than normal, and (b) this is my first book, so I don't know how long it takes to go from proofs to an actual book. I'm definitely planning to post something - probably here, on Twitter, and on my website - when it's available.
   214. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 01, 2017 at 08:51 PM (#5504767)
Bleed and anybody else interested, I got proofs for my book today! It's scheduled to go to the printer "by August 31st". Here's the page for it on McFarland's website: Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context
   215. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5530724)
Follow-up to #214. My book has been published. Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context, published by McFarland, should be available wherever fine books are sold.
   216. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 16, 2017 at 06:36 PM (#5533145)
Thanks kiko, i placed my order with McFarland.

I was pondering bob lemon the other day, he is a maligned hall of meriter through the lens of baseball reference and baseball gauge, but he is rather impressive with your win loss records. His era is much better than his fip, is this a case where lemon is apportioned more credit for balls in play/inducing weak contact by your methods compared to others?
   217. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 17, 2017 at 12:23 AM (#5533279)
Thanks for ordering the book, Bleed!

Lemon has a few things going for him in my rankings. He was a great hitter - which other systems should include, although BB-Ref separates Batting WAR and Pitching WAR which can make it easy to fail to include it. He looks much better in context by my numbers than out of context (40.7 pWORL vs. 32.6 eWORL). And, yes, he was quite good at the non-FIP components of pitching. Fangraphs shows this most strikingly, I think. They actually calculate WAR two ways: based on FIP - which gives Lemon 32.3 WAR - and based on RA/9 - which gives Lemon 52.6 WAR - 20 more WAR! - which improves his ranking on Fangraphs among pitchers from 258th in FIP-based WAR (which is, of course, their preferred WAR) to 120th in RA-based WAR.

And then, raw career WAR understates Lemon's value, since he had a relatively short career, in part due to World War II (he served for all of the 1943, 1944, and 1945 seasons - he was in the minor leagues in 1942 (as a 3B)).

Without getting into World War II credit, using my preferred weighting of things (pWins vs. eWins; WOPA vs. WORL; etc.) he ends up in the same general vicinity as Roy Campanella (also with no extra credit), Roy Halladay, Early Wynn, and Rod Carew, to pick four players who have virtually nothing in common except that they're all fairly solid mid-tier Hall-of-Famers/Meriters (well, Halladay will be once he's eligible).
   218. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 18, 2017 at 08:05 PM (#5534026)
Thanks Kiko.

Regarding your ratings versus B-R and B-G, is it mostly attributed to the numbers he had in context?
Per your suggestion, I've been using 1/3 pWORL and 2/3 eWORL, Lemon vaults into the top 60 hurlers of all-time.
When I use B-R and B-G, he falls in the low 100s range.

If it's not just context, does he excel in some other ways you capture differently/better than the other metrics?

   219. Howie Menckel Posted: September 18, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5534048)
I could have sworn during our HOM discussion on Lemon many years ago that he had an amazing 100 career OPS+. now it is listed at 82.

so I misremembered it - or is it something else?

in 419 AB from 1947-50, Lemon had 20 HR, 71 RBI, and OPS+s of 177, 119, 134, and 113. he also was 76-40 in that span for an average W-L of 19-10. 144, 133, 112, and 108 ERA+s and led the AL in IP twice.

not true math, but has a 119 ERA+ and 82 OPS+. I wonder how many other Ps have a combined figure over 200? Sandy Koufax ain't one.
   220. Kiko Sakata Posted: September 18, 2017 at 10:06 PM (#5534093)
Regarding your ratings versus B-R and B-G, is it mostly attributed to the numbers he had in context?

That's certainly part of it. Lemon was very good on balls in play - the evidence suggests that he was very good at inducing weak contact. Per BB-Ref, for his career, MLB had an average batting line of .259/.332/.370 with a BABIP of .276. Lemon allowed a line of .240/.320/.337 with a BABIP of .258. So his BABIP allowed was .018 lower and his ISO was .097 vs. a lg-ISO of .111. I'm not entirely sure why that wouldn't show up to his credit in BB-Ref, though, since they base their pitcher WAR on runs allowed.

I'm not as familiar with Fangraphs - but there, the story is the non-FIP stuff which I discussed above - but, in BB-Ref, it's really hard to get them to give you a set of WAA and/or WAR that include both pitching WAR and batting WAR. In the play index, if you look at WAR numbers for pitchers, it's pitching only. Which doesn't matter for most pitchers, but Bob Lemon is very much not most pitchers: his batting was worth 11.3 WAR (and/or 11.3 WAA) per BB-Ref. I have him as the second-best hitting pitcher for whom I've calculated Player won-lost records (i.e., basically since 1930) behind Wes Ferrell - so, best-hitting pitcher since World War II and/or since integration.

As far as my personal ratings, he's also being measured as more of a prime candidate. He was very good from 1948 - 1956. Controlling for context, he's about the 7th-best player in MLB over that time period, the 3rd-best pitcher, and the best American League pitcher, measured by either eWOPA or eWORL. I'm not sure how to do a similar leaderboard for BB-Ref because of the issue w/ pitcher batting (which would also affect Warren Spahn).
   221. Bleed the Freak Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:53 PM (#5534885)
In BB-Ref, it's really hard to get them to give you a set of WAA and/or WAR that include both pitching WAR and batting WAR.

Maybe The Baseball Gauge (Seamheads) has a search tool you are looking for:
WAR leaderboards
WAR and WAA are available for Baseball Reference and Gauge, and you can mix and match other ways too.

A downloads section is also available for baseball gauge for all seasons:
Baseball Gauge WAR download

A polarizing candidate has been Wilbur Wood for me.
To the wayback machine, Wood was underwhelming by Baseball Prospectus WARP and Joe Dimino's PA.
Conversely, Wilbur at Baseball-Reference and Baseball Gauge show him as a mid-level or lower end HOF quality player.
His Fangraphs FIP are a bit shy of a large HOF, his WPA and Baseball Prospectus DRA are terrible.
When I look at Win-Loss records, I see a pitcher outside the top 200 all-time.

What are your thoughts on Wood?
   222. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 22, 2017 at 12:46 AM (#5536550)
Wood's entire case is 1968-73. Because he had so much bulk, he effectively packs four typical seasons of value into three seasons (both as a relief ace and a front-line starter). Yet he adds so little value outside of those six seasons that I can't justify giving him a ballot spot.
   223. Bleed the Freak Posted: November 06, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5571927)
Apologies, I posted to 2017 thread, belongs in 2018:

Passing along that Retrosheet is planning to have fielding splits available, probably not until mid 2018 though:

Retrosheet Fielding Splits
   224. djrelays Posted: November 07, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5572149)
Passing along that Retrosheet is planning to have fielding splits available, probably not until mid 2018 though:

Retrosheet Fielding Splits

Interesting news. Any chance they can create ground ball splits that separate grass from turf?
   225. Rob_Wood Posted: November 12, 2017 at 01:25 PM (#5574680)
please ignore


Pitcher          CPASR    WVA    WVR
Roger Clemens    2.065    82.4   123.3
Randy Johnson    1.553    54.0    88.2
Greg Maddux      1.540    65.2   106.9
Pedro Martinez   1.333    51.6    74.3
Bert Blyleven    1.325    34.6    75.9
Phil Niekro      1.299    23.7    66.6
Steve Carlton    1.249    33.6    76.6
Mike Mussina     1.208    39.0    68.7
Gaylord Perry    1.193    34.7    77.6
Fergie Jenkins   1.145    34.4    70.7
Curt Schilling   1.129    38.4    64.1
Tom Glavine      1.060    37.9    74.7
Roy Halladay     1.010    34.2    56.6
Kevin Brown      0.997    32.1    59.0
Rick Reuschel    0.989    22.0    51.2
Jim Palmer       0.974    45.7    77.8
David Cone       0.971    27.2    50.8
John Smoltz      0.967    30.8    57.6
Luis Tiant       0.904    28.1    56.1
Nolan Ryan       0.877    33.1    77.5
Dave Stieb       0.870    22.8    43.3
Jim Bunning      0.845    20.3    50.5
Kevin Appier     0.839    26.8    48.2
Johan Santana    0.813    28.0    43.5
Tim Hudson       0.785    30.7    56.7
Orel Hershiser   0.784    21.2    46.7
Bret Saberhagen  0.778    28.3    49.0
Chuck Finley     0.778    23.5    49.1
Andy Pettitte    0.776    25.9    53.4
Roy Oswalt       0.765    28.1    46.5
Don Sutton       0.677    28.7    72.5
Tommy John       0.595    23.7    62.2
Catfish Hunter   0.533     8.0    36.3
Jack Morris      0.519    19.0    50.2


   226. theorioleway Posted: November 13, 2017 at 07:59 PM (#5575525)
In case people haven't paid attention to other threads, the good Doctor is running new MLEs for Negro League players. Of importance for this election are the ones for Ben Taylor and Hilton Smith, both of whom look like they deserve serious considerations for being on the ballot.
   227. bachslunch Posted: November 15, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5576529)
Second time voting, here's what I've got thus far.

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, unsure so far on War or Minor League credit. Not docking for WW2 play as of now. Do not give postseason credit. Not sure how to evaluate 19th century pitchers, but for now tending to discount AA, NA, and UA stats as possibly suspect, with one exception. 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. Vladimir Guerrero. Better WAR than I remember, thought he'd go lower.
9. Sammy Sosa. Again, better WAR than I remembered. Happy to give him some benefit of the doubt given his treatment by the BBWAA.
10. Bob Johnson. Best WAR among available LFs.
11. Wally Schang. Among best C WAR, also hit well.
12. Vic Willis. Good WAR.
13. Ben Taylor. Best NGL position player per Seamheads.
14. Dick Redding. Best NGL pitcher per Seamheads.
15. Vern Stephens. Among best SS WAR, also hit really well.

16-25: Kenny Lofton, Tommy John, Sal Bando, Urban Shocker, Thurman Munson, Tommy Bridges, John Olerud, Jim Fregosi, Bert Campaneris, Bobby Bonds.

Required comments for those outside my 25. Fred McGriff and Bob Elliott drop off last year's top 25, too much competition. 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). 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.
   228. bachslunch Posted: November 15, 2017 at 02:16 PM (#5576674)
No idea why, but I left Jeff Kent off last year and this time. Need to fix that.

Change #15 to Kent and drop Vern Stephens to #16. Kent has more WAR and a better OPS+ at a premium position and also more PAs than Stephens. That puts Bonds off my top 25.

My bad.
   229. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:29 AM (#5577179)
Bach’s ballot brings up a challenge to the electorate from me. This is an intentionally provocative post, forgive me if I go too far in that direction. Not trying to be a dick.

How many pitchers do we really need from the period of roughly 1880-1892? Currently we have Keefe, Caruthers, Hoss, Galvin, and Clarkson who are square in that zone. Plus Young, Nichols, and Rusie with multiple full seasons prior to 1893. IIRC (and I’m in a STL hotel room and have 15 minutes before my next mtg) at the beginning of the 1880s, teams were effectively using 1.5 man “roatations.” By the end of this era they were at 2.0 to 2.5 man roataions. That suggests that there’s approximately 400 annual rotation slots across all teams during that era. Our honorees occupy approximately 75-100 of those slots. Do we really need to honor more 1880-1892 pitchers than that? Especially since we have way too many 1800s players to begin with?

Welch, McCormick, Mullane, and Buffinton continue to receive some support, and I would suggest that their supporters ought to provide substantial evidence that we need to honor a significantly higher percentage of 1880-1892 pitchers than we should from other eras. IMO, “my system really likes him” (pls forgive that absurdly reductive straw man like paraquote) and can’t be strong enough reasoning if we are trying to be fair to players from all eras and all positions. There are many deserving players from other positions and eras who could use the dozen or so votes going to pre-1892 pitchers.
   230. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5577572)
I agree that the 1880s and 1890s have been covered, but so have the 20s and 30s and your NGL data is bumping up even more from that era. I haven't seen anyone revised down with the new NGL MLEs which makes me suspicious that there is something biasing the numbers too high.

Honestly, we should be mostly electing players from 1970 onward with an occasional backlog person every decade.
   231. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 16, 2017 at 04:19 PM (#5577596)
There are two items to respond to here:
1) Inflated MLEs. There are four reasons I think that describing them as inflated would be potentially inaccurate:
A) It suggests the previous versions were definitely accurate, which we don’t know for certain.
B) We have MUCH more and better data than we did 10 years ago. We didn’t have leaguewide OBP or walks data ten years ago, for example.
C) Previous MLEs were not denominated in WAR. These are. WAR was barely a thing in 2007. I tried to include it in my last couple MLEs back then, but it wasn’t a full implementation by any means. And comparing WS to WAR is something of an apples-to-pears situation.
D) I’m so far only rolling out MLEs for the best of the best among Negro Leaguers. When tertiary or quaternary candidates’ MLEs are rolled out, you’ll see that the MLEs for many of them are not so rosy.

In addition, I’m not sure that we can compare my new MLEs to my old ones (nor Brent’s or Chris’) because we were all attempting to translate component stats which a really different process with different assumptions.

I’m far more confident in my current ones than my old ones. But I’m not so confident that I wouldn’t be glad to hear feedback on the method, which you can find in the linked articles.

2) 1920s and 1930s: I am not advocating specifically for this time period, and I’m not sure what in my post about 1880s pitchers would suggest I do. In fact, the question of the MLEs seems pretty unrelated to me. But if I’m sorry if that was what I communicated. I’m on record in other threads that catchers, third basemen, deadballers, and latter day guys are on the list of underserved players. Specifically I have mentioned Wally Schang and Thurman Munson and Buddy Bell as good candidates for this reason. Actually, 2018 should help at 3B. I have a hard time believing we won’t elect Chipper Jones, and Scott Rolen could be elected too.
   232. bachslunch Posted: November 16, 2017 at 04:52 PM (#5577624)
@229: fair point to bring up. My feeling is that there are going to be periods with an overload of excellent players at certain positions and lacking good options at other positions in other eras. There’s the glut of great 3B from the 50s-80s and the lack of good catcher choices from 1900-1920, for example. I’m choosing to take the numbers literally, at least to a fair extent.
   233. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 16, 2017 at 07:49 PM (#5577723)

So I went and did the math. From 1880-1892, HOM SP accounted for 11.9% of all the league’s starts annually with a high of 19.9% in 1881. Actually the number would be higher overall for this epoch but i included the UA.

Remember that’s 11.9% annually.

I looked at 1980 because so many of those long-career 300 winners were around. The 12 HOM SP in the league (including Eck) totaled 9.4% of all starts. The leader in GS in the league had 38. In order to match 11.9%, in 1980, 13 HOM SP would each have needed to start 38 games.

I repeated this for 1998. In that season, 11 HOM SP combined for 7.5% of all MLB GS. The leader had 35 GS, and the league would have needed 16 pitchers making 35 starts to match 11.9%.

Finally, I looked at the deadball era. I did get 12.1% for 1904, but 1916 was 8.7%. 1907 or 1908 might also be higher yield years but I chose 1904 to maximize the number of starts in the league. (I’m on a phone in a hotel room.)

Overall, it looks to me like the 1880s are already the most HOM-rsaturated period for SP because even when I tried to stack the deck, I topped out at the AVERAGE of the 1880s. And it would be difficult in my mind to see a way in which adding more SP would make sense even from the perspective othat some eras just have more guys at certain positions. Which is a theory I expressly agree on, BTW, but which I don’t think fits the evidence in this instance.

   234. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 16, 2017 at 08:12 PM (#5577729)
Forgot to say that racking on one of Mullane, Welch, Buffinton, or McCormick brings the percentage to 13.7% of all games started in MLB from 1880-1892.
   235. DL from MN Posted: November 16, 2017 at 09:24 PM (#5577773)
When tertiary or quaternary candidates’ MLEs are rolled out, you’ll see that the MLEs for many of them are not so rosy.

This suggests we need to adjust for standard deviations.
   236. Howie Menckel Posted: November 16, 2017 at 10:50 PM (#5577806)
old school point, and HOM voters may know that I have no pet projects left - and I think rarely did - but is it possible that a SP who pitches a huge proportion of innings is more valuable than one who doesn't?

not my hill to die on, but the angle should probably be dismantled at least. kind of a thought exercise.
   237. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: November 17, 2017 at 12:14 AM (#5577844)
@235, STDEV adjustments are baked into the protocol. Like I said, so far you are only seeing the best players’ MLEs.

@236, this is an interesting and important question to me too. Basically, I reckon that if everyone is doing it, it ain’t that special. The reason we see it as special is because we have trouble comprehending those superhuman innings totals. But the game, with one brief exception in the 1960s/1970s, has constantly evolved away from the model of the 1880s. Why? Because a) the longer mound distance of 1893 made it more physically difficult to pitch b) schedules got longer, necessitating more arms c) a team’s tactical options were increased by more frequent substitution for pitchers, especially the lesser starters.

Whatever sense we have that pitchers were more valuable at the time might be tempered by the fact that the mound was closer to the plate, making it easier to pitch effectively on a physical basis. (And weren’t pitchers allowed to bound toward the plate as they delivered the pitch? (i.e.: there was no rubber they had to remain in contact with but rather a box that they had to remain in.) And they threw underhand/sidearm, which is easier on the arm. If pitching hadn’t been less physically demanding, the 1880s guys couldn’t have lasted as long as they did! Both within a season and across seasons.

So my line of thinking goes that:
1) everyone did it in that time
2) it was easier physically to pitch
3) the game has near constantly moved away from the 1880s model, so how valuable was it really?
4) then why didn’t we reduce the number of hitters from that period commensurately?

   238. DL from MN Posted: November 17, 2017 at 02:08 PM (#5578114)
A ranking of NGL players by your new MLEs would be helpful to me to see players in the context of their peers.
   239. Rob_Wood Posted: November 17, 2017 at 11:33 PM (#5578306)
I am starting to compile my preliminary thoughts on this ballot. First, here are my thoughts on the first-timers on the 2018 HOM ballot.

To supplement the data that JoeD posted at the head of this thread, here is the value of my new CPASR stat for each of the newbies on the ballot worthy of consideration. (CPASR, which stands for Career Pennants Added using a Sliding Replacement level, was introduced around post #180 in this very thread. It is based upon and supplemental to JoeD's own pennant-added stat. Below, in addition to CPASR, I show the WAA and WAR figures from on which it is based.)
Chipper Jones     53   85   1.17
Scott Rolen       44   70   1.00
Jim Thome         37   73   0.96
Andruw Jones      36   63   0.88
Johan Santana     33   51   0.81
Carlos Zambrano   29   44   0.69
Johnny Damon      19   56   0.67
Chris Carpenter   15   34   0.47
Orlando Hudson    13   31   0.41
Jamie Moyer       13   50   0.41
Kerry Wood        17   28   0.40
Omar Vizquel       5   45   0.37
Livan Hernandez    6   31   0.32
Kevin Millwood     6   29   0.31

Chipper Jones is a no-brainer. Electing Chipper will help fill-in our deficit at third base.

Scott Rolen is also sure to be high on my ballot (probably second). Very solid offense with outstanding defense at an important defensive position. I don't want to get carried away, but electing Rolen will help fill-in our deficit at third base.

Jim Thome will also be high on my ballot. Everybody knows about his power. Lifetime on-base percentage of .402 and OPS+ of 147.

Andruw Jones's case rests squarely on his other-worldly defensive statistics early in his career. I will undoubtedly have him on my ballot, but I am not sure how high.

Johan Santana is difficult. As many know, I have a parallel stat to WAA based upon a game-by-game evaluation of every start in Santana's career called Win Values Average (WVA). Santana's WVA is 28, below his WAA of 33. It is not unusual for a pitcher's WVA to be less than his WAA. But this tells me that a game-by-game inspection of Santana's career does not uncover significant hidden value that could boost his place on my ballot. Also, for what it is worth, Santana's Win Values Replacement (WVR) is only 44 reflecting, of course, his short career.

Carlos Zambrano will not be on my ballot.

Johnny Damon will not be on my ballot.

Chris Carpenter will not be on my ballot.

Orlando Hudson will not be on my ballot.

Jamie Moyer will not be on my ballot.

Kerry Wood will not be on my ballot.

Omar Vizquel will not be on my ballot. (People in the other BTF thread claim that Vizquel will do well on the BBWAA ballot.)

Livan Hernandez will not be on my ballot.

Kevin Millwood will not be on my ballot.

   240. The Honorable Ardo Posted: November 18, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5578420)
I certainly don't see any need to induct more 19th century pitchers and haven't voted for one in 50+ ballots. Dolf Luque and Hilton Smith are the only pitchers I feel strongly about; my ballot this year will feature them, Johan Santana, and twelve position players.
   241. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:21 AM (#5579302)
Hey guys!

What do we think of starting the voting December 4, and running it through December 18?
   242. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5579304)
In case people haven't paid attention to other threads, the good Doctor is running new MLEs for Negro League players. Of importance for this election are the ones for Ben Taylor and Hilton Smith, both of whom look like they deserve serious considerations for being on the ballot.

That is great to hear! That he's doing the work, not about the players specifically. Although I have always liked Ben Taylor as a candidate, and it will make me look at Smith again as well.
   243. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5579307)
Follow-up to #214. My book has been published. Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball: Measuring Performance in Context, published by McFarland, should be available wherever fine books are sold.

That is great, congrats!
   244. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5579311)
Adding to the 1880s pitchers probably being done commentary ... Am I wrong to assume that what was credited to pitchers in the 1880s was probably much more likely the contribution of the defense? As in pitchers had less impact on the outcome of a given AB than the hitters and fielders, relative to modern day baseball?
   245. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 21, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5579328)
Thanks for all of this, Rob! I really like the concept of a sliding replacement value. I definitely like the idea that in-season replacement level is lower than "offseason" (?) replacement level. I also like the concept of pennants added. I need to sit down with your formulas and see if I can figure out a way to make it work with my Player won-lost records. But very interesting food for thought.

Interesting system Rob ... thanks for sharing. Apologies for being late to the party.

I have heard the sliding replacement level argument for a long time. My problem with it, is that I think it assumes that these average league replacements over time are free. That you don't have to use your limited resources (dollars, draft picks, etc.) to add these players to your team. Having Don Kessigner there for 10 years as an above (annual, for the sake of argument) replacement level player, allows you to spend those resources to go find a better 2B, 3rd starting pitcher or left fielder. I don't see how sliding replacement level accounts for this.

I'd also note that in historical leagues I've played in where you can keep players forever (basically reserve clause type leagues), managers who take this approach, over-drafting (IMO) higher peak, shorter career players, especially in the middle rounds, after the stars are gone, tend to do pretty poorly. But admittedly, that could just be selective memory.
   246. Rob_Wood Posted: November 22, 2017 at 12:58 AM (#5579966)
Yes, player valuation inevitably relies upon the distribution and cost of alternative talent. The less costly and more available are alternatives with significant probability of eventually being better than "replacement" level (and even higher than league average), the more critical it is to have "high peak" players on your roster rather than "long career" players.

My new CPASR stat is based upon my attempt at analyzing the empirical flow of talent into the major leagues over time. It is apparent that the players that this system "values" is more than occasionally different than the players that I have been including on my HOM ballots.

I hope to integrate the CPASR figures (information) into my HOM ballots going forward.

   247. Carl Goetz Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:17 AM (#5580036)
Rob, I just read through your earlier posts from April regarding CPASR as well as your more recent posts. I tend to agree with a preference for higher peak players over longer career guys. My questions in this process are in regards to the sliding replacement level. I understand what your are saying regarding teams fielding an average player at a given position over a 20 year period, but am wondering whether that tells the whole story. I'm going to make a few statements/questions and I'd be interested in your reactions/answers. This may be that I haven't put as much thought into this as you, so I'm making these statements with full respect to the amount of time and energy you've clearly put into this project.
1) Does this ignore individual circumstances? Theo Epstein is pretty good at drafting from what I can tell. It makes sense for him to not tie down a 'proven veteran' to a long term contract where a worse drafter might be better off with the veteran.
2) Most teams have a backup plan for even their stars in the minors. Its not like the Braves didn't draft 3B replacements during Chipper's career. I remember at one point, he was blocking Wes Helms. So the Braves adjusted and moved Chipper to LF. This had value to the Braves since they needed a LF and most of Chipper's value was offensive anyway. Of course Wes Helms turned out to be, well, Wes Helms (no offense Wes Helms, I would love to have had your major league career and the paychecks that went with it), so Chipper moved back.
3) Even if the veteran is truly blocking a good replacement, most teams don't waste that resource. They trade him for a useful piece right now or a comparable prospect at a different position. If we're saying the average value of the 'blocked' player over time will approach an average player, aren't we assuming the team will derive no value from that player? ie they rot in the minors while the veteran plays in the majors.
4) Realistically speaking, on average, the average 'blocked' player should yield in a trade an average player at a different position. Few teams (even great ones) have better than average players at every position. Therefore, acquiring an average player at a position of need is helpful to most teams. Shouldn't this mitigate some of the blockage?
5) I feel that as CPASR is currently constructed, there is an assumption that teams can't trade value for value and therefore utilize a 'blocked' resource. At the very least, it assumes we are looking at that player's position on the team in a vacuum without considering the other positions on that team.

I think my initial reaction is that I'm with you on the idea of a sliding replacement level over time. It should definitely move higher than the traditional AAA replacement player. But, for the reasons above, I question whether it should get all the way to a league average player.

I'm definitely very interested to hear you thoughts on anything I've written or assumed here.

Thanks for all of your work here as well. Even if I don't agree with you 100%, you have made me think about replacement level in a different way than I have in the past. I certainly appreciate that.
   248. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:49 AM (#5580069)
Rob, I don’t really think that answers the question I asked. It seems like this ignores the fact that when you have a long career player 1) there is value in not having to expend resources to replace that player, and 2) there is value in having one less position to worry about.

The theory that replacement level becomes average over time and specifically CPASR says that if you have a Mickey Mantle I who plays from 1951-1959; he dies and is replaced by Mickey Mantle II from 1960-1968 - somehow the two players are more valuable than the real Mickey Mantle. Despite the fact that in the hypothetical, you have to expend the resources to sign, draft and develop two Mickey Mantles. If Mickey Mantle I had lived you could have traded Mickey Mantle II for Ron Santo.

Am I missing something? I have never thought this theory held any water, I still remain unconvinced.
   249. JoeD has the Imperial March Stuck in His Head Posted: November 22, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5580072)
I mean teams don’t just field average players over 20 years. They field average players, at every position on average every year.
   250. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 22, 2017 at 11:52 AM (#5580164)
Keep in mind that Retrosheet fielding data is incomplete prior to 1989, and very incomplete prior to 1973 as many of the sources don't have fielding credits on hits and (before 1973) on many outs.

-- MWE
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